While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 23

US-China tensions take centre stage: Trump accuses Beijing of unleashing ‘plague’

US President Donald Trump told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that China must be held accountable for having “unleashed” Covid-19 on the world, prompting Beijing to accuse him of “lies” and abusing the UN platform to provoke confrontation.

China’s President Xi Jinping struck a conciliatory tone in his pre-recorded virtual address to the General Assembly, calling for enhanced cooperation over the pandemic and stressing that China had no intention of fighting “either a Cold War or a hot war with any country.”

But China’s UN ambassador Zhang Jun rejected Trump’s accusations against China as “baseless” and said “lies repeated a thousand times are still lies.”

Trump and Xi, leaders of the world’s two largest economies, laid out competing visions at a time when relations have plunged to their worst level in decades, with coronavirus tensions aggravating trade and technology disputes.


China calls for global ‘green revolution’ as Trump goes solo on climate

Chinese President Xi Xinping announced plans to boost his country’s Paris climate accord target on Tuesday and called for a green revolution, just minutes after US President Donald Trump blasted China for “rampant pollution.”

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Xi said China would achieve a peak in carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060 – the first time the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide has pledged to end its net contribution to climate change.

Xi used the lectern to call for multilateral action on climate change after US President Donald Trump called the Paris climate agreement – with nearly 200 signatories – a one-sided agreement and criticised China for being the world’s largest source of carbon emissions.


US surpasses grim milestone of 200,000 Covid-19 deaths

The death toll from the spread of the coronavirus in the United States exceeded 200,000 on Tuesday, by the far the highest number of any nation.

The United States, on a weekly average, is now losing about 800 lives each day to the virus, according to a Reuters tally.

That is down from a peak of 2,806 daily deaths recorded on April 15.


Trump and Biden set to clash on Supreme Court, five other topics in first debate

President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden will spar for 90 minutes over the Supreme Court, the coronavirus, voting integrity and “race and violence in our cities,” organisers of the first head-to-head election debate said on Tuesday.

Trump and Biden will address each of those four topics on Sept 29, as well as discuss the economy and their track records in six segments scheduled to last 15 minutes apiece, the Commission on Presidential Debates said in a statement.

This will be the first debate in a presidential campaign season upended by a pandemic that has complicated plans to hold in-person voting, killed more than 200,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work.


Football: Man United reach League Cup last 16 as coronavirus causes chaos

Manchester United moved into the League Cup fourth round with a 3-0 win at Luton, while West Ham boss David Moyes and two of his players contracted the coronavirus ahead of their 5-1 victory against Hull as the pandemic caused chaos on Tuesday.

Moyes, Josh Cullen and Issa Diop all left the London Stadium after learning of the tests before kick-off and will self-isolate, with the trio said to be asymptomatic.

West Ham were not the only Premier League club affected by the virus as Tottenham’s tie at Leyton Orient was postponed after their fourth tier opponents suffered a Covid-19 outbreak.


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