While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 25

Leaving Wuhan for Beijing was the hardest part of journey

Never did I imagine that the hardest part about reporting on a city lifting its lockdown would be trying to get out of it.

Getting into Wuhan was easy: I bought a ticket on one of China’s numerous platforms, hopped on a train with a suitcase full of protective equipment and disinfectant, and just over four hours later, I was ushered across a platform towards men in white protective suits.

The return journey was far more challenging.

I first had to apply for permission to return to Beijing through an applet on WeChat and once that came through, purchase a ticket. That sounded like a fairly straightforward-sounding process that turned out to be anything but that.


Britain’s coronavirus hospital deaths nears 20,000 as government response disappoints

Nearly 20,000 people have died in hospital in Britain after testing positive for the new coronavirus, the latest data showed on Friday.

Speculation mounted that Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who spent three nights in intensive care battling Covid-19 earlier this month, would soon get back to work after US President Donald Trump said he “sounded incredible” on the phone.

Whenever Johnson does return, he will face the conundrum of how to come out of a lockdown that is destroying swathes of the economy, while avoiding a deadly second wave of infections.


Trump says his remarks on using disinfectant in people’s bodies were sarcastic

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he was being sarcastic when he raised the possibility of using disinfectant inside people’s bodies to fight the coronavirus.

Trump said at a Thursday news briefing that scientists should explore whether inserting light or disinfectant into the bodies of coronavirus patients might help treat the respiratory illness caused by the virus.

At an Oval Office event on Friday, Trump sought to walk back those comments while also seeming to continue to advance his theory that disinfectants and sunlight might ultimately help within the body.


Britain, EU fail to bridge gaps in future relationship talks after Brexit

Britain and the European Union showed little sign of progress towards a deal on their post- Brexit relationship this week, failing to bridge differences over future competition and EU fishing access to British waters.

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier told a news conference on Friday that Britain had set a tight deadline by ruling out an extension to the Brexit transition period beyond the end of 2020.

The transition period could be extended by a year or two, but Britain would have to request this by the end of June. There are only two further weeks of negotiating rounds scheduled before then – from May 11 and June 1.


Meghan Markle’s war on British tabloids gets first day in court

Meghan Markle had her first day in court on Friday in her fight with the British media, as she sues the Mail on Sunday over the publication of a letter she wrote to her father shortly after her wedding to Prince Harry.

Her lawyer, David Sherborne, told a London judge that the publication of the five-page letter, which “contained her most personal thoughts,” breached her right to privacy. In the letter, Markle complained about her father talking to the press.

The letter “was disclosed with the sole and entirely gratuitous purpose of satisfying the curiosity” of the Mail’s readers, Sherborne said on Friday. “A curiosity deliberately generated by the” Mail.


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