U.S. to ban WeChat and TikTok from Sunday night

By Helene Fung The US Commerce Department will start banning social media and e-commerce app WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok from US app stores on Sunday night (local time), over national security concerns. However, existing TikTok users will not yet be affected. Bans on additional technical transactions won’t be implemented until 12 November, leaving a…

Russian COVID-19 vaccine shows signs of immune response

By Helene Fung Russian scientists published the first report on their Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine in medical journal The Lancet, saying over two trials in June and July, all 76 participants developed antibodies to the coronavirus, and showed no serious side effects other than headaches and joint pain. The volunteer participants, aged between 18 and 60;…

Trump executive orders to lower prescription drug prices

By Helene Fung US President Donald Trump signed four executive orders to lower the prices Americans need to pay for prescription drugs, as COVID-19 case counts continue to rise. The orders are: Allow legal importation of prescription drugs from overseas; Require middlemen currently benefitting from drug companies’ discounts to pass on savings to patients; Reduce…

Joe Biden says China and Russia are trying to undermine US election

By Helene Fung US Presidential hopeful Joe Biden reportedly said at a fund raiser that China and Russia are trying to undermine the democratic process in the lead up to the presidential election in November, according to intelligence briefing that he received. The Washington Post quoted Mr Biden as having said “The Russians are still…

Trump resists his own advisor’s call to make masks mandatory

By Helene Fung US President Donald Trump said during a television interview that he will not consider making a national mandate for people to wear masks, despite his own advisor, infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci urging political leaders “to be as forceful as possible in getting your citizenry to wear masks”. During the interview,…

Donald Trump gives Roger Stone “get out of jail free” card

By Helene Fung US President Donald Trump commuted the 40 months prison sentence of his ally and advisor Roger Stone on Friday (local time), days before Mr Stone was due to report to a federal prison to start serving his sentence for lying under oath to the US Congress investigating Russian interference in the 2016…