• Coronavirus latest: at a glance
    by Helen Sullivan on May 26, 2020 at 5:15 AM

    A summary of the biggest developments in the global coronavirus outbreakFollow our latest coronavirus blog for live news and updatesKey developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include: Continue reading...

  • The man in the iron lung
    by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie on May 26, 2020 at 5:00 AM

    When he was six, Paul Alexander contracted polio and was paralysed for life. Today he is 74, and one of the last people in the world still using an iron lung. But after surviving one deadly outbreak, he did not expect to find himself threatened by another. By Linda Rodriguez McRobbie The summer of 1952 was hot, even by Texas standards: 25 days above 100F (38C), the “cool” days not much cooler. But across the state, swimming pools were shut. Cinemas were, too, and bars and bowling alleys. Church services were suspended. Cities doused their streets with DDT insecticide; by now, health officials knew that mosquitoes didn’t spread the disease, but they had to be seen to be doing something. Nothing seemed to work. As the summer wore on, the numbers of polio cases grew.One day in July, in a quiet Dallas suburb, a six-year-old boy named Paul Alexander was playing outside in the summer rain. He didn’t feel well – his neck hurt, his head pounded. Leaving his muddy shoes in the yard, he walked barefoot into the kitchen, letting the screen door slam behind him. That would usually have earned him a swatting in a 1950s Texas household, but when his mother looked up at his feverish face, she gasped. She made him run out and grab his shoes, then ordered him to bed. Continue reading...

  • TikTok's first auteur: Zach King on his madcap micro movies
    by Alex Rayner on May 26, 2020 at 5:00 AM

    He scored his first viral hit with Jedi Kittens. Now the farmboy from Oregon’s joyous visual gags are making him a titan of TikTok – with 43 million followers and risingSomewhere in socially distanced southern California, the sun is rising on another bright day for Zach King. “My mornings are family time,” says the 30-year-old film-maker and father of two. “Then I brainstorm and write. When we’re not in quarantine, I work with my team. But I’m figuring out productions solo at the moment.”You might assume from this that King creates big-screen productions, advertisements or maybe broadcast TV. Not so. Much of his best works last for a minute or less, and are most widely viewed on digital platforms, where they compete with lip-synching teenagers and eruptions of Mentos dropped in Diet Coke. With 43.2 million followers, King is the third most popular content creator on TikTok, the video-sharing app; he expects to rise higher. “By the time this comes out, we should be at No 2,” he says. Continue reading...

  • 'I will kill you if you give this song to anyone but me': how Peggy Lee was perfect for Is That All There Is?
    by Kevin EG Perry on May 26, 2020 at 5:00 AM

    As coronavirus derails plans for a concert to celebrate the centenary of Lee’s birth, Kevin EG Perry looks back on a singer whose seductive style masked rejection and painIn September 1968, songwriting titans Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were on the hunt for a singer for their curious new composition Is That All There Is? The song was something of a departure for the writers of Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock. It had been inspired by Thomas Mann’s 1896 short story Disillusionment, which deals with what Leiber called “the existential hole that sits in the centre of our souls”. The fatalistic spoken-word verses describe the narrator watching their house burn down, losing their first love, and even facing death, “that final disappointment”, with sanguine grace.The pair felt the song needed an actress to sell it so offered it to Marlene Dietrich and Barbra Streisand before thinking of Peggy Lee. After catching her show at the Copacabana in New York, they handed Lee a demo. She called them the moment she listened to it. “I will kill you if you give this song to anyone but me,” she said. “This is my song. This is the story of my life.” Continue reading...

  • World health leaders urge green recovery from coronavirus crisis
    by Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent on May 26, 2020 at 5:00 AM

    Open letter to G20 leaders says addressing climate breakdown key to global revivalCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageDoctors and medical professionals from around the globe have called on world leaders to ensure a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis that takes account of air pollution and climate breakdown.More than 200 organisations representing at least 40 million health workers – making up about half of the global medical workforce – have signed an open letter to the G20 leaders and their chief medical advisers, pointing to the 7 million premature deaths to which air pollution contributes each year around the world. Continue reading...

  • Global report: 'disaster' looms for millions of children as WHO warns of second peak
    by Guardian staff and agencies on May 26, 2020 at 4:40 AM

    Children at risk of forced labour; WHO says don’t assume cases will keep declining; US brings forward Brazil travel ban to TuesdayCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe coronavirus pandemic will have a “disastrous” impact on children’s rights worldwide, making them more vulnerable to forced labour and underage marriage, a rights group has said, as the World Health Organization warned of an “immediate second peak” in cases if restrictions were lifted too soon.Millions of children would fall into extreme poverty because of the outbreak, which has left governments short of money for health and education for the young, Dutch NGO KidsRights said. Continue reading...

  • Sochi's sanatoriums cautiously open up for summer season
    by Andrew Roth in Moscow on May 26, 2020 at 4:00 AM

    From next week, the Russian resort’s hotels will be taking vacationersSpring breaks have been scrapped, pop concerts postponed. Police patrol the rocky beaches on the Black Sea coast and their promenades. Tourists are in quarantine. The grand old sanatoriums of Sochi, seaside spas offering a daily regiment of health cures, are empty.But from next week, Sochi’s 65 sanatoriums will be the only hotels taking vacationers as the resort city slowly opens for its summer season – a draw for sun-starved Russian tourists since Soviet times. Continue reading...

  • From Idlib to Tripoli: Turkey's grab for influence in Libya
    by Bethan McKernan in Istanbul on May 26, 2020 at 4:00 AM

    Syrian mercenaries are just part of Istanbul’s plan for supremacy in the eastern Mediterranean The first time Wael Amr got on a plane was not quite what he had hoped for. Air travel in films led him to imagine how glamorous it would be to leave Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province for an exotic holiday abroad.Instead, in March the 22-year-old – who had signed up with Turkish military recruiters and travelled over the border to Turkey – took his first ever plane journey from Turkey to Libya, where he is now fighting on a dangerous frontline in someone else’s war. Continue reading...

  • Franco-German plan for European recovery will face compromises
    by Jennifer Rankin in Brussels and Philip Oltermann in Berlin on May 26, 2020 at 4:00 AM

    Macron-Merkel plan to borrow on behalf of EU to help worst-hit countries is already being challenged by ‘frugal four’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWhen France and Germany announced a plan to raise €500bn (£448bn) on financial markets to fund a European coronavirus recovery plan, leaders sought to underscore the magnitude of the moment.The French president, Emmanuel Macron, hailed “a real change of philosophy”, with the plan for the European commission to borrow money on behalf of the entire EU and issue grants to the most stricken industries and regions. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, declared: “The nation state has no future standing alone,” and the German finance minister, Olaf Scholz, evoked the legacy of the US founding father Alexander Hamilton, who helped to transform the US into a true political unit with his scheme for the national government to take on debts accrued by individual states. Continue reading...

  • Research reveals gene role in both dementia and severe Covid-19
    by Nicola Davis on May 26, 2020 at 4:00 AM

    Having two copies of e4 variant of ApoE gene linked to double risk of severe Covid-19, study suggestsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coveragePeople with a genetic mutation that increases the risk of dementia also have a greater chance of having severe Covid-19, researchers have revealed.The study is the latest to suggest genetics may play a role in why some people are more vulnerable to the coronavirus than others, and could help explain why people with dementia have been hard hit: dementia is one of the most common underlying health conditions among those who have died from Covid-19 in England and Wales. Continue reading...

  • William Small, ‘hero to journalism’ at CBS, NBC, dies at 93
    on May 26, 2020 at 5:30 AM

    Longtime broadcast news executive William J. Small, who led CBS News' Washington coverage during the civil rights movement, Vietnam War and Watergate and was later president of NBC News and … Click to Continue »

  • Pandemic brings smaller, subdued Memorial Day observances
    on May 26, 2020 at 5:30 AM

    Americans settled for small processions and online tributes instead of parades Monday as they observed Memorial Day in the shadow of the pandemic, which forced communities to honor the nation’s … Click to Continue »

  • California lays out pandemic rules for church reopenings
    on May 26, 2020 at 5:11 AM

    Rabbi Shalom Rubanowitz looks forward to reopening his synagogue doors — if his congregation can balance the laws of God and California during the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, the state … Click to Continue »

  • Death and denial in Brazil’s Amazon capital
    on May 26, 2020 at 4:46 AM

    As the white van approached Perfect Love Street, one by one chatting neighbors fell silent, covered their mouths and noses and scattered. Men in full body suits carried an empty … Click to Continue »

  • Shunned by his party, Iowa’s Steve King fights for his seat
    on May 26, 2020 at 4:17 AM

    Rep. Steve King is fighting for his political life — but not because he's compared immigrants crossing the border illegally to cattle. His Republican opponents in next week's primary aren't … Click to Continue »

  • Congress weighs choice: ‘Go big’ on virus aid or hit ‘pause’
    on May 26, 2020 at 4:14 AM

    Congress is at a crossroads in the coronavirus crisis, wrestling over whether to “go big,” as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants for the next relief bill, or hit “pause,” as … Click to Continue »

  • The Latest: South Korea reports 19 new virus cases, China 7
    on May 26, 2020 at 4:13 AM

    The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can … Click to Continue »

  • Atlanta is home to 2 potential contenders for Biden’s VP
    on May 26, 2020 at 4:11 AM

    Neither public rivals nor personal friends, Keisha Lance Bottoms and Stacey Abrams spent years climbing parallel ladders at Atlanta City Hall and the Georgia Capitol. They are now Georgia’s most … Click to Continue »

  • Biden marks Memorial Day at veterans park near Delaware home
    on May 26, 2020 at 4:02 AM

    Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in more than two months on Monday as he marked Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a veterans park near his Delaware … Click to Continue »

  • Today in History
    on May 26, 2020 at 4:00 AM

    Today in History Today is Tuesday, May 26, the 147th day of 2020. There are 219 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On May 26, 1981, 14 … Click to Continue »

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