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Latin America named virus epicenter as Trump seeks US reopening

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Washington (AFP) – The World Health Organization declared Latin America “a new epicenter” of the coronavirus pandemic as President Donald Trump ramped up pressure on state and local governments to speed up the reopening of the reeling American economy. Surges in infections across much of Central and South America have driven the global case count to nearly 5.2 million, with more than 337,000 deaths, even as hard-hit Europe and the United States cautiously move into a recovery phase. The death toll in Brazil has soared past 20,000, and with 310,000 reported cases, it has the third-biggest caseloa…

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COVID-19

Antibody injections could fight COVID-19 infections – an infectious disease expert explains the prospects

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Antibodies are part of us – literally.

We have billions of them in our bodies with a combined weight of about 100 grams, or about the weight of a bar of soap. If there are so many antibodies inside our bodies then they must be safe and very important, right?

Indeed, antibodies are perhaps the safest type of therapy and have many important functions. One of them is to protect and cure infections caused by viruses. The human immune system can produce antibodies specific for each type virus that bind strongly to the virus and block it from infecting our cells – so-called neutralizing antibodies.

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Artist Christo who wrapped Reichstag in fabric dies aged 84

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The artist known as Christo, who made his name transforming landmarks such as Germany's Reichstag by covering them with reams of cloth, died on Sunday aged 84, his official Facebook page announced.

Christo Vladimirov Javacheff died of natural causes at his home in New York City, the statement said.

The Bulgarian-born artist worked in collaboration with his wife of 51 years Jeanne-Claude until her death in 2009.

Their large-scale productions would take years of preparation and were costly to erect; but they were mostly ephemeral, coming down after just weeks or months.

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Deadly Tropical Storm Amanda hits El Salvador, Guatemala

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Tropical Storm Amanda triggered flash floods, landslides and power outages as it barrelled through El Salvador and Guatemala Sunday, killing 14 people, authorities said, warning of further heavy rain to come.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele declared a 15-day state of emergency to cope with the effects of the storm, which he estimated to have caused $200 million in damage, but which weakened later in the day as it moved into Guatemala.

Amanda, the first named storm of the season in the Pacific, unleashed torrents of floodwater that tossed vehicles around like toys and damaged about 200 homes, the head of the Civil Protection Service William Hernandez said.

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