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Stocks rally as vaccine hope, recovery signs offset new lockdowns

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Hong Kong (AFP) – Equities rose Thursday following a record lead from Wall Street, with investors cheered by hopes for a vaccine, more positive economic data and further lockdown easing in Europe.The developments helped offset a worrying spike in infections in the United States, which has led to the reimposition of containment measures that could slow recovery in the world’s top economy, and warnings of worse to come.Hong Kong led the gains on reopening after a one-day break, despite concerns about a new security law imposed on the city by China that observers said was more draconian than fear…

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Facebook, Twitter take aim at Trump ‘misinformation’

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Facebook and Twitter took aim at US President Donald Trump and his campaign Wednesday over a video post in which he contended that children are "almost immune" to the coronavirus, a claim they said amounted to "misinformation."

In an extraordinary move, Facebook removed the clip from the president's account -- the first time it has taken down one of his posts for violating its content rules.

The video -- an excerpt from a Fox News interview -- "includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation," a Facebook spokesperson told AFP.

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COVID-19

Coronavirus pandemic leaves Amazon more vulnerable than ever

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The indigenous peoples of the Amazon have already seen their homelands ravaged by illegal deforestation, industrial farming, mining, oil exploration and unlawful occupation of their ancestral territories.

Now, the coronavirus pandemic has magnified their plight, just as the forest fires are raging once more.

The Amazon, the world's largest tropical rainforest, is a vital resource in the race to curb climate change -- it spans over 7.4 million square kilometers (2.85 million square miles).

It covers 40 percent of the surface area of South America, stretching across nine countries and territories: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

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COVID-19

Nearly half of inmates at Arizona prison test positive for virus

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More than 500 inmates -- nearly half the population -- of a prison in the US state of Arizona have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials said, while at a California prison the virus death toll hit 22.

The Arizona Department of Corrections said Tuesday that 517 inmates at the ASPC-Tucson Whetstone prison "have tested positive for COVID-19."

Those inmates "are currently being housed as a cohort together in separate areas and are receiving appropriate medical care. They will not be allowed back into the general population until they have been medically cleared," its statement read.

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