FILE PHOTO: The logo of Anglo American is seen on a jacket of an employee at the Los Bronces copper mine, in the outskirts of Santiago, Chile March 14, 2019 Picture Taken March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
LONDON (Reuters) – Global miner Anglo American (AAL.L) on Thursday stuck to its full-year guidance for metals, including copper and diamonds, as it posted lower second quarter output due to coronavirus lockdowns.
In the three months to end-June output in diamonds, platinum, palladium, iron ore, coal and manganese declined, while copper and nickel rose.
Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Alex Richardson
LONDON (Reuters) – The agency leading the fight against COVID-19 in England has published data revealing the broad location of all people who have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Public Health England released the data covering more than 243,000 laboratory-confirmed COVID-positive tests after local authorities complained they had insufficient information to track the outbreak, which has cost 44,000 lives, according to the official toll.
June 29 (Reuters) – New Jersey Governor Murphy said on Monday indoor dining will no longer resume on Thursday in the state as previously planned, but will be postponed “indefinitely.”
“After #COVID19 spikes in other states driven by, in part, the return of indoor dining, we have decided to postpone indoor dining indefinitely,” Murphy said. (Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Franklin Paul)
This is part of an ongoing fight between the social media platforms and the president, who yesterday signed an executive order intended to intimidate these companies against getting in the way of him spreading (often false) information to his followers.
After Twitter took action against Trump’s tweet on Friday morning, the official White House Twitter account re-tweeted the president’s words. (Twitter eventually censored that tweet as well.) But as Trump’s unpresidential, divisive messages came under fire, his family members logged on and tried to do their best to clean up his mess.
It’s rare to see the majority of the Trump family commenting online at the same time, but on Friday Melania, Ivanka, Donald Trump Jr., Eric, and even Lara shared their thoughts on the chaos that’s unfolding in Minnesota and Twitter’s actions against the president.
The tweets, however, all carried fairly inconsistent messages.
Melania called for peace and offered her deepest condolences to George Floyd’s family. She also asked that we focus on “peace, prayers & healing” as a nation, which directly contradicts her husband’s call to send the National Guard to Minnesota and use violence if necessary to get the situation under control.
Our country allows for peaceful protests, but there is no reason for violence. I’ve seen our citizens unify & take care of one another through COVID19 & we can’t stop now. My deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd. As a nation, let’s focus on peace, prayers & healing.
Eric Trump also took shots at Joe Biden and came for Twitter on Friday morning, and Lara Trump said that although a murder was committed, other crimes are now also taking place in Minnesota.
Aside from the outward facing bias of @Twitter, there is hardly a single influential conservative on this platform who doesn’t believe their account has been negatively manipulated & influenced behind the scenes. I’m thrilled to see @realDonaldTrump take decisive action.
It’s really striking to see that Trump and several of his family members seem more concerned with taking down Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that dealing with the devastating events in Minneapolis, a deadly pandemic, and an unfolding economic crisis. But the president seems to be leaning in.
Even today, as the people continue to mourn the loss of George Floyd and plead for justice, Trump is bashing Twitter on Twitter. So is the White House account.
Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party. They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States. Section 230 should be revoked by Congress. Until then, it will be regulated!
This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, @Twitter has determined that it will allow terrorists, dictators, and foreign propagandists to abuse its platform. pic.twitter.com/5Qi0m66Vnh
The President did not glorify violence. He clearly condemned it.@Jack and Twitter’s biased, bad-faith “fact-checkers” have made it clear: Twitter is a publisher, not a platform. https://t.co/lTm3Pxxaqg
In times of deep sorrow and nationwide distress, this is not what a president’s Twitter account should look like. Americans should be able to count on the president and those associated with the White House to — at the very least — not further divide the nation or incite violence.
Chinese state news outlet Xinhua has introduced a new social media character in an effort to counter criticism of China in English-language media during the coronavirus pandemic. The cartoon character is called Terry-cotta, who explains that using face masks during a pandemic is good, that China isn’t hoarding PPE, and that Americans are very thankful for China’s donations of medical supplies.
The new character appears in an animated video that’s made to look like a Periscope livestream, complete with comments by viewers and little hearts fluttering to denote approval of the message being conveyed. The name Terry-cotta is a play on the Chinese terracotta warrior sculptures that date from the third century BCE.
“I don’t like masks either, but you know, with the virus out there, we better be cautious,” Terry-cotta says in a new YouTube video responding to an imaginary comment about masks being “stupid.”
Another segment of the new video shows Terry-cotta addressing complaints that masks which have been shipped out of China in recent months were defective, a huge scandal in Spain, which has been particularly hard hit during the pandemic, with over 236,000 covid-19 infections and more than 27,000 deaths.
“Hola from Spain,” the imaginary Periscope comment reads. “Some of our hospitals complain your exported masks of poor quality. They could not protect medicos.”
Terry-cotta sets the record straight, from the Chinese government’s perspective, insisting that the masks were never intended to be N95 quality. Instead, Terry-cotta insists, those masks were lower quality for everyday use on the street and shouldn’t have been ordered by a hospital.
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“Actually, what masks this company exported to Spain were masks for daily protection,” Terry-cotta says. “They are not up to the protective level of surgical masks, not to mention N95. Cases like this also happened in the Netherlands. Doctors and nurses, please ask your admin guys to get you the right kind of masks.”
In reality, it’s not just the Netherlands and Spain which have complained of faulty masks from China. Finland, India, Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Canada have also imported faulty masks from Chinese distributors. Many of the faulty masks were supposedly N95 quality, according to Canadian news outlets, and China’s medical device regulators have reportedly cracked down on exports of faulty PPE.
Terry-cotta also addresses questions about the “hoarding” of PPE, which the cartoon character denies by pointing out how much China is exporting at the moment. Terry-cotta also urges people who say tests kits made in China are faulty to “please follow instructions,” suggesting that medical professionals in other countries don’t know what they’re doing.
A fictional Periscope commenter called “GunGene” writes, “don’t buy anything from Terry. There are viruses on his stuff.” The comment echoes xenophobic and racist sentiments in many western countries against people of Asian descent. The name GunGene is clearly a nod to lax U.S. policies on firearms.
“You can say whatever you like,” Terry-cotta responds to GunGene, chuckling. “You’re welcome to stay away from our masks. Like going out into a crowd, and stay away from our ventilators if you’re hospitalized.”
The video ends with an imaginary commenter from Oregon thanking China for a donation of medical supplies. The comment is based on the actual donation of 50,000 masks from Fujian Province to the state of Oregon last month.
“Terry, I’m here to thank you for your donation of masks,” says Andrew in a Periscope-like comment. “I am from Oregon State Emergency Management Office. We received a batch of masks donated by Fujian Province and gave them to people fighting against COVID19 across the state.”
“Well, thank you, Andrew. Good to know that our donations helped,” Terry-cotta says. “Please, do take care there, buddy.”
The governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, tweeted about the donation on April 28, thanking “Oregon’s sister state in China,” insisting that the state would “pay it forward” in the future.
Notably, YouTube is banned in China, so the audience for this video is the English-speaking world, with a clear emphasis on the United States. The animation is just one of many new videos released by Chinese state media over the past few months that seeks to change the narrative about China’s role in the pandemic. American politicians like President Donald Trump have insisted that China should be punished for the pandemic under the theory that it didn’t do enough to stop the outbreak which originated in Wuhan.
The effort by Chinese state media is clearly an attempt to sway American opinion and ironically takes a page out of the American playbook of exerting soft power through popular media channels. In the 20th century, the U.S. dominated the world as much through popular media like movies and TV as it did through physical force and guns—though there was plenty of the latter, to be sure.
Now it appears to be China’s turn to exert that same soft power in the 21st century, using new tools like YouTube, Facebook, and Periscope to get its message out during the New Cold War, even if those same platforms are banned in China. Terry-cotta may or may not take off as a popular media figure, but the idea behind Terry-cotta is going to be with us for a long time.
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