"It's going to happen again," says former New Zealand PM Clark tasked with WHO COVID-19 reviewNew Zealand’s former prime minister Helen Clark warned if the world remained “flat-footed” in its response to pandemics it faces future economic, social and political crisis, after she was appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to lead a review of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO announced late on Thursday that Clark and Liberia’s former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will lead a panel scrutinising the global response. The COVID-19 outbreak originated in China in late 2019 and has infected a reported 12.16 million people globally and 550,242​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Australia offers safe haven to Hong Kongers, sparking China furyAustralia offered pathways to permanent residency for thousands of people from Hong Kong on Thursday in response to China’s crackdown on dissent, drawing a furious reply from Beijing. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government was suspending its extradition agreement with the city and, in addition to extending the visas of 10,000 Hong Kongers already in the country, threw open the door to thousands more wanting to start a new life Down Under. Morrison said the decisions were taken in response to China’s imposition last week of a tough new security law in Hong Kong, which he said “constitutes a …

Poll: 70 Percent of Americans Think ‘Black Lives Matter’ Has Not Improved Race RelationsA majority of Americans believe the Black Lives Matter movement has not improved race relations, according to a new poll from Monmouth University, with 38 percent of respondents saying BLM has hurt racial issues in America, compared to 26 percent who say the movement has helped.The poll’s findings, released Wednesday, compared results from June 2020 to a similar poll conducted by Monmouth in 2016. While 71 percent of respondents agreed that Black Lives Matter has “brought attention to real racial disparities in American society” — a double-digit increase from 2016 — 70 percent of respondents think that the movement has …

Texas Governor Is ‘Putting Lives at Risk,’ Local Officials SayHarris County Judge Lina Hidalgo believes she knows what her county needs to fight back against COVID-19. But because of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, she says she isn’t able to follow through. “I'm at the mercy of what powers he positively gives us,” Hidalgo told The Daily Beast. “As opposed to being able to use my own tools.” As Texas faces a resurgent coronavirus and some officials have emphasized concerns about hospitals in the state becoming potentially overrun or overwhelmed, Hidalgo can find plenty of reasons to worry. Hospitalizations started to increase in late May, she says, and haven't come …