每日新闻播报(February 21)

Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany, Feb 15, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

>WHO fights the 'infodemic'

WHO Director-General c Ghebreyesus told foreign policy and security experts gathered for the Munich Security Conference that the UN agency was encouraged that there has not yet been widespread community transmission of the novel coronavirus outside of China.

The WHO also was encouraged that "the global research community has come together to identify and accelerate the most urgent research needs for diagnostics, treatments and vaccines".

The WHO chief said the agency's encouragement was tempered by several key concerns, including, the rising number of cases in China, particularly the number of health workers that have been infected; the lack of urgency in funding the response from the international community; the levels of rumors and misinformation hampering the response and the potential havoc the virus could wreak in countries with weaker health systems.

Tedros called on the international community to push back against the "infodemic", as fake news spreads faster and more easily than this virus, and is equally as dangerous.

He also called on governments, companies and news organizations to work with the WHO to sound the appropriate level of alarm, without fanning the flames of hysteria.


Children try to drive away desert locusts swarming in the Okara district of eastern Pakistan's Punjab Province on Saturday. Some countries in East Africa, West Asia and South Asia are experiencing seldom-seen plagues of the insects. [Photo/XINHUA]

>South may be invaded by locusts

The invasion of desert locusts that has already thrust millions of Africans into a food security crisis may pose threats to China's southern regions this summer.

Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, as well as the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, are most likely to be affected, according to Zhang Zehua, a researcher at the Institute of Plant Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

"It is extremely unlikely that desert locusts will directly migrate into China's inland areas, but if the overseas desert locust plague persists, the probability of locusts entering China in June or July will sharply increase," Zhang said.

According to the United Nations, the desert locust is among "the most dangerous migratory pests in the world".

A single locust can travel 150 kilometers, and a small swarm can consume enough food to feed 35,000 people in one day.


Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Canada House in London, Britain January 7, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

>Sussexes to begin new life

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will begin their new life away from the royal family on March 31.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's office have released an update about their plans and said the duke will retain the ranks of major, lieutenant commander and squadron leader.

The Sussexes will announce details of their new non-profit organization later in the year, a spokeswoman for the couple said.

A number of royal engagements also were announced, with Harry due to attend an Invictus Games event with pop star Jon Bon Jovi on Feb 28.

Meghan will then mark International Women's Day a week later, with the couple's final official engagement coming alongside the entire royal family at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9 before their Buckingham Palace office closes on April 1.


Tsinghua University's west gate. [Photo/SIPA]

>Emerging economies uni rankings

Universities from the Chinese mainland have secured seven of the top 10 positions in the Times Higher Education's Emerging Economies University Rankings for the third straight year.

Tsinghua University maintained its position at the top in the listing of institutions from emerging economies. Peking University was in second place for the second year running.

Zhejiang University and the University of Science and Technology of China, respectively, remain in third and fourth place, while Shanghai Jiao Tong University climbed from eighth to sixth.

Fudan University was listed in seventh place, while Nanjing University was ninth.

Other institutions in the top 10 include Moscow State University (5th), National Taiwan University (8th), and the University of Cape Town (10th).


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