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‘Horrifying’ violence has killed at least 43 children in Myanmar, report says

‘Horrifying’ violence has killed at least 43 children in Myanmar, report says

World
At least 43 children have died in violence during Myanmar's coup, according to reports described as "horrifying".The death toll of children has more than doubled in the past 12 days and the total number of people killed now stands at 521, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) says. The youngest victim was a girl aged just seven years old.A total of 15 children under the age of 16 are among the casualties, including children aged nine and 11.Among those killed were a 13-year-old boy who was reportedly shot in the head while trying to run away from armed forces, and a 14-year-old Mandalay boy who was reportedly shot dead while he was inside or around his home. ...
AP Exclusive: WHO report says animals likely source of COVID

AP Exclusive: WHO report says animals likely source of COVID

Technology
BEIJING -- A joint WHO-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is “extremely unlikely,” according to a draft copy obtained by The Associated Press.The findings offer little new insight into how the virus began to spread around the globe and many questions remain unanswered, though that was as expected. But the report did provide more detail on the reasoning behind the researchers' conclusions. The team proposed further research in every area except the lab leak hypothesis.The report’s release has been repeatedly delayed, raising questions about whether the Chinese side was trying to skew the conclusions to prevent blame for the pandemic falling on China. A World Hea...

The U.S. solar industry posted record growth in 2020 despite Covid-19, new report finds

Finance
Peter Cade | Stone | Getty ImagesU.S. solar installations reached a record high during 2020 as favorable economics, supportive policies and strong demand in the second half of the year offset the impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.Installations grew 43% year over year during 2020, reaching a record 19.2 gigawatts of new capacity, according to a report released Tuesday from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenize.During the fourth quarter alone, the U.S. added slightly more than 8 gigawatts of capacity — a new quarterly record. To put the number in context, during all of 2015, 7.5 gigawatts were added. One gigawatt is enough to power roughly 190,000 homes. The U.S. currently has 97.2 GW of total solar capacity installed, enough to power roughly 17.7 million homes.Calif...
Report: Calls to smoking ‘quit lines’ drop appreciably during pandemic

Report: Calls to smoking ‘quit lines’ drop appreciably during pandemic

Health
March 12 (UPI) -- The number of smokers seeking information about quitting has declined by nearly 30% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, according to a report released Friday by the North American Quitline Consortium. Just over 525,000 calls were made to state smoking "quit lines" through 1-800-QUIT-NOW in 2020, a 27% decrease from 2019 numbers, when 715,000 calls were logged, and the lowest level seen since 2007, the report showed. Advertisement Call volumes dropped in parallel with the timeline of the pandemic, with a 6% decrease in the first quarter of 2020, followed by declines of 39%, 30% and 21% in quarters two, three and four of last year, respectively, compared with 2019. In 2019, just under one-third of callers were Medicaid enrollees and nearly half reported a ...
Report: China’s treatment of Uighurs breaches every provision of U.N. genocide convention

Report: China’s treatment of Uighurs breaches every provision of U.N. genocide convention

World
March 9 (UPI) -- China's treatment of its Uighur population violates each provision of the United Nations' genocide convention, according to a damning new report published Tuesday by dozens of international law, genocide and Chinese ethnic policies experts. The report, published by the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, is the first independent legal analysis comparing the United Nations' convention on genocide to the claims of human rights abuses committed by China against its Muslim minority Uighur population in northwestern Xinjiang region. Advertisement "This report concludes that the People's Republic of China bears State responsibility for committing genocide against the Uighurs in breach of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide based...