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Coronavirus: EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier tests positive for COVID-19 | Politics News

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Michel Barnier, the EU’s Brexit negotiator, has tested positive for coronavirus.

The 69-year-old confirmed that he has COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in a message posted on his Twitter account.

He wrote: “I would like to inform you that I have tested positive for #COVID19.

“I am doing well and in good spirits. I am following all the necessary instructions, as is my team.

“For all those affected already, and for all those currently in isolation, we will get through this together.”

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in negotiations between Britain and the EU about a future trade deal scheduled for this week being cancelled.

Despite this, the UK and EU did exchange draft legal texts for the future relationship between the two sides on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted that he will not ask for an extension to the Brexit transition period, due to come to an end in December, because of coronavirus.

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Timothy Ray Brown: World’s first patient cured of HIV dies from cancer | World News

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Timothy Ray Brown, the first person known to be cured of HIV, has died from cancer.

“It is with great sadness that I announce that Timothy passed away… this afternoon surrounded by myself and friends, after a five month battle with leukaemia,” his partner, Tim Hoeffgen, said in a post on Facebook.

He said Mr Brown was his “hero” and “the sweetest person in the world”.

Mr Brown with actress Sharon Stone at an AIDS charity event
Image:
Mr Brown with actress Sharon Stone at an AIDS charity event

Mr Brown, 54, became known as “the Berlin patient” after his HIV was cleared by treatment involving a bone marrow transplant in the German capital in 2007.

The American’s case fascinated and inspired a generation of HIV doctors as well as patients infected with the virus, offering a glimmer of hope that one day a cure will be found that eventually ends the AIDS pandemic.

“We owe Timothy and his doctor, Gero Huetter, a great deal of gratitude for opening the door for scientists to explore the concept that a cure for HIV is possible,” said Adeeba Kamarulzaman, president of the International AIDS Society.

Mr Brown was diagnosed in 1995 while living in Berlin, and in 2006 was also diagnosed with a type of blood cancer known as acute myeloid leukaemia.

While Mr Brown remained clear of HIV for more than a decade after being treated, he suffered a relapse of the leukaemia in the past year.

His doctors said the blood cancer had spread to his spine and brain, and he had recently been in hospice care in his home town of Palm Springs, California.

The HIV virus which causes AIDS.
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The HIV virus causes AIDS, which has killed around 35 million people since the 1980s

“I’m heartbroken that my hero is now gone. Tim was truly the sweetest person in the world,” Mr Hoeffgen said.

He said Mr Brown had made it his life’s work to tell the story of his cure and “became an ambassador of hope”.

For Dr Huetter, the German doctor caring for him in 2007, Mr Brown’s case was a shot in the dark. The treatment involved the destruction of his immune system and the transplanting of stem cells with a gene mutation called CCR5, which resists HIV.

Only a tiny proportion of people – most of them of northern European descent – have the CCR5 mutation that makes them resistant to the AIDS-causing virus.

This and other factors made the treatment expensive, complex and highly risky. Most experts say it could never become a way to cure all patients, since many of them would risk death from the procedure itself.



Lloyd Russell-Moyle announced that he is living with HIV.







2018: Labour MP on living with HIV

More than 37 million people worldwide are currently infected with HIV, and the AIDS pandemic has killed about 35 million people since it began in the 1980s.

Medical advances over the past three decades have led to the development of drug combinations known as antiretroviral therapies that can keep the virus in check, allowing many people to live with the virus for years.

Adam Castillejo, who was known as “the London patient” until he revealed his identity this year, is thought to be in remission from HIV after having a transplant in 2016 similar to the one Mr Brown had.

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Helen Reddy: Australian singer of feminist anthem I Am Woman dies | Ents & Arts News

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Helen Reddy, the singer best known for the feminist anthem I Am Woman, has died aged 78.

Australia-born Reddy died in Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to a statement from her family.

Reddy had a prolific career and won a Grammy in 1973
Image:
Reddy had a prolific career and won a Grammy in 1973

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother,” the singer’s daughters, Traci and Jordan, said.

“She was a wonderful mother, grandmother and a truly formidable woman. Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.”

Reddy moved to the US and had success with the 1971 song I Don’t Know How to Love Him from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. She then signed to Capitol Records.

She had a prolific career with other hits including Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady, Delta Dawn, Angie Baby and You And Me Against The World.

Her TV series, The Helen Reddy Show, provided early national exposure for Albert Brooks and The Pointer Sisters.

Reddy in London in 1978 where she performed at the Palladium
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Reddy in London in 1978 where she performed at the Palladium

In the mid-1980s, Reddy embarked on a new career in the theatre, working mostly in musicals such as Anything Goes, Call Me Madam and in Blood Brothers that opened on Broadway and in the West End.

But it was I Am Woman for which Reddy is best known. The song became a feminist anthem and won her the best female vocal pop performance Grammy in 1973.

I Am Woman was also the name of the 2019 biopic about Reddy’s life.

The film’s director, Unjoo Moon, paid tribute on Twitter: “Thank you Helen for teaching me to be strong & invincible as an artist a woman & a mother. You paved the way for so many.

“The lyrics that you wrote for #Iamwoman changed my life like they have done for so many people and will continue to do for generations to come.”

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis said introducing Reddy at the 2017 Women’s March in Los Angeles was the “honour of my life”.

A message posted by the official Twitter account of 1970s R&B group The Pointer Sisters said: “We are so sad to hear that #HelenReddy has passed away. Our first television appearance was on her show. #RIPHelenReddy Condolences to her family, friends and fans.”

Reddy announced her retirement in 2002 and moved from California back to Australia to be with her family.

At a ceremony in August 2006 Reddy was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame by actress Toni Collette, who described I Am Woman as “timeless”.



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US presidential debate: Trump v Biden – the seven defining moments | US News

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The first presidential debate happened overnight, and whether you missed it or want a recap, we’ve rounded up the defining moments and tried to gauge who came out on top.

Here are the seven moments that stood out:

1. Interruptions – ‘Will you shut up, man?’

The early exchanges – and middle and late ones – were notable for the amount of interruptions, mainly from Donald Trump.

At one point the moderator, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, seemed to have had enough, telling the president that his campaign team had agreed to the rule that both candidates should have two minutes uninterrupted during each section – and urging the him to abide by it.

By the end of the first of six sections, Joe Biden was already looking weary. “Why don’t you shut up, man?” he moaned.



Joe Biden told President Trump to 'shut up' during an exchange over the Supreme Court







Joe Biden told President Trump to ‘shut up’ during an exchange over the Supreme Court

2. The insults started early, too

“Everything he’s saying here is simply a lie, everybody knows he’s a liar,” Mr Biden said during an exchange about healthcare. He also called Mr Trump “the worst president this country has ever had”.

Not to be outdone, Mr Trump got in plenty of digs as well, firing at his adversary: “There’s nothing smart about you Joe. 47 years, you’ve done nothing.”

Spoiler alert: there’s more insults coming later.









Trump on Biden: ‘There’s nothing smart about you, Joe’

3. It could be months before the result is known

Mr Trump said: “I hope it’s going to be a fair election. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated I can’t go along with that. It means you have a fraudulent election.”

The president also said he would be prepared to go to the Supreme Court – which could lean heavily to the right if his pick Amy Coney Barrett is approved by the Senate.

Mr Biden was more measured: “No one has established at all that there is fraud related to mail-in ballots. He has no idea what he’s talking about.

“The fact is, I will accept it and he will too. You know why? Because once the winner is declared after all the votes are counted, that will be the end of it.”

US correspondent Cordelia Lynch gave her thoughts: “The hard truth is we might not know the winner of this election for days or weeks after election night.

“Trump’s suggestion we might not know the result for months is more a threat than speculation. It’s going to be an ugly road to the inauguration.”









Both candidates were asked about whether they would accept the election result if the result is delayed

4. Trump is asked to condemn white supremacist groups – but instead focuses on the left. This got a lot of traction on social media

“He doesn’t want to calm things down,” Mr Biden said, adding that the president wanted to “pour gasoline on the fire”.

Asked to condemn white supremacist and militia groups, Mr Trump said: “Sure I’m willing to do that, but almost everything I see is from the left-wing.

“I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”

Pressed further, Mr Trump said: “What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name?”

Finally, he said: “Proud Boys – Stand back, stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not right-wing problem… This is a left wing problem.”

Proud Boys, a neo-Nazi organisation, appeared to use Mr Trump’s “stand back, stand by” call in a new logo posted on Telegram shortly after the debate.









President Trump refused to condemn white supremacists who have been clashing with Black Lives Matter protesters

5. Inevitably, Trump’s taxes comes up

Asked if it was true that he paid just $750 in income tax in 2016, as reported by The New York Times, Mr Trump said: “I paid millions of dollars in taxes, of income tax.”

“Show us your tax returns,” Mr Biden interjected.

Lynch felt a sense of deja vu: “Trump’s answer on his tax returns is exactly the same as it was four years ago during the debate with Hillary Clinton,” she wrote.

“Then: ‘As soon as the audit’s finished, it will be released.’

“Tonight: ‘You’ll see it as soon as it’s finished.'”









How much tax did you pay? Millions of dollars

6. Good news – the US is weeks away from a coronavirus vaccine, according to the president

“The president has no plan, he hasn’t laid out anything,” Mr Biden said of his opponent, pointing out that 200,000 Americans had died during the pandemic.

Mr Trump said millions would have died if Mr Biden was in charge – and claimed his early action to ban travel from China saved thousands of lives.

The president said the US was “weeks away” from a vaccine and his administration had done a “great job”.

7. Insults – part two

The president brought up Mr Biden’s son, Hunter, claiming the mayor of Moscow’s wife gave him millions of dollars and raising questions over his links with Ukraine.

Mr Trump also mentioned Hunter’s drug problems.

“His family we can talk about all night,” Mr Biden hit back, having claimed “it’s hard to get any word in with this clown – excuse me, this person”.

The pair later clashed about Mr Biden’s now deceased son Beau and his military service.









Biden on Trump: ‘You’re a clown’

So who won?

A CBS News instant poll found 48% thought Mr Biden won – 41% Mr Trump.

Many had a different view of the real loser – that being the American people.

“I’m afraid that this feels like the worst presidential debate ever. Substance starved, a playground slanging match,” wrote Lynch.

“It was arguably the most anticipated in 30 years. It was unlikely to be the most consequential. It is most certainly a low point.”



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