While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 9

Sanders drops out of US election race, setting up Biden battle with Trump

Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist whose progressive agenda pushed the Democratic Party sharply to the left, ended his White House campaign on Wednesday, clearing the way for a Nov 3 election battle between former vice-president Joe Biden and Republican President Donald Trump.

Sanders, a former front-runner who promised to lead a grassroots political revolution into the White House, acknowledged he no longer had a path to the nomination after a string of nominating contest losses to Biden but promised to work with the former vice-president to oust Trump.

He said he would stay on the ballot in future primaries and continue to gather delegates in order to push the Democratic platform toward his populist anti-corporate agenda, including a government-run healthcare system and tax hikes for the rich.

“Then together, standing united, we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history,” he said in a livestreamed speech to supporters from his hometown of Burlington, Vermont.

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Coronavirus: WHO chief defends handling of pandemic against Trump criticism

The head of the World Health Organisation gave a strident defence of his agency’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, in response to US President Donald Trump’s criticism and suggestion that Washington could review its funding for the agency.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for unity and a halt to “politicisation” of the global health crisis, specifically urging China and the United States to show “honest leadership”.

Tedros said that he expected US funding to continue with traditional bipartisan support.

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Coronavirus: British PM’s condition ‘improving’ in intensive care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s condition is improving and he is able to sit up in bed and engage with clinical staff, finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday as Johnson remained in intensive care battling Covid-19.

Johnson was admitted to St Thomas’ hospital on Sunday evening with a persistent high temperature and cough and was transferred to intensive care on Monday.

The 55-year-old British leader, who tested positive for the new coronavirus nearly two weeks ago, has received oxygen support but has not been put on a ventilator.

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EPL stars launch fund to ‘help’ Britain’s health service in coronavirus fight

Premier League players announced on Wednesday (April 8) they had launched an intitiative to generate funds for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) during the coronavirus pandemic.

The idea – named #PlayersTogether – has been set up to “help those fighting for us on the NHS frontline” amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

“It is about we, as players, collaborating together to create a voluntary initiative, separate to any other league and club conversation,” a statement from the group said.

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‘Quarantine like jail’ joke brings fierce backlash for Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres, one of America’s most popular TV personalities, faced a barrage of criticism on Wednesday after comparing her self-isolation in a multimillion-dollar mansion to being in prison.

DeGeneres, whose daily television talk show had been off the air for three weeks because of a stay-at-home order, returned on Wednesday with a show filmed by her wife, actress Portia De Rossi, from one of their California homes.

“I have actual friends and loved ones who are currently incarcerated. They are locked down in horrific conditions and terrified what is going to happen to them. Your ‘joke’ about being quarantined at home being like that is unfunny and disrespectful,” tweeted social justice activist Diana #FreeThemAll4PublicHealth.

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