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New Covid variant hits Asia

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A new Covid variant dubbed ‘XBB’ is on the rise across Asia

A new mutation of coronavirus is now on the rise across Asia, as doctors rush to analysis its properties. It’s no surprise that new variants of Covid are surfacing around the world, that’s normal with any virus.

However, the newest strain of coronavirus, dubbed ‘XBB,’ is rapidly spreading across Asia. Doctors are increasingly concerned about its transmissibility and ability to evade current vaccines.

Currently, cases have been recorded in Bangladesh and Singapore. Doctors believe the XBB is a subvariant of the Omicron strain and could be the most immune-evasive form of the virus yet.

In the United States, the White House says it’s monitoring the situation closely, but are “confident” in vaccines.

 “We are carefully monitoring the rise of several subvariants that are evolving rapidly and emerging around the world, including ones that evade some of our treatments.”

COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha, White House press briefing

It comes at a time when the world is beginning to scale back Covid lockdowns and restrictions, getting back to some sense of normality.

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

Tech

Porn floods Twitter “China” search

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Twitter users have been finding it hard to search for information on the social media platform due to an explosion of pornographic spam.

While thousands of protests against extended lockdowns, a digital bot army has roared into action on Twitter, with long-dormant Chinese language accounts suddenly tweeting links to escort services and other adult content.

Anyone trying to track the spontaneous protest movement on Twitter complained about the deluge of spam pornographic content making flooding the search for information.

The China protests come at a time when Twitter’s content and moderation teams have been pared back drastically following Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of the social media giant.

Twitter, along with other international social media services like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, is blocked by Beijing’s internet censors within Mainland China.

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World

Biden silence on China protests

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As citizens across China revolt against the country’s “zero Covid” policy, the White House issued a statement about the growing protests.

“‘We’ve long said everyone has the right to peacefully protest, in the United States and around the world,’ a White House National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement.

‘This includes in the [People’s Republic of China.]’

“‘Zero COVID is not a policy we are pursuing here,’ the spokesperson said.

‘And as we’ve said, we think it’s going to be very difficult for the People’s Republic of China to be able to contain this virus through their zero COVID strategy.’”

Commentators have noted that the statement came from the White House, and not President Biden himself.

Demonstrators are calling on President Joe Biden to take a stance and publicly support their cause.

The protests have continued despite numerous attempts by the Chinese government to quell them.

 

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Business

China protests hit global markets, crypto

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Investor watches markets

The protests in China are having a negative impact on cryptocurrencies and markets around the world.

Bitcoin failed to break its descent and fell more than 3 percent.

The global crypto market cap fell over 2%, sending major cryptos into the red.

Over the last 24 hours, overall crypto market volume grew by 22%.

It comes amid a round of investor nervousness in global markets spurred by protests in China against Covid restrictions.

Protesters outraged by harsh COVID-19 regulations called for China’s strong leader to quit.

China is the world’s second-largest economy and has a significant impact on global financial markets.

Stocks and cryptos aren’t considered safe havens, leading to bearing price action.

Analysts are hoping for a sharp bullish reversal if and when the protests end.

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