Brazil minister offends China with ‘racist’ virus tweet Apr 07, 2020 0 340 12345 AFPBrasíliaCHINA demanded an explanation from Brazil on Monday after the far-right government’s education minister linked the coronavirus pandemic to the Asian country’s “plan for world domination,” in a tweet imitating a Chinese accent.In the latest incident to strain ties between Brasilia and Beijing, Education Minister Abraham Weintraub insinuated China was behind the global health crisis.“Geopolitically, who will come out stronger from this global crisis?” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday.“Who in Brazil is allied with this infallible plan for world domination?” In the original Portuguese, his tweet substituted the letter “r” with capital “L” -- “BLazil” instead of “Brazil,” for example -- in a style commonly used to mock a Chinese accent.It was also a reference to a character from a popular Brazilian comic strip, “Monica’s Gang.” The embassy condemned Weintraub’s “absurd and despicable” tweet, calling it “highly racist.” “The Chinese government expects an official explanation from Brazil,” tweeted Ambassador Yang Wanming.The row comes as Brazil, like many countries, is hoping to source more medical equipment from China to deal with COVID-19.Weintraub said in an interview he stood by his tweet and called on China to do more to help fight the pandemic.“If they (China) sell us 1,000 ventilators, I’ll get down on my knees in front of the embassy, apologise and say I was an idiot,” he told Radio Bandeirantes.Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said last week Brazil was struggling to source ventilators and other vital health supplies from China, saying some of its orders were canceled without explanation. RELATED ARTICLES British PM in intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worsen Apr 07, 2020 0 151 Spain tops Italy as country with most COVID-19 cases but deaths down for 4th day Apr 07, 2020 0 193 Italy’s virus deaths jump to 636 after big drop Apr 07, 2020 0 157 US embassy denies ‘Wild West’ swoop on Berlin-bound masks AFP BERLIN THE US embassy in Germany on Monday denied a claim that a Berlin-bound shipment of protective masks had been “confiscated” by the United States, calling it disinformation designed to stoke division. “The .. UK companies team up to tackle coronavirus LONDON: British pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline has teamed up with US peer Vir Biotechnology to find antibodies to help fight COVID-19 and “likely” future outbreaks, the pair announced on Monday. It comes as UK .. US brands white supremacists as foreign terrorist group AFP WASHINGTON THE United States on Monday branded a Russian far-right group as a foreign terrorist organisation, the first time it has targeted white supremacists with tools regularly used against militant groups. .. US state of Wisconsin forges ahead with vote despite health concerns AFP WASHINGTON NATIONAL Guard members will man some polling stations and voters in more than 100 municipalities will have nowhere to cast their ballots as the US state of Wisconsin holds elections today, Tuesday, .. Thousands sign French call for chloroquine in coronavirus fight AFP PARIS MORE than 215,000 people have signed a petition urging French officials to let more doctors prescribe the anti-malaria drug chloroquine for coronavirus patients, a controversial proposal that has divided .. Norway says it has brought coronavirus outbreak under control OSLO: The Norwegian government has brought its coronavirus outbreak under control, Health Minister Bent Hoie said on Monday, while noting that it was too early to end restrictions aimed at curbing the pandemic. The .. Swedish government seeks extra powers to curb virus STOCKHOLM: Sweden’s government said Monday it will seek temporary extra powers to combat the coronavirus outbreak, drawing criticism from the opposition. Sweden has not imposed extraordinary lockdown orders seen ..