China offers glimpse inside lab near Wuhan virus origin Jul 10, 2020 0 604 12345 AFPBeijingChinese state media has offered a rare glimpse of the lab at the heart of coronavirus conspiracy theories, as it seeks to push back against claims the facility was the source of the global pandemic.Footage broadcast by state-run CCTV is believed to be the first from within the institute’s P4 lab -- for highly-dangerous Class 4 pathogens -- since its inauguration in 2017.However, it offered no new information on the lab’s workings. It included only a few brief shots of actual laboratory areas, taken through thick glass windows. The report said safety protocols prevented closer access.The piece focussed instead on rebutting leak suspicions.“There have been no accidents of pathogen leaks or human infections” from the lab, said Yuan Zhiming, director of the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory.“An outbreak and pandemic caused by any infectious disease is bound to be the focus of public attention.” “Because of the fear and feeling of helplessness and also the lack of information, many people would naturally link an area’s outbreak to its nearest lab. As they learn more about the situation and the lab, rumours will gradually dissipate.” Scientists think COVID-19 -- which first emerged in Wuhan and has gone on to kill more than half a million people worldwide -- originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal.Yuan said that while some might view the lab as a “secretive black box”, he insisted it was “very open and transparent” and that the facility hopes to become “a platform for international exchanges and to see more foreign scientists come to work in our lab”.He offered no details. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES 10 cops arrested after political leader shot dead in Indian Kashmir Jul 10, 2020 0 630 Australia locks down Melbourne as global cases top 12 million Jul 10, 2020 0 580 35 troops killed in Nigeria jihadist ambush, 30 missing Jul 10, 2020 0 2415 Iran hits record one-day virus death toll of 221 Tehran Iran reported a new single-day record death toll of 221 from the novel coronavirus on Thursday, after weeks of rising numbers in the Middle East’s worst-hit country. “Unfortunately in the past 24 hours we have lost .. Australia offers safe haven to Hong Kongers, sparking China fury AFP Sydney Australia offered pathways to permanent residency for thousands of people from Hong Kong on Thursday in response to China’s crackdown on dissent, drawing a furious reply from Beijing. Prime Minister Scott .. Tokyo to pay nightclubs to close as virus cases surge AFP Tokyo Tokyo unveiled plans on Thursday to offer nightclubs subsidies to close as new coronavirus infections in the capital hit a single-day record, with many linked to entertainment districts. Under the plan, the .. Seoul mayor found dead after ‘#MeToo allegations’ AFP Seoul Seoul’s outspoken mayor Park Won-soon, long seen as a potential South Korean presidential candidate, was found dead, police said Friday. He was 64. A former Seoul City employee filed a police complaint -- .. Saudi-led alliance destroys two explosive-laden boats off Yemen Riyadh The Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen said on Thursday it had destroyed two explosive-laden remote-controlled boats in the Red Sea that were allegedly launched by Houthi rebels. The coalition said .. Taliban can submit new list of prisoners: Afghan official AFP Kabul Afghan authorities said Thursday they have offered the Taliban a choice to submit a new list of 592 prisoners after Kabul refused to release inmates the militants demanded to be freed ahead of peace talks. Under ..