US closes in on 200,000 virus deaths, weeks before election Sep 22, 2020 0 896 12345 AFPWashingtonThe United States edged close to registering 200,000 COVID-19 deaths on Monday, the latest grim milestone for the country just weeks before voters decide if President Donald Trump stays in office.According to a rolling tally by Johns Hopkins University, 199,531 Americans have died and 6.8 million have been confirmed infected.The US has had the world’s highest official death toll for months, ahead of Brazil and India, with 136,895 and 87,882 deaths respectively.Overall, the US accounts for four percent of the world’s population and 20 percent of its coronavirus deaths, while its daily fatality rate relative to the overall population is four times greater than that of the European Union.Critics say the statistics expose the Trump administration’s failure to meet its sternest test ahead the November 3 election.“A president’s first responsibility is to protect the American people. And he won’t. That is utterly disqualifying,” his Democratic rival Joe Biden said last week.Trump insisted on ‘Fox and Friends’ on Monday that the United States was “rounding the corner with or without a vaccine.”But the president has high hope that the swift approval of a vaccine will boost his reelection chances. RELATED ARTICLES Navalny says Novichok found ‘in and on’ his body Sep 22, 2020 0 689 Trump’s US Supreme Court push ‘abuse of power’: Biden Sep 22, 2020 0 917 Support for Taiwan independence doomed to fail: Beijing Sep 22, 2020 0 385 No EU sanctions on Belarus despite oppn leader plea AFP Brussels EU foreign ministers on Monday failed to agree sanctions over the political crisis in Belarus, despite a plea for support from opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. The former Soviet republic has been .. UK govt steps up coronavirus threat level after rise in cases AFP London The UK government on Monday upgraded its coronavirus alert level, as top advisers warned England could see up to 50,000 cases a day by mid-October and a surging death toll unless action is taken immediately. .. Trump to name Supreme Court pick at end of week US President Donald Trump said on Monday he will announce his nominee for the empty Supreme Court seat at the end of this week. “I will announce it either Friday or Saturday and then the work begins, but hopefully it won’t be .. US announces ‘UN’ sanctions on Iran, Venezuela’s Maduro AFP Washington The United States said on Monday it was imposing sanctions on Iran’s defence ministry and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro under a contested UN authority and demanded that Europe follow suit. .. Guterres calls for international cooperation on United Nation’s 75th anniversary (DPA) NEW YORK UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres calls for more international cooperation in the face of global challenges at an event marking the world body’s 75th anniversary. “Today we have a surplus of ..