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World shares modestly higher as investors mull coronavirus, recovery outlook

Global equity markets rose in choppy trading on Friday as concerns triggered by the U.S. Federal Reserve's less-than-optimistic outlook for an economic recovery and a jump in U.S. coronavirus cases gave investors pause.

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Xu Zhangrun, outspoken critic of Xi Jinping, detained by police in Beijing

Professor had been under house arrest after writing an essay lambasting the president over his response to coronavirus Chinese professor Xu Zhangrun, known for his scathing and public criticisms of China’s leader Xi Jinping, has been detained, according to friends of the legal scholar. Two friends of Xu, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals, told the Guardian that he had been detained on Monday morning. According to one, around 20 police officers and 10 vehicles arrived at his home in Beijing and took Xu away. Continue reading...

Have a heart, KitKat, don't break with Fairtrade

NestlĂ© is big in York, but the city is fighting the brand’s decision to make life harder for African cocoa farmers Here’s a quiz question: how many KitKats are produced in the NestlĂ© factory in York each year? A hundred million? Keep going. The plant makes a billion of the UK’s bestselling chocolate bars annually. That volume is one reason that the company’s shameful decision to end the brand’s Fairtrade certification will have such a devastating effect on cocoa farmers. I visited some of the Fairtrade-certified cocoa farms in Ivory Coast last year. Seeing the difference that a measure of financial security can make to some of the poorest villages on earth is a lasting lesson in the mechanics of hope. Continue reading...

Nick Cordero: Broadway star dies aged 41 of coronavirus complications

Tony-nominated actor spent more than 90 days in hospital and had his right leg amputated The Tony award-nominated Broadway actor Nick Cordero, who starred in hit musicals including Waitress, A Bronx Tale and Bullets Over Broadway, has died in Los Angeles from severe medical complications after contracting coronavirus. He was 41. Cordero died on Sunday at Cedars-Sinai hospital after spending more than 90 days in the hospital, according to his wife, Amanda Kloots. “God has another angel in heaven now,” she posted on Instagram. “Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone’s friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. He loved his family and loved being a father and husband.” Continue reading...