In the press

Hopes over 'promising' Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial


IN THE PAPERS - Tuesday, July 21: The French paper Libération speaks to an exiled Uighur who details the brutal persecution campaign led by Chinese authorities, including confirmation of forced sterilisations. Also, the British press is extremely hopeful over a promising Oxford research team's vaccine trial. Plus, find out why Zoom meetings have led to a rise in casual workwear and... a spike in demand for cosmetic surgery!


We start with the French paper, Libération, which is looking at the Uighurs on its front page. The paper has spoken to a Uighur teacher exiled in Europe who confirms what a report said last month: that Chinese authorities are leading a campaign of forced sterilisation on the minority group to prevent them from reproducing. The teacher's testimony is chilling. She speaks of her plight in 2017 when authorities were offering free but mandatory gynaecological exams for Uighur women. But it turned out to be a violent forced sterilisation procedure that left her feeling sexually assaulted and humiliated. In its editorial, Libération accuses China of committing genocide against the Uighurs – the birth control policy constitutes genocide, according to the UN convention. France's silence on the issue means it will become complicit in the persecution as long as it continues, the paper says.

The British dailies are focusing on one story today: hope of a breakthrough in finding a Covid-19 vaccine. It comes after an Oxford team reported a major step forward in the battle against the virus as you can see on the front page of the i. Drugs developed by a research team produced a good immune response in human trials. Some papers like the Daily Mirror are speculating that the vaccine could be ready by Christmas this year, but of course this remains to be confirmed.

There’s a very interesting counter view in the Times, which urges caution. Britain has secured access to 90 million doses of potential vaccines, not just the Oxford one but two others are well. Governments around the world are betting on one of these working, even if there is no guarantee that any will work. After all, the writer says, "all vaccines are long shots".

Finally for you, the video conference app Zoom certainly changed our lives in lockdown and some of those changes are spilling into our post-lockdown lives too! Let's start with the Guardian which reports that after hours of looking at ourselves on screen during Zoom meetings, it’s not been a pretty sight. All day long, we peered at our enormous teeth, probing noses, sagging eyebags, fleshy arms and the list goes on. But rather than investing in some decent make-up, which might be the cheaper option, many are going straight to a cosmetic surgeon to get those little imperfections fixed before they head back to work full time!

It's not just our looks: our clothes have changed too. The Zoom shirt is a new term added in Urban Dictionary that refers to a shirt you keep on the back of your chair to quickly become presentable when needed for virtual meetings. According to LinkedIn, 42 percent of home workers own a Zoom shirt!

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