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Country diary: last of the winter reed

Haddiscoe Island, Norfolk: Wally Mason may well be the last person in Britain to cut thatching reed the traditional way

It’s easy to lose your bearings among the vast horizons of Haddiscoe Island. This triangular grazing marsh on the borders of Norfolk and Suffolk, enclosed by the rivers Waveney and Yare, feels far bigger than its 2,000 acres, and more remote than its position just off the A413 to Great Yarmouth should allow.

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Senior WHO adviser appears to dodge question on Taiwan's Covidresponse

Canadian Bruce Aylward, who visited Wuhan in February, appeared to hang up or be cut off when pressed on Taipei’s record

A senior advisor at the World Health Organization (WHO) appeared to hang up on a journalist who asked about Taiwan’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, and then dismissed further questions because they had “already talked about China”.

It comes amid continued criticism of the WHO’s approach towards both Taiwan and China. Taiwan has been excluded from participating in the World Health Assembly after heavy lobbying from China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory.

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Your Monday Briefing

Coronavirus, Social distancing, Sweden: Here’s what you need to know.

Australia to promise wage subsidies in bid to shelter economy from coronavirus: sources

The Australian government will on Monday promise to subsidize employee wages for up to six months, two sources familiar with the plan said, as it seeks to shelter the country's economy from the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic.

'Maybe worse than hoarding': Trump implies hospital staff stealing masks– video

US president Donald Trump insinuates during a news conference that hospital staff in coronavirus hot spots such as New York city are stealing hundreds of thousands of surgical masks. He asked how the numbers of masks requested could shoot up from 10,000 to 300,000 overnight and said: ‘Are they going out the back door?’. Trump also lashed out at reporters who asked questions he did not like about his previous statements, telling, PBS NewsHour's Yamiche Alcindor: 'Don’t be threatening. Be nice'

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'Optimistic nihilism': Thomas Glavinic's ploy for getting through the Covid-19 crisis

Newspaper Die Welt has been publishing daily instalments of author’s ‘corona novel’

The squares of Europe’s capitals are deserted, its bars and restaurants empty, once bustling roads now silent. With no one around to talk to, the only option is to surf the internet in search of nostalgic memories and answers to the unanswerable causes of a catastrophe that has changed the world as we knew it.

When the Austrian author Thomas Glavinic came up with this post-apocalyptic scenario for his harrowing and critically acclaimed 2006 novel Night Work, translated into English by John Brownjohn in 2008, he had no idea how closely it would come to resemble the real world 14 years later.

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Stock Markets in Asia Signal Lingering Unease: Live Updates

Live updates on stock market and business news during the coronavirus outbreak.

Major airlines urge U.S. Treasury to disburse assistance quickly

Major U.S. airlines asked the U.S. Treasury to move quickly to release up to $58 billion in government grants and loans and recommended a formula to divide up the money.

Trump's attack on GM over ventilators quickly turns to praise

President Donald Trump, who excoriated General Motors Co on Friday and invoked emergency powers to compel the production of badly needed ventilators to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, has abruptly shifted gears to praise the automaker.

Toyota says most Europe plants won't restart until April 20 at earliest

Toyota Motor Corp said on Monday that it would extend a suspension at all of its factories in Europe with the exception of Russia until further notice, with a restart expected no earlier than April 20.

Asia shares suffer fresh spill as virus damage deepens

Asian shares slid on Monday and oil prices took another tumble as fears mounted that the global shutdown for the coronavirus could last for months, doing untold harm to economies.


Mortgage bankers warn Fed purchases of mortgages unbalanced market, forcing margin calls

Mortgage bankers warned the U.S. housing market risks a "large-scale disruption," due to efforts by the Fed that were meant to help it.

Op-Ed: Getting inspiration from the Greatest Generation's economic hardship and shared sacrifice

There's been a meme going around the internet pointing out, "Your grandparents were called to war. You're being called to sit on your couch. You can do this."

Dow futures drop more than 300 points as Wall Street gives back some of last week's gains

Futures opened lower on Sunday night following sharp gains last week while the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. keeps rising at an alarming rate.

'Nothing is out of the question': What it would take for the Fed to start buying stocks

The central bank could go where it's never gone before, into the equity market where it would take a passive interest in the performance of stocks.

Farewell, My Queen: Léa Seydoux and Diane Kruger period drama is lush and unexpectedly apropos

Thriller follows three days in Versailles on the eve of the French revolution

In our new series Stream Team, Guardian Australia’s arts writers dig out their favourite hidden gems of streaming to help you while away some isolated hours.

It’s the summer of 1789 and people in cities are mad about the unequal distribution of supplies. That’s where we find ourselves at the opening of Benoît Jacquot’s 2012 film Farewell, My Queen, following three days in Versailles on the eve of the French revolution.

Related: High Maintenance: weed dealer anthology is a perfect escape – and keeps getting better

Related: New Girl: screwball comedy gets funnier and smarter – and is best when binged

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From sofas and kitchens, music stars hold coronavirus concert fundraiser

Billie Eilish sang on her sofa, Elton John played a keyboard belonging to his children, and the Backstreet Boys sang in harmony from five locations as dozens of musicians put on a fundraiser for the warriors against a coronavirus.

Japanese comedian Ken Shimura dies from coronavirus: NHK

Japanese comedian Ken Shimura, who had been hospitalized after being infected with the new coronavirus, has died, public broadcaster NHK reported on Monday. He was 70.

The Marvel Spiderman artist teaching children in Ireland to draw

Irish artist Will Sliney is keeping thousands of kids entertained with daily drawing challenges.

'Tiger King:' Where are they now?

If you haven't watched "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness," don't look to us to try and recap it for you.

Krzysztof Penderecki, composer of works in 'The Exorcist' and 'The Shining,' dies at 86

Krzysztof Penderecki, the avant garde Polish composer whose works have featured in the Hollywood films "The Exorcist" and "The Shining," died Sunday after a "long and serious illness," the Ludwig von Beethoven Association said. He was 86.

You know your K-pop stars. Now meet the American producers and songwriters behind them

Yes, South Korea is tiny. The entire country, plus its northern neighbor, could fit inside Lake Michigan. But within that small country, something revolutionary was born that has taken the world by storm -- Korean pop, aka K-pop.

Coronavirus: YouTube stars urge fans to stay at home

More than 100 YouTubers appear in a video message encouraging people to stay at home.

Coronavirus: The Archers to reflect global outbreak in May

Writers for the BBC Radio 4 soap are set to highlight life under lockdown in fictional Ambridge.


‘Westworld’ Season 3, Episode 3 Recap: Predators and Prey

Dolores is learning that we humans have our redeeming moments. Caleb learns that humans and Dolores aren’t so different.

Community Radio Fights to Stay Live (and Weird) Despite Coronavirus

Local stations have cut down on D.J.s coming to the studio, but playlists and personalities are holding strong as small stations get a chance to build bigger audiences.

Michael Sorkin, 72, Dies; Saw Architecture as a Vehicle for Change

Mr. Sorkin, who died of the coronavirus, promoted social justice in his prodigious output of essays, lectures and designs.

A Fight Over Money, Loyalty and Who Gets Credit for an Artist’s Rise

Derek Fordjour and the gallery that once worked with him are battling in court over pieces he promised to create before his career took off.

Now Playing Nightly on Instagram: Sketch Comedy’s Newest Star

Names big and small are pivoting to online humor, but the standouts are the character-driven performers who were there all along, especially Meg Stalter.

They Create Nightmare Worlds for TV. Now They’re Living in One.

Amid the pandemic, the producers of dystopian dramas like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Westworld” see their work in a different light.

What’s on TV Sunday: ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ and ‘Beef House’

Watch a tender romance on Hulu, or try out a new sitcom from Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim.


Badminton duo adamant Olympics delay won't derail record-breaking bid

The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics has dampened the hopes of Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of becoming the sport's oldest gold medalists, but the pair is determined to stay in shape by restructuring their training program.

Australia says no collusion in decision to withdraw from 2020 Games

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has said its decision to pull out of the 2020 Tokyo Games was unilateral and made without the knowledge of Canada or the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Former NBA star trying to broker deal to ship masks to New York

Beijing-based retired basketball star Stephon Marbury is arranging an urgent shipment of surgical masks from China to New York to fight the coronavirus, he said on social media on Sunday.

Report: Coyotes, Hall entertain contract talks

The Arizona Coyotes and forward Taylor Hall are in talks about a new contract while the NHL's regular season remains in a pause due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, general manager John Chayka told The Athletic.

Factbox: Sports events around the world hit by coronavirus pandemic

Major sports events around the world that have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic:


Coronavirus Live Updates: 200,000 Americans Could Die, Warn Top Health Officials

President Trump extended social distancing guidelines to April 30 as cases in the U.S. topped 140,000. The doctors advising him said without any restrictions on movement that more than 1 million Americans could die.

Coronavirus Live Updates: State and City Leaders Clamor for Medical Supplies as U.S. Cases Top 135,000

The global count has passed 670,000, an official warns Britain that some kind of lockdown may last for months and Biden urges mail-in elections.

China Created a Fail-Safe System to Track Contagions. It Failed.

After SARS, Chinese health officials built an infectious disease reporting system to evade political meddling. But when the coronavirus emerged, so did fears of upsetting Beijing.

Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Drops Idea of Quarantining New York Region

Technical flaws, regulatory hurdles, bureaucracy and a lack of leadership delayed the U.S. response to the virus even as scientists sounded the alarm, a New York Times investigation has found.

FEMA Says at Least 7 People at the Disaster Agency Have the Coronavirus

Union officials at FEMA say they would like to know where they work in order to warn other employees who might be exposed and to avoid putting the public at added risk.


Amazon workers plan strike at Staten Island warehouse to demand coronavirus protections

JFK8 workers are walking out to demand that Amazon close the facility after an associate tested positive for the coronavirus.

News sites ask ad industry to get comfortable alongside coronavirus-related content

Brands have been using ad-tech companies to prevent their ads from showing up on news sites for fear of being associated with COVID-19.

Coronavirus: NHS turns to big tech to tackle Covid-19 hot spots

Amazon, Google, Palantir, Microsoft and Faculty AI will help decision-makers better understand the crisis.

Catch Feelings, Not COVID: App brings New York singles together through blind speed video-dating

Single New York millennials have started doing blind, speed dates over video calls as a way to maintain their dating lives amid the stay-at-home order put in place due to the coronavirus.

Coronavirus quarantines lead to massive drop in air pollution

As coronavirus quickly spreads around the world, the virus is forcing people to stay put. Factories are shuttering, and with mandates to stay inside becoming the new norm, people aren't driving or flying. This has lead to a massive reduction in air pollution, most notably in China, but also in Italy, the U.S. and other hard-hit areas that have implemented directives to stay home.