While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 27

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Turkish leader backs boycott of French goods over cartoon row

Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan asked his compatriots to stop buying French goods on Monday (Oct 26) in the latest expression of anger in the Muslim world over images being displayed in France of the Prophet Mohammad, which some Muslims consider blasphemous.

France is not planning a reciprocal boycott against Turkish products and will continue talks and relations with Turkey and its president, Trade Minister Franck Riester said on Monday.

“There is no retaliation on the agenda,” Riester told RTL radio.

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Europe needs ‘serious acceleration’ in fight against coronavirus: WHO

Europe needs a “serious acceleration” in the fight against the coronavirus and a lack of contact-tracing capacity could drive the disease into the darkness, a top World Health Organisation official said on Monday (Oct 26).

In Europe the picture is unrelentingly grim as a string of countries reported record increases, led by France, which posted more than 50,000 daily cases for the first time on Sunday, while the continent passed the threshold of 250,000 deaths.

The vast region, comprising 46 countries at WHO, accounted for 46 per cent of global cases and nearly one third of deaths, said Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert.

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Trump goads Biden for forgetting his name

US President Donald Trump on Monday (Oct 26) taunted opponent Joe Biden for forgetting his name and calling him “George” just a week before the election.

Trump, 74, has often accused Biden, 77, of being senile as the two candidates battle it out ahead of the November 3 vote.

Joe Biden’s habit of verbal gaffes reemerged on Sunday evening when he struggled to remember Trump’s name as he addressed a virtual concert by TV link.

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Germany cancels Nuremberg Christmas market over coronavirus

The German city of Nuremberg has cancelled its world-renowned Christmas market over soaring coronavirus cases, officials said on Monday (Oct 26).

The worsening pandemic has already forced a slew of other German cities, including Berlin, Duesseldorf and Cologne, to announce they are scrapping or severely curtailing their Christmas markets.

“After much deliberation and in order to protect the population, we have come to the conclusion that the Christmas market will not take place this year,” Nuremberg mayor Marcus Koenig said in a statement.

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Moon richer in water than once thought

There may be far more water on the Moon than previously thought, according to two studies published Monday (Oct 26) raising the tantalising prospect that astronauts on future space missions could find refreshment – and maybe even fuel – on the lunar surface.

The Moon was believed to be bone dry until around a decade ago, when a series of findings suggested that our nearest celestial neighbour had traces of water ice in permanently-shadowed craters at its polar regions.

Two new studies published in Nature Astronomy on Monday suggest water could be even more widespread, including the first confirmation that it is present even in easier-to-access sunlit areas.

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Bastion Balance Seoul.