While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 29

French Covid-19 intensive care patient numbers rise again

France on Sunday (March 28) recorded a further rise in the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units to a new high for this year, health ministry data showed, as doctors warned a third wave of infections could soon overwhelm hospitals.

There were 4,872 ICU patients being treated for Covid-19, up from 4,791 on Saturday, the data showed. That was close to a mid-November peak during France’s second wave of the virus though well below a high of about 7,000 in April last year.

The overall number of Covid-19 patients in hospital rose to 27,712 from 27,259.

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Venezuela calls Facebook suspension of Maduro ‘digital totalitarianism’

Venezuela’s government on Sunday (March 28) accused Facebook Inc of “digital totalitarianism”after it froze President Nicolas Maduro’s page for 30 days for violating its policies against spreading misinformation about Covid-19.

Facebook told Reuters this weekend it had also taken down a video in which Maduro promoted Carvativir, a Venezuelan-made remedy he claims, without evidence, can cure the disease.

Facebook said it followed guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that there is currently no medication that can cure the virus.

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Veteran Hong Kong actor Liu Kai Chi dies of stomach cancer at 66

Veteran Hong Kong actor Liu Kai Chi, known for his award-winning role in the movie Cageman (1992), died of stomach cancer on Sunday night (March 28). He was 66.

Liu died at 8.32pm on Sunday in Hong Kong’s Prince of Wales Hospital, in the presence of his loved ones, his agency said in a statement on Sunday.

He is survived by his wife, former TVB leading actress Barbara Chan Man Yee, 60, and their two sons aged 22 and 26. Their youngest son died at the age of five in 2006 after a three-year battle with leukaemia.

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New York state announces deal to legalise recreational marijuana

Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York state lawmakers formally agreed in late-night talks on a deal to legalise recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and over, the governor’s office announced Sunday (March 28).

Once the underlying legislation passes – Cuomo’s Democratic party holds strong majorities in both legislative chambers – New York will join 14 other states and the District of Columbia in permitting cannabis use.

A statement from Cuomo’s office said the change could net an additional US$350 million (S$471.06 million) in annual tax revenues and create tens of thousands of jobs.

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Formula One: Hamilton holds off Verstappen to win Bahrain Grand Prix

Seven-times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton won the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday (March 28) after an epic, knife-edge battle with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen over the final laps.

Verstappen, who passed the Briton with four laps to go only to have to hand back the lead for exceeding track limits, finished a mere 0.745 seconds behind after starting on pole position.

Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas was a distant third but gained a bonus point for fastest lap.

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