Relaxation of UK abortion rules welcomed by experts

Rules eased during coronavirus crisis to allow women to be sent both sets of abortion pills

Leading UK healthcare providers have welcomed the government’s decision to allow women to take abortion pills at home without travelling to a clinic.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed the government was updating its guidance to help women who need an abortion, but cannot access a clinic because of measures put in place to stem the spread of coronavirus.

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Revealed: Monsanto predicted crop system would damage US farms

Internal documents describe how to profit from farmer losses and desire to oppose some independent testing

The US agriculture giant Monsanto and the German chemical giant BASF were aware for years that their plan to introduce a new agricultural seed and chemical system would probably lead to damage on many US farms, internal documents seen by the Guardian show.

Risks were downplayed even while they planned how to profit off farmers who would buy Monsanto’s new seeds just to avoid damage, according to documents unearthed during a recent successful $265m lawsuit brought against both firms by a Missouri farmer.

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F1 team helps build new UK breathing aid for Covid-19 patients

Device developed in 10 days by medics and engineers will help avoid need for full ventilation

A breathing aid that can help keep Covid-19 patients out of intensive care has been developed by mechanical engineers, medics and the Mercedes Formula One team.

The device, known as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), has been used extensively in hospitals in Italy and China to help coronavirus patients. It bridges the gap between an oxygen mask and the need for full ventilation, which requires sedation and an invasive procedure.

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Coronavirus vaccine: when will it be ready?

Human trials will begin imminently – but even if they go well and a cure is found, there are many barriers before global immunisation is feasible

Even at their most effective – and draconian – containment strategies have only slowed the spread of the respiratory disease Covid-19. With the World Health Organization finally declaring a pandemic, all eyes have turned to the prospect of a vaccine, because only a vaccine can prevent people from getting sick.

About 35 companies and academic institutions are racing to create such a vaccine, at least four of which already have candidates they have been testing in animals. The first of these – produced by Boston-based biotech firm Moderna – will enter human trials imminently.

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‘We’re not ready’: coronavirus looms over the fragile Afghan health system

As Western NGOs remove staff and the US strips support, an influx of Afghans from Iran could add pressure on an already depleted medical system

In the Guzargah reception centre for returnees and repatriates in Herat, Afghanistan, 17-year-old Yunos rests on a thin mattress in a small, empty room.

The previous night fatigued him. He spent it sleeping rough in the desert along with thousands of other Afghans, awaiting the opening of the Iran-Afghanistan border. The frigid desert air froze him to the bone and hunger disturbed his sleep.

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