Cheerful masks help battle coronavirus in Bulgaria

Diana SIMEONOVA
1 / 2

The cheerful masks will be sent to doctors and policemen helping to fight the virus

The cheerful masks will be sent to doctors and policemen helping to fight the virus (AFP Photo/NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV)

Sofia (AFP) - Cheerful face masks are helping to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus in Bulgaria thanks to a small company in the capital Sofia.

The masks are printed with owls, dinosaurs, llamas and monkeys and will soon find their way to hundreds of doctors and policemen who are struggling to get their hands on the protective gear.

They're being made by the Angel Baby company, which normally produces sleeping bags for infants and is known for its social responsibility campaigns.

"The idea came to us spontaneously as we got calls from friends asking us to sew them masks," co-owner Desislava Yankova told AFP.

"We stopped our usual production of baby sleeping bags for a week and we hope to be able to make about 3,000 masks to send to hospitals and police stations around the country," she added.

Angel Baby's previous campaigns have included the "Sleeping bag on a mission" -- for every baby sleeping bag sold they donated one to a maternity ward, with more than 6,000 bags given away so far.

They are also giving away the masks for free but warning users that they have not been medically certified, so must be washed daily and ironed at high temperatures.

The company says that the masks given to police and doctors are not intended for use by those in direct contact with coronavirus patients but for others who deal with large numbers of people on a daily basis.

  • Twitter flags Trump tweet on Minneapolis protests for 'glorifying violence'
    Yahoo News

    Twitter flags Trump tweet on Minneapolis protests for 'glorifying violence'

    For the second time, Twitter flagged a message from President Trump with a warning, saying that his post-midnight tweet calling for the military to shoot protesters in Minneapolis was “glorifying violence. As protests over the death of George Floyd escalated to the burning of a police station Thursday, Trump took to Twitter after midnight to write, “I can't stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership.

  • Can you contract coronavirus from a surface or object? 
    Yahoo News

    Can you contract coronavirus from a surface or object? 

    While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says contaminated surfaces are not the main way the virus is transmitted, the agency hasn't ruled surfaces out as a possible mode of infection. “If you want a reliable way to prevent yourself from getting the coronavirus, worry less about the surfaces you touch, and worry more about how frequently you wash your hands,” says Dr. Dara Kass, a Yahoo News Medical Contributor and associate professor of emergency medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Confusion over how the virus is transmitted was reignited last week when the CDC edited the “How COVID-19 Spreads” page on their COVID-19 website to mention contaminated surfaces and objects under a new heading entitled, “The virus does not spread easily in other ways.”

  • Iran outraged by 'honour killing' of 14-year-old girl Romina Ashrafi
    The Telegraph

    Iran outraged by 'honour killing' of 14-year-old girl Romina Ashrafi

    The killing of an Iranian teen by her father after she eloped with an older man sparked outrage on Wednesday, with local media denouncing "institutionalised violence" in "patriarchal" Iran. Iranian media covered the apparent "honour" crime extensively, with Ebtekar newspaper leading its front page with the headline "Unsafe father's house". According to local media, Romina Ashrafi was killed in her sleep on May 21 by her father, who decapitated her in the family home in Talesh in northern Gilan province.

  • 'The Five' react to fired Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd's death
    FOX News Videos

    'The Five' react to fired Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd's death

    Derek Chauvin charged with third-degree murder, manslaughter in death of George Floyd; reaction and analysis on 'The Five.

  • Navy SEAL who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid says 'Batman and Superman are not coming' in a speech advising college graduates to become their own heroes
    Business Insider

    Navy SEAL who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid says 'Batman and Superman are not coming' in a speech advising college graduates to become their own heroes

    Retired US Navy Adm. William McRaven, the commander who oversaw the military raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, called on recent college graduates to "save the world." In a speech to the graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he said he initially prepared a speech that included "cute little anecdotes." "But somehow that speech just didn't seem right in light of all that has happened in the past five months," McRaven said during an online commencement address.

  • Republican lawmakers accused of hiding positive COVID-19 test result from Democrats, who call it 'immoral'
    Yahoo News

    Republican lawmakers accused of hiding positive COVID-19 test result from Democrats, who call it 'immoral'

    Democratic lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are demanding answers after learning that one of their Republican colleagues tested positive for COVID-19, shared that information with GOP leadership, but never informed them. On May 20, Republican Rep. Andrew Lewis learned he had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Two other Republican House members who came in contact with Lewis were told to self-quarantine for 14 days, but Democratic lawmakers, some of whom also had contact with Lewis or with the two other Republicans before May 20, say they first learned of the positive test result on Wednesday.

  • Greece to open airports to arrivals from 29 countries from June 15
    AFP Relax News

    Greece to open airports to arrivals from 29 countries from June 15

    Greece said Friday it would reopen its airports in Athens and Thessaloniki to arrivals from 29 countries from June 15, the start of the tourist season. Visitors would be allowed to fly into Greece from 16 EU countries, including Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Czech Republic, Baltic countries, Cyprus and Malta, the tourism ministry said in a statement. Outside the European Union, holidaymakers from Switzerland, Norway, and neighbouring Balkan countries such as Albania, Serbia and North Macedonia will be allowed to land at Greece's main airports from June 15.

  • The reality of the 'new cold war' with China
    The Week

    The reality of the 'new cold war' with China

    It's a good time to be a China hawk. Beijing's new national security law for Hong Kong, the latest effort to neuter the region's promised autonomy, has rung alarm bells across the political spectrum about China's intentions. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already declared that the move would justify revoking the various special trade and financial agreements the United States has with the territory, and Biden advisers have announced that the presumptive Democratic nominee would impose even greater sanctions on China.

  • Britain pushing US to form 5G club of nations to cut out Huawei
    AFP

    Britain pushing US to form 5G club of nations to cut out Huawei

    Britain said Friday it was pushing the United States to form a club of 10 nations that could develop its own 5G technology and reduce dependence on China's controversial telecoms giant Huawei. The issue is expected to feature at a G7 summit that US President Donald Trump will host next month against the backdrop of a fierce confrontation with China that has been exacerbated by a global blame game over the spread of the novel coronavirus. Britain has allowed the Chinese global leader in 5G technology to build up to 35 percent of the infrastructure necessary to roll out its new speedy data network.

  • ‘If you can say you can’t breathe, you’re breathing’: Mississippi mayor faces backlash over George Floyd comments
    The Independent

    ‘If you can say you can’t breathe, you’re breathing’: Mississippi mayor faces backlash over George Floyd comments

    A mayor in Mississippi is facing fierce backlash and calls to resign after saying that he “didn't see anything unreasonable” about the death of George Floyd. Mr Floyd, who was black, died while in police custody in Minneapolis after a white officer was filmed pinned him to the ground by his neck for a prolonged period of time. In the footage, Floyd can be heard saying “I can't breathe” to officers multiple times.

  • White House encourages hydroxychloroquine use for coronavirus again
    Yahoo News

    White House encourages hydroxychloroquine use for coronavirus again

    The White House continued on Thursday to promote the use of hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug that President Trump and some of his supporters have held out as a treatment for the coronavirus, against the advice of the Food and Drug Administration and in the face of studies that have shown it can be harmful in some cases. Routinely touted by prominent conservative allies of the president, including primetime Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham, it has been denounced by members of the medical establishment as an unproven therapy that poses the risk of potentially fatal heart complications. The FDA recommends that COVID-19 patients, if they choose to use it, do so only in a hospital or under medical supervision in a clinical trial.

  • Exclusive: U.S. warns governments, firms against aiding Iran fuel shipments to Venezuela - envoy
    Reuters

    Exclusive: U.S. warns governments, firms against aiding Iran fuel shipments to Venezuela - envoy

    Seeking to deter further shipments of Iranian fuel to Venezuela, the Trump administration has quietly warned foreign governments, seaports, shipping companies and insurers that they could face stiff U.S. sanctions if they aid the tanker flotilla, the U.S. envoy on Venezuela told Reuters on Friday. Elliott Abrams, Washington's special representative on Venezuela, said the pressure campaign targeting heavily sanctioned U.S. foes Iran and Venezuela was being waged “to be sure everyone recognizes this would be a very dangerous transaction to assist.” The Venezuelan navy on Thursday escorted a fourth tanker bringing Iranian fuel through its waters to the gasoline-starved country, defying U.S. threats of “measures” in response to the shipments.

  • Long Island serial killer victim IDed 2 decades later
    Associated Press

    Long Island serial killer victim IDed 2 decades later

    A woman whose skeletal remains were found along a suburban New York beach highway, in an area where body parts of 10 other people had been strewn, was identified as a Philadelphia escort who went missing two decades ago, police said Thursday. Suffolk County police said the woman previously known as “Jane Doe No. 6” was identified through genetic genealogy technology as Valerie Mack, who also went by Melissa Taylor and was last seen in 2000 near Atlantic City, New Jersey. Determining the victim's identity has brought clarity to a long-running Long Island mystery that attracted national headlines, was featured on true-crime TV shows and was the subject of a recent Netflix film, Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said.

  • South Korea is closing parks and museums, and warns of more restrictions after recording its biggest jump in COVID-19 cases in 53 days
    Business Insider

    South Korea is closing parks and museums, and warns of more restrictions after recording its biggest jump in COVID-19 cases in 53 days

    Park said that companies should try to introduce flexible working again to try and stop the spread, and that people have been urged to socially distance and avoid crowded places or stores. HEO RAN/REUTERS Most of the new cases reported on Thursday had spread locally, rather than from someone who entered the country from abroad, and most were recorded in the Seoul area. Many of the cases also stem from a logistics warehouse west of the capital city, and the country's deputy health minister said more cases are expected to come from the workers and visitors, who are in self-isolation, AFP reported.

  • Defense secretary says coronavirus vaccine will be available within months, but experts skeptical
    Yahoo News

    Defense secretary says coronavirus vaccine will be available within months, but experts skeptical

    Pentagon leaders expressed strong confidence Thursday that a coronavirus vaccine will be available by January, and perhaps as early as this fall — claims that were met with skepticism by scientific experts. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that he and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar “will be co-chairing Operation Warp Speed,” the effort by the administration of President Trump to produce 300 million vaccine doses by January. “I'm confident that we will be able to deliver a vaccine at scale in time” by partnering with other government agencies and the private sector, Esper said.

  • Five UK mercenaries offered $150,000 each to fly helicopters for Gen Haftar in Libya, say UN
    The Telegraph

    Five UK mercenaries offered $150,000 each to fly helicopters for Gen Haftar in Libya, say UN

    Five British mercenaries involved in an operation to fly assault helicopters for Libya's renegade General Khalifa Haftar were offered bounties of up to $150,000 each for their role in the daring plot which went awry. The men, comprised of former Royal Marines and RAF personnel, were among 20 foreign mercenaries who traveled to Libya last June in an operation to pilot assault helicopters and speed boats to intercept Turkish ships ferrying weapons to Haftar's opponents – the UN-backed government in Tripoli. The Telegraph can reveal that the UN investigation concluded that the operation was led by Steven Lodge, a former South African Air Force officer who also served in the British military.

  • Trudeau: Canadians watching US unrest and police violence in ‘shock and horror’
    The Guardian

    Trudeau: Canadians watching US unrest and police violence in ‘shock and horror’

    Canadians are watching unrest and police violence in the United States in “shock and horror”, Justin Trudeau said on Friday – but the prime minister cautioned that his country also has entrenched problems with racism. The city of Minneapolis has been rocked by a third night of violent protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, after a white police officer knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground following arrest. “Many Canadians of diverse backgrounds are watching, like all Canadians are, the news out of the United States with shock and with horror,” Trudeau told reporters at a daily briefing.

  • ICC allows former I.Coast president Gbagbo to leave Belgium
    AFP

    ICC allows former I.Coast president Gbagbo to leave Belgium

    The International Criminal Court on Thursday said former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo can leave Belgium under certain conditions following his acquittal last year over post-electoral violence that killed 3,000 people. Gbagbo and his deputy Charles Ble Goude were both cleared of crimes against humanity a year ago, eight years after the former West African strongman's arrest and transfer to the Hague-based court. Belgium agreed to host Gbagbo, 73, after he was released in February last year under strict conditions including that he would return to court for a prosecution appeal against his acquittal.

  • Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck had 18 previous internal complaints against him
    The Independent

    Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck had 18 previous internal complaints against him

    The Minneapolis police officer who was filmed kneeling on George Floyd's neck for several minutes even as he said “I can't breathe” has previously been the subject of multiple complaints filed to the Minneapolis Police Department's Internal Affairs Division, it has emerged. Mr Chauvin, who has been fired along with the other three police officers who apprehended Mr Floyd, was reported to the division 18 times. According to a police summary, only two of the complaints were “closed with discipline”.

  • 'If you say you can't breathe, you're breathing': A Mississippi mayor who defended the officer who stood on George Floyd's neck has been asked to resign
    INSIDER

    'If you say you can't breathe, you're breathing': A Mississippi mayor who defended the officer who stood on George Floyd's neck has been asked to resign

    Hal Marx, the mayor of Petal, Mississippi, tweeted that George Floyd wasn't choking when a Minneapolis police officer stood on his neck because he could still speak. Seth Stoughton, co-author of "Evaluating Police Uses of Force," told Insider the position Floyd was placed in easily could have led to his death. A mayor in Mississippi is defending the officers involved in the arrest of George Floyd, who died while being subdued by police in Minneapolis.

  • Hong Kong leaders say Trump 'completely wrong' for curbing ties
    Reuters

    Hong Kong leaders say Trump 'completely wrong' for curbing ties

    Senior Hong Kong government officials lashed out on Saturday at moves by U.S. President Donald Trump to strip the city of its special status in a bid to punish China for imposing national security laws on the global financial hub. Speaking hours after Trump said the city no longer warranted economic privileges and some officials could face sanctions, security minister John Lee told reporters that Hong Kong's government could not be threatened and would push ahead with the new laws. "I don't think they will succeed in using any means to threaten the (Hong Kong) government, because we believe what we are doing is right," Lee said.

  • Transcripts released of Flynn's calls with Russian diplomat
    Associated Press

    Transcripts released of Flynn's calls with Russian diplomat

    Transcripts of phone calls that played a pivotal role in the Russia investigation were declassified and released Friday, showing that Michael Flynn, as an adviser to then-President-elect Donald Trump, urged Russia's ambassador to be “even-keeled” in response to punitive Obama administration measures, and assured him “we can have a better conversation” about relations between the two countries after Trump became president. Democrats said the transcripts showed that Flynn had lied to the FBI when he denied details of the conversation, and that he was undercutting a sitting president while ingratiating himself with a country that had just interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

  • Asymptomatic coronavirus cases seem very common – but those people might only be contagious for half as long, new research suggests
    Business Insider

    Asymptomatic coronavirus cases seem very common – but those people might only be contagious for half as long, new research suggests

    Research indicates that there's little difference in the viral loads between coronavirus patients who show symptoms and those who don't. "A growing body of results shows that people who are asymptomatic appear to have the same viral load as symptomatic cases," Gigi Gronvall, an immunologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the university. "This suggests that transmission is possible equally from both asymptomatic patients and noticeably sick patients."

  • Iran Guards warn US after receiving new combat vessels
    AFP

    Iran Guards warn US after receiving new combat vessels

    Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Thursday warned the United States against its naval presence in the Gulf as they received 110 new combat vessels. The vessels included Ashura-class speedboats, Zolfaghar coastal patrol boats and Taregh submarines, state television reported. "We announce today that wherever the Americans are, we are right next to them, and they will feel our presence even more in the near future," the Guards' navy chief Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said during a ceremony in southern Iran.

  • Denmark and Norway cut coronavirus-hit Sweden out of free travel deal
    The Telegraph

    Denmark and Norway cut coronavirus-hit Sweden out of free travel deal

    The governments of Denmark and Norway have cut Sweden out of a deal allowing each other's tourists to travel freely between the two countries — citing their Nordic neighbour's higher levels of coronavirus infection. The deal, announced at parallel press conferences in Oslo and Copenhagen on Friday afternoon, showed Sweden has failed in its diplomatic efforts to be included in the first stage of a Nordic travel bubble. Under the deal, people from Denmark will from June 15 be allowed to enter Norway without needing to quarantine, while tourists from Norway will be able to enter Denmark, so long as they have booked accommodation for at least six days.