Coronavirus latest: Texas governor Abbott tests positive for Covid-19

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Academics have accused leading coronavirus vaccine manufacturers of violating the human rights of those living in lower-income counties, the vast majority of which have received relatively few doses. Citing Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which asserts that “everyone . . . has the right to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”, academics writing in the British Medical Journal on Monday said “pandemic profiteering is, in our view, a human rights violation that demands investigation and scrutiny”.

Confidence among US house builders has sunk to its lowest level in more than a year because of a combination of higher construction costs, supply shortages and rising home prices. The index tracking builder sentiment for newly built single-family homes fell to 75 points in August from 80 in July, the National Association of Home Builders said on Tuesday. This was the lowest reading in 13 months.

The UK medicines regulator has given the green light to the Moderna coronavirus vaccine for use in 12- to 17-years-old, the second shot to gain approval from the watchdog. The go-ahead from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for use of the jab in teenagers follows the approval of the Pfizer vaccine in early June. 

US retail sales dropped last month as a resurgence of the pandemic contributed to a pullback in spending. The Census Bureau said sales were down 1.1 per cent against the previous month, following a 0.7 per cent increase in June. The decline was steeper than expected. Analysts had estimated that retail sales would tick 0.3 per cent lower.

UK education unions have urged the government to improve ventilation in schools ahead of next term to reduce the risk of pupils and staff catching Covid-19. The seven unions, along with a Liberal Democrat MP, said in a letter to education secretary Gavin Williamson on Tuesday that the installation of carbon dioxide monitors and micro filters in classrooms would help to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Walmart has raised its full-year outlook for the second time in three months after a strong start to the back-to-school shopping season boosted quarterly sales. Market share gains in groceries and a rebound in demand for travel-related products also helped the company post $141bn in revenue for the three months to the end of July, a 2.4 per cent increase year on year. Analysts had forecast sales would drop to $137bn.

The New Zealand dollar tumbled on Tuesday after the discovery of a single coronavirus case in the community sparked a three-day nationwide lockdown. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unveiled the tighter restrictions after an Auckland man was found to have Covid-19, the first evidence of community spread of the virus since February.

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