Latest Coronavirus: France unveils 8 billion euro recovery plan for the automotive industry


France unveils 8 billion euro stimulus package for the automotive industry
Victor Mallet in Paris
President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday unveiled an 8 billion euro plan to revive the French auto industry, paralyzed by the loss of sales and production during the coronavirus pandemic and blockages aimed at slowing the spread of the disease.
The plan, including an increase in subsidies to buyers of electric or hybrid cars and support for research on hydrogen, aims to ensure that the country’s car assemblers and suppliers survive the crisis, invest in France and in the EU and will emerge in the coming years as key manufacturers and exporters of clean vehicles worldwide.
The objective, explained Mr. Macron, was to “relocate” manufacturing and “to make France the first European country for the production of clean vehicles”, with a production objective of 1 million per year by 2025 .
Renault, a car manufacturer looking for a credit line of 4 to 5 billion euros from the French State, will become the third partner alongside PSA and the subsidiary of Total Saft in a multi-billion dollar project ‘euros for the production of batteries for electric vehicles, most of which come from China and South Korea, within the EU. The state owns about 15% of Renault.
Macron, who has long defended European industrial “sovereignty” through investments in technology sectors dominated by Asian and American competitors, spoke at the Etaples factory of automotive supplier Valeo near Le Touquet in The north of france.
He was accompanied by five of his ministers, including the Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire and Muriel Pénicaud, who holds the labor portfolio.

Brazil reports the highest number of daily coronavirus deaths in the world
Steve Bernard in London
New confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide revealed the smallest daily increase for a week, while the number of coronavirus deaths yesterday recorded the smallest increase for a Monday since late March.
Overall, the number of new cases increased by 88,239 on Monday, bringing the total to 5.45 million.

Another 3,100 coronavirus patients died on Monday, bringing the death toll to 336,027.

Brazil reported 807 deaths, the country with the highest number yesterday. This is the first time that a country has reported more deaths than the United States since the end of March. 11,687 additional new cases were reported, the smallest increase in seven days.
The death toll in the United States increased by 523, bringing the total to 92,464, the smallest increase in almost two months. The numbers tend to be lower on weekends due to late reports, and the Memorial Day vacation has likely compounded this problem. The country recorded 19,069 infections yesterday, pushing the national total to 1.65 million.

Explore pandemic data to understand the spread and trajectory of the disease.

Tests in South Africa hampered by global shortage of test materials
Joseph Cotterill in Johannesburg
South Africa’s largest coronavirus testing regime, Africa’s largest, is hampered by a growing global shortage of testing equipment, said his Minister of Health.
Arrears reduced the country’s daily tests to around 13,000 on Monday compared to recent rates of around 20,000, as a sign of the impact of shortages caused by a global race to acquire test kits, Zweli Mkhize told southern lawmakers on Tuesday -Africans.
“The decline here is caused by the global supply shortage … we are now experiencing difficulties with various suppliers who are unable to meet our demands,” said Dr. Mkhize. “Everyone in the world is looking for exactly the same thing,” he added.
South Africa has deployed the continent’s largest testing regime with approximately 600,000 tests to date that have recorded more than 23,000 cases. The country is now looking to further intensify testing in key hotspots where infections are accelerating as the country emerges from a strict national lockdown.
In the Western Cape, where an epidemic centered on the Cape is accelerating and now accounts for two-thirds of South African infections, delays in testing have reached 18,000, said Alan Winde, Prime Minister of the region, on Monday.
John Nkengasong, head of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told FT this month that South Africa’s problems obtaining test materials underscore why the CDC is setting up a platform train for African countries to pool their medical purchases related to the pandemic.

New Home Sales in the United States Unexpectedly Increase in April
Sales of new homes in the United States unexpectedly rebounded in April, suggesting that the housing market may stabilize as low mortgage rates are attracting home buyers in the midst of a pandemic.
New home sales rose 0.6% month-over-month in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 623,000 units, the US Census Bureau announced on Tuesday. This is better than the 21.9% drop to 480,000 that economists had expected and followed a 13.7% drop in March.
A regional breakdown showed that home sales increased the most in the northeast, increasing 8.7%, and also rose in the Midwest and the South, but fell in the West.
Indeed, Freddie Mac data showed that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered around 3.3% in April and that mortgage demand in the United States has increased in recent weeks.
“The coronavirus pandemic has generated a number of unpleasant surprises in recent months, but the unexpected strength in new home sales in April may be the first pleasant surprise to date – and the clearest indicator so far now that housing, unlike last time, will be a source of relative strength during this downturn, “said Matthew Speakman, economist at Zillow.

Dubai to Increase Number of Customers in Shopping Malls and Offices
Simeon Kerr in Dubai
Dubai will increase the number of people allowed to enter malls, offices and restaurants as the emirate seeks to boost economic activity from Wednesday.
The companies have received guidelines in a government circular on how to increase activity in line with measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The economy of the Gulf tourism and trade hub was shaken by the collapse of world travel and tight internal containment in April.
Businesses will be allowed to increase the number of employees entering offices from 30% to 50%.
The shopping centers, which reopened at the end of April, will be able to accommodate 70% of the total capacity of their customers, against 30%, but those under 12 and over 60 will not be allowed to enter.
The cinemas, closed since the end of March, will have to allocate two seats per customer, leaving two vacant seats in each horizontal row while keeping the alternative vertical rows empty.

US stocks rally optimism about economic recovery
US stocks have opened higher, building on a rally that has challenged pessimists for two months, with the S&P 500 surpassing 3000 for the first time since March 5.
The Wall Street S&P 500 jumped 2% at the opening on Tuesday, trading around 3012. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.3% while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite gained 1, 7% after the daily death toll in the United States from the virus reaches a two-month low.
Some traders on the New York Stock Exchange are expected to return to the floor for the first time since late March. The S&P 500 has increased 30% since then. The index has dropped 6.7% this year.
The return of US stocks comes as governments relax restrictions on coronaviruses while some statistics provide reason for optimism that the worst of the economic impact may have passed.
European stock markets were up about 1%. Even Hong Kong stocks rebounded 1.9% after an initial drop triggered by China’s proposed security laws.

Airline support of $ 120 billion is unevenly distributed and default is imminent, says Iata
Tanya Powley, Transportation Correspondent
Airlines have received about $ 123 billion in financial assistance from governments, but this support is unevenly distributed around the world, according to research by Iata, the global air trade group.
The aid has helped keep the industry “alive”, but the commercial agency has warned that there may be more airline collapses as some carriers strive to pay down debt.
Iata has found that of the $ 123 billion provided by governments, about $ 67 billion will have to be repaid. Only about $ 11 billion came in the form of equity.
Its research has revealed that the global debt of the airline industry could reach $ 550 billion by the end of the year, an increase of $ 120 billion in debt levels in early 2020.
“This represents a lot of new debt that has been on the balance sheets of the airlines that have been supported,” said Brian Pearce, chief economist at Iata.
He added that the industry “could easily see airline failures under the weight of this debt.”

Macy’s Announces $ 1.1 Billion Bond Using Property As Collateral
Alistair Gray and Joe Rennison
Macy’s is turning to its real estate portfolio to raise funds for the coronavirus crisis, by securing several of its department stores and other properties as collateral in a $ 1.1 billion bond deal.
Flagship stores in downtown Brooklyn, Union Square in San Francisco and near Millennium Park in Chicago, as well as 35 outlets in select malls and 10 distribution centers, are offered as warranties while the retailer exploits the capital markets to get money.
In a file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Macy’s estimated the properties in question were worth $ 2.2 billion, more than Macy’s market capitalization of $ 1.6 billion .
Department stores have been particularly affected by the pandemic and JCPenney and Neiman Marcus have filed for bankruptcy this month. Macy’s, which owns Bloomingdale’s and its namesake stores, predicted last week that it was set at a $ 1 billion quarterly operating loss.
Macy’s, whose total debt has grown from $ 4.7 billion to about $ 5.7 billion in the past year, said it intends to use the product to help pay off the money. due under a revolving credit facility.

Warner Music Launches IPO To Raise Up To $ 1.8 Billion
Anna Nicolaou in New York
Warner Music Group has relaunched its IPO plans, announcing plans to raise up to $ 1.8 billion in what would be one of the first major announcements since the coronavirus pandemic rocked global markets.
The music label behind Lizzo and Ed Sheeran has said it will sell 70 million shares of its Class A common shares, targeting a price between $ 23 and $ 26 per share, it said on Tuesday. That would give Warner Music a valuation of between $ 11.7 billion and $ 13.3 billion – well above the $ 3.3 billion that billionaire Len Blavatnik paid for it in 2011.
The company originally filed for publication in February, but suspended trading as the pandemic developed and stock markets plunged. But after seeing an improvement in the markets in recent weeks, as well as the resilience of the music industry when other media groups were beaten, the company decided to proceed with the offer, according to people familiar with the situation .
Warner Music will not keep any of the funds raised from the offer. Access Industries, Mr. Blavatnik’s investment company, will retain the majority of the voting rights in the outstanding common shares of Warner, according to a regulatory record. The shares will trade on the Nasdaq with the WMG market price.

ECB warns of “sustainability of public finances”
Martin Arnold in Frankfurt
The soaring public debt threatens to reassess European sovereign risk by investors and could “relieve pressure” on the most vulnerable countries in the region in the medium term, warned the European Central Bank.
Forecasting that euro area budget deficits will average 8% of gross domestic product this year, well above the levels achieved after the 2008 financial crisis, the ECB said: “The pandemic represents a medium-term challenge for the sustainability of public finances. “
Highlighting the main risks to the eurozone from the coronavirus crisis in its annual financial stability review on Tuesday, the ECB said total public debt would drop from 86% of GDP to more than 100% overall. 19 countries.
He said public debt would increase by almost 200% of GDP in Greece, 160% in Italy, more than 130% in Portugal and just under 120% in France and Spain, adding: “The associated increase in Public debt levels could also trigger a reassessment of sovereign risk by market players and relaunch pressures on more vulnerable sovereigns in the future. “
Warning that “several countries will face significant debt repayment needs over the next two years,” the ECB said Italy should refinance more than 15% of its debt over the next two years. next year, when this figure exceeded 10% for France, Spain, Belgium, Finland and Portugal.
The ECB, which needs to update its economic forecast and revise its monetary policy next week, has already predicted that the eurozone will experience its deepest post-war recession and contract between 5% and 12% this year.
He warned that a more severe than expected slowdown, if combined with higher public borrowing costs and “materialization of contingent liabilities”, could put public finances “on an unsustainable path in countries already in great debt ”.

Brussels ends export restrictions on masks
Jim Brunsden in Brussels
European manufacturers of masks and other protective equipment will no longer face export restrictions after the European Commission said the restrictions put in place at the height of the pandemic in March had lost their usefulness.
Brussels said on March 15 that companies need the approval of their national governments before selling personal protective equipment such as masks, dresses and visors to buyers outside the EU trading bloc .
This was designed to allay fears that a global PPE rush may prompt national governments to keep their own supplies, threatening the European single market and the collective effort to contain the virus.
The brakes were due to expire on Tuesday and the European Commission
said no EU government has asked them to continue.
EU-wide restrictions have been criticized as “an export ban”, but Brussels insisted the rules were less draconian in practice.
The European Commission has estimated that more than 13 million protective masks, about 1 million protective clothing and more than 350,000 protective masks and visors have been exported from the EU since April 26.

NYSE exchange opens after two-month closing
Philip Stafford in London

The New York Stock Exchange will open today at 11 Wall Street after a two-month closing.
It will be a cautious start on the NYSE, which will only allow independent brokers to enter the building. These companies, which transact on behalf of clients, typically have only about 20 employees and all of their income is related to the work they do on the floor, said NYSE President Stacey Cunningham, to the Wall Street Journal this month.
The coronavirus crisis forced the NYSE to close its prosecution in March for the first time in 228 years of existence.
Returning brokers will be subject to health checks before entering and must wear protective masks and respect the rules of social distancing. Markers will define the space where each person can work on the ground, according to the exchange. The opening bell starts at 9:30 am Eastern time.
Designated market makers, who can intervene to smooth out volatile trading periods, will operate remotely. The NYSE Arca options floor in San Francisco reopened this month.

A trader arrives at the New York Stock Exchange

A merchant checks the time before entering the NYSE

Russia climbs pandemic peak, says Putin, as he re-establishes parade
Henry Foy in Moscow
Russia has passed the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, the president said, adding that the commemoration of World War II, canceled this month, will take place in June.
Vladimir Putin’s comments come hours after Russia recorded a record number of daily Covid-19 deaths and nearly 9,000 new confirmed infections.
“Experts say the peak is already over,” said Putin during a meeting with his defense minister.
While daily increases in the number of cases have decreased slightly from the peak of 11,656 a fortnight ago, Russia is the third most affected country in terms of number of cases after the United States and Brazil, and presents the third increasing number of infections.
“I order you to start preparations for the military parade in honor of the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War,” Putin said to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. “We will do it on June 24. “
The cancellation of the originally scheduled parade on May 9 was the most public example of how the pandemic has disrupted President Putin’s plans this year.
The Patriotic Victory Day Parade has become one of the most important events on Russia’s political calendar, and this year’s event was to take place weeks before a national vote on constitutional changes that would allow Mr. Putin to extend his presidency until 2036.

Mexican economy down 1.3% in March
Jude Webber in Mexico City
The Mexican economy shrank 1.3% in March from February and contracted 2.6% from the same month last year, according to an official GDP indicator.
Data released by the state statistics bureau, Inegi, comes as Mexico’s major auto, construction and mining industries prepare to reopen amid the coronavirus crisis.
However, the revised GDP for the first quarter presented a slightly brighter picture than the previous data. The new data indicates a 1.2% contraction from the fourth quarter of 2019, better than the 1.6% decrease previously reported. The 2.2% drop from the first quarter of last year was also an improvement from the 2.4% drop Inegi released in late April. The data confirmed that Mexico’s economy has been shrinking more and more for four consecutive quarters, Inegi said.
Covid-19 is expected to inflict significant suffering on the second largest economy in Latin America. Exports fell 41% in April, including a 42% drop in manufacturing exports and a 79% collapse in auto exports during the month, Inegi reported on Monday.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador – who says he is working on an alternative economic indicator that will also measure happiness and well-being, not just GDP – predicts that a million jobs could be lost in total, although analysts fear that it will be twice its estimate. The President insists that tax collection and remittances continue despite the global crisis.
Balance of payments data also released on Monday showed a solid picture, helped by a competitive exchange rate. Alberto Ramos, economist at Goldman Sachs, noted that the current account surplus of $ 5.8 billion was “the best result in at least 23 years” but warned that “the capital account remains vulnerable”.
Mexico, which reported 71,105 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 7,633 deaths Monday evening, went into custody at the end of March and is expected to gradually lift restrictions from the end of this month.


McLaren to cut 1,200 jobs as Covid-19 calls for restructuring
Peter campbell
McLaren will cut 1,200 jobs in a major restructuring after the coronavirus closed the company’s showrooms and prevented it from running.
The group, which operates an automobile company manufacturing supercars as well as a racing division and a unit selling engineering technology, employs around 4,000 people, mainly based in the United Kingdom.
Almost three-quarters of its staff are based in the automotive division, which produces around 4,000 supercars per year. The rest is divided between its technology and its racing units and its back-office functions.
“Like many other companies, McLaren has been severely affected by the current pandemic,” the group said on Tuesday.
“The cancellation of motorsport events, the suspension of manufacturing and retail activities worldwide and the reduction in demand for technology solutions have all had a sudden impact on the group’s revenue-generating activities.”
McLaren is trying to raise £ 250 million in bonds to help consolidate its finances, offering a mortgage at its space age headquarters in Woking and a fleet of heritage cars to close the deal.
But the move sparked anger from investors in a £ 525 million bond issued in 2017, who say the assets have already been put up by the company on their bond.
Last year the company recorded a pre-tax loss of £ 28 million, a significant reduction from the loss of £ 67 million a year earlier, with revenues up 18% to 1, £ 5 billion.
The group made operating profit of £ 177 million and had net debt of £ 572 million at the end of 2019. The company is expected to release first quarter trading figures later this week.
“This is undoubtedly a difficult time for our business, and especially for our employees, but we plan to become an efficient and sustainable business with a clear path to return to growth,” said the President- McLaren Group Managing Director Paul Walsh.

UK approves limited use of Gildes drug remdesivir to treat Covid-19
Donato Paolo Mancini in London
The experimental remdesivir of Gilead’s coronavirus drug will be made available to some patients in the UK, health officials said on Tuesday.
As part of the rapid drug access program, hospitalized NHS coronavirus patients will be able to receive the drug. Treatment will be limited to those with the greatest likelihood of benefit, said the Ministry of Health.
The regimen is used in cases where there is an obvious medical need, but no drug has yet received marketing authorization.
Earlier this month, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the drug for emergencies. Japan has also approved it to treat Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Remdesivir was originally developed to treat viral conditions and then evaluated against Ebola, but has never been approved to treat this disease.
Peer-reviewed evidence published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week shows that the drug shortens the recovery time by about four days. The effects on mortality are still unclear.
A peer-reviewed study published last month in The Lancet showed no statistically significant benefit, although the company and the investigators involved said it was statistically insufficient. Trials, including in the UK, are continuing.
Gilead, which is providing the drug free of charge as part of its efforts to donate 1.5 m bottles, said it would continue to work closely with the British government to allow wider access to patients across the United Kingdom. Stocks listed in New York gained 1.3% in trade before marketing.

Travel industry values ​​rally around the prospect of a saved European summer
Shares in European travel agencies have risen sharply, after reports that Germany plans to lift travel warnings for 31 European countries on June 15 have raised hopes of a departure for continent summer vacation.
Shares in the owner of British Airways, IAG and Tui, the world’s largest tour operator, jumped nearly 20% on Tuesday, following news that would provide respite for the continent’s besieged travel industry. EasyJet, InterContinental Hotels Group and Whitbread shares rose more than 10%.
According to the dpa news agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will submit to the German government on Wednesday a document lifting the travel warning for the 26 EU member states as well as for the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein.
The travel industry rally also follows the announcement that Lufthansa, the continent’s second largest carrier, will receive a € 9 billion bailout from the German government.
Stoxx 600 travel and leisure price index remains about 50% lower than three months ago as share prices of leisure and tourism companies plummeted due to travel restrictions imposed by governments to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Excessive deaths in the UK during the approach of the Covid-19 pandemic
Chris Giles in London
The UK has suffered nearly 60,000 more deaths than usual since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country in mid-March, according to official figures released on Tuesday.
L’Office for National Statistics a déclaré qu’au cours de la semaine se terminant le 15 mai, 14 573 décès avaient été enregistrés en Angleterre et au Pays de Galles – 4 385 de plus que la moyenne pour cette semaine et une détérioration des 3 081 décès excédentaires enregistrés la semaine précédente.
Avec des chiffres officiels distincts pour l’Écosse et l’Irlande du Nord, le nombre total de décès en excès, directement ou indirectement causés par Covid-19 à travers le Royaume-Uni est passé à 59 359 au cours des neuf dernières semaines.
Nick Stripe, responsable des événements de la vie à l’ONS, a déclaré qu’il y avait eu «un peu moins de 60 000 décès supplémentaires au Royaume-Uni».
Le Premier ministre et ses conseillers scientifiques ont déclaré vouloir être jugés sur l’excès de mortalité toutes causes plutôt que sur le total journalier annoncé par le ministère de la Santé et des Affaires sociales, qui s’élevait à 36 914 en chiffres publiés lundi.

La livre atteint son plus haut niveau depuis deux semaines alors que l’économie britannique rouvre lentement
Eva Szalay
La livre sterling a atteint son plus haut niveau en près de deux semaines après que le gouvernement britannique a annoncé son intention d’ouvrir des magasins non essentiels le mois prochain et que les autorités ont réussi à éviter de nouvelles secousses infectieuses tout en facilitant le verrouillage.
La livre sterling a bondi de 1,2% par rapport au dollar américain mardi pour atteindre 1,2325 $, le plus haut niveau depuis le 13 mai. Elle a grimpé de 0,4% par rapport à l’euro, une unité de la monnaie commune achetant 0,8902 £.
Les marchés d’actions en Europe et en Asie ont grimpé mardi dans un optimisme croissant quant à la réouverture des économies du monde entier. Paul Jackson, responsable de la recherche sur l’allocation d’actifs à Invesco, a déclaré que l’humeur du «risque» a commencé avec l’assouplissement du Japon par le Japon, tandis que l’assouplissement des restrictions suggéré par le Premier ministre britannique Boris Johnson dimanche a aidé les actifs britanniques. L’indice FTSE 100 a gagné 1,3%.
Ce sentiment positif a affaibli le dollar par rapport à ses homologues des marchés développés et émergents, contribuant ainsi à alimenter davantage les gains en livres sterling.
Craignant des gros titres potentiellement négatifs sur l’avancement des négociations sur le Brexit qui doivent débuter la semaine prochaine, les investisseurs avaient parié sur une monnaie plus faible à la fin du mois de mai. Mais la livre a fortement rebondi depuis vendredi, lorsqu’elle a atteint 1,2156 $.
« Les craintes du Brexit ont soudainement disparu pour l’instant et le marché joue ce que vous voyez dans les rues avec des gens qui profitent du soleil », a déclaré Kit Juckes, macro stratège à la Société Générale.

L’Arabie saoudite assouplira les restrictions dans un plan en trois phases
Ahmed Al Omran à Riyad
L’Arabie saoudite a annoncé qu’elle commencerait à assouplir les restrictions de circulation et de déplacement dans les prochains jours, plus de deux mois après que des mesures strictes aient été prises pour aider à stopper la propagation du coronavirus dans le royaume.
Le plan de réouverture est divisé en trois phases à partir de ce jeudi, le couvre-feu devant être complètement levé à partir du 21 juin sauf dans la ville sainte de La Mecque, a indiqué le ministère de l’Intérieur.
Lors de la première phase, le couvre-feu de 24 heures sera abrégé entre 15 heures et 6 heures du matin dans tout le pays et les déplacements en voiture seront autorisés entre les différentes régions du pays. Certaines entreprises de vente au détail et en gros seront également autorisées à reprendre leurs activités.
Le gouvernement a imposé un couvre-feu complet sur la plupart des villes et villages le mois dernier, mais les a assouplies pendant le mois de jeûne du Ramadan avant de les réimposer pendant cinq jours pour la fête musulmane de l’Aïd al-Fitr qui a commencé dimanche dernier.
La libre circulation entre 6h et 20h sera autorisée à partir du dimanche 31 mai et les mosquées pourront à nouveau organiser des prières dans le cadre de la deuxième phase. Les vols intérieurs reprendront à la même date mais l’interdiction des vols internationaux restera en vigueur. Les pèlerinages du Hajj et de la umrah resteront suspendus jusqu’à nouvel ordre.
Les employés des secteurs public et privé seront autorisés à retourner dans leurs bureaux conformément aux nouvelles directives établies par les ministères de la santé et du travail. Les restaurants et les cafés rouvriront. Autres affaires où la distanciation sociale n’est pas pratique, ces barbiers, gymnases et cinémas resteront fermés et les rassemblements sociaux de plus de 50 personnes seront toujours interdits.
La troisième phase, qui commence le 21 juin, verra la vie en Arabie saoudite revenir à ses normes de restrictions pré-coronavirus, mais les citoyens sont toujours invités à porter des masques en public, à se laver les mains et à maintenir une distance sociale.

Heseltine: «le manque de crédibilité» nuit au gouvernement

Michael Heseltine, le grand du Parti conservateur qui a affronté le premier ministre Boris Johnson dans le passé en exhortant les électeurs à soutenir les libéraux-démocrates, a déclaré que Dominic Cummings restant dans son emploi nuisait au gouvernement.
Dans une interview à Sky News, Lord Heseltine a déclaré à propos de la conférence de presse de M. Cummings dans la roseraie de Downing Street lundi, lorsque l’aide en chef du Premier ministre a défendu d’emmener sa famille à Durham de Londres pendant le verrouillage et a déclaré qu’il s’était ensuite rendu dans un local. endroit de beauté pour tester sa vue:

«Le manque de crédibilité de l’histoire nuit au gouvernement et à ses politiques.

Lord Heseltine, un ancien vice-Premier ministre dont les vues pro-européennes l’ont longtemps opposé aux Brexiteers au gouvernement, dont M. Johnson, M. Cummings et le ministre du cabinet Michael Gove, a déclaré à propos du Premier ministre:

Je ne pense pas qu’il soit sage de garder Dominic Cummings.

Il a ensuite demandé:

Quelle est la position de M. Cummings dans ce gouvernement? Il n’est responsable devant personne, sauf le Premier ministre, mais il semble être de plus en plus aux commandes et de plus en plus capable de prendre des décisions.

Se référant à la démission de l’ancien chancelier de M. Johnson, Savid Javid, à la suite d’un affrontement avec M. Cummings au sujet du personnel, Lord Heseltine a poursuivi:

Quelle est la relation avec le reste du cabinet, sont-ils censés se prosterner devant ce type en particulier? Il a déjà coûté son travail à un chancelier.

Lord Heseltine a ensuite souligné le développement inhabituel d’un conseiller spécial pour un Premier ministre devenant le centre d’une histoire politique majeure.

Dominic Cummings est devenu l’histoire et le gouvernement n’y échappera pas.
Si je conseillais Boris Johnson, je dirais que M. Cummings ne démissionnera pas … alors vous devriez lui demander de démissionner.

Les ventes de montres suisses enregistrent la plus forte contraction jamais enregistrée
Sam Jones à Zurich
Les exportations de montres suisses ont chuté de 81% en avril, lors de la pire contraction des ventes de l’industrie jamais enregistrée, les usines suisses fermant leurs portes et les riches consommateurs du monde entier restant chez eux.
L’horlogerie suisse est essentielle à l’économie suisse; derrière l’or et les produits pharmaceutiques, les montres sont la troisième plus grande catégorie de produits exportés du riche état alpin. En 2019, les exportations horlogères valaient 22 milliards de francs (22,7 milliards de dollars).
Le secteur a été « arrêté dans [its] « , a déclaré la Fédération de l’industrie horlogère suisse dans un communiqué, ajoutant qu’elle pensait que le déclin reflétait » une situation exceptionnelle plutôt qu’une tendance de la demande « .
Les analystes sont moins optimistes. « Nous pensons qu’il est peu probable que les tendances s’améliorent sensiblement avant la fin de l’année », a déclaré Thomas Chauvet de Citi.
L’impact sera significatif compte tenu des défis structurels auxquels l’horlogerie suisse est confrontée, a ajouté M. Chauvet, citant notamment: « les risques de surcapacité de production, le rythme lent de l’innovation et la nouveauté limitée des produits, la réticence à adopter la technologie, l’architecture de tarification peu attrayante, le contrôle limité sur la distribution , faible pénétration du commerce électronique et communication conservatrice. “
La Suisse a été parmi les premières économies développées à annuler les mesures de verrouillage à la suite de la pandémie de coronavirus alors que Berne a cherché à relancer l’activité commerciale et à limiter les retombées financières de la crise.
Les sombres perspectives de l’industrie horlogère du pays, cependant, montrent à quel point la reprise économique du pays est fortement orientée vers les perspectives économiques mondiales.

Le ministre Gove défend son collègue de Johnson, Cummings, à l’antenne

Michael Gove, le ministre du Cabinet et architecte du Brexit, a dirigé ce matin la défense de la décision de Boris Johnson de maintenir Dominic Cummings en poste.
In an interview with Sky News, Mr Gove was asked by presenter Kay Burley whether a statement Mr Cummings made in his press conference on Monday that he took a drive in the north-east to test his eyesight was plausible.
Ms Burley asked:

If you’re struggling with Covid-19 and you think you’ve got a problem with your eyesight, what is the government advice?

Mr Gove said:

I think that different people will take different steps in order to ensure that their eyesight is properly addressed.

When pressed on what the government advice was, he answered:

Well, we advise people obviously to seek medical advice.

And when Ms Burley asked: « so it’s not to get in a car and drive half an hour with your four-year-old strapped in the back, » Mr Gove responded:

Dominic, and I know you’re alluding to Dominic, was given the all-clear by the medics, he was told that it was safe for him to return to work.
He wanted to make sure before he did return to work that he was in a good condition in order to drive the long journey back down the A1 so he took a short journey, that short one that was consistent with the medical advice, consistent with medical guidance.

Then, in response to a tweet from the Bishop of Leeds that the government had « lied to » the British people, Mr Gove said:

I wish the bishop well..I’m a Christian too and I think therefore I have great respect for the Church, for bishops, for the leadership they exercise. I wish him well.

Statistics suggest pandemic could widen UK regional inequality
Valentina Romei in London
The share of people working from home is nearly double in London than in eastern regions of the UK, according to official statistics that highlight how the pandemic might be widening the regional economic differences that the government has pledged to narrow.
More than 60 per cent of workers in the rich region of London said that they worked from home in April because of the pandemic, according to a survey by the Office for National Statistics. London is the region with the highest proportion of home workers, nearly twice as high as the 33 per cent for the East of England and East Midlands, where income per capita is significantly lower.
The difference largely reflects the greater importance of professional and financial services in the capital and could mean that the economic hit to the London economy is less severe than that to other poorer regions, making the pre-crisis government’s pledge to « level up » regional differences more difficult to achieve.
Together with the North East, Londoners are also those reporting the lowest share of the population with reduced household income. In the 30 days to May 3, 18 per cent of Britons said their household finances had experienced a reduction in income. The proportion varied from 15.6 per cent in London and 21 per cent in the West Midlands.

Tate Britain to hand out 10 Turner bursaries instead of overall prize
James Pickford in London
The Turner Prize, the UK’s best known contemporary art prize, has been shelved as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
Tate Britain, which organises the prize, will instead award 10 artists “Turner bursaries” of £10,000 each, as a way of supporting artists whose livelihoods have been threatened by the tight restrictions imposed under lockdown.
Under normal circumstances, four artists would be nominated in May and an exhibition of their work unveiled in September, but the organisers said the practicalities of putting on the annual show was “impossible in the current circumstances”.
“Gallery closures and social distancing measures are vitally important, but they are also causing huge disruption to the lives and livelihoods of artists, » said Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner Prize jury. « JMW Turner, who once planned to leave his fortune to support artists in their hour of need, would approve of our decision.”
The award has taken place every year since 1984 – except for 1990, ahead of its relaunch in 1991 as a contemporary art prize with a focus on emerging artists.
The 10 artists to be awarded bursaries will be selected by the Turner judges at the end of June. The £100,000 money for the awards has come from “a group of Tate’s supporters”, the organisers said.
The closure of private galleries and public exhibition spaces has greatly affected the ability of artists to market their work, though online sales have continued to take place during the lockdown.
It is not the first disruption to the prize in recent years. The most recent award in December 2019 was given to all four nominees at their request, asking not to be “pitted against one another” at a time of political crisis in the UK.

Yale study adds to evidence Covid-19 can be detected in sewage
Clive Cookson in London
Levels of coronavirus detected in municipal sewage are an astonishingly accurate leading indicator of future Covid-19 cases in the community, a study by Yale University scientists has shown.
The team sampled sludge at a treatment plant serving around 200,000 people in New Haven, Connecticut, from March 19 to May 1. Amounts of virus detected predicted very precisely the rise and fall in positive Covid-19 tests in the area a week later — adding to the growing evidence that sewage testing is a useful way to monitor infection levels.
“Our study could have substantial policy implications,” the Yale researchers say. “Courts can use primary sludge [viral] concentrations to [predict] community outbreak dynamics or provide an additional basis for easing restrictions.”


UK minister resigns over Johnson’s handling of Cummings scandal
Sebastian Payne and Jim Pickard in London
A UK government minister has resigned over Boris Johnson’s handling of accusations that his adviser Dominic Cummings broke coronavirus lockdown rules.
Douglas Ross, who served as a junior minister in the Scotland office and the MP for Moray, said the events surrounding Mr Cummings over the weekend “mean I can no longer serve as a member of this government”.
Mr Cummings, an influential adviser to the prime minister, held an unprecedented press conference on Monday to address reports about a 264-mile journey he made from his London home to the north east of England.
Mr Ross said:

I have constituents who didn’t get to say goodbye to loved ones; families who could not cry together; people who didn’t visit sick relatives because they followed guidance of the government. I cannot in good faith tell them they were all wrong and one senior adviser to the government was right.

Following Mr Ross’ statement, a flurry of Conservative MPs expressed their opposition to Mr Cummings staying on. These included Tory veteran Sir Roger Gale, MP for West Worcestershire Harriet Baldwin, MSP Adam Tomkins and MP for East Devon Simon Jupp.

Latam Airlines files for bankruptcy after ‘collapse’ in demand
Latam Airlines, Latin America’s largest carrier, has filed for bankruptcy protection, the second airline this month in the region to fall victim to the coronavirus crisis.
The Santiago-based airline and its sprawling network of affiliates in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and the US launched a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing late on Monday in a federal court in New York.
Latam is the latest in a string of large groups in the travel industry to have filed for bankruptcy or sought government bailouts as the Covid-19 crisis has wreaked havoc on the sector. Colombia’s Avianca airline filed for bankruptcy protection on May 10 while European airline Lufthansa on Monday agreed a €9bn rescue from the German government.
« Latam entered the Covid-19 pandemic as a healthy and profitable airline group, yet exceptional circumstances have led to a collapse in global demand and has not only brought aviation to a virtual standstill, but it has also changed the industry for the foreseeable future, » said Roberto Alvo, the group’s chief executive.
Latam, which generated revenues of $10.4bn last year, said it expects to continue operating through the bankruptcy proceedings. It has already secured up to $900m in financing from three of its largest equity holders, the company said in a statement.
Qatar Airways, which owns around 10 per cent of the group’s equity, along with Chile’s Cueto family and Brazil’s Amaro family have stumped up for the debtor in position financing.

Wuhan detects 218 asymptomatic cases after 6.5m tests
Christian Shepherd in Beijing
Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic began, said it has conducted 6.5m tests and discovered 218 asymptomatic cases in a 10-day push to unearth lingering infections.
The city ramped up so-called RNA testing for Covid-19 when a neighbourhood cluster of cases was discovered after weeks of zero local transmissions.
From May 15 to May 25, at least 6.5m swab samples were collected, bringing the official tally of tests in Wuhan to over 9m since late February, according to the city’s health commission.
Over the 10 day period, 218 new asymptomatic cases were found, with one individual later developing symptoms, the commission said.
The drive has not yet finished, however. The city announced on Monday that it still needed to “plug the gaps” in coverage, asking residents who had not yet been tested to register for samples to be taken.
China has adopted a maximal suppression approach in an effort to fully halt the spread of the virus within its borders, locking down cities whenever a new cluster is discovered, despite expert warnings that outbreaks will continue to re-emerge.

Thailand extends state of emergency until end of June
John Reed in Bangkok
Thailand’s government extended a state of emergency imposed in March to fight the coronavirus until the end of June.
Opponents of Prayuth Chan-ocha’s government have accused it of using the emergency legislation to quash political gatherings or potential unrest, but Narumon Pinyosinwat, the government spokeswoman, said the extension was needed for public health reasons.
Thailand, which has already reopened parks, shopping malls, and restaurants with social distancing measures in place, is expected later this week to announce a third phase to ease its lockdown, including a further shortening of a night-time curfew and the easing of limitations on domestic travel.
Thailand has confirmed 3,045 Covid-19 cases and 57 deaths to date, with the number of new infections dropping sharply in recent weeks. The three most recent cases announced on Tuesday were Thai citizens returning from Russia and Kuwait.

French hospital tests show sustained Covid-19 immunity
Victor Mallet in Paris
Tests on coronavirus-infected healthworkers in two French hospitals show that 98 per cent of them maintained strong immunity a month later, a finding that will help ease concerns that Covid-19 immunity is not durable.
Arnaud Fontanet, a professor from the Institut Pasteur who led the research, was quoted by France Inter radio as saying that initial testing showed 159 of the 160 infected healthworkers at two Strasbourg hospitals, all with mild symptoms, had antibodies to the virus.
A month later, 98 per cent still had antibodies likely to protect them from reinfection.
“These results are indeed good news,” he said. “The fact of having protective antibodies a month after the first symptoms suggests that very probably they would be protected from reinfection if they were exposed again to coronavirus.”
An Institut Pasteur study last month calculated that only about 6 per cent of the French population would have been infected by the time the nationwide lockdown was lifted two weeks ago.

European equities should make solid gains at market opening
European equity markets are expected to recover on Tuesday at the opening of the market, as investors are cautiously optimistic that the easing of blockages has not yet sparked a spike in new Covid-19 cases.
The outlook for London’s FTSE 100 suggests gains of 2.5%, with economic activity picking up in May and Boris Johnson indicating that non-essential retailers will open in mid-June. UK activity for the week of May 11 returned to just under 80% of normal, driven by higher retail sales, based on real-time indicators, according to Barclays analysts .
The Xetra Dax in Frankfurt is expected to increase by 1.2%, after a slight upturn in German consumer confidence indicators GfK in June.
The lack of evidence linking the openness to the upsurge in virus outbreaks, combined with encouraging signs of government support, has helped investors ignore concerns over rising US-China tensions.
Ian Tomb, analyst at Goldman Sachs, said it was encouraging to see that countries lifting their lock restrictions early, such as New Zealand and South Africa, had not seen a resurgence of cases until now.
“With calming concerns over coronaviruses, limited evidence to date that the opening has sparked new medical concerns, and the potential negative effects of blockages continue to mount, markets have started to have a more positive view of reopening, “he said.

Indian families reunited as domestic flights resume
Amy Kazmin in New Delhi
A five-year-old boy stuck at his grandparents’ house was among thousands of Indians reunited with their families, as the country resumed domestic flights that were suspended two months ago as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s draconian coronavirus lockdown.
Indian airlines operated 532 domestic flights, carrying 39,321 passengers, on Monday, the first day that flights had operated since the country shut down its economy and suspended all public transport in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Flights are expected to increase in the coming days as more states permit the arrival of flights from other Indian cities.
Among the first fliers to take advantage of the resumption of domestic air services was a five-year-old, who flew alone to Bangalore to be reunited with his parents after his visit to grandparents in New Delhi ended up unexpectedly lasting for months.
Most passengers were travelling to reunite with family members from whom they’d been unexpectedly separated when the lockdown was imposed. Others were going to see ailing relatives. Few were travelling for business purposes.
India’s surprise lockdown — which was imposed with just four hours’ notice and accompanied by the suspension of all public transport — left millions of migrant workers stranded without work or wages in the country’s big cities.
Many members of India’s middle and affluent classes were also left separated from family given the lack of prior warning.
India has approved the operation of around 1,000 daily flights for the next two months. Demand for domestic air travel is likely to remain muted, as many states have imposed strict quarantine requirements for travellers arriving from other areas.

New normal comes with scars for businesses in Italy
Davide Ghiglione in Rome
At the door of the PBA stainless steel factory in northern Italy, employees check their temperatures, change their shoes, walk on a special decontaminating carpet and put on their masks — or full medical personal protective equipment if they work in production.
Meetings are banned, and the quintessentially Italian pausa caffè — or mid-morning coffee break to chat with colleagues over an espresso — is prohibited. The coffee machines have been distanced to keep workers apart.
PBA, or Profilati Brevettati in Alluminio, has gone back to work, but it is far from back to normal as the facility in Tezze sul Brenta, in the Veneto region, and its workers emerge from the strictures of lockdown and the trauma of one of the most serious coronavirus outbreaks in the world.
Read more about how Italy is getting back to work here

South Korean receives 4 month jail sentence for self-isolation offence
Song Jung-a in Seoul
A South Korean man was sentenced to four months in prison on Tuesday for breaching the mandatory self-isolation rule aimed at containing the coronavirus, in the country’s first such court ruling following the viral outbreak.
The Uijeongbu District Court said a 27-year-old man surnamed Kim violated the authorities’ self-quarantine order by leaving his designated residence without permission last month. Mr Kim was ordered to stay at home for two weeks in early April, after being discharged from St Mary’s Hospital in Uijeongbu, which reported cluster infections.
The court said his crime was “serious in nature” and stern punishment was needed as he visited “high risk facilities” during his self-quarantine period. He left his home just two days before the end of his self-isolation and was sent to a temporary shelter, which he then left without permission.
Under the South Korean law, those who breach self-isolation rules could face up to a year in prison or a fine of up to Won10m ($8,127).
Mr Kim’s mother told reporters that his family plans to appeal the ruling, saying the sentence is too heavy.
South Korea reported 19 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday after the outbreak has largely been contained.

Hopes for fast-track approval of Avigan to treat Covid-19 dashed
Kana Inagaki in Tokyo
The Japanese government has given up on approving Fujifilm Holdings’ Avigan this month, saying it needs more time to assess whether the anti-flu drug is an effective treatment for Covid-19.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made a big push for Avigan, which has the generic name favipravir, even before formal results have come out from randomised clinical trials that are being carried out in Japan and the US.
While Mr Abe had hoped to get the drug approved by the end of May using a fast-track method, interim results from a government-sponsored clinical trial indicated it was “too early” to scientifically assess Avigan’s effectiveness, according to health minister Katsunobu Kato.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, stressed that clinical trials on Avigan will continue. “There is no change to our policy that we would promptly approve the drug once its effectiveness and safety are confirmed,” Mr Suga said.
Avigan raised hopes globally in mid-March after early clinical trials in China, which were not randomised, suggested faster recovery times for those given the drug.
But interim results from a clinical trial led by Fujita Health University did not provide enough evidence that Avigan was effective in treating coronavirus patients.

South Korea consumer sentiment improves as restrictions ease
Song Jung-a in Seoul
South Korea’s consumer sentiment improved this month from the lowest level since the global financial crisis in April, as the economy reopened and the coronavirus outbreak was brought under control.
The consumer sentiment index rose to 77.6 in May from 70.8 in April, the Bank of Korea said on Tuesday. There are growing signs of a consumption recovery, driven by heavy government spending.
Many South Koreans have gone on the so-called “revenge spending” sprees after months of social distancing, as the government has granted cash handouts to every household to help them cope with the economic fallout from the pandemic.
The index may affect the Bank of Korea’s decision on interest rates on Thursday. Many economists expect the BoK to cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 0.5 per cent after a 50 basis point cut in March.
The IMF forecasts the Korean economy, which is Asia’s fourth-largest, will shrink by 1.2 per cent this year. Lee Ju-yeol, the BoK governor, expects the economy to still eke out positive growth of less than 1 per cent.
The government relaxed its social distancing rules this month after the country’s daily new caseload has fell to less than 20.
More students are returning to school this week after months of school closures and remote learning.

Singapore cuts GDP forecast to as low as minus 7% on worsening outlook
Mercedes Ruehl in Singapore
Singapore is facing a much more severe recession than originally forecast after the Asian city state again cut its economic projections due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement on Tuesday that it expects 2020 gross domestic product to shrink between 4 and 7 per cent, compared with a previously projected range of a 1 to 4 per cent contraction.
Singapore’s trade-reliant economy has been hurt by a prolonged shutdown since early April to contain the spread of the virus. The city state has some of the highest numbers of cases in Asia and government measures such as the closure of most workplaces have dampened domestic economic activity and consumption.
“The outlook for the Singapore economy has weakened further since March,” the MTI said.
The cut in GDP forecast comes as the government was set to unveil a fourth stimulus package in Parliament later on Tuesday, with more support for businesses and households.

Hong Kong to resume airport transit, reopen night clubs
Alice Woodhouse and Nicolle Liu in Hong Kong
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said the city’s international airport will resume some transit services from June as the territory relaxes measures designed to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Transit through Hong Kong international airport will resume next month after a suspension at the end of March as the city tightened restrictions at the travel hub.
Ms Lam also said that night clubs, karaoke bars, bathhouses and private spaces for hire known as “party rooms” could reopen from Friday.
Hong Kong this month relaxed restrictions on public gatherings, allowing groups of eight, from four previously. No new local cases of Covid-19 have been reported since mid-May. The city has reported 1,066 coronavirus cases and 4 deaths linked to Covid-19.

Coronavirus is a defining test for Thailand’s powerful business families
John Reed in Bangkok
With the coronavirus crisis hammering Thailand’s economy and millions of citizens registering for cash handouts, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha recently made an unusual public appeal to the kingdom’s powerful billionaire business families, asking them to “do more”.
“I would like to ask you if you could do more in utilising your abilities and talents in helping and healing the people of Thailand, who are suffering very badly, in a quicker, more efficient manner,” he wrote in an open letter to 20 of the country’s richest people last month.
Thailand has confirmed just over 3,000 coronavirus cases and 56 deaths. This is a relatively light caseload but the disease has devastated the country’s tourism sector and many of its industries, turning this year into a defining one for Thailand’s billionaire-led conglomerates — companies that grew rich over decades in symbiosis with the ruling establishment and are now being asked to pay back.
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Seoul makes masks compulsory as rising temperatures hit compliance
Song Jung-a in Seoul
Seoul has made face masks compulsory on public transportation such as buses, taxis and subways after growing reluctance to wear them, despite outbreaks related to a cluster of infections linked to a Seoul nightlife area, due to rising temperatures.
Wearing of masks has been widespread in South Korea since the outbreak began, but until now people have done so voluntarily. Summer months are very warm and humid.
Air travelers on domestic and international routes will also be required to wear masks from Wednesday as a further measure to stem the spread of coronavirus, according to Seoul’s transport ministry.
The number of daily infections has fallen to below 20 in recent days. However, about 237 cases have been tied to the nightlife area cluster after testing of more than 82,000 people. Health authorities remain on alert over undetected transmission routes as it becomes clear that infections have been passed among the contacts of people who went to the nightlife area.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday called for “wartime-like” fiscal spending to cope with the economic fallout from the pandemic, brushing aside growing concern about South Korea’s fiscal soundness.
“The bottom of the global economy is invisible. This is indeed an economic wartime situation,” he said at an annual fiscal strategy meeting.
South Korea has rolled out a series of stimulus packages worth about $200bn to shore up Asia’s fourth-largest economy. The Bank of Korea is scheduled to hold a rate-setting meeting on Thursday after cutting interest rates by 50 basis points in March to 0.75 per cent.

US bans travellers from Brazil following surge in deaths
Andres Schipani in São Paulo and James Politi in Washington
US President Donald Trump has brought forward a ban on travellers from Brazil to Tuesday following a surge in coronavirus deaths in the South American nation.
Mr Trump on Sunday announced the travel ban would start Thursday. But on Monday, Brazil reported 807 new deaths from Covid-19, whereas 523 died in the US in the same period.
This has pushed the Brazilian death toll to 23,473. With an additional 11,687 cases, the total of confirmed cases rose to 374,898. Brazil ranks second only to the US in the number of infections, ahead of Russia which is the third worst-affected nation.
Despite the rising number of cases, hard-right President Jair Bolsonaro, a political soulmate of Mr Trump, continues to shrug off the seriousness of the pandemic and is more focused on solving self-inflicted political crises.

Japan’s decision to lift state of emergency spurs Asia-Pacific stocks
Asia-Pacific stocks climbed for a second day on Tuesday amid optimism over the easing of coronavirus lockdowns and despite lingering US-China tensions.
Japan’s Topix was up 1 per cent after the country lifted a nationwide state of emergency designed to control the spread of coronavirus. The Kospi in Seoul gained 0.5 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.7 per cent.
China attempted to reassure international investors that a proposed national security law that has already sparked mass protests would improve Hong Kong’s business environment. The Hong Kong Bar Association, which represents the city’s barristers said the legislation could be a violation of the territory’s mini constitution.
Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, called the plans for a new national security law a “death knell” for autonomy in Hong Kong.
US and UK markets were closed on Monday. S&P 500 futures pointed to a 1 per cent gain when US markets reopen from the long weekend.

US death rate hovers at two-month low
Peter Wells in New York
The US’s one-day coronavirus death rate hovered at its lowest level in about two months, slowing the nation’s march towards an overall total of 100,000 fatalities.
A further 523 people in the US died from Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, according to data compiled on Monday by the Covid Tracking Project, down from 680 on Sunday. That is the smallest one-day increase since March 30.
Figures on Mondays tend to be lower than other days of the week owing to a slowdown in reporting over the weekend, and there is often an uptick on Tuesday, Covid Tracking Project has pointed out. That pattern could be delayed slightly this week because of the Memorial Day public holiday on Monday.
New York reported a further 97 deaths over the past 24 hours, the second time in three days that the one-day death toll has been below 100. Before Saturday, March 25 was the most recent time the state had fewer than 100 deaths in a single day.
Massachusetts and Vermont — with 44 and 37 deaths, respectively — had the next highest one-day increases.
Since the pandemic began, 92,646 people in the US have died from coronavirus, according to Covid Tracking Project, which does not count so-called probable deaths. Johns Hopkins University, which does count those fatalities, put the US death toll at 98,184 as of Monday afternoon.

Dubai to ease restrictions from Wednesday
Simeon Kerr in Dubai
Dubai will ease restrictions on commercial activity from Wednesday, allowing cinemas and gyms to reopen.
The Gulf emirate’s media office on Monday said businesses would have to comply with social distancing protocols as the daily lockdown on movement is also set to be shortened to 11pm-6am. The curfew currently starts at 8pm.
The reopening of entertainment and commercial facilities shuttered since late March comes as the government seeks to avoid “disrupting activity in vital sectors” while sustaining measures to stem the spread of coronavirus, including wearing face masks and enforcing physical distancing of 2 metres.
The United Arab Emirates on Monday said the number of Covid-19 cases had surpassed 30,000, with 822 new cases and a death toll of 248.


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