Tuesday 12 May
Tuesday 12 May 2020 News Briefing – Today’s headlines are dominated by the global coronavirus pandemic. As of 6:30 am (GMT), these are the global active numbers.
The top story this Tuesday morning: Chancellor to set out the future of job retention scheme. Rishi Sunak will later reveal the government’s plan for the scheme which is due to end in June.
Global COVID-19 UPDATE
Coronavirus Cases: 4,256,076
- USA to reopen, all but two states will be partially reopened by the end of next week.
- Travel to be OK’d between 34 prefectures in Japan.
- Chancellor to set out the future of job retention scheme.
- Hopes raised for end of the crisis in UK care homes as death rate falls.
- Trump shrugs off concern about covid-19 spreading in the White House, suggests Pence has tested positive.
- Coronavirus leaves 700,000 children without sufficient food in Italy as the country endures economic hardship.
- The pandemic shock has lead to an overhaul in Saudi finances.
All but two states will be partially reopened by the end of next week
CNN says at least 48 US states will be partially reopened by the end of this week, according to a CNN tally.
The degree and speed of reopening vary from state to state. In Idaho, 90% of businesses can reopen, with the new guidelines in place for day camps and places of worship. But New York state – the hardest hit in the US – most things remain closed, but on Friday, certain low-risk businesses like gardening will be allowed to resume.
Read the full story on CNN
Travel to be OK’d between 34 prefectures off Japan’s ‘special vigilance’ list
Japan Times says the government won’t ask people to refrain from travelling between prefectures where the extended state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic will be lifted, sources said Monday.
Deliberations on lifting the state of emergency declaration for 34 prefectures not designated for intensive measures to curb the novel coronavirus are in the final phase.
Read the full story on Japan Times
Chancellor to set out the future of job retention scheme
BBC News says Chancellor Rishi Sunak is to reveal the future of the government’s job retention scheme later, amid growing calls to extend it.
Currently, more than six million people are having 80% of their wages paid by the government while they are temporarily on leave from their jobs.
Mr Sunak has previously warned the scheme, due to end in June, was not “sustainable” at its current rate. It comes as the government tries to get more people to return to work.
Read the full story on BBC News
Hopes raised for end of the crisis in UK Care Homes as death rate falls
The Guardian says two of the UK’s biggest care home operators have reported falling death rates from Covid-19, raising hopes that outbreaks which have devastated some of the most vulnerable and elderly people may finally be abating.
The number of residents who have recovered from the virus has now eclipsed the number of deaths from it across 220 care setting operated by MHA, the largest charitable provider of homes, which by Monday had recorded 359 deaths in total.
Read the full story on The Guardian
Trump shrugs off concern about Covid-19 spreading in White House
Trump, speaking to masked reporters in the White House Rose Garden, suggested that Pence was in quarantine after his press secretary tested positive, although he did not say it outright.
Read the full story on France24
Covid-19 crisis leaves 700,000 children without sufficient food in Italy
RT News says the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic hardship has left 700,000 children under 15 years of age in Italy without enough food, the country’s biggest farming organisation has warned.
“The number of children under the age of 15 who need help to get milk or food to eat has risen to 700,000,” the farmer’s organisation Coldiretti said in a statement released on Sunday. The situation has been “aggravated in many families by the closure of schools and school restaurants” which were where many children received a guaranteed hot meal every day, the union said.
Read the full story on RT News
Pandemic shock leads to an overhaul in Saudi finances
Arab News says the full scale of the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic has been revealed in radical measures taken by Saudi authorities to cut allowances, reduce project spending and triple value-added tax in what economists called an “immediate overhaul” of the Kingdom’s finances.
Read the full story on Arab News
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A quick look at the other top stories from around the globe.
Trump gets in spat with Asian America reporter over ‘nasty question’
BBC News says CBS News journalist Weijia Jiang asked Mr Trump why testing is a global competition to him. The president answered by saying that’s a question she should ask China. After calling on another reporter, Ms Jiang followed up by asking the president why that response was specifically for her.
Musicians reveal how Brexit is killing off tours in the EU
The Independent says musicians have revealed how Brexit is already killing off their tours in the EU, as they warn the industry may not survive tough new immigration rules.
No less than 71 per cent say their bookings for everything from classical orchestras to rock bands were drying up – even before coronavirus struck, closing down venues and putting concerts on hold.
Spiky coronavirus haircut growing in popularity in Africa – here’s why
Sky News says a hairstyle featuring distinctive braided spikes that look like the coronavirus has begun a resurgence in East Africa.
The style’s revival is partly related to the financial struggles linked to the coronavirus restrictions, with it being so cheap, along with raising awareness that COVID–19 is real.
No tolerance for extremism, says Saudi education minister
Arab News says there is no tolerance in Saudi schools and universities for extremist thought, literature or teaching, Education Minister Dr Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh said on Monday.
The minister said he would not permit educational institutions to be exploited for the promotion of extremist views or policies that contradicted those of the state.
Hundreds arrested as protest movement returns to Hong Kong
DW says some 230 people were arrested in protests over the weekend in Hong Kong, local authorities said on Monday. Pro-democracy demonstrations have picked back up in the city after weeks of under a coronavirus-related lockdown.
Police said the detainees were between the ages of 12 and 65, and the charges ranged from assaulting an officer to failure to provide proof of identity.
North Shore mental health patient drowned ‘searching for Taylor Swift’
NZ Herald says a patient on unescorted leave from an acute mental health unit is believed to have drowned after entering the ocean in search of Taylor Swift.
A report by Coroner Sarn Herdson has ruled the empathetic and inquisitive young man did not take his own life. The family believe he died accidentally trying to reach his fixation.