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Health
2020-04-09T03:51:19+00:00
WHO head defends handling of coronavirus pandemic against Trump criticism

The head of the World Health Organization gave a strident defence of his agency's handling of the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's criticism and suggestions that Washington could review its funding for the agency. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for unity and a halt to "politicization" of the global health crisis, specifically urging China and the United States to show "honest leadership". Tedros said the WHO had "kept the world informed about the latest data, information and evidence" and noted that Thursday would mark 100 days since China first notified the organization of cases of "pneumonia with unknown cause" on Dec. 31.

Technology • Internet & Web
2020-04-08T23:29:27+00:00
Zoom sued for overstating, not disclosing privacy and security flaws

Zoom Video Communications Inc has gotten subject of a class action suit by one of its shareholders on Tuesday, accusing the video-conferencing app of overstating its privacy standards and failing to disclose that its service was not end-to-end encrypted. Shareholder Michael Drieu claimed in a court filing that a string of recent media reports highlighting the privacy flaws in Zoom's application have led to the company's stock, which had rallied for several days in the beginning of the year, to plummet.

Politics • European
2020-04-08T21:09:38+00:00
France's to extend lockdown, coronavirus death toll close to 11,000

France reported the increase of hospital death fatalities slowing again, but the presidential palace said nonetheless the national lockdown aimed at containing the disease would be extended. The lockdown, that took effect on March 17 and has already been extended once, will now go beyond April 15. The total death toll, including Tuesday's nursing homes' figures, is up 5% at 10,869.

Crime & Law
2020-04-08T17:34:58+00:00
European Court of Justice orders Poland to suspend disciplinary chamber

The European Union's top court told Poland on Wednesday to suspend a panel created to discipline judges, saying it was not independent and breached EU law. The decision is a new blow to the ruling eurosceptic Law and Justice party (PiS), which is at odds with the European Commission over reforms which the EU executive says have eroded the independence of Poland's judiciary.

Politics • American • US
2020-04-08T15:38:05+00:00
Bernie Sanders is dropping out of the Democratic presidential race

The New York Times and CNN are reporting that Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Democratic presidential race, making Joe Biden presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party.

Technology • Internet & Web
2020-04-08T15:28:19+00:00
Zoom hires former Facebook security chief to improve privacy and safety

The technology company Zoom Video Communications Inc has hired former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos as an adviser and set up an advisory board to improve the privacy and security of its rapidly growing video-conferencing app amid a global backlash. In a series of tweets in late March, Stamos called on Zoom to be more transparent and roll out a 30-day security plan. Following those tweets, Zoom Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan called up Stamos, asking him to help the company build up its security, privacy and safety capabilities as an outside consultant.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
2020-04-08T11:14:27+00:00
Bridge on Genoa to Florence road collapses, two vehicles involved

A bridge on a normally busy road in northern Italy collapsed on Wednesday but only two drivers were caught up in the chaos, the fire brigade said, as the coronavirus lockdown has largely halted traffic. A spokesman for the fire brigade said the 260 metre bridge near the town of Aulla, roughly midway between Genoa and Florence, in the northern tip of Tuscany, collapsed at 10:25 a.m.). A team of the fire brigade were still on site, the spokesman added. Two drivers were taken to hospital with minor injuries, he added.

Lifestyle • Hotels
2020-04-08T11:13:31+00:00
Portuguese hotels to lay off 85% of workers in April, says Hotels Association AHP

Around 85% of hotel workers in Portugal will be temporarily laid off in April due to the impact the fast-spreading coronavirus is having on the country's tourism-dependent economy, Hotels Association AHP said on Wednesday. It said 93.8% of Portuguese hotels will or have already applied to be able to temporarily lay off workers. The measure allows companies to temporarily suspend jobs or reduce working hours but does not let them fire or make workers redundant.

Sports
2020-04-08T11:07:42+00:00
Italian Olympic 800 metres finalist Sabia dies from COVID-19

Twice Olympic 800 metres finalist Donato Sabia has died from COVID-19 at the age of 56, the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) said on Wednesday. CONI said in a statement that Sabia had been in the intensive care unit of the San Carlo hospital on Potenza, in the southern Italian region of Basilicata, for "a few days." According to CONI, he is the first Olympic finalist in the world to die from the virus.

Politics • Asian
2020-04-08T11:04:44+00:00
South Korea imposes new coronavirus travel restrictions

South Korea's government said on Wednesday it will increase restrictions on people traveling from overseas to prevent new coronavirus infections. The country will temporarily suspend visa waivers for citizens of countries that have imposed travel bans on South Koreans, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said. The change will affect travelers from at least 88 countries, including Australia, Canada, Russia, and France, among others.

Politics • Asian • India
2020-04-08T10:40:19+00:00
India considers narrowing lockdown to coronavirus hotspots

India is considering plans to seal off coronavirus hotspots in Delhi, Mumbai and parts of the south while easing curbs elsewhere as a way out of a three-week lockdown that has caused deep economic distress, officials said on Wednesday. "To manage coronavirus, we are working on a cluster containment strategy," said Health Ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal, leading the effort to tackle the outbreak.

Business • Economy
2020-04-08T10:39:01+00:00
German economy likely shrank by record 9.8% in second-quarter due to coronavirus, institutes say

The German economy, Europe's largest, probably shrank by 9.8% in the second quarter, its biggest decline since records began in 1970, due to measures imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Germany's leading think tanks said on Wednesday. That would be more than double the drop seen in the first quarter of 2009, during the global financial crisis, the institutes said.

Business • Farming & Agriculture
2020-04-08T10:39:52+00:00
Malaysia's biggest palm oil-producing state says plantations to remain closed

Malaysia's biggest palm oil-producing state, Sabah, will uphold its decision for plantations and millers in six districts to suspend operations until mid-April as part of its coronavirus containment measures. Sabah chief minister Shafie Apdal told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the state's first priority was to save lives, and that it will only look at challenges facing businesses, factories and plantations after that.

Politics • European • European Union
2020-04-08T09:36:32+00:00
Spanish government official warns European Union's future at risk over financial response to coronavirus

Government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero said Europeans will begin to lose trust in the EU if it does not act together in the crisis, which she compared to the Second World War. "We need the help of other countries, and that's why the European Community was originally formed, at that time after a physical war, now we are fighting a war against an epidemic," she said in an interview on Antena 3 TV channel.

Business • Economy
2020-04-08T08:15:56+00:00
Britain eases rules to speed up company capital raising

The British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) set out temporary measures on Wednesday to help companies raise cash quickly to get through the epidemic that has shuttered much of the economy. The FCA said one of the measures is that companies with a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange can ask the FCA for permission not to hold a general meeting to approve a capital raising.

Politics • Asian • Russia
2020-04-08T08:05:51+00:00
Russia reports record daily rise in new coronavirus cases, infections up to 8,672

The number of coronavirus cases in Russia rose by more than 1,000 for the second day running, taking the total to 8,672, the crisis response centre said on Wednesday. The number of reported cases rose by 1,175, a record daily rise, while deaths increased by five to 63, the centre said.

Politics • European • European Union
2020-04-08T07:54:55+00:00
European Central Bank urges measures worth 1.5 trillion euros to tackle virus crisis in euro zone

The European Central Bank told euro zone finance ministers that the euro zone could need fiscal measures worth up to 1.5 trillion euros to tackle the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, officials told the news agency Reuters. But at a videoconference that ended on Wednesday without a deal after 16 hours of talks, Germany, the Netherlands and other northern European countries were ready to support EU measures worth only 500 billion euros, officials who participated in the meeting said.

Politics • Asian • China
2020-04-08T07:51:04+00:00
China's Wuhan ends its coronavirus lockdown

The Chinese city where the new coronavirus emerged ended its more-than two-month lockdown on Wednesday, even as the northern city Suifenhe ordered restrictions on its residents amid concern about a second wave of infections. Wuhan has reported just three new confirmed infections in the past 21 days and only two in the past two weeks.

Politics • Middle Eastern
2020-04-08T07:46:39+00:00
Iran's President urges IMF to give Tehran $5 billion coronavirus loan

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday the International Monetary Fund would be guilty of "discriminatory behaviour" unless it provides $5 billion in emergency funding to help Tehran fight the coronavirus outbreak. "I urge international organisations to fulfil their duties ... we are a member of the IMF ... There should be no discrimination in giving loans," Rouhani said in a televised cabinet meeting.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
2020-04-08T07:41:15+00:00
Boris Johnson stable after second night in intensive care battling COVID-19

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent a second night in intensive care and was in a stable condition after receiving oxygen support for COVID-19 complications while his foreign minister directs the country's battle against the outbreak. "He is comfortable, he's stable, he's in good spirits," Edward Argar, a junior health minister, said on Wednesday. "While he's had oxygen, he hasn't been on a ventilator."