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Recent News

Politics • American • South America
Venezuela suspends rent, pays salaries of small and midsize companies for six months

The Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced that all rent payments as well as interest payments on capital and loans are going to be suspended until September. In addition to this he guaranteed all workers their wages, which the state will pay for small and mid sized companies. In addition to this lay-offs that are the consequence of the coronavirus have been banned.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Julian Assange denied bail by London court

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was denied bail on Wednesday after his defense lawers argued a release from Belmarsh Prison in London would mitigate his "high risk" of catching coronavirus.

Assange's lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald, told Westminster Magistrates Court Assange has prior chest and tooth infections and osteoporis, placing him at a higher risk from the virus.

However, Judge Vannessa Baraitser rejected the arguments, arguing that based on Assange's prior conduct, there are "substantial grounds" to believe that if released he would not return to face extradition hearing. "As matters stand today, this global pandemic does not, as of itself, yet provide grounds for Mr Assange’s release," she said.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
London's ExCeL conference centre to house 'Nightingale' field hospital

The ExCeL Conference Centre in London's East End is being transformed into a temporary hospital with the capacity for up to 4,000 beds as part of the UK's efforts to fight the Coronavirus outbreak. Named the 'Nightingale Hospital', the halls of the 100,000m² facility — which normally house large exhibitions and trade shows — will initially hold around 500 beds with oxygen and ventilators, with capacity for more spaces and equipment as they become available.

Sports
Brazilian soccer stadiums converted into hospitals

Rio de Janeiro's Maracanã and São Paulo's Pacaembu stadiums are being converted into field hospitals to increase the number of available beds to tackle the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

Sports
German soccer players to take pay cut during the coronavirus crisis

As the Bundesliga season has no games since March 8th, players from Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and 1 FC Union Berlin decided to take a pay cut in order to help their club employees.

Monchengladbach players were the first to have voluntarily offered to sacrifice part of their salary, being followed by Union, Bayern and now Dortmund.

Politics • American • Brazil
Brazil gangs declare strict curfews over favelas to slow corona virus from spreading

With Brazil’s coronavirus death toll rising to 46, gang members in the Cidade de Deus (City of God) favela in western Rio order residents to remain indoors after 8pm. The gang uses loudspeakers broadcasting an alert: “Anyone found messing or walking around outside will be punished.” The gangs of other favelas are following this principle and threaten the 2mio favela-residents to remain at home during the crisis.

Business • Economy
Amazon opens its workers relief fund to outside donations

The e-commerce company implemented a fund to support "employees and partners" and contributed $25 million in funds themselves. In addition to this, the company opened up the fund for outside donations stating "While we aren’t expecting anyone to do so, you can make a voluntary donation to the fund if you desire to do so" on their website.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
London City Airport suspends flights until end of April

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, London City Airport is suspending all commercial and private flights from Wednesday on. In an official statement, the airport states that all staff would continue to be employed during this period.

Politics • European
Death toll rises to 3,434 in Spain

The number of deaths in Spain as a result of the novel Coronavirus rose to 3,434 on Tuesday. 47,610 people have been infected and 3,166 are being treated in ICU. Spain has called for a nationwide lockdown on March 14th, and health authorities hope that these measures will soon result in decreasing numbers.

Health
Case of Hantavirus in China sparks fears of a parallel pandemic on twitter

According to the Global Times, an English-language Chinese news paper, a man died of Hantavirus in the Chinese Yunnan province. The corresponding tweet made by the newspaper, tagged #Hantavirus, gained a high number of retweets and comments due to the fear of a pandemic parallel to COVID-19. According to the CDC these fears are unnecessary since the Hantavirus can only be transmitted directly from rodents and cannot be transmitted from one person to another.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, tests positive for Coronavirus

Prince Charles, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, has tested positive for the Coronavirus. A spokesperson said that the prince is showing mild symptoms but is otherwise in good health. His wife, Camilla, tested negative.

Politics • American • US
25,600 confirmed Coronavirus cases in New York City

The number of confirmed cases has risen to 25,600 in New York City, home to over 8 million people. As of Tuesday, 210 people have died from the novel Coronavirus. It is estimated that 140,000 hospital beds will be needed at the peak of the outbreak in New York State, while only a third of that number is available.

Technology • Internet & Web
Pornhub donates 50,000 surgical masks and offers free premium worldwide

The online platform has announced that it'll donate in total 50,000 surgical masks to different organizations in the state of New York, as well as donating €50,000 to various organizations across Europe including countries like Germany, Italy and Spain. Additionally, the company will donate $25,000 to the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) in order to "to meet immediate requests for support from sex workers impacted by COVID-19".

Health
More than 170,000 volunteer for UK's National Health Service overnight

The wave of responses came within hours of the government's plea for an 'army' of 250,000 volunteers to support paid staff. They will help to deliver important supplies, transport patients and make phone calls to check on those isolated alone.

Sports
Manchester City Pro Guardiola donates €1m to help in Coronavirus fight

Pep Guardiola, manager of the English Premier League soccer team Manchester City, has donated €1 million ($1.08m) of his own money to aid medical efforts in the fight against Covid-19. From his home in Barcelona, Guardiola and his lawyers committed the money to the Medical College of Barcelona and the Angel Soler Daniel Foundation.

Health
Man in Taiwan fined $33,000 for breaking self-isolation

During a routine police check at a nightclub, the man was caught violating his mandatory 14-day self-isolation after he had returned from Southeast Asia. He got the maximum fine of 1 million Taiwanese Dollar which translates to around $33,000 US Dollar.

Politics • American • Brazil
Brazilian President, Bolsonaro, dismisses Covid-19 pandemic and face protests

During a live TV pronouncement, President Jair Bolsonaro has called the virus "little flu" and stated the pandemic is a "fantasy." The Brazilian President ordered State Governors to end the quarantine currently in place on São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro -- Brazil's two most populous states.

There were protests across the country, with quarantined people banging pots and pans from their balconies.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation donates $5 million to fight coronavirus

The foundation has announced that the money will go to different initiatives and groups in order to "to immediately mobilize a broad response working with on-the-ground partners". The goal is to support food banks, the acceleration of testing, to buy protective equipment and other measurements. The foundation is distributing the money to multiple countries including the United States, Haiti and Malawi.

Politics • Asian • Russia
Russia may delay Putin vote due to coronavirus outbreak

Russia may delay the public vote on amendments allowing Vladimir Putin to hold office potentially until 2036 due to the corona virus pandemic. The Kremlin has not yet officially rescheduled the vote originally planned for April 22nd. Putin intends to alter the constitution in order to get the chance for a fifth and sixth term as President.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Literature
French illustrator Albert Uderzo dies aged 92

Albert Uderzo, the illustrator behind the french comic Astérix le Gaulois (Astérix​ and Obelix) has died in his sleep after suffering a heart attack on March, 24th. He passed away at his home in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. His son-in-law, Bernard de Choisy stated, that Uderzo's death was unrelated to the coronavirus.