Covid-19 Recession

Regional News • Americas • United States
San Francisco will pay 130 artists $1,000 per month
San Francisco will pay 130 artists $1,000 per month
Credit: unsplash.com / Maarten van den Heuvel

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has announced that in order to support the artistic community 130 artists will receive $1,000 per month each for a limited period of six months starting in 2021.

She stated that "San Francisco is only at the beginning of what we know is going to be a long road to recovery" from the pandemic and that " it’s going to take that same collective effort to confront the economic devastation caused by this virus".

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump stops negotiations for new Covid-19 stimulus package until after the election
Trump stops negotiations for new Covid-19 stimulus package until after the election
Credit: The White House (Public Domain)

United States President Donald Trump has tweeted that he has "instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business,"

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Cineworld announces temporary suspension of US and UK cinema operations
Cineworld announces temporary suspension of US and UK cinema operations

As a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Cineworld Group has announced that all operations in the United States and the United Kingdom will be suspended.

They stated that "In response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cineworld confirms that it will be temporarily suspending operations at all of its 536 Regal theatres in the U.S. and its 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theatres in the U.K. from Thursday, 8 October 2020".

The closures will impact around 45,000 employees, and it is not clear when the cinemas will reopen.

Regional News • World
Pope Francis calls for reform of market capitalism
Pope Francis calls for reform of market capitalism
Credit: Granittemaj / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Laying out his vision for a world after the Covid-19 pandemic, Pope Francis has stated that the "magic theories" of market capitalism have failed during the pandemic.

He has called for a new dialogue and solidarity in order to prevent war at all costs. He stated in response to the political actions from countries during the pandemic that "anyone who thinks that the only lesson to be learned was the need to improve what we were already doing, or to refine existing systems and regulations, is denying reality".

In addition, he states that "it is imperative to have a proactive economic policy directed at ‘promoting an economy that favours productive diversity and business creativity’ and makes it possible for jobs to be created, and not cut".

Business • Economy
EasyJet is "hanging by a thread" due to Covid-19 pandemic, union official says
EasyJet is "hanging by a thread" due to Covid-19 pandemic, union official says
Credit: unsplash.com/Frederick Tubiermont

According to a union official, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has left the British low-cost airline group EasyJet "hanging by a thread".

"If easyJet don’t have a good summer and make money next summer, I suspect none of us will have a job this time next year," pilots’ union official Martin Entwisle said in a now leaked recording of an EasyJet staff conference call. Entwisle claimed the information was shared by the company’s chief financial officer, Andrew Findlay, who allegedly warned that the company's situation was "even worse than their worst fears."

"The easiest way to put it is: the company is hanging by a thread," Entwisl added.

EasyJet has denied that Entwisl's comments "reflect what EasyJet or its finance officer said."

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Spanish public debt increases by €32,087 million compared to May, reaching €1,289 billion in June
Banco de España
Banco de España Credit: Jose Javier Martin Espartosa

As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic the liabilities of Spain have increased by €32,087 million compared to May, reaching €1,289 billion, according to data published this Tuesday by the Bank of Spain.

Adjusting for the last four quarters the liabilities would be around 110% of the gross domestic product, the highest since 1905.

María Jesús Fernández, a senior economist at Funcas says "our GDP forecast for 2020 is 1.13 billion" and that the dept figure for June "is about 114% of the projected GDP".

Regional News • Asia • India
India announces plans to invest $1,46 trillion into economy
India announces plans to invest $1,46 trillion into economy
Credit: Prime Minister's Office / GODL-India

According to Indias Prime Minister Narendra Modi his government has identified 7,000 infrastructure projects to invest in in order to boost the economy that has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The country currently has reported over 2,5 million confirmed Covid-19 cases with over 49,000 deaths.

Modi also stated that "infrastructure will not be created in silos anymore. All infrastructure has to be comprehensive, integrated and linked to each other. Multi-modal connectivity infrastructure is the way forward".

Technology • Internet & Web
Mozilla announces that they will layoff around 250 employees
Mozilla announces that they will layoff around 250 employees

The Mozilla Corporation has announced that around 250 employees will lose their jobs as part of a restructuring. According to the announcement "economic conditions resulting from the global pandemic have significantly impacted" the revenue of the corporation.

Earlier in 2020 around 70 employees had already lost their jobs.

Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker has stated that: "Though we’ve been talking openly with our employees about the need for change — including the likelihood of layoffs — since the spring, it was no easier today when these changes became real. I desperately wish there was some other way to set Mozilla up for long term success in building a better internet".

Business • Economy
Disney reports $4.7b loss in third quarter
Disney reports $4.7b loss in third quarter
Credit: Coolcaesar / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Walt Disney Co. reports its first quarterly loss since 2001 largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a loss of $4.72 billion in its third fiscal quarter ending with June 27.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Disney had to close its theme parks and lost revenue from theatrical parks, live sports and movie distribution. However, due to people staying at home, Disney+ has gained over 60 million subscribers in less than nine months.

Regional News • Americas
United States GDP has dropped by 32,9%
United States GDP has dropped by 32,9%
Credit: Marco Verch (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The United States Commerce Department has reported a drop in the gross domestic product of 32,9% in the second quarter of 2020.

This marks the highest drop in the United States GDP in recorded history, almost four times higher than the worst quarter during the Great Recession.

Lifestyle • Travel
Croatia sees decline in tourists as pandemic worsens
Croatia sees decline in tourists as pandemic worsens
Credit: unsplash.com / Colton Jones

Tourism in Croatia is on the decline as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Croatian National Tourist Board, July saw 1.8 million tourists enter the country, 51 percent compared to last year's numbers. The most popular destinations were on the Dalmatian coast, with Rovinj, Umag and Split among them.

Tourism is a significant part of Croatia's GDP. Many businesses rely on the influx of tourists in the summer, with July being one of the busiest months.

Business • Health Care
5.4 million people in the U.S. lost health insurance, study finds
Unemployment map showing percentage of nonelderly adults who are currently uninsured
Unemployment map showing percentage of nonelderly adults who are currently uninsured Credit: Screenshot via Families U.S.A.

A recent study by the consumer advocacy group Families U.S.A. has found that "because of job losses between February and May of this year, 5.4 million laid-off workers became uninsured." This number is 39% higher than the previous highest increase, recording between 2008 and 2009, with 3.9 million uninsured adults.

"These record-breaking increases in the number of uninsured have taken place during the country’s worst public-health crisis in more than a century and the sharpest and deepest economic downturn since World War II," the study states. "Nevertheless, no federal COVID-19 legislation signed into law has attempted to restore or preserve comprehensive health insurance. Now is the time to fill that gap by including protections for comprehensive health insurance in the next COVID-19 bill."

Education • Further Education
Google announces "digital jobs program" funding 100,000 scholarships for career certificates
Google announces "digital jobs program" funding 100,000 scholarships for career certificates
Credit: unsplash.com/Mitchell Luo

Google has announced that it will fund 100,000 scholarships for career certificates of their own "Google Career Certificates" program in order to "help Americans get qualifications in high-paying high-growth job fields".

The goal is to educate people on a need-basis through their online program in order to "help America's economic recovery". In addition, the technology company has announced that it'll commit $10 million in job training Google.org grants distributed through multiple organizations for communities throughout America.

Regional News • Africa
South Africa: Alcohol ban and curfew imposed to suppress spread of Coronavirus
South Africa: Alcohol ban and curfew imposed to suppress spread of Coronavirus
Credit: unsplash.com/SJ Objio

South Africa sees a rapid spread of the Coronavirus. The country is accounting for roughly 40% of all African cases. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa begged the citizen to follow the rules and reduce personal contact. He reintroduced a ban on all alcohol sales and imposed a nationwide curfew in hopes to suppress the spread of the virus.

Ramaphosa said: "This is in our collective hands. Let us remember that every individual action that we undertake does and can make a big difference. Now more than ever we are responsible for the lives of those around us."

Hospitals also have started to turn people away. Ramaphosa wants to avoid a second lockdown as it would cause more harm than good on the economy.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Merkel: Approval of EU Covid-19 recovery fund this week unclear
Merkel: Approval of EU Covid-19 recovery fund this week unclear
Credit: FinnishGovernment / © Bernhard Ludewig / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

According to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel it is unclear if the European Union will manage to agree on a multi-year budget and a recovery fund for the economic consequences from Covid-19 during this week.

She stated that "What we want now, the recovery fund or the next generation EU program, it has to be staggering, something special. Because the task at hand is huge, and therefore the answer has to be big as well".

Regional News • Americas • United States
Biden calls for an end of "era of shareholder capitalism" and higher taxes
Joe Biden in Kosovo
Joe Biden in Kosovo Credit: David Lienemann (Public Domain)

At an event in Pennsylvania the presumptive presidential nominee for the democratic party, Joe Biden, has announced that he wants to implement higher taxes for corporations in case he gets elected as president of the United States.

He stated that "If I am fortunate enough to be elected president, I’ll be laser-focused on working families, the middle-class families I came from here in Scranton. Not the wealthy investor class. They don’t need me" and that we wants to end the "era of shareholder capitalism".

Science • Animals
Uganda: Wildlife poaching doubled as tourism income dwindles
Rafiki, a silverback gorilla, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in South Western Uganda was killed in a poaching incident recently
Rafiki, a silverback gorilla, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in South Western Uganda was killed in a poaching incident recently Credit: unsplash.com/Mike Arney

The Uganda Wildlife Authority recorded 367 wildlife poaching cases between February and June, twice as much as during the same period last year. This is due to many people who rely on income from tourism now have turned to poaching to make money or obtain food.

“They set snares for other animals that they want to eat. Like, the small antelope. Or a bushpig," Gladys Kalema Zikusoka, founder and chief of non-profit wildlife group Conservation Through Public Health, said. "They’ll go for those to eat them. And when they set these snares, gorillas can accidentally get caught in the snare. But worse still, we’ve had cases of people spearing gorillas. Yet they were not going for gorillas, they were going for diker and bush pig.”

Regional News • Americas • United States
SBA announces that Kanye West and Scientology have gotten loans under Covid-19 small-business loan program

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that the Yeezy brand, by rapper Kanye West has gotten a loan of $5 million under the small-business loan program that is part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The company had made around $1.3 billion in revenue in 2019 and claimed that the loan would save 160 jobs.

In addition to the Yeezy brand, the SBA has announced that the Church of Scientology has also received loans between $150,000 and $350,000 for three different locations.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Airbus to cut 15,000 jobs as pandemic causes plunge in demand
Airbus A380
Airbus A380 Credit: unsplash.com/G-R Mottez

In a statement released on Tuesday, Airbus announced it would be cutting around 15,000 jobs over the next twelve months as the company experiences a plunge in demand for new aircraft. The European Aerospace corporation has production facilities in Spain, the UK and Germany and employs over 134,000 people globally.

"Airbus is grateful for the government support that has enabled the company to limit these necessary adaptation measures," the statement read. "However with air traffic not expected to recover to pre-Covid levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, Airbus now needs to take additional measures to reflect the post Covid-19 industry outlook."

Business • Economy
Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy
Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy
Credit: Elemaki / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Cirque du Soleil has filed for creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in Quebec, Canada on Monday. The Montreal-based company stated that the Covid-19 pandemic had caused "immense disruption and forced show closures," including six shows in Las Vegas and 10 shows on tour worldwide.

"For the past 36 years, Cirque du Soleil has been a highly successful and profitable organization. However, with zero revenues since the forced closure of all of our shows due to COVID-19, management had to act decisively to protect the company's future," so president and CEO Daniel Lamarre said in a statement.

Cirque du Soleil has received $300 million in funding from Quebec's major institutional investors and multinational private equity firms to "support a successful restart, provide relief for Cirque du Soleil's affected employees and partners, and assume certain of the company's outstanding liabilities."

The company also announced the termination of approximately 3,480 employees previously furloughed in March.