World News

UK government faces mockery over coronavirus 'sex ban'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government faced widespread mockery on Tuesday over coronavirus rules which were cast by some media as a "sex ban", though a junior minister said the regulations were aimed at keeping people safe.

Explainer: Can you catch COVID-19 from delivered packages?

An outbreak of COVID-19 at a logistics centre run by one of South Korea's largest online shopping companies has raised concerns over whether the virus can be transmitted by package deliveries.

Calls for royal commission into robodebt and apology from Morrison government

Greens want a full, independent review, saying the government has been ‘heartless and cruel throughout this entire process’

The Greens have called for a royal commission into the botched robodebt scheme, amid growing demands for a judicial inquiry and an apology from the Morrison government.

Rachel Siewert, a Greens senator and chair of a Senate inquiry into the scheme, said on Tuesday she saw no other way forward than a “royal commission ensuring a full, independent review of this program and a forensic audit of this mess”.

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Indonesia cancels haj pilgrimage over coronavirus concerns

Indonesia has cancelled the haj pilgrimage this year for people in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation due to concerns over the coronavirus, the religious affairs minister said on Tuesday.

Scrap the quarantine, British lawmaker for Gatwick says

A British lawmaker who represents the area that includes Gatwick Airport said he hoped the quarantine plan for international travellers would be reviewed in the next few weeks and scrapped by July 1.

China delayed releasing coronavirus info, frustrating WHO

Throughout January, the World Health Organization publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus — but behind the scenes, it was a much different story.

'I can't be silent': Hong Kong people aim to mark Tiananmen despite ban

Many Hong Kong people will find their own way to mark the 31st anniversary of Chinese troops opening fire on protesters in and around Tiananmen Square, after an annual candlelight vigil was cancelled for the first time because of the coronavirus.

China may be using weak soybean demand and adequate supply as an opportunity to halt U.S. imports

News that Beijing has ordered state firms to halt purchases of farm products could well be an opportunistic political maneuver stemming from fundamental weakness on the demand side in China, said analysts.

The death of globalisation has been announced many times. But this is a perfect storm | Adam Tooze

Add changes in technology, macroeconomics and geopolitics to the virus, and it becomes clear why we face a turbulent year

Over the last half-century the world has been transformed by huge flows of trade and investment. The source of our food and the manufacture of everything from trainers to mobile phones has been revolutionised. Bank inquiries in Newcastle are handled in Bangalore. Secure industrial jobs have evaporated in Europe and North America and reappeared on the other side of the world. Exports, which amounted to less than 10% of global GDP in the 1970s, now stand at 25%.

Globalisation has been a massive social and economic transformation. It has, by the same token, been hotly contentious, creating losers as well as winners. And this raised the question: would it be brought to an end by eruption of opposition? Again and again – after the 1999 Seattle WTO protests, September 11, the financial crisis of 2008 and the election of Donald Trump – there have been predictions of globalisation’s terminal crisis. In the background lurks the memory of the 1930s and the Great Depression, when trade and capital flows contracted, not to recover for the best part of half a century.

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'The water will come back': why Kenya's struggle against flooding is far from over

Record-breaking rainfall has devastated communities – and with thousands displaced and more rain predicted the picture is bleak

Using a short piece of nylon line with a hook at one end and a long thin stick on the other, a mechanic and a nightclub doorman have only caught one small fish all day.

“I’ve never been a fisherman before,” says Erick Ochieng on the edge of a flooded creek in the port city of Kisumu on the banks of Lake Victoria. “I used to work as a bouncer but nightclubs have closed. Sometimes my family sleeps without eating.”

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Locked down afloat: why dozens of cruise ships ended up stranded in Manila Bay

Thousands of Filipino and international crew members are stuck as they await results of Covid-19 tests

From the balcony of her cabin, Sofia Ivanov* welcomes the light rain that cools the scorching Manila summer. As coronavirus empties the world’s cruise lines of guests, crew workers like her get to use the luxurious guest rooms before they lose their jobs.

Over two dozen other massive cruise ships dot her view of Manila Bay. It’s a spectacular view, but Ivanov is tired of it after seeing nothing else for weeks. 

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New coronavirus cases in Hong Kong raise concerns of local cluster

A cluster of nine coronavirus cases raised concerns in Hong Kong over renewed local transmission in a city that has been one of the most successful in keeping the pandemic under control.

China's largest chipmaker to raise $2.8 billion in listing to boost capabilities amid trade war

SMIC, is part of China's broader push for self-reliance when it comes to semiconductors, a field in which the world's second-largest economy is seen as far behind the U.S.

Moody's cuts India's rating to lowest investment grade with negative outlook

India's economy grew 3.1% in January-March, its slowest quarterly pace in at least eight years, and Moody's expects a contraction of 4% in the current fiscal year.

New Zealand may remove all virus restriction next week

New Zealand's Prime Minister said on Tuesday that all remaining restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus may be lifted next week, after the country all but eliminated the virus domestically.

Argentina extends deadline of debt negotiations, may sweeten offer

The government is looking to revamp about $65 billion in bonds rendered unsustainable by a long recession and a currency plunge.

Australian PM accepts G7 invitation during call with Trump

Australia will accept an invitation to attend a Group of Seven (G7) nations meeting, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

South Korea says to resume WTO complaint over Japan's export controls

South Korea said on Tuesday that it decided to resume dispute settlement proceedings over Japan's export controls, saying the two sides failed to make progress over talks to resolve the trade disputes rooted in wartime history.

Southeast Asia's Lazada says its online grocery sales in Singapore jumped due to coronavirus

Southeast Asia's e-commerce giant Lazada introduced a new delivery system on April 4 that allowed the company to increase its capacity by 50%.

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Sundarbans devastated by cyclone, as virus halts migration

The cyclone that struck India and Bangladesh last month passed through the vast mangrove forests of the Sunderban delta, a UNESCO world heritage site

Iranian professor acquitted of sanctions busting leaves U.S., Zarif says

An Iranian professor imprisoned in the United States after being acquitted of stealing trade secrets has left the country and is on his way back to Iran, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

Sustainable funds are outperforming their peers during the pandemic, BNP Paribas says

Compared to other funds, sustainable funds showed strong outperformance across indexes, such as the MSCI equity index and S&P 500, says Gabriel Wilson-Otto from BNP Paribas Asset Management.

Where's the catch in the Brexit fishing talks?

As the UK and EU resume negotiations over quotas, many snags remain to be unpicked

European Union and British negotiators will face each other screen-to-screen as the latest round of Brexit talks get under way on Tuesday. During this four-day round, the most time has been allocated to one of the toughest issues: fishing rights.

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Pakistan polio fears as Covid-19 causes millions of children to miss vaccinations

Officials voice concern as coronavirus halts annual programme in country already struggling against resurgence in cases

In April, almost 40 million children missed their polio drops in Pakistan after the cancellation of the nationwide vaccination campaign. 

Alongside Afghanistan, Pakistan is one of only two countries in the world where polio is still endemic. It was very close to becoming  polio free, with only 12 cases in 2018, but last year the number of cases rose to 147. In the same year, Pakistan was  accused of covering up the resurgence of the P2 strain of the virus, which was thought to have been eradicated in 2014. 

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Minneapolis public school board to vote on terminating its contract with police

The district ‘cannot align itself with the Minneapolis police and claim to fight institutional racism’ said a board member

Minneapolis public schools are considering whether to end their contract with the city’s police department following the death of George Floyd.

The city’s public school board will vote on Tuesday evening on a resolution that would terminate the school district’s contract with the police department to provide “school resource officers” and mandate that the superintendent prepare an alternate plan for keeping students safe. 

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How to deal with a promotion being put on hold as a result of the pandemic

Around the world careers are being put on hold, as companies tighten their belts and shelve plans to promote or give pay rises to their employees. CNBC asked the experts how best to deal with it.

The power of crowds

Even before the pandemic, mass gatherings were under threat from draconian laws and corporate seizure of public space. Yet history shows that the crowd always finds a way to return. By Dan Hancox

As lockdown loomed in March, I became obsessed with a football anthem for a team 400 miles away. I had read a news story about Edinburgh residents singing a Proclaimers song called Sunshine on Leith from their balconies. I didn’t know the song, and when I looked it up, I found a glorious video of 26,000 Hibernian fans singing it in a sun-drenched Hampden Park, after a long-hoped-for Scottish Cup win in 2016. Both teams had left the pitch, and the Rangers’ half of the stadium was empty. It looked like a concert in which the fans were simultaneously the performer and the audience.

I was entranced. I watched it again, and again. The sight and sound of this collective joy was transcendent: tens of thousands of green-and-white scarves held aloft, everyone belting out the song at the tops of their lungs. When the crowd hits the chorus, the volume levels on the shaky smartphone video blow their limit, exploding into a delirious roar of noise. I thought of something that one of the leaders of the nationwide “Tuneless Choirs” – specifically for people who can’t sing – once said: “If you get enough people singing together, with enough volume, it always sounds good.” Our individual failings are submerged; we become greater than the sum of our meagre parts. Anthems sung alone sound thin and absurd – think of the spectacle of a pop star bellowing the Star-Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl. Anthems need the warmth of harmony, or even the chafing of dissonance. They need the full sound of bodies brushing up against each other in pride, joy or righteousness.

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Yemen pledging drive hopes to raise $2.4 billion to save aid ops as virus spreads

The United Nations and Saudi Arabia host a pledging conference for war-ravaged Yemen on Tuesday to help raise some $2.4 billion as funding shortages imperil the world's biggest aid operation.

Factbox: U.N. programmes in Yemen at risk of going broke

The United Nations said ahead of a pledging conference for Yemen on Tuesday that 30 of 41 major aid programmes in the war-torn country would close in the next few weeks without funding.