• U.S. Senate votes to ban TikTok app on government devices Link https://t.co/FiJS7vZ6BY
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:49

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday unanimously voted to approve a bill from Senator Josh Hawley banning federal employees from using video-sharing app TikTok on government-issued devices, amid threats from the White House to ban the company.

  • The East Terrace Garden at Windsor castle, which remained a private area for generations of royals dating back to the 1820s, will now be open for the public Link https://t.co/y6DFIYnbL8
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:49

    WINDSOR, England (Reuters) - Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, is to open its East Terrace Garden to the public for the first time in more than 40 years.

    Visitors to the castle, where the queen spent the last few months during Britain’s lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic before travelling to Scotland, will be able to tour the garden, created in the 1820s, on weekends during August and September.

    Today it features 3,500 rose bushes planted around a central fountain. It boasts a colourful history having served different monarchs’ tastes through the centuries.

    It was initially planted to create a pleasing view from the royal apartments along the eastern facade of the castle.

    “The first garden built here was created in 1824 during the reign of George IV. But before that, in the Middle Ages, it would have been the...

  • A PICTURE AND ITS STORY: Capturing a rescue in Beirut Link https://t.co/CE5d0w5lWj
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:44

    Then he heard the explosion.

    Grabbing his camera, Azakir rushed out into the streets, trying to locate the source of the blast.

    When he reached the port, he realized he was close. Dead bodies lay everywhere, and people were screaming.

    Azakir saw one man, pinned under a vehicle, covered in a thick film of rubble and blood. At first, Azakir thought the man was dead. But then the man opened his eyes and began waving his arms and asking for help.

    Azakir called over some rescuers who were nearby. In a series of dramatic photographs, he recorded the rescue of the man, while also helping the rescuers move the car to free him. He took pictures of the man being transferred to a stretcher and taken away, black smoke still billowing from wrecked silos in the background.

    Azakir was told by the rescuers that the man was being taken to a hospital. Reuters has not been able to ascertain the identity of the man or to which hospital he was taken....

  • U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook stepping down as key U.N. arms embargo vote looms Link https://t.co/mLIAAWoE6S
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:39

    (Reuters) - Top U.S. envoy for Iran Brian Hook is leaving his post and Elliott Abrams, the U.S. special representative for Venezuela, will add Iran to his role “following a transition period” with Hook, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.

  • Ukraine expects to swap 100 prisoners with Russian-backed separatists within weeks Link https://t.co/OlFod50BoP
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:34

    CHASIV YAR, Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukraine expects to exchange around 100 prisoners on each side with Russian-backed separatists within weeks, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff told Reuters on Thursday on a visit to eastern Ukraine.

  • A Vietnamese face mask company has said it can provide as many as five million masks to the market every day https://t.co/Bf7qrCTWXI
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:34
  • Egypt and Greece sign agreement on exclusive economic zone Link https://t.co/Y7FuLXVseh
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:29

    CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt and Greece signed an agreement on Thursday designating an exclusive economic zone in the eastern Mediterranean?? ??between the two countries, an area containing promising oil and gas reserves, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said.

  • Canada vows to retaliate against U.S. aluminum tariffs Link https://t.co/OtOpqgmzCf
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:24

    OTTAWA (Reuters) - If the United States re-imposes some tariffs on Canadian aluminum products, Canada will respond by slapping retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, a government source said on Thursday.

    “We will react very similarly to the last (time they imposed) tariffs,” said the source, speaking shortly before Trump confirmed he was imposing punitive measures.

    The source requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation.

    In June 2018, after Trump announced sanctions against Canadian steel and aluminum imports, Canada imposed punitive measures on C$16.6 billion ($12.5 billion) worth of American goods. Trump lifted the sanctions in 2019.

  • T-Mobile beats second-quarter phone estimates, shares jump Link https://t.co/uBlMPnyq3K
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:19

    (Reuters) - T-Mobile US Inc said on Thursday it added more monthly bill-paying phone subscribers than expected in the second quarter, as more people used its services to stay connected and work remotely during coronavirus lockdowns.

  • White House health experts warned of a slow rise in the percentage of people testing positive for the coronavirus in several major U.S. cities with infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci calling the increase ‘a predictor of trouble ahead’ Link https://t.co/m1UOhhzONM
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:19

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House health experts warned that even small rises in the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in some U.S. cities could mean trouble and urged local leaders to remain vigilant to avoid a surge.

    “This is a predictor of trouble ahead,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases official, told CNN on Thursday.

    The U.S. death toll is now over 159,000 - the most in the world - with 4.8 million known cases.

    Open here in an external browser for a Reuters interactive graphic)

    Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Thursday became the latest senior elected official to test positive. He said did not have symptoms and was tested ahead of a planned meeting with President Donald Trump.

    Fauci was speaking after White House coronavirus task force coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, identified new areas of concern in a telephone...

  • Uber's food-delivery business doubles; COVID-19 eviscerates rides demand Link https://t.co/MdcFD50pQw
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:14

    (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc said demand for its food-delivery service more than doubled in the second quarter as many users remained largely homebound, while demand for ride-hailing trips was only marginally recovering from pandemic rock-bottom.

  • The Bank of England said although it believed Britain’s economy might take longer to recover than previously thought, its projections for 2020 were not as grim as they were in May Link https://t.co/F9dYmS0q7P
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:14

    LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s central bank said it saw no immediate case to cut interest rates below zero on Thursday as it warned the economy would take longer to recover from its COVID slump than it previously forecast.

    Unemployment is likely to almost double by the end of this year, the Bank of England said.

    “There are some very hard yards, to borrow a rugby phrase, to come,” Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said. “And frankly, we are ready to act, should that be needed.”

    On negative rates, already used by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, Bailey said: “They are part of our toolbox ... But at the moment we do not have a plan to use them.”

    The BoE cut interest rates to just 0.1% in March and expanded its bond-buying plan to almost $1 trillion.

    On Thursday, its nine monetary policymakers all voted for no policy changes as they...

  • Quarantine 'checkpoint' opens at New York City's Penn Station to enforce travel rules Link https://t.co/vCu5zIWHYm
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:09

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A few dozen travelers got off a train from Miami at New York City’s Penn Station on Thursday and were greeted by a team of public health workers and mayoral office staff who handed them informational fliers about the state’s new COVID-19 quarantine rules.

  • COVID in Africa: Eighty percent of COVID-19 testing taking place in Africa is limited to ten countries, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said https://t.co/9t4ijGG56v
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:09
  • Austria warns against travel to Spain except Balearic, Canary islands Link https://t.co/WFFvM5u8Hz
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:04

    VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria’s foreign ministry on Thursday warned against trips to Spain except for the Balearic and Canary Islands, as concerns grow that holidaymakers could catch the coronavirus and spread it once they return.

    The measure will take effect from Monday, and people returning to Austria will be required to present a negative test for COVID-19, the ministry said.

    Austria’s measures are the latest blow to Spain’s tourism-dependent economy after Britain, Germany and Switzerland recently warned their citizens against summer holidays on Spanish beaches or at least in certain regions of the country.

    The spread of the disease in Spain slowed after the government imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe. However, new cases have started rising again and hit a post-lockdown record of 1,772 new cases on Wednesday.

    Austria has weathered the coronavirus...

  • Prince William and Kate speak to the staff at the Island Leisure amusements arcade in South Wales https://t.co/KpU3vRYrW2
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 21:04
  • COVID-19 cases in Africa pass the one-million mark, according to a @Reuters tally. Track cases worldwide: Link https://t.co/Sh8O1ce3uN
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 20:59
  • More signs point to U.S. economic recovery losing momentum Link https://t.co/XDyTmcvQ91
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 20:59

    (Reuters) - U.S. retail foot traffic is slackening and growth in the number of shifts worked by hourly employees has ground to a halt, a clutch of high-frequency data showed this week, offering the latest evidence the economic recovery that appeared so promising two months ago is rapidly losing momentum.

  • Argentina has finally reached an agreement in principle to restructure $65 billion of debt but the takeaway for future negotiations is to stop using complex models to make long-term forecasts, says @Three_Guineas https://t.co/u2YkWf4vTR
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 20:59
  • Nigeria to reopen for international air travel in weeks Link https://t.co/4GlM8JKk8U
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 20:54

    ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria will reopen for international air travel in a matter of weeks, the aviation minister said on Thursday, without giving a specific date for the resumption after months of closure due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

    “It will be in weeks rather than in months,” Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika told a regular briefing in the capital Abuja on coronavirus.

    Nigeria began to close its airports in March, a month after Africa’s most populous country confirmed its first coronavirus case. Domestic air travel restarted last month.

    The country has 44,890 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 900 deaths, figures from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control show.

  • Musicians play Mozart with a Cuban touch on the streets of Havana https://t.co/n3hpaQJsAE
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 20:54
  • Fed's Brainard lays out central bank's instant payment framework Link https://t.co/z5hhynSGSU
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 20:49

    (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard laid out the framework for the central bank’s instant payments system on Thursday, saying the Fed’s plans call for getting the system online as fast as possible.

    Brainard said the launch of the payments system is still expected in 2023 or 2024, but the Fed is prioritizing developing key aspects of the program first to get it off the ground as soon as possible.

    The coronavirus pandemic underlined how critical it is for people to access their funds quickly, as many households found themselves suddenly cash-strapped as businesses locked down in a matter of days. Brainard noted that many lower-income households sharply curtailed spending in the onset of the pandemic, and spending increased as soon as government emergency relief funds arrived.

    “The ability to disburse funds via instant payments could have helped reduce the...

  • ‘Our law enforcement officers are not storm troopers, the Gestapo or thugs,’ acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said at a Senate hearing over the federal response to Portland unrest https://t.co/wcG9Qu5LJn
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 20:49
  • AbbVie agrees to pay $24 million to resolve Humira California lawsuit Link https://t.co/5SyoX89MVV
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 20:44

    (Reuters) - AbbVie Inc has agreed to pay $24 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged insurance fraud by the drugmaker in promoting its blockbuster drug Humira, California’s insurance regulator said on Thursday.

    AbbVie denied the allegations, but agreed to look into how Humira is marketed to health care providers in the state, the regulator said

    The Insurance Commissioner of California said the company also agreed to disclose that AbbVie, and not a medical provider, paid the registered nurses who are employed as so-called AbbVie Ambassadors to interact with patients about Humira.

    Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said AbbVie has paid $24 million to California and the whistleblower, a registered nurse who brought the case to the department’s attention in October 2016.

    AbbVie said in a statement it was glad the settlement allows its nurse ambassador program to...

  • South Koreans like Baek Seung-min are taking extreme measures to be able to afford an apartment in Seoul. Baek asked his wife to quit her job so that their income was low enough for them to be eligible for a quota system Link https://t.co/wwHiOxzTs2
    Reuters Thu 06 Aug 2020 20:44

    SEOUL (Reuters) - Even with unemployment spiking as the coronavirus pandemic swept South Korea in February, Baek Seung-min asked his wife to quit her nursing job to help reach a dream they had spent a lifetime chasing: buying their own apartment.

    The 35-year-old interior designer said giving up his wife’s 58 million won ($48,000) salary would improve their chances of securing a property after the government introduced a host of measures aimed at cooling rampant property prices.

    The unusual plan was to cut his wife’s income for a while so the couple’s annual earnings were low enough to be eligible for a quota system in new property developments designed to give more low-income newlyweds access to housing.

    Even so, Baek and his wife decided to settle two hours west of his Seoul workplace in Incheon, where borrowing rules were looser and apartments far cheaper....

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