UK epidemic is slowing; antibody test could soon be ready – advisers

March 30, 2020 By Guy Faulconbridge and Paul Sandle LONDON (Reuters) – The coronavirus epidemic in the United Kingdom is showing signs of slowing and antibody tests could be ready in days, Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London, said on Monday. “We think the epidemic is just about slowing in the UK right now,” Ferguson told BBC radio. Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, also said there were signs that locking down the country a week ago had slowed the rate of transmission of the virus. He said Britain was not in a “fast …

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Israel to spend 80 billion shekels to help economy cope with coronavirus crisis

March 30, 2020 By Ari Rabinovitch and Tova Cohen JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel will spend 80 billion shekels ($22 billion) to help the economy weather the coronavirus crisis and the finance minister said he expected a gradual return of business activity after the Passover holiday next month. Israel’s economy has been hard hit by a government lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Increasingly stringent restrictions have largely confined Israelis to their homes, forcing businesses to close and causing unemployment to rocket. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a further tightening of restrictions late on Monday, barring gatherings of …

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Russian regions join coronavirus lockdown as toll rises

March 30, 2020 By Maxim Rodionov and Tom Balmforth MOSCOW (Reuters) – More than a dozen Russian regions including the city of St Petersburg introduced a partial lockdown on Monday after Russia recorded its biggest one-day rise in coronavirus cases for the sixth day in a row. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin had told Russia’s more than 80 regions to consider ordering people to stay at home after the official tally of coronavirus cases rose by 302 to 1,836. Nine people have died, authorities say. Moscow’s authorities have already ordered residents to stay at home, and Mishustin said he thought the …

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Egypt’s Sisi calls for boost of strategic food reserves during coronavirus outbreak

March 30, 2020 CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has told the relevant authorities to boost strategic reserves of staple goods, a presidency spokesman said on Monday, as global concerns about food security rise amid the coronavirus crisis. Egypt reported 47 new coronavirus cases and one death on Monday, the health ministry said in a statement, bringing the total confirmed infections to 656 with 41 fatalities. The country is due to begin harvesting its local wheat crop in April from which the government expects to procure some 3.6 million tonnes of wheat, supply minister Ali Moselhy said earlier …

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U.S. expected to renew sanctions waivers allowing Iran nonproliferation work: sources

March 30, 2020 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is expected to allow Russian, Chinese and European companies to continue their work at Iranian nuclear sites to make it harder for Tehran to develop nuclear weapons, four sources familiar with the matter said on Monday. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity and who included one U.S. official, said a U.S. decision could come as early as on Monday to renew waivers to sanctions that bar non-U.S. firms from dealing with Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization. (Reporting By Humeyra Pamuk and Arshad Mohammed; editing by Grant McCool)

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Kohl’s extends store closure, draws down $1 billion credit facility amid coronavirus outbreak

March 30, 2020 (Reuters) – Kohl’s Corp <KSS.N> said on Monday it would extend the duration of store closure, and fully draw down on its $1 billion revolving credit facility to control damages from the coronavirus pandemic. The department store operator also said it would cut spending by about $500 million, and that Chief Executive Officer Michelle Gass would not take a salary as it manages through the crisis. (Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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JPMorgan plans to raise up to $10 billion for alternative investments: Bloomberg News

March 30, 2020 (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co’s <JPM.N> alternative investments unit is seeking to raise up to $10 billion to boost its spending power in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg News reported on Monday. The bank plans to raise $5 billion to $10 billion “in the next couple of months” from clients including pension funds, sovereign-wealth funds, family offices and private banks, Anton Pil, the global head of alternatives for the bank’s asset-management arm, told Bloomberg in an interview. The biggest U.S. bank by assets already has about $10 billion of client capital that it plans …

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Mickelson ‘working on’ rematch vs. Tiger

March 30, 2020 Phil Mickelson says he is “working on” a rematch with Tiger Woods. The two PGA titans tangled in “The Match: Tiger vs. Phil,” a made-for-TV clash on Nov. 23, 2018, at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas. Mickelson edged Woods on the fourth playoff hole. Mickelson was asked by a Twitter user Sunday if there was “a chance” the pair might play again to give viewers something to watch while sports around the world are on hold due to COVID-19. “Working on it,” Mickelson replied. When another Twitter asked if Mickelson was serious, he responded: “I …

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U.S. markets watchdog Clayton says SEC should not ban short-selling of shares

March 30, 2020 By Katanga Johnson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday that it should not ban short-selling of shares, amid speculation on further measures the agency might take to arrest a market rout that stems from fears the coronavirus will spark a global recession. The statement, by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, comes after other countries, including Spain, Italy and South Korea, have moved to curtail short-sellers, who borrow shares and then sell them, betting their price will fall before the short-sellers buy back the shares and return them, pocketing the …

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AmEx to freeze hiring, not cut jobs as coronavirus crisis deepens: Bloomberg News

March 30, 2020 (Reuters) – Credit card issuer American Express Co <AXP.N> will freeze hiring and avoid job cuts this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg news reported on Monday, citing a video message to employees from Chief Executive Officer Steve Squeri. More than 60,000 employees were now equipped to work from home, according to the report. (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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