The number of new US jobseekers doubled from the previous week’s record filings. Nearly 10m Americans are now out of work. Pictured: A shuttered restaurant in New York City is seen on 26 March 2020. Photo credit: Photo Kit / Shutterstock.com
The European Court of Justice ruled against 3 countries in refugee transfer case, CSSF monitoring fund liquidity, Luxembourg and Germany strike telecommuting tax deal, and Amazon to take temperatures. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
Second week of record US unemployment
6.6m people in the US filed jobless claims in the week ending 28 March, bringing the 2 week total to 9.9m, as large parts of the economy are shut down due to the covid-19 outbreak. At the beginning of the year, the unemployment rate was 3.5%, but analysts forecast that rate could rise to more than 15% this month and even hit 32% before the crisis is over (during the Great Depression, the rate was 25%). Analysts also predicted the US economy would shrink in the second quarter by 30%-35% on an annualised basis. Sources: Associated Press, BBC, CityAM, Deutsche Welle, Financial Times, Marketwatch and NPR.
Johns Hopkins University said there were 1,002,000 confirmed covid-19 cases globally as of 2 April, although the actual number is probably higher. The official figure includes 209,000 recoveries and 51,500 deaths. Sources: BBC, CNBC and The Guardian.
Amazon to take temperatures
The e-commerce giant Amazon said it would conduct temperature checks of employees at its US and European operations and distribute face masks to warehouse workers. Many Amazon employees have complained about safety conditions. Sources: Bloomberg, CBS News, CNBC, Marketwatch and Seeking Alpha.
3 countries broke asylum accord: EU top court
The European Court of Justice ruled that the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland violated EU law by refusing to accept refugees transferred from Greece and Italy under a European migration agreement. That means the European Commission could fine the countries. Sources: BBC, EUobserver, Euractiv, Euronews and The Guardian.
Coronavirus causes CSSF to increase fund redemption disclosure
Luxembourg’s financial regulator, the CSSF, has told investment funds to alert it whenever daily redemption requests hit 10% and weekly redemption requests hit 30%, Reuters reported. The regulator wants funds to maintain liquidity while many investors are pulling out their cash as covid-19 convulses global financial markets.
Germany and Luxembourg agree on cross-border telecommuting
Luxembourg and Germany agreed to suspend the German cap on the number of days cross-border commuters can work from home before being subject to double taxation, per Bloomberg. It had been 19 days per year, but that has been lifted “indefinitely”. Luxembourg struck similar, temporary, accords with Belgium and France last month.
Luckin Coffee plunges on fake numbers
Shares in Luckin Coffee, which touted itself as China’s answer to Starbucks, fell by 80% after an internal investigation found that sales figures had been falsified on a mass scale. Sources: CNBC, Financial Times and South China Morning Post.
Electric car alliance
GM and Honda partnered to build two electric vehicles to be released for the 2024 model year. The automakers did not disclose terms. Sources: CNBC, Reuters and The Verge.
Here are 7 science & technology stories you may have missed
Biology: A recent study, per the BBC, identifies the genetic differences that explains why females of nearly all species live longer (except, per the Economist, for the spruce grouse). Dosidicus gigas: Humboldt squid off California’s coast say hello to each other by lighting up their bodies, per Nature. Archaeology: Neanderthals harvested seafood, recent excavations revealed, per The Guardian. Meteorology: The ozone hole above Antarctica is recovering enough to change wind patterns, such as the trade winds, in the southern hemisphere, per New Scientist. Computer security: The videoconferencing service Zoom is facing a host of privacy and data protection questions, per MIT Technology Review; the company said it would review and try to sort out the issues within 90 days, per The Verge; and SpaceX told its employees to stay off Zoom, per Reuters. Legal: A US court ruled that breaking a website’s terms of service is not a crime, per Ars Technica. Materials science: The European Space Agency is developing technology to allow future astronauts to build a base on the Moon using urine, per The Register.
Teen wrestles suspected kidnapper to ground
A 16 year old wrestling champion in the US state of New Mexico stopped a man, who allegedly was trying to kidnap three children, by pinning him to the ground until police arrived, per the Associated Press.
Malaysia’s women and family ministry had some advice for the ladies during the covid-19 lockdown: don’t nag your husband, don’t be sarcastic when asking for help with the housework, and keep dressing nicely and wearing makeup. The campaign was subsequently withdrawn, per NPR.
Need something for your collection?
This American couple is selling part of their extensive collection of novelty items like the Whoopee Cushion, (which makes fart sounds), fake dog poop and vomit, and an Adolph Hitler pin cushion, per Collectors Weekly.
One last coronavirus story...
Covid-19 confinements and clear weather have apparently led to a dramatic increase in reported UFO sightings in Belgium, per the Telegraph.