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UK jobless claims hit 2.1 million in April as virus crisis shocks economy

UK jobless claims hit 2.1 million in April as virus crisis shocks economy

Business
Official figures have shown a surge of 856,500 people submitting benefit claims last month as the coronavirus crisis took its toll on jobs.The update from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the so-called claimant count, measured through Universal Credit applications, at its highest level since 1996 at 2.1 million in total. The growth marked the largest monthly leap in claims on record, the ONS said. The data mainly covered the first three months of the year as COVID-19 first struck UK shores ahead of the lockdown, imposed since 23 March, which has crippled large parts of the economy.The report showed unemployment increased by 50,000 to 1.35 million over the three month period as the government and Bank of England scrambled to protect businesses and jo...
Coronavirus: Obama criticises Trump administration’s virus response

Coronavirus: Obama criticises Trump administration’s virus response

World
Former US President Barack Obama has criticised his successor Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus crisis.In an online address to graduating college students, he said the pandemic had shown that many officials "aren't even pretending to be in charge".It is the second time in recent days that Mr Obama has hit out at the Trump administration's coronavirus response.He said it had been "an absolute chaotic disaster" during a leaked conference call last week.The former president also gave an address to high school students that was hosted by NBA star LeBron James and was part of a special programme that featured numerous celebrities including the Jonas Brothers, Megan Rapinoe, Pharrell Williams and education activist Malala You...
Los Angeles offers virus tests to all, still has unused kits

Los Angeles offers virus tests to all, still has unused kits

Technology
LOS ANGELES -- With ample coronavirus tests and not enough sick people seeking them, the mayor of Los Angeles recently did something on a scale no other major U.S. city had done — allow anyone with or without symptoms to be tested as often as they want. A website to book a test was quickly swamped by residents in the nation’s second-largest city and the surrounding county who couldn’t get tested under more stringent guidelines and were concerned they were infected or could be asymptomatic carriers unwittingly exposing others. But despite overbooking to compensate for a third of the people who didn't show up, the city still has thousands of tests that aren't being used each week, according to figures provided to The Associated Press by the mayor's office. “Wasted tests at a time when we s
Despite virus, Pompeo in Israel to talk West Bank annexation

Despite virus, Pompeo in Israel to talk West Bank annexation

World
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Israel for meetings with Benjamin Netanyahu and the prime minister's new governing partner, Benny Gantz, to discuss Iran, the coronavirus and Israel's possible annexation of parts of the West BankBy ILAN BEN ZION Associated PressMay 13, 2020, 9:57 AM5 min read5 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleJERUSALEM -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss Israel's plans to annex parts of the West Bank, as Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian teen in a clash with stone-throwers in the occupied territory. Pompeo arrived at a tense time, as Israeli troop searched for the killers of a soldier killed a day earlier by a brick dropped from a rooftop during an army raid of...
Coronavirus: Wuhan in first virus cluster since end of lockdown

Coronavirus: Wuhan in first virus cluster since end of lockdown

World
New coronavirus clusters have been reported in Wuhan city - where the virus first emerged - and the north-eastern province of Jilin in China.Wuhan reported five new cases on Monday, after confirming its first case since 3 April on Sunday.Authorities said the small cluster of cases were all from the same residential compound.China has been easing restrictions in recent weeks and cases had been declining.Health authorities and experts have warned that as countries emerge from strict lockdowns and people move around more freely, a rise in infections is likely.The small Wuhan cluster is the first to emerge since the end of the strict lockdown on 8 April. One of the five cases reported on Monday was the wife of an 89-year-old man who ...