Covid-19: Europe imposes new restrictions as cases reach record high
‘The facts don’t lie, we have to be stricter for ourselves’: The Netherlands goes into partial lockdown
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WhatsApp had been particularly ad-averse before its sale to Facebook. CEO Jan Koum kept a note from co-founder Brian Acton taped to his desk to remind him of the company’s core values. It read: “No Ads! No Games! No Gimmicks!”
Although it looked like the mobile patent wars might cool off after several settlements late in 2014, this year kicked off with a skirmish between Apple and Ericsson over patent royalties related to wireless communications. BlackBerry used to be pretty litigious: It even took on celebrity Ryan Seacrest over its keyboard! But these days it is more focused on trying to convince smartphone buyers that its technology is cool again. Or at least relevant.
This year brought so many promising new shows: 2014 was the year of “True Detective,” “The Honorable Woman,” “Fargo,” “The Affair,” “Olive Kitteridge” and “Silicon Valley," among others. But there were also older shows that either stayed the course or somehow climbed their way back from a dip or even total eclipse, notably “The Comeback,” starring Lisa Kudrow, a HBO comedy that was canceled in 2005 after one season and then resurrected in November.
European governments are adding new restrictions and calling on citizens to make sacrifices in a bid to contain a record increase in coronavirus cases, with the Czech Republic closing schools and the Netherlands shutting down virtually all nighttime activity.
Around the world cases of the coronavirus topped 38 million, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Saying measures needed to stop the virus “will hurt,” Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte announced what he called a “partial lockdown” on Tuesday evening, with sales of alcohol to be banned after 8 pm and bars, restaurants and coffee shops to be closed altogether. Citizens are being urged to avoid public transportation where possible.
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UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced that bars and pubs will be closed in the worst-hit parts of England beginning Wednesday, even as his top health adviser warned that won’t be enough. While the opposition Labour Party called for a short lockdown to halt the contagion, Mr Johnson told Conservative lawmakers on a Zoom call Tuesday that he’s against a new nationwide lockdown, people familiar with the meeting said.
Germany’s new coronavirus cases increased at their fastest pace since the height of the pandemic in the latest sign of how Europe is struggling to keep the disease in check. The region’s largest economy will evaluate its own next steps on Wednesday.
“I’m watching with great concern the climbing infection numbers, actually in almost every part of Europe,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday in a virtual address to regional European Union officials. “We cannot squander what we’ve achieved in the last few months.”
'While RMB is on the rise, currencies from some of China's competitors for tourism, such as Japan, are depreciating, meaning travel to some other Asian countries has been getting cheaper while travel to China is becoming more costly,' Jiang Yiyi said.
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Europe recorded 700,000 new cases last week, the most since the pandemic began, the World Health Organisation said in its latest report. But rather than reviving national restrictions, officials are focusing on local measures amid concerns about hammering economies again and sparking unrest.
The curbs are having an effect. Overall non-financial outbound investment fell 36 per cent in January from a year earlier to Rmb53bn ($7.8bn), the commerce ministry said on Thursday, following a 39 per cent drop in December.
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“We need to be really careful right now,” Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organisation’s health emergencies program, said Monday. The relationship between case numbers and deaths “could reconnect very, very badly and very catastrophically unless we’re very, very careful.”
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Legislators in neighbouring Slovakia quarrelled over virus measures, with premier Igor Matovic calling economy minister Richard Sulik a “saboteur” after the latter publicly questioned a decision to ban indoor serving of food and drinks in restaurants. Relations in the coalition have been fragile since elections seven months ago and Mr Matovic’s ratings have dropped as people blame him for an inadequate response to the pandemic.
Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday imposed new measures including ordering bars and restaurants to close by midnight, banning people from gathering outside them from 9pm, and limiting receptions for events such as weddings and baptisms to 30 people.
“我们的人口和就业正处于历史高位，并在不断增长。这给租金和房价施加了很大压力，”纽约大学富曼房地产及城市政策中心(Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy of New York University)的主任马克·威利斯(Mark Willis)说，“现在没有理由认为这些趋势可能发生改变。”
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After putting six cities including Paris on maximum alert, French president Emmanuel Macron may announce additional restrictions during a planned television appearance on Wednesday.
“Alas, the epidemic continues its ascent,” health minister Olivier Veran said during parliamentary question time. “This wave of hospitalisations that has started is worrisome.” – Bloomberg