CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak is reportedly planning a six month stamp duty holiday to help boost the housing market.
Mr Sunak is understood to be considering raising the stamp duty threshold at the lower end of his market for the upcoming Budget, in order to help those most in need following the coronavirus pandemic.
An announcement is expected this week, with buyers excited at the prospect the stamp duty threshold could be set as high as £500,000.
Meanwhile, three pubs in England have been forced to close following Super Saturday’s reopening after customers tested positive for Covid-19.
The coronavirus death toll in the UK rose to 44,236 after 16 more deaths in were recorded on July 6, 2020.
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LATE NIGHT BOOZE WARNING
Plans to sell takeaway alcohol late at night will cause chaos on the streets, ministers have been warned.
The Government has planned to relax licensing rules to give the hospitality sector a much-needed boost as coronavirus lockdown restrictions are eased.
Under the proposed new rules which would last for a year, bars and pubs would be able to sell booze to be drank elsewhere late at night.
Former Home Secretary Lord Blunkett told The Telegraph that the changes would “fuel the already worrying concerns about activity late at night, particularly in the major cities”.
Ex-top cop Lord Paddick said the plans were a “recipe for disorder and potential violence”.
“If revellers are allowed to take alcohol with them when they leave when the party closes inside these late-licensed premises, they are likely to continue the party outside on the street,” he said.
Met Police Federation chair Ken Marsh said the proposed new rules were “ill-thought out”.
BRIT PILOT HEADING HOME AFTER COVID RECOVERY
A pilot who was Vietnam’s most critical coronavirus patient is virus free and has recovered enough to return home next Sunday, doctors said.
Doctors who have been overseeing the treatment of Stephen Cameron, from Scotland, announced Monday evening that he has made substantial progress.
He had been critically ill and spent 65 days on life support.
The 43-year-old’s improved health condition allows him to travel on the 12 hour flight to London accompanied by doctors.
The pilot is known in Vietnam as Patient 91 as he was the 91st person in the country confirmed to have the coronavirus
He is virus free, breathes normally without any support and is no longer treated as a COVID-19 patient, said Dr. Tran Thanh Linh, the deputy head of the ICU ward at Cho Ray hospital where the man is receiving treatment.
Vietnam has gone all out to save Mr Cameron, who was working for national carrier Vietnam Airlines when he tested positive for the virus in March.
Doctors said at one point they considered a lung transplant as his lungs were 90 per cent damaged and non-functional.
He was Vietnam’s last patient in the ICU and his recovery means Vietnam has still not had any COVID-19 deaths.
KANYE WEST’S CLOTHING BRAND, HOLLYWOOD PRODUCTION COMPANIES ON PANDEMIC LOAN LIST
Ventures backed by big-name entertainers Kanye West and Francis Ford Coppola were among those approved for loans under a U.S. government program to help businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic, according to a list released on Monday.
Billionaire rapper West’s clothing brand Yeezy received clearance for a loan of between $2 million and $5 million under the Paycheck Protection Program, the U.S. Small Business Administration said.
The company said the loan would save 160 jobs, according to the SBA.
The PPP was established to aid workers at companies and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees hurt by closures and other measures meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The list released Monday gave the most-detailed accounting to date of who applied for and was approved to receive funds.
Several Hollywood production companies applied for PPP aid after filming was halted in mid-March, putting tens of thousands of cast and crew members out of work.
Approved applicants included The Jim Henson Company, creator of the Muppets, and The Apatow Company, run by writer/director Apatow.
UN WARNS TERRORIST GROUPS COULD EXPLOIT PANDEMIC
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic can provide new opportunities for the Islamic State extremist group, al-Qaida and their affiliates as well as neo-Nazis, white supremacists and hate groups.
The U.N. chief said it’s too early to fully assess the implications of the coronavirus pandemic on terrorism but all these groups seek to exploit divisions, local conflicts, failures in governing, and other grievances to advance their aims.
Guterres said that the Islamic State group, which once controlled a vast swath of Syria and Iraq, is trying to reassert itself in both countries.
BRAZIL’S BOLSONARO TESTED AGAIN FOR CORONAVIRUS
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday that he had undergone another test for the novel coronavirus, after local media reported he had symptoms associated with the COVID-19 respiratory disease that it causes.
Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace that he had just visited the hospital and been tested for the virus, adding that an exam had shown his lungs “clean.”
CNN Brasil and newspaper Estado de S.Paulo reported that he had symptoms of the disease. The president’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
SUNAK TO SPEND THREE BILLION POUNDS ON GREEN PROJECTS IN ECONOMY PLAN
Finance Minister Rishi Sunak will earmark 3 billion pounds to create green jobs and improve the energy efficiency of public buildings when he announces his broader plans to kickstart the economy on Wednesday.
A third of the package would be spent on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from public-sector buildings, such as schools and hospitals, and from social housing, the finance ministry said.
Heating buildings accounts for almost a fifth of Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions, making the investment a key part of Britain’s attempts to be a net-zero carbon emitter by 2050, the finance ministry added.
Sunak is expected to focus Wednesday’s announcement mostly on how the government will try to counter a jump in unemployment caused by the lockdown of much of the economy in late March which is now being relaxed only gradually.
BARS SHUT DUE TO CORONAVIRUS CASES JUST DAYS AFTER REOPENING
A number of pubs which reopened their doors for the first time on Saturday have had to close again due to people testing positive for coronavirus.
Bars in England welcomed drinkers at the weekend after a lengthy lockdown which saw the hospitality sector shut since March.
But three establishments have since alerted their patrons that they have had to close again just days later, after cases of Covid-19.
The Lighthouse Kitchen and Carvery in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, said a customer had tested positive and it was making its way through a list of people who were in the bar on Saturday.
The Fox and Hounds in Batley, West Yorkshire, said it would be closed until further notice after receiving a call from a customer on Monday to say they had tested positive for coronavirus.
The Village Home Pub in Alverstoke, Gosport, said it had also “had a case of Coronavirus in the pub”, adding that “some of us are in isolation”.
US MAYOR SAYS SHE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said on Monday that she has tested positive for COVID-19, but has not shown symptoms of the virus.
She gave no information about her diagnosis, whether she is under quarantine and when she was tested.
“COVID-19 has literally hit home,” the first-term mayor of Georgia’s state capital city said on Twitter.
WORLDWIDE CORONAVIRUS CASES CROSS 11.56 MILLION, DEATH TOLL AT 534,829
More than 11.56 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 534,829 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
FIRST MAJOR BRAZILIAN CITIES RESUME CLASSES AMID PANDEMIC
The Brazilian cities of Manaus in the Amazon rainforest and Duque de Caxias in Rio de Janeiro’s metropolitan region on Monday resumed in-person classes at private schools, the first large cities to do so since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both cities have been hard hit by the virus.
Amazonas states capital with 2.2 million residents had the sixth-most coronavirus deaths in the country, according to local media G1.
Duque de Caxias is home to 920,000 people and has confirmed the third most deaths in Rio state.
WALL STREET INVESTORS SCORED EMERGENCY GOVERNMENT LOANDS AMID PANDEMIC
Some investment firms, including those that run hedge funds or manage money for wealthy investors, are among the businesses approved for emergency U.S. government loans to help small businesses pay employees during the coronavirus lockdown, according to data made public on Monday.
Emails to the firms seeking comment were not immediately returned.
The data does not track which loans were disbursed, paid back, or if they will qualify for forgiveness.
All told, the U.S. Small Business Administration said in a report on Monday that finance and insurance firms represented $12.2 billion across 168,462 loans, about 2.3% of the program’s total lending as of June 30.
The figures for investment firms alone were not immediately available.
HOSPITALISATIONS JUMP 50% IN CALIFORNIA, USA AS CORONAVIRUS INFECTIONS SOAR
New coronavirus cases soared in California over the July Fourth weekend, stressing some hospital systems and leading to the temporary closure of the state capitol building in Sacramento for deep cleaning, officials said on Monday.
The number of people hospitalised with COVID-19 has increased by 50% over the past two weeks to about 5,800, Governor Gavin Newsom said at a briefing.
About a third of those hospitalised were in Los Angeles County, state and local records showed, with about 630 confirmed and suspected coronavirus patients requiring intensive care.
And 25% of the hospitalisations in the county in July were among patients aged 18 to 40, health officials said, as new cases increasingly hit a younger population that may have been lax about safety precautions in recent weeks.
U.S TO FORCE OUT FOREIGN STUDENTS TAKING CLASSES FULLY ONLINE
Foreign students must leave the United States if their school’s classes this fall will be taught completely online or transfer to another school with in-person instruction, the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency announced on Monday.
It was not immediately clear how many student visa holders would be affected by the move, but foreign students are a key source of revenue for many U.S. universities as they often pay full tuition.
ICE said it would not allow holders of student visas to remain in the country if their school was fully online for the fall. Those students must transfer or leave the country, or they potentially face deportation proceedings, according to the announcement.
EGYPT OFFICIALS REPORT DROP IN COVID-19 AS SECURITY FORCES ARREST JOURNALISTS OVER VIRUS NUMBERS
Egypt reported 969 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the health ministry said, the first drop below 1,000 registered daily since May 27.
In total 76,222 COVID-19 cases have been reported and 3,422 deaths, including 79 on Monday, the ministry said in a statement.
As Egyptian authorities fight the swelling coronavirus outbreak, security agencies have tried to stifle criticism about the handling of the health crisis by the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.
At least 10 doctors and six journalists have been arrested since the virus first hit Egypt in February, according to rights groups.
Other health workers say they have been warned by administrators to keep quiet or face punishment.
BILLIONAIRE US GOVERNOR RECEIVES $11.1MILLION FROM FEDERAL VIRUS PACKAGE
Billionaire West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s family businesses received at least $11.1 million from a federal rescue package meant to keep small businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released by the Treasury Department on Monday.
Justice, a Republican, is considered to be West Virginia’s richest man through ownership of dozens of coal and agricultural businesses, many of which have been sued for unpaid debts.
At least six Justice family entities received the Paycheck Protection Program loans, including the governor’s lavish resort The Greenbrier, as well as The Greenbrier Sporting Club, an exclusive members-only club linked to the resort, according to the data.
Those six businesses were listed as collecting between $11.1 million and $24.3 million because the federal government disclosed the dollar figures in ranges, not specific amounts.
BRAZIL REPORTS 620 CORONAVIRUS DEATHS ON MONDAY
Brazil registered 20,229 additional cases of the novel coronavirus over the last 24 hours and 620 new deaths, the Health Ministry said on Monday.
The nation has now registered 1,623,284 total coronavirus cases and 65,487 deaths attributable to the virus.
AIR NEW ZEALAND PUTS ON HOLD INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS INTO NEW ZEALAND ON GOVERNMENT’S REQUEST
Air New Zealand said it has put a hold on new bookings of international flights into New Zealand following a request from the New Zealand government to restrict inbound passenger numbers due to limited quarantine facilities.
The move is to help ensure the country is able to provide quarantine accommodation for inbound passengers for the required 14-day period, the country’s flag carrier said in a media statement.
“We accept this is a necessary short-term measure given the limited capacity in quarantine facilities,” Air New Zealand Chief Commercial and Customer Officer Cam Wallace said in the statement.
U.S. CDC REPORTS 2,886,267 CORONAVIRUS CASES
The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday reported 2,886,267 cases of new coronavirus, an increase of 44,361 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 235 to 129,811.
The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 pm ET on July 5 compared with its previous report on Sunday.
U.S FDA ALERTS ON FALSE POSITIVE RESULT FROM BECTON DICKINSON COVID-19
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration alerted clinical laboratories and healthcare providers on Monday about false positive results from one of Becton Dickinson and Co’s COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests.
The test, designed to detect viral nucleic acid from the virus that causes COVID-19, is in use in nearly every state across the U.S. at hundreds of laboratories.
In one study, the manufacturer found about 3% of the results were false positives, according to the FDA.
The health regulator said it was working with Becton Dickinson to resolve the issue.
Becton Dickinson is selling a variety of other types of tests for the coronavirus.
The FDA on Monday granted emergency use authorisation to the company’s COVID-19 antigen test that can be administered at the point of care, with results within 15 minutes.
RESEARCH FROM IRELAND’S DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SHOWS HIGHER LEVEL OF WORRY ABOUT SECOND WAVE
Research conducted on behalf of Ireland’s Department of Health shows a higher level of overall worry among the population and a continued increase in the proportion of the population anticipating a second wave.
Almost three quarters (74%) think that there will be a second wave – up 20% in the past month.
41% of the population now believe that the worst of the pandemic is behind us and one in three (32%) believe it is ahead of us.
Between mid-May to the end of June, 35% of those identified as a close contact of a confirmed case did not take up the offer of a test.
Dr Glynn said: “Every case has the potential to turn into a cluster, which in turn has the potential to spread through a community. If you are identified as a close contact, please take up the offer of a test without delay.”
U.S HEALTH OFFICIAL FAUCI SAYS COVID-19 OUTBREAK IS ‘SERIOUS SITUATION’
U.S. health official Anthony Fauci said on Monday that the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States “is really not good” and a “serious situation that we have to address immediately.”
The United States is still “knee-deep” in the first wave of the illnesses, having never gotten the case number as low as planned, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said during a live internet interview with National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins.
“It’s a serious situation that we have to address immediately,” Fauci said.
LABOUR MP HAS SEEN MORE DOMESTIC ABUSE CASES IN HER CONSTITUENCY THAN SHE “EVER IMAGINED POSSIBLE”
Labour’s Alex Davies-Jones said she has seen more cases of domestic abuse in her constituency casework than she “ever imagined possible” since she became an MP.
She told MPs: “Coronavirus has confirmed and exposed what I already knew to be true based on experiences with domestic abuse victims in my own constituency of Pontypridd.
“There simply is not enough protection and support for domestic abuse victims.
“Since December my team and I have dealt with more cases of domestic abuse than I ever imagined possible.”
NEW UK STUDY FINDS THAT DOMESTIC CHILD ABUSE MAY BE SURGING DURING PANDEMIC
A new study from a UK hospital adds to evidence that domestic child abuse may be surging during the pandemic.
Between late March, when the British lockdown started, and late April, the number of new cases of head injury likely caused by child abuse seen by doctors at that hospital rose nearly 15-fold compared with the same period the previous three years, researchers reported on Thursday in Archives of Disease in Childhood.
During the study period, 10 babies, ages 17 days to 13 months, came to the emergency department with suspected abusive head trauma, whereas in past years the doctors were seeing roughly one such baby every couple of months.
The infants’ families all lived in areas of significant social and economic deprivation.
TRUMP SAYS U.S SCHOOLS MUST REOPEN IN FALL AMID PANDEMIC
President Donald Trump said on Monday that U.S. schools must open in the fall – a decision over which he has limited power – as governors struggle with a nationwide rise in coronavirus infections and states reverse and pause attempts to reopen. Schools are largely under the jurisdiction of state and local governments.
Educators have struggled with decisions over opening schools considering the risk of infection to both students and faculty. “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” Trump wrote in a Twitter post.
MACRON CREATES THREE SUPER MINISTRIES TO LEAD CORONAVIRUS RECOVERY
France is creating three beefed-up ministries for finance, social affairs and the environment to respond to the coronavirus shockwaves convulsing the economy, as Emmanuel Macron attempts to recast his presidency.
In a cabinet reshuffle days after Macron’s party took a drubbing in local elections, Elisabeth Borne will take charge of an enhanced Labour and Social Affairs ministry just as the worst economic depression in decades unravels gains on unemployment.
Macron is also seeking to reset relations with unions and voters after waves of protests.