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Here are today’s picks from our editors.
COVID-19 to slash global economic output by $8.5 trln over next two years
Against the backdrop of a devastating pandemic, the global economy is projected to contract sharply by 3.2 percent this year, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-2020 report published on Wednesday.
The global economy is expected to lose nearly $8.5 trillion in output over the next two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wiping out nearly all gains of the previous four years.
The report estimates that GDP growth in developed economies is expected to plunge to minus 5 percent in 2020. (Xinhua)
China's risk of COVID-19 cluster infections caused by sporadic cases cannot be ignored
China's risk of COVID-19 cluster infections caused by sporadic cases cannot be ignored although the epidemic is in a generally stable state in the country at the moment, a health official said Wednesday.
The newly reported six confirmed domestically transmitted cases in the Chinese mainland on Tuesday were all related to previous cluster infections, said Song Shuli, a spokesperson for the National Health Commission, at a press conference in Beijing.
"We need to stay alert and put in place measures for regular epidemic response to resolutely prevent new outbreaks," she added. (Xinhua)
Powell warns of a possible sustained recession from pandemic
US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell warned Wednesday of the threat of a prolonged recession resulting from the viral outbreak and urged Congress and the White House to act further to prevent long-lasting economic damage.
Powell cautioned that numerous bankruptcies among small businesses and extended unemployment for many people remain a serious risk.
Additional rescue aid from government spending or tax policies, though costly, would be “worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery,” he said. (AP)
France reopens some beaches to the public
Runners and swimmers returned to beaches on Wednesday as France reopened a section of Atlantic coast beaches that had been closed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The beachgoers are however only allowed to swim or fish, but not to sunbathe.
Visitors should respect the social-distancing rule of one meter between individuals, said a tweet from the Loire-Atlantique department. (CGTN)
Israeli researchers develop physical COVID-19 test with immediate results
Israeli researchers have developed a physical coronavirus breath test, providing results within one minute, Ben Gurion University (BGU) said Wednesday.
Most current biological methods take several hours and even days and require complex logistical steps to transfer sensitive and contagious samples to test labs.
However, the new physical method developed by BGU researchers allows the most rapid result in a simple method, with high accuracy.
This may help conduct tests at entrances of airports, factories and large companies and thus help countries restore their economies to full activity. (Xinhua)
Indian LG plant lacked environmental clearance before leak
A plastics factory in India where a chemical gas leak killed 12 people and sickened hundreds more last week lacked federal environmental clearance but had been issued state permits to operate anyway, exposing a potentially dangerous enforcement gap in the country’s laws.
Interviews with officials and legal experts indicate that the plant was likely operating in a legal grey area, with the environmental clearance required under federal regulations but the enforcement of those requirements left up to states. There has been no indication that the lack of such a clearance played a role in the May 7 disaster. (AP)
Woman falls into thermal feature in closed Yellowstone park
A US woman illegally visited Yellowstone National Park while it’s closed during the coronavirus pandemic and suffered burns Tuesday when she fell into a thermal feature, officials said.
She was reportedly backing up while taking photos and fell into a hot spring or hole where hot gases emerge near Old Faithful geyser, park spokeswoman Linda Veress said in an email.
Despite her injuries, the woman drove for roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers) until park rangers stopped her near Mammoth Hot Springs. She was flown to a hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho. (AP)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
Who played Jack Dawson in the 1997 epic Titanic?
(Answer: Leonardo DiCaprio.)
Today's quote is from Irish dramatist Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).
"Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, and Elaine Yue Lin. Music by Eugene Loner.)