– The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Ed Sheeran were among some 1,500 musicians who called on Thursday for the British government to help the live music business survive the coronavirus epidemic. “The future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak,” the musicians wrote in an open letter to British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. “Until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be…"‘Help!’ cry British musicians, warning of crisis in live music industry"
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives approved a massive $1.5 trillion infrastructure package on Wednesday by a 233 to 188 vote to boost spending on roads, bridges, public transit and rail but the White House and Senate Republicans both said they oppose the measure. Representative Peter DeFazio, the Democrat who chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the measure “deals with the incredibly deteriorated infrastructure in this country” and addresses the threat of climate…"U.S. House approves $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill but outlook uncertain"
BRASILIA – Brazil posted a trade surplus of $7.5 billion in June, official data showed on Wednesday, more than the median consensus forecast in a poll of economists of a $6.95 billion surplus and up sharply from a $5.4 billion surplus a year ago. Exports totaled $17.9 billion and imports were $10.4 billion, the Economy Ministry said, adding the accumulated January-June surplus of $23 billion was 10% smaller than the same period last year."Brazil posts $7.5 billion trade surplus in June: Economy Ministry"
GENEVA – Nations who fail to use every mechanism available to combat the still-raging novel coronavirus will struggle to beat it, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. “Some countries … have taken a fragmented approach. These countries face a long, hard road ahead,” Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from WHO headquarters in Geneva, without singling out any nations. More than 10.5 million people have been infected globally and more…"WHO warns some nations still face ‘long, hard’ battle with COVID-19"
TOULOUSE, France – Airbus’ job cut target could be reduced depending on part-time working agreements or government research funding, the European planemaker’s human resources officer said on Tuesday. Airbus said on Monday it would cut 15,000 jobs in Europe in a restructuring after a 40% slump in its 55 billion euro ($61.8 billion) jet business, sparking concerns about compulsory redundancies in France where it has its headquarters. “That figure might not be the definite figure…"Airbus HR chief says job cut target could be reduced"
DENVER – Federal law enforcement authorities said on Tuesday a civil rights investigation is underway into the death in 2019 of an unarmed Black man in Colorado after police applied a chokehold to him and he was sedated by paramedics. The federal probe was launched last year into the death of Elijah McClain, 23, who went into cardiac arrest and died days after the encounter in the Denver suburb of Aurora, according to a joint…"FBI, Justice Department probing death of Black man in encounter with Colorado police"
NEW YORK – A majority of New York City Council members voted to pass the 2021 fiscal year budget on Tuesday that seeks to close a $9 billion revenue shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The budget includes cuts to the New York Police Department’s spending amid more than a month of nationwide protests against police brutality, but City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said it was smaller than then $1 billion cut he and protesters…"New York City Council passes 2021 budget, including some police cuts"
SEATTLE – Seattle crews on Tuesday used heavy machinery to remove some barricades around the city’s “autonomous zone”, as die-hard anti-racism demonstrators camped out for a fourth week despite legal and political pressure to end their protest. Following four nights of gun violence in the last 10 days that left two black teenagers dead and two more people hospitalized, the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) outside an abandoned police precinct has diminished in size and…"Diminished but not dismantled, Seattle protest occupation enters fourth week"
BRASILIA – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday signed a decree to extend emergency stipends to informal workers hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, as official figures showed record deficits and mounting unemployment. The decree keeps alive a popular and crucial program for millions of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people, but which has added to the concerns of policymakers and financial markets about the surging government deficit. The monthly stipend of 600 reais…"Bolsonaro extends aid to Brazilians as jobs plummet, public debt soars"
BRASILIA – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday signed a decree to extend an emergency stipend to informal workers cushioning the blow of the COVID-19 crisis, keeping alive a popular program that has added to concerns about a surging government deficit. The monthly stipend of 600 reais ($110), previously set to expire this month, has provided a lifeline to struggling Brazilians and a bump to Bolsonaro’s popularity among the poorer voters he has traditionally struggled…"Bolsonaro signs decree extending emergency aid to Brazilians"