The latest on the global pandemic
- Associated Press
From “F9” and “In the Heights” to “The Suicide Squad” and “Black Widow,” there will be a steady stream of blockbusters populating multiplexes across the country for the first time since March 2020. Not to mention the ever-romantic concept of the shared experience. Many of the most anticipated releases were supposed to come out a year ago, including John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place Part II,” up first on May 28, the big screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning “In the Heights” (June 11), the ninth installment of the “Fast & Furious” series, “F9” (June 25), Marvel’s “Black Widow” (July 9) starring Scarlett Johansson, the Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson action adventure “Jungle Cruise” (July 30) and Nia DaCosta’s “Candyman” reboot (Aug. 27).
Primary care property developer Assura Plc said on Tuesday it expects demand for services in its buildings to rise significantly once the pandemic is over, as people take up consultation and testing related to non-COVID-19 treatments. Many hospitals globally had halted non-essential treatments as patients delayed elective surgeries, such as hip replacements and dental care, due to the coronavirus crisis and as the fear of getting infected prompted people to cut down visits to healthcare facilities.
- Associated Press
More than 20 heads of state and government from Africa held talks in Paris with the heads of international organizations Tuesday on how to revive the continent's economy, which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted deeply. Other officials, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, planned to take part via videoconference. The discussion is focused on finding ways to inject billions of dollars into African economies with the support of international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Union.
Singaporean technology group Sea chairman Forrest Li said on Tuesday the firm would scale up its fintech offerings in Southeast Asia, as the firm more than doubled revenues in 2021 thanks to growth in e-commerce and entertainment. "Digital financial services in our region are at early stages and we expect use cases to grow," the executive told an investor call. Sea, which claimed $3.4 billion in payments for its mobile wallet for the first quarter of 2021, won a digital banking licence in Singapore in December and purchased last year Indonesian lender Bank BKE ( Bank Kesejahteraan Ekonomi) to turn into a digital bank.
- Associated Press
Further evidence emerged Tuesday to show that the British economy is recovering strongly, with the number of people on payroll increasing as coronavirus lockdown measures are eased. The Office for National Statistics found that the number of payroll workers rose by 97,000 between March and April, a period when some lockdown restrictions were eased. The reopening meant many workers who had been idle over the previous months of lockdown could return to their jobs even though activity levels weren't as high as they would have been if indoor serving was allowed.
Sweden, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, has seen the number of cases and intensive care patients drop fast in the recent weeks with more than 40% of the adult population now having received at least one dose of vaccine. The Nordic country registered 10,017 new coronavirus cases since Friday, health agency statistics showed on Tuesday, a decline compared to the 13,812 cases reported during the corresponding period last week. Sweden has experienced a powerful third wave of the virus with the number of people testing positive per capita among the highest in Europe for months, in stark contrast to its Nordic neighbours where infections have remained relatively subdued throughout the pandemic.
Dubai expects to attract over 5.5 million overseas visitors this year, hopeful that new markets can help make up for the loss of visitors from key places where travel is restricted. Dubai had 5.5 million overseas visitors last year, when the tourism sector was pummelled by the coronavirus pandemic. Visitors from India, traditionally Dubai's top source market, are largely banned from the United Arab Emirates due to the latest outbreak in the South Asian nation.
- Associated Press
Beneath the scudding clouds and amid the luscious blooms, the gardeners tend the flowerbeds that were the pride and joy of impressionist painter Claude Monet, with pink and white striped tulips, diaphanous peonies, sky-blue forget-me-nots and myriad other flowers together creating a living art work. Like theater shows that weren't seen and symphonies that went unheard, the splendors of Monet's house and gardens were locked away while the coronavirus pandemic raged in France. After a closure of more than six months, the gardens at Giverny that inspired Monet's world-famous paintings of water lilies and other masterpieces reopen on Wednesday.
Britain's energy watchdog has opened a consultation on its plans not to increase an allowance for energy providers introduced to help them cope with the coronavirus pandemic. The watchdog, Ofgem, had given energy suppliers an allowance from April 1 this year to help the industry deal with the impact of the pandemic, and increased its price cap on the most widely used energy tariffs by around 9.2%. The cap on electricity and gas bills came into effect in January 2019 and was aimed at ending what had been called "rip-off" prices by energy companies.
The New York-based retailer's shares, up 70% so far this year, gained about 6% before the opening bell after it reported a surprise first-quarter profit and its comparable sales beat Wall Street estimates. "We are seeing promising signs that our core customers are shopping again, and we continue to attract new customers," Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette said. People are shopping for fine jewelry and watches, fragrance and luxury items, and "special occasion categories" have seen an improvement as customers return to a pre-pandemic lifestyles, Gennette said.