Coronavirus live news: Trump suspends WHO funding as Denmark begins to reopen schools – The Guardian,

Coronavirus live news: Trump suspends WHO funding as Denmark begins to reopen schools – The Guardian,

China is trying to exploit the global crisis triggered by the coronavirus outbreak by wresting control of companies such as Imagination Technologies and changing the way the internet works, a senior British lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, told Sky:

We’re seeing quite a lot of action by the Chinese state, or state-owned companies, that seem to be exploiting this moment.

Companies like Imagination Technologies … it’s been facing a rather hostile change in management in the last few weeks, which happened to coincide not just with the Covid crisis but also the prime minister being taken into hospital and the Easter weekend.

Tugendhat said he was concerned by US President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend funding for the World Health Organization.

“I’m concerned by this,” he said. “This is of course an important time for the WHO to be doing its job.”

“I understand his concerns with the way that the WHO has failed to call out China or indeed recognize the success that has been going on in Taiwan amongst other places.”


Amazon faces having its operations reduced to a bare minimum in

The court in Nanterre, outside Paris, said Amazon France had “failed to recognize its obligations regarding the security and health of its workers”, according to a ruling seen by AFP.

While carrying out the health evaluation, Amazon can prepare and deliver only “food, hygiene and medical products”, the court said.

The injunction must be carried out within (hours, or Amazon France could face fines of € 1m (£ 968, 602) per day

Amazon has one month to carry out the evaluation.

An Amazon delivery driver delivers packages in Paris, France. Photograph: Stephane Cardinale – Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images

The ruling comes as consumers around the world flock to Amazon during the coronavirus lockdown. But concern has grown over the safety precautions taken by the company, and dozens of workers protested in the US last month .

Amazon has been hiring thousands of workers as business booms in countries affected by the coronavirus outbreak, after authorities imposed business closures and stay-at-home orders to try to limit infections.

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(EU sets out roadmap for members to ease lockdowns

The European Union moved on Wednesday to head off a chaotic and potentially disastrous easing of restrictions that are limiting the spread of the coronavirus, warning its nations to move very cautiously as they return to normal life and base their actions on scientific advice.

With Austria, the Czech Republic and Denmark already lifting some lockdown measures, the EU’s executive arm, the European commission, was rushing out its roadmap for members to coordinate an exit from lockdown, which it expects should take several months .

The Commission said those scientists should be relied upon to guide national exit strategies in the weeks and months to come.

The European commission said the easing of lockdowns should take several months. Photograph: Yves Herman / Reuters

Brussels is deeply concerned about the damage that could be done if each EU nation charts its own course, given the panic that reigned after the pandemic first spread in (Italy ), with unannounced border closures that sparked massive traffic jams and export bans that deprived hard-hit countries of medical equipment.

The EU is very much split in its approach. France this week renewed its lockdown until 23 May, and Belgium appears headed in a similar direction. (Spain also recently renewed its state of emergency a second time, for an additional two weeks.

In a draft of its roadmap, seen by the Associated Press, the EU commission says

It warns this should only happen when the spread of the disease has dropped for some time and when hospitals can cope with more patients.

While the commission, which proposes EU laws and ensures that they are enforced, does not spell out exactly how EU countries should make the transition, it does underline that the exit should be gradual.

Social distancing should be maintained and there should be no general return to work, it says.

, with possible limits on the number of people who can enter, and schools could start again , although the commission recommends smaller classes to allow students to work at a safer distance from each other.

Brussels says a gap of around

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(9.) am BST :

Andrew Roth

Crowds and long lines have formed in the Moscow

Anna Nemtsova (@ annanemtsova) Today’s the first day Muscovites need the QR codes to go to work. A friend sent me this: to use the metro people wait in a crowded corridor for a policeman to check their documents. Shocking. (# COVIDmoscow April ,

(dmitry) (@ berserkerr) Фотку скинули вон. Метро Кантемировская сейчас (April) ,

Russia on Wednesday announced a


At this rate, the confirmed caseload will double every five days.

Starting today, Muscovites are required to carry a QR-code giving them permission to travel to work or other destinations in the city. The permission slips became mandatory on Wednesday for drivers and passengers in taxis or on public transport.

Demand is high: the city on Monday said it had already issued 3.2m passes But the system’s clumsy rollout has sparked outrage, with critics saying the government has created a potential new hotbed for infections.

On Wednesday, large traffic jams formed coming into Moscow as police began checking all cars for the mandatory passes, while metro passengers were forced into queues that could last more than an hour

Sergey Elkin, a popular cartoonist, posted a photo from the Preobrazhenskaya Ploshchad metro station comparing the current situation to the outrage at Muscovites flocking to the parks several weeks ago when Vladimir Putin declared a non-working week.

“Now this is the work of the government,” he wrote.

Sergey Elkin (@ Sergey_Elkin) Помните как неделю назад “полезные блогеры” причитали про разгул любителей шаш ? А теперь работа властей: Вот сегодня утром метро Преображенская площадь в Москве проверка пров Ну что победили шашлычников? (April ,

Moscow’s mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, blamed the police for creating the queues. “I spoke with the head of the police department and asked them to organize their work so that further checks would not lead to a mass gathering of people,” he wrote.

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In a first step towards easing coronavirus-related restrictions,

(Finland will lift roadblocks) in the region around Helsinki on Wednesday, the prime minister, Sanna Marin, said.

Travel restrictions to and from Uusimaa, the capital region, to the rest of the country began on 50 March, to prevent people from spreading the virus to other parts of the country.

Marin said the government no longer had legal grounds to continue the lockdown, considering it an extreme measure to restrict people’s freedom of movement so strictly.

“It is no longer an absolutely necessary restriction measure in the way required in the Emergency Powers Act,” Marin said.

The government nevertheless recommended people avoid all unnecessary travel, she said.

The Finnish army had set up roadblocks on all routes that connect the Uusimaa region with the rest of the country. Photograph: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva / AFP via Getty Images

Uusimaa has been the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Finland, but the spread of the disease has levelled out across regions in the past weeks, making the capital region’s lockdown less effective and less justifiable.

The other measures in place include the closure of schools and public places such as libraries until May. Restaurants will remain closed until the end of May, except for takeaway sales.

By Tuesday, Finland had

3, 301 confirmed coronavirus cases

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