An attempt to test almost the entire population of Slovakia for coronavirus identified 57,500 new infections, official data show. The country tested 3.6m people — two-thirds of its population — on 31 October and 1 November using rapid antigen tests, before testing a further 2m high-risk people last weekend.
Wales has cancelled all summer exams for secondary school students because of the coronavirus pandemic. Welsh education minister Kirsty Williams said it would be unfair to set A-levels, A/S levels and GCSEs because the time students have been spending in school is so varied.
Thousands of struggling UK businesses applied to banks on Tuesday for extra money from state-guaranteed “bounce back” loans as England entered the first full week of the new national lockdown. Last week, the government eased the support scheme’s rules to help businesses manage their cash flow.
Brazil’s health regulator is facing a political backlash after suspending trials of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine following an event that scientists said was unrelated to the testing. The regulator, Anvisa, said that a CoronaVac trial of 9,000 people had been halted due to an “adverse event” on October 29.
Norwegian Air Shuttle has long been defined by its lofty ambitions to disrupt the global aviation industry but the pandemic has left the pioneering carrier focused on survival. Co-founded by former fighter pilot Bjorn Kjos in 1992, the airline this week acknowledged that bankruptcy was a possibility.
Simon Property Group, America’s biggest mall owner, and Brookfield Asset Management have been given the green light to buy US department store chain JCPenney for $1.75bn, in a deal expected to save about 60,000 jobs. JCPenney was among the biggest casualties of the pandemic in the US retail sector.
Spotify has agreed to buy podcasting company Megaphone for about $235m, the music streaming group’s latest move in its quest to become the leader of all things audio and as locked-down and homebound listeners embrace podcasts during the coronavirus pandemic.
US banks stand to reap a windfall from an early vaccine for Covid-19 after positive trial data from Pfizer and BioNTech sharply widened the gap between long and short-term bond yields. Stephen Scherr, Goldman Sachs’ chief financial officer, said the vaccine news “will be good for banks”.