News you might have missed
The US became the first country to record more than 20,000 deaths related to coronavirus. The total of 20,071, according to data from Johns Hopkins University on Saturday, puts the US 603 deaths ahead of second-ranked Italy. The US also has more than triple the number of confirmed cases than Spain, the second-worst affected country. Three states in particular have been badly affected: New York, New Jersey and Michigan account for three out of every five deaths in the country.
The number of deaths and patients in intensive care for coronavirus in France fell, but Jérôme Salomon, director-general of health, urged the population to remain at home and continue respecting other measures designed to stop the spread of the pandemic. He reported an additional 353 deaths in French hospitals and 290 fatalities at homes and in elderly care homes, bringing the total Covid-19 death toll since March 1 to 13,832.
Canada’s parliament is set to pass legislation to implement a 75 per cent wage subsidy for employers who have lost significant revenue because of Covid-19. The House of Commons convened for a rare Saturday session with the minimum number of MPs physically present in Ottawa to conduct business. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the bill as “the most important economic measures since the second world war”.
Priti Patel, UK home secretary, refused to apologise over shortages of personal protective equipment for National Health Service staff on the frontline in the battle against coronavirus. Asked during the daily Downing Street briefing if she wanted to apologise over a lack of PPE, Ms Patel replied: “I’m sorry if people feel that there have been failings.”
New York City schools will remain closed until the end of the school year in late June, city officials announced. Schools chancellor Richard Carranza, who heads the largest public education system in the US, said its 1.1m students will complete the term by online learning.
Landlords are set to begin legal proceedings against retailers including Boots and Poundstretcher for refusing to pay rent despite staying open during the coronavirus lockdown. The pharmacy chain and low-cost retailer are among those who will be served with statutory notices in a bid to force them to pay up. Only 41 per cent of retailers paid rent on the latest collection day of March 25, according to data compiled by Remit Consulting from six leading property management companies covering more than 25,000 leases.
Family lawyers in the UK are reporting a surge in inquiries from individuals hit hard by economic turmoil caused by coronavirus who are seeking to challenge generous divorce settlements following a change in their financial circumstances. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown stock markets into chaos and resulted in rising unemployment across the UK, causing problems for some divorcees with sizable maintenance obligations.