Sinking stocks…Aid package stuck…Airlines suffering…WHO: Virus scams
UNDATED (AP) – U.S. futures are down more than 3% after shares fell in Europe and Asia as shutdowns aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic expanded around the globe. Stocks fell in Paris, Frankfurt and London after a brutal session in Asia on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was the outlier, gaining 2.0% after the International Olympic Committee and Japanese officials indicated they are considering postponing the Tokyo Games, due to begin in July. U.S. futures slipped after work on more stimulus for the U.S. economy hit snags in the U.S. Senate.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The latest economic rescue package being negotiated in Washington is now nearly $2 trillion. But the Senate has yet to agree on the parameters of the package, voting against advancing the measure to a full vote. Talks wrapped up late at night on Capitol Hill with the goal a new vote on Monday. Democrats say the draft package is insufficient in the face of economic havoc from the coronavirus, arguing that it is tilted toward corporations and does too little to help workers and health care providers.
UNDATED (AP) – The pandemic is hitting airlines hard. Air Canada is laying off more than 5,000 flight attendants as the country’s largest airline cuts routes amid plunging demand. The Montreal-based carrier is laying off about 3,600 employees, plus 1,549 flight attendants at its low-cost subsidiary Rouge. Meanwhile, The United Arab Emirates is suspending passenger transits through Dubai, the world’s busiest international airport, for two weeks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
UNDATED (AP) – IBM is offering up its speedy supercomputer to help combat the new coronavirus. The technology company said Sunday that it is working with the White House and the U.S. Department of Energy to make its computing power more accessible to researchers tackling the coronavirus. A group that includes universities and other technology companies will evaluate proposals from researchers around the world and decide which ones will get access to the supercomputer. Separately, 3M said that it has doubled the number of face masks it makes to 100 million per month in its plants around the world.
GENEVA – The World Health Organization says criminals are increasingly posing as WHO officials in an effort to swipe information or money from people during the coronavirus crisis. WHO says attackers are using “multiple impersonation approaches” such as fraudulent phone calls and phishing on email and through social media. The U.N. health agency said it is working to confirm and debunk such attempts and alert local authorities. It has set up a website to help people prevent fraud during the coronavirus outbreak.