Shares drop in Europe, Asia … Essential workers to protest on May Day … Many businesses to open in TX
UNDATED (AP) – Shares dropped in Europe and Asia today after the latest data drove home the extent of economic carnage from the coronavirus pandemic. Many world markets were closed for May Day holidays, but in early trading in Britain, the FTSE 100 sagged 2%. In Asia, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed 5% lower. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index slipped 2.8%. On Wall Street, S&P futures are down 2.2% and Dow futures are 2% lower.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Essential workers are striking nationwide today – which is May Day – to demand safer conditions during the coronavirus outbreak. Other groups are rallying against tight stay-at-home orders they say are crippling the U.S. economy. Organizers say employees of Amazon, Whole Foods, Target and FedEx have become the unexpected frontline workers of the pandemic. Workers are walking off their jobs or calling out sick to demand unpaid time off work, hazard pay, sick leave, protective gear and cleaning supplies.
PARIS, Texas (AP) – Starting today, retailers, restaurants and movie theaters in Texas have permission to let customers back in the door. Counties with fewer than five active cases of COVID-19 can reopen businesses at 50% capacity, which Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday said would apply to nearly half of the state’s 254 counties. Everywhere else – which is where most Texas live – can open back up at 25% capacity. Hair salons, gyms and bars remain closed.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) – Bangladesh has reopened hundreds of its garment factories this week after nearly one month of closures to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Critics say the move comes too early and risks igniting a sharp increase in infections among workers. An industry group says about 850 factories are operating with fewer workers than usual and following safety guidelines. Labor advocates say not enough is being done to ensure safety. Bangladesh’s 4,000 garment factories employ about 4 million workers.
HANCEVILLE, Ala. (AP) – The state of Alabama is suing Tyson Foods over a 2019 wastewater spill that caused the largest recorded fish kill in the state. The Alabama attorney general’s office filed the suit Thursday, saying a pipe failure at the Tyson plant caused over 200,000 gallons of “insufficiently-treated wastewater” to flow into the Mulberry Fork of the Black Warrior River. A Tyson spokesman says the company has tried to work with the state on conservation projects.