Stocks fall worldwide…New mask rules…Herd immunity
UNDATED (AP) – Stocks are lower around the globe today, a victim of worsening China-U.S. friction and concerns over aid to Americans and U.S. businesses. Markets overseas are also reacting to yesterday’s stumble on Wall Street. Shares fell today in Paris, London, Sydney and Shanghai. Tokyo’s markets are closed for a national holiday. As anticipated, China ordered the U.S. consulate in the western city of Chengdu closed in retaliation for the U.S. decision to order the shutdown of the Chinese consulate in Houston.
LONDON (AP) – New rules on wearing masks in England have come into force, with people going to shops, banks and supermarkets now required to wear face coverings. Police can hand out fines of more than $100 if people refuse, but authorities are hoping that peer pressure will prompt compliance. The move had been controversial, with the government offering mixed signals on the matter for weeks before coming up with a policy.
LONDON (AP) – The chief scientist at the World Health Organization estimates that about 50% to 60% of the population will need to be immune to the coronavirus for there to be any protective “herd immunity” effect. Herd immunity is usually achieved through vaccination and occurs when most of a population is immune to a disease, blocking its continued spread. During a social media event today, the WHO scientist said that studies done from some countries hit hard by COVID-19 show that about 5% to 10% of people now have antibodies, though in some countries, it has been as high as 20%.
BERLIN (AP) – The company that runs a German slaughterhouse that was at the center of a major outbreak last month says 30 employees have tested positive for the coronavirus in new tests — but most of them were old cases. Authorities have linked more than 2,000 cases to the outbreak at the slaughterhouse in western Germany, which led last month to a partial lockdown of the surrounding area. Those restrictions have since been lifted and the facility has reopened after a four-week closure.
UNDATED (AP) – European planemaker Airbus says it is taking the last step to end 16 years of litigation with the United States at the World Trade Organization. The manufacturer said it will end a system of financial support from France and Spain that the WTO had deemed illegal and unfair to Airbus rival Boeing. The Trump administration used the case as justification to slap tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European exports. The U.S. tariffs covered not only Airbus planes but also a range of typical European exports, from gouda cheese to single-malt whiskey.