Virus

Election costs soar in prep for virus voting

WASHINGTON (AP) — The demand for mail-in ballots is surging. Election workers need training. And polling booths might have to be outfitted with protective shields during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As officials prepare for the Nov. 3 election, one certainty is clear: It’s coming with a big price tag.

“Election officials don’t have nearly the resources to make the preparations and changes they need to make to run an election in a pandemic,” said Wendy Weiser, head of the democracy program at the Brennan Center for Justice. “We are seeing this all over the place.”

The pandemic has sent state and local officials scrambling to prepare for an election like few others, an extraordinary endeavor during a presidential contest, as virus cases continue to rise across much of the U.S.

COVID-related worries are bringing demands for steps to make sure elections that are just four months away are safe. But long-promised

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Florida Breaks Record Daily Cases in U.S. Outbreak: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

Florida reported 15,300 new virus cases, the biggest one-day rise since the coronavirus pandemic began in the U.S. The number exceeds records from New York, California and Texas, all of which have reported daily counts at almost 12,000. Reported deaths in Florida dropped to 44, from 95 the day before.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said “the rule should be that kids go back to school this fall,” despite rising cases around the country.

South Africa may reintroduce tighter regulations on the movement of people and curb sales of alcohol as coronavirus infections soar, the Sunday Times reported. Hungary is also restricting travel after spikes in neighboring countries. Infections in Germany increased by 377.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 12.7 million; deaths surpass 565,000Aversion to mask-wearing holds back U.S. economyU.K. set to tighten rules on wearing face masksWall Street forges a new relationship to data in coronavirus

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Florida Cases Hit Record; Push to Open Schools: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

Florida reported its highest-ever increase of Covid-19 cases, 15,300, or a 6% rise compared to a 4.8% average over the last week. Reported deaths dropped to 44, from 95 the day before.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said “the rule should be that kids go back to school this fall,” despite rising cases around the country.

South Africa may reintroduce tighter regulations on the movement of people and curb sales of alcohol as coronavirus infections soar, the Sunday Times reported. Hungary is also restricting travel after spikes in neighboring countries. Infections in Germany increased by 377.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 12.7 million; deaths surpass 565,000Aversion to mask-wearing holds back U.S. economyU.K. set to tighten rules on wearing face masksWall Street forges a new relationship to data in coronavirus ageConflicting visions emerge for South Africa’s post-virus revivalAnonymity helped overcome stigma in Korean nightclub probe

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Push to Reopen U.S. Schools; New York Cases Steady: Virus Update

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said “the rule should be that kids go back to school this fall,” despite rising cases around the country. New York reported 677 new cases, in line with daily rises in the last week, and five deaths.

South Africa may reintroduce tighter regulations on the movement of people and curb sales of alcohol as coronavirus infections soar, the Sunday Times reported. Hungary is also restricting travel after spikes in neighboring countries. Infections in Germany increased by 377.

Thailand plans to start human trials for a locally developed, potential Covid-19 vaccine as early as September, making it among the first done outside high-income countries, after encouraging results in monkeys and mice.

Global Tracker: Cases top 12.7 million; deaths surpass 565,000Aversion to mask-wearing holds back U.S. economyU.K. set to tighten rules on wearing face masksWall Street forges a new relationship to data in coronavirus ageConflicting visions emerge … Read More

Virus spread, not politics should guide schools, doctors say

As the Trump administration pushes full steam ahead to force schools to resume in-person education, public health experts warn that a one-size-fits-all reopening could drive infection and death rates even higher.

They’re urging a more cautious approach, which many local governments and school districts are already pursuing.

There are too many uncertainties and variables, they say, for back-to-school to be back-to-normal.

Where is the virus spreading rapidly? Do students live with aged grandparents? Do teachers have high-risk health conditions that would make online teaching safest? Do infected children easily spread COVID-19 to each other and to adults?

Regarding the latter, some evidence suggests they don’t, but a big government study aims to find better proof. Results won’t be available before the fall, and some schools are slated to reopen in just a few weeks.

“These are complicated issues. You can’t just charge straight ahead,” Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of

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South Africa May Reimpose Curbs; Iran Cases Slow: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

South Africa may reintroduce tighter regulations on the movement of people and curb sales of alcohol as coronavirus infections soar, the Sunday Times reported. Hungary is also restricting travel after spikes in neighboring countries.

Thailand plans to start human trials for a locally developed, potential Covid-19 vaccine as early as September, making it among the first done outside high-income countries, after encouraging results in monkeys and mice.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to tell Parliament this week it will be compulsory for Britons to wear face masks in shops, according to news reports, soon after saying that it was only optional to do so. Infections in Germany increased by 377.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 12.7 million; deaths surpass 565,000Aversion to mask-wearing holds back U.S. economyU.K. set to tighten rules on wearing face masksWall Street forges a new relationship to data in coronavirus ageConflicting visions

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Virus Spurs Emerging Market Investors to Seek Returns in ESG

(Bloomberg) — Emerging-market investors may have identified the rare animal that offers a path to sustainable post-pandemic returns. Now they just need to find it.

The worst crisis since World War II is prompting some fund managers to rethink their strategies in a world with $13 trillion of sub-zero yielding debt and an increasing view that a V-shaped recovery is unlikely. Seeking opportunities in ESG, investments in countries and companies that are improving environmental, social and governance standards, are becoming crucial more than ever as investors navigate the pandemic-stoked market volatility.

“This is a crisis unlike anything we’ve seen and we cannot just go back to our old textbooks anymore that say ‘go buy the dip’,” said Thu Ha Chow, a money manager at Loomis Sayles Investment Asia Pte, who has been investing since Enron’s collapse. “The social and governance elements are going to be more important, but they can

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Google, Amazon Funnel Money to Virus Conspiracy Sites: Study

(Bloomberg) — Digital advertising platforms run by Google, Amazon.com Inc. and other tech companies will funnel at least $25 million to websites spreading misinformation about Covid-19 this year, according to a study released Wednesday.

Google’s platforms will provide $19 million, or $3 out of every $4 that the misinformation sites get in ad revenue. OpenX, a smaller digital ad distributor, handles about 10% of the money, while Amazon’s technology delivers roughly $1.7 million, or 7%, of the digital marketing spending these sites will receive, according to a research group called the Global Disinformation Index.

GDI made the estimates in a study that analyzed ads running between January and June on 480 English language websites identified as publishers of virus misinformation. Some of the ads were for brands including cosmetics giant L’Oreal SA, furniture website Wayfair Inc. and imaging technology company Canon Inc. The data exclude social-media and online-video services, so

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N.J. to Require Masks Outdoors; U.K. Stimulus Plan: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — New Jersey’s governor said he will require the public to wear masks in outdoor crowds. Brooks Brothers Group Inc. filed for bankruptcy, becoming the latest veteran retailer to succumb to the pandemic’s impact on clothing sales.

Britain’s finance minister unveiled a plan to save jobs, and cut taxes on property and dining out to stimulate spending. France’s new prime minister said he would back targeted restrictions to preserve the economy if the country has a second wave of infections. Violence flared in Serbia, with Belgrade facing lockdown at the weekend.

The U.S. gave the United Nations a one-year notice that it plans to exit the World Health Organization, and President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok in retaliation for China’s handling of the outbreak.

Global Tracker: Cases near 11.9 million; deaths exceed 544,700U.S. plans a testing surge as latest virus data hints at shiftNew York City’s rental market … Read More

McConnell eyes virus aid as evictions, benefits cuts loom

WASHINGTON (AP) — An eviction moratorium is lifting. Extra unemployment benefits are ending. Parents are being called to work, but schools are struggling to reopen for fall as the COVID-19 crisis shows no signs of easing.

With Congress bracing for the next coronavirus aid package, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is outlining Republican priorities as earlier programs designed to ease Americans through the pandemic and economic fallout begin to expire. He is eyeing $1 trillion in new aid.

“This is not over,” McConnell said during a visit to a food pantry Monday in Louisville, Kentucky.

The GOP leader’s next virus aid package is centered on liability protections, a top priority for Republicans seeking to shield doctors, schools, businesses and others from coronavirus-related lawsuits brought by patrons claiming injuries during reopenings.

McConnell is also considering a fresh round of direct payments targeted at those earning $40,000 a year or less. He

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