Today's Intel

Mar. 17, 2020

REUTERS

The coronavirus shockwaves rippling through U.S. stocks are forcing investors to contemplate outcomes more dire than a recession, including several quarters of declining economic activity, a credit crisis or even a depression.

Ohio will postpone its presidential nominating election planned for Tuesday, despite a judge's refusal to endorse a postponement, because the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus makes it too dangerous, Governor Mike DeWine said.

A Russian firm accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election said on Tuesday it planned to file a $50 billion lawsuit against the United States after a U.S. federal judge dismissed the criminal case against it.

U.S. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer will propose legislation totaling at least $750 billion to combat the coronavirus outbreak and help the economy, his office said in a statement on Monday. He will present the package as early as Tuesday, the statement said.

European Union leaders meeting via videoconference on Tuesday are likely to seal off Europe's external borders and stress a "whatever it takes" approach to easing the economic fallout as the continent braces for a long coronavirus crisis.

France went under lockdown on Tuesday as President Emmanuel Macron toughened measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus and his government promised financial help worth tens of billions of euros to ensure companies stayed afloat.

Alarmed consumers thronged markets across Africa on Tuesday, many in masks and gloves, to stock up as the coronavirus spread on the world's poorest continent.

Armenia on Monday declared a state of emergency until April 14 to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, and postponed a referendum on changes to the Constitutional Court until after the emergency.

The government will grant Israeli companies an initial amount of $13 million for research and development of products and technologies to help fight Covid-19.

AP Top Stories

The Philippines has detected an outbreak of avian flu in a northern province after tests showed presence of the highly infectious H5N6 subtype of the influenza A virus at a quail farm, the country's agriculture secretary said on Monday.

The United States on Monday demanded that Vietnam immediately free a blogger who was sentenced to 10 years in prison after posts critical of the government.

Last week, the International Criminal Court (ICC) authorized an investigation of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by U.S., Afghan, and Taliban troops in Afghanistan, as well as by CIA black sites operated in Poland, Lithuania, and Romania. While the prosecution will likely fail, it represents another effort by a global elite - consisting of European governments, international organizations, and their supporting interest groups, academics, and activists - to threaten American sovereignty.

China on Monday urged the United States to lift sanctions on Iran immediately during the Middle Eastern country's response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The European Union is considering the drastic step of suspending nearly all incoming travel to the 27-member bloc to combat not only the coronavirus but also the "every country for itself" ethos spreading rapidly through member states.

President Donald Trump said Americans should buy fewer groceries as retailers struggle to keep food and other products in stock because of concern over the spread of coronavirus. "There's no need for anybody in the country to hoard essential food supplies. You don't have to buy the quantities because it's hard to refill the stores. Trump added: "Relax. We're doing great. It all will pass."

Chile and Peru announced a total closure of their borders on Monday while Latin America's largest airline said it was reducing operations by 70 percent as the region scrambled to stem the rapidly-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Greenland and Antarctica have lost 6.4 trillion tons of ice in the past three decades; unabated, this rate of melting could cause flooding that affects hundreds of millions of people by the end of the century, NASA said in a statement.

BBC

Financial markets remain turbulent as a massive slowdown in economic activity due to the coronavirus takes hold across Europe and in the US. In the US, shares rallied in opening trade, but quickly retreated, failing to rebound from Monday's steep falls. London's FTSE 100 also shed early gains to drop more than 1%, with other major European markets making similar moves. However, government promises of financial aid helped to limit the falls.

Workers at Amazon's UK warehouses are being told to work overtime to tackle huge demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, despite government calls to restrict social contact.

Chad is repaying Angola a debt of $100m with cattle. The unusual agreement is seen as creating a win-win situation for both nations - Chad is short of cash while Angola needs cattle. More than 1,000 cows arrived by ship in Angola's capital, Luanda, as the first payment. In total, Angola would receive 75,000 cattle over 10 years, meaning it has accepted payment of $1,333 per animal. Chad would send a further 3,500 head of cattle later this month, the report added.

A collection of supposedly valuable Dead Sea Scroll fragments on display at the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC has been found to be fake. After six months of analysis, experts released a 200-page report detailing how the fragments were forged - likely made from old shoe leather.

WND

The various emergency orders being adopted by governments across the United States to respond to the threat of COVID-19 grant officials a wide range of extreme power, sometimes including the options to stop the sale of alcohol, stop the sale of gasoline, stop the sale of guns, ration food and other commodities, and even confiscate property.

When billions of locusts stripped hundreds of square miles of African croplands a few weeks ago, there were warnings it might get worse. Now, a second wave is about to descend that has the potential to damage the food and economic security of a tenth of the world's population. The worldwide Christian charity Barnabas Fund noted the desert locust is considered the most dangerous migratory pest on earth.

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