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BREAKING: US House passes $3 trillion coronavirus aid bill

House Democrats on Friday narrowly pushed through the largest-ever US economic rescue package, but the coronavirus measure faces headwinds in the White House and Senate where Republicans bemoan its $3 trillion price tag.

The Heroes Act, which passed largely along party lines, provides some $1 trillion for state and local governments; another round of cash disbursements to millions of hard-hit American families; funds for hospitals and health workers; extended unemployment and food aid; and money for virus testing.

Almost all Republicans opposed the bill, with many branding it an exorbitant liberal wish list packed with Democratic priorities like funding for vote-by-mail programs.

The bill, crafted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats, passed mostly along party lines in a 208-199 vote.

Italy to allow travel to and from abroad 

Italy’s government on Saturday approved a decree which will allow travel to and from abroad from June 3, as it moves to unwind one of Europe’s most rigid coronavirus lockdowns.

Mexico reports fresh one-day coronavirus record of 2,409 new cases – health ministry

Mexico’s health ministry on Friday confirmed 290 additional coronavirus deaths and 2,437 new infections in a fresh one-day record rise in cases since the start of the pandemic.

The new infections brought confirmed coronavirus cases to 45,032 and 4,767 deaths in total, according to the official tally.

Mexico’s previous highest daily confirmed cases total was a day earlier on Thursday, when authorities reported 2,409 new infections. Mexico’s highest daily death toll was on Tuesday, when health authorities reported 353 fatalities. 

LATAM Airlines says cutting 1,400 jobs in South America

LATAM Airlines said Friday it would lay off 1,400 employees in South America, blaming a drastic fall-off in business due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The effects of Covid-19 are profound and makes reducing the size of the LATAM group inevitable to protect its sustainability in the medium term,” executive director Roberto Alvo said in a statement.

The jobs will be cut from operations in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, it said.

Income key factor in coronavirus cases – study

People living in the most deprived areas of Britain are more than four times likelier to test positive for Covid-19 than those living in the richest neighbourhoods, new research showed Saturday. 

A University of Oxford study looked at more than 3,600 Covid-19 test results from national programmes and found that deprivation, age and chronic liver disease all increased the likelihood of testing positive.

Of that sample, the more than 660 people living in the most deprived areas, 29.5 percent tested positive, compared with just 7.7 percent of those in richer areas, the study showed. 

Coronavirus spreads in Yemen with health system in shambles

Hundreds of people in Aden, southern Yemen’s main city, have died in the past week with symptoms of what appears to be the coronavirus, local health officials said in interviews with The Associated Press.

The officials fear the situation is only going to get worse: Yemen has little capacity to test those suspected of having the virus and a 5-year-long civil war has left the health system in shambles.

One gravedigger in Aden told AP he’d never seen such a constant flow of dead — even in a city that has seen multiple bouts of bloody street battles during the civil war.

NFL teams can reopen facilities

NFL teams can begin reopening their facilities on Tuesday if state and local governments will allow it.

In a memo sent to the 32 teams Friday by Commissioner Roger Goodell and obtained by The Associated Press, he stressed that the clubs must be “in compliance with any additional public health requirements in their jurisdiction, and have implemented the protocols that were developed by (league medical officer) Dr (Allen) Sills and distributed to all clubs on May 6.”

Brazil registers new daily record of 15,305 cases

Brazil confirmed 15,305 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, a record for a 24-hour period, as well as 824 related deaths, according to data from the Health Ministry.

Brazil has registered 218,223 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic and 14,817 deaths. 

Panama extends suspension of international flights

Panama has extended by one month to June 22 its ban on international flights due to the coronavirus outbreak, the country’s aviation authority said on Friday.

The Panama Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement the suspension was due to concerns about “public health”.

Trump says considering making vaccine available free of charge

US President Donald Trump said on Friday he was looking at possibly making a coronavirus vaccine available free of charge.

“We’re looking at that, actually,” Trump said when asked by a reporter at the White House whether a vaccine would be free. 

5 US sailors on carrier retest positive – reports

Five sailors have again tested positive for the novel coronavirus after returning to the USS Theodore Roosevelt from quarantine, according to reports on Friday.

The exact figure could not be immediately verified, but multiple reports cited the figure from a statement issued by Navy spokesman Cmdr. Clayton Doss. Doss reportedly also said “a small number of other Sailors who came in close contact with these individuals were also removed from the ship and tested.”

Those individuals will also be quarantined pending their re-test results, Doss added, according to the Navy Times.

Turkey imposes 4-day curfew in 15 provinces 

Turkey has imposed a four-day curfew in 15 provinces beginning Friday midnight in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus that has claimed 4,055 lives in the country.

The curfew got effective in the capital Ankara as well as Balikesir, Bursa, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Manisa, Sakarya, Samsun, Van and Zonguldak.

According to Interior Ministry, markets, grocery stores, greengrocers and butchers will be closed on May 16 and 17. However, they will continue to operate from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm local time (0700-1300GMT) on May 18-19.

Also, bakeries will remain opened during the four-day curfew.

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