Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 13 Apr 2020
Oil producers agree record oil cut
Oil-producing nations finally agreed to end the oil war that has ramped up crude output even as the coronavirus pandemic has decimated demand. Oil prices have been plummeting as a result, but on Sunday a coordinated effort from Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States - the world’s three biggest oil sellers - led to a commitment to cut nearly 10 million barrels per day from the global supply. At about 10 percent of global supply, this is the largest cut ever agreed.
UK GDP could fall be 30%, Sunak says
The UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) could fall by between 25 and 30 percent between April and June, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has told cabinet colleagues. According to reports, ten ministers support the easing of lockdown restrictions next month. “It’s important that we don’t end up doing more damage with the lockdown. We’re looking at another three weeks of lockdown and then we can start to ease it,” one unnamed minister is reported to have said.
Trump resisted calls for earlier counter-virus measures
A New York Times report on Saturday detailed how infectious disease experts around President Trump urged swift and decisive action against the impending contagion, but were met with skepticism and inaction. In light of the story, the government’s top infectious disease expert, the now-prominent Dr Anthony Fauci, acknowledged to CNN on Sunday that “there was a lot of pushback.” Soon after, Trump reposted a Twitter message that said “Time to #FireFauci”.
Pope Francis leads Easter Mass on video from St Peter's
Unable to lead his Easter Mass to packed pews as he normally would, Pope Francis spoke to his global congregation by live video on Sunday. Addressing millions from a nearly empty St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, the Pope urged a “contagion of hope.” in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which, he said, was “severely testing our whole human family.” “For many, this is an Easter of solitude,” Francis said, “but the Lord has not left us alone.”
Stirling Moss dies
Motor racing luminary and legendary bon vivant Sir Stirling Moss has died peacefully in his London home aged 90, after a long illness. Moss raced for 14 years in the 1950s and ‘60s, winning over 40 percent of the races he ever entered, developing a reputation as a charismatic daredevil and setting land-speed records along the way - but never quite clinching a formula one title. “It was one lap too many,” his wife, Susie, told The Associated Press. “He just closed his eyes.”
The coronavirus claims the life of Tim Brooke-Taylor
The death of beloved radio and television comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor has been met by eulogies from his colleagues and fans. “It is with great sadness that we announce Tim’s death early today from Covid-19,” said a statement from his agent on Sunday. “He was a funny, sociable, generous man who was a delight to work with,” said his fellow Goodie Graeme Garden. “His loss at this dreadful time is particularly hard to bear.”
UK could be there worst affected European country
The UK could become the “worst affected country in Europe”, according to Sir Jeremy Farrar, an infectious disease expert who advises the government. Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Farrar said that “second and third waves” of the coronavirus were “probably inevitable”, and that while a vaccine might be ready by this autumn, it was unlikely to be scalable to immunise billions of people fast.
Andrea Bocelli sings virtual Easter performance to millions
Renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli performed a solo Easter concert from Milan’s Duomo cathedral on Sunday. Streamed live on YouTube, the “Music for Hope” performance has garnered over 22 million views on the platform. “Thanks to music, streamed live, bringing together millions of clasped hands everywhere in the world, we will hug this wounded Earth’s pulsing heart,” Bocelli said, before singing “Panis Angelicus,” “Ave Maria,” “Sancta Maria” and “Domine Deus”, and finishing with “Amazing Grace”.
Assange fathered two children in Ecuador's London embassy
Stella Morris, the partner of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, has revealed that the couple had two sons in secret while Assange was confined in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The 48-year-old Australian was dragged from the Embassy after seven years inside, and is now being held in Belmarsh prison. Morris believes Assange’s health leaves him particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 - and Belmarsh is currently suffering an outbreak.
Coronavirus: exposing class divides
The new coronavirus has turned life upside down around the globe, confining millions to their homes, putting people out of work and hospitalising hundreds of thousands.
But while the impact has been felt widely, it has not necessarily been felt evenly.