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France's Macron tests positive for COVID-19.

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DECEMBER 17, 2020

Reuters News Now


France's Macron tests positive
French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for COVID-19, his office said on Thursday, although it was not yet clear where he had contracted the virus.
"The President of the Republic has been diagnosed positive for COVID-19 today," his office said in a statement. "This diagnosis was made following a PCR test performed at the onset of the first symptoms."
The presidency said he would isolate for the next seven days and would continue to run the country remotely.

All European Union member states plan to start vaccinations against COVID-19 from Dec. 27, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Thursday.
"In Germany we will start, if the approval comes as planned, on Dec. 27. The other countries in the EU want to be able to start and want to start from Dec. 27," he said ahead of an online meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and executives from vaccine maker BioNTech.

Biden to get vaccine next week
President-elect Joe Biden will get the coronavirus vaccine as soon as next week, transition officials said on Wednesday, as U.S. authorities try to build public confidence in the vaccine.
Vice President Mike Pence will get the vaccine on Friday, the White House said. The vaccine will become widely available to the public next year.

Tokyo says strain on hospitals is severe
Tokyo said on Thursday the strain on its medical system was severe, raising its alert level to the highest of four stages as the number of cases spiked to a record daily high of 822.
A health official said it had become difficult to balance the care of COVID-19 patients with regular ones as hospital beds filled up, assigning a "red" alert for medical preparedness for the first time.

Israel to halt sweeping cellphone surveillance
Israel will halt its cellphone tracking of coronavirus cases next month except for carriers who refuse epidemiological questioning or in the event of a surge in contagions, a government ministry said.
Used on and off since March, the Shin Bet counter-terrorism agency's surveillance technology checks confirmed carriers' locations against other cellphones nearby to determine who they came into contact with.

From Breakingviews: Corona Capital - Macron, WPP, New Zealand, Scor Emmanuel Macron is the latest world leader to test positive for Covid-19 and New Zealand is roaring back to business. Catch up with the latest financial insights.

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After months of feuding and with a weekend deadline fast approaching, U.S. congressional negotiators were wrangling over details of a $900 billion COVID-19 aid bill that leaders have vowed to pass before going home this year.
The legislation is expected to include $600 to $700 stimulus checks, extend unemployment benefits, help pay for vaccine distribution and assist small businesses struggling in a crisis that has killed more than 304,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work.

From Navajo Nation to New Orleans, challenges arise in vaccine roll out
From the wide-open spaces of a U.S. tribal nation to urban hospital emergency rooms, doctors, nurses and delivery people are wrestling with challenges in the roll-out of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine - including delays, anxiety and keeping the drug at just the right level of cold.

When Jennifer Granholm was governor of auto-manufacturing Michigan, she led a charge that secured a whopping $1.35 billion in federal funding for companies to make electric cars and batteries in her state.
As President-elect Joe Biden’s expected energy secretary, Granholm now faces a bigger task: making good on his campaign promise to help the United States compete with China on electric vehicles as part of a $2 trillion plan to fight climate change.


Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he had not yet decided whether or not he would run for president again when his current term in the Kremlin ends in 2024, and that it was too early to talk about it.
Putin presided over sweeping constitutional reforms this year that, among other things, allow him to run for two more six-year terms as president, potentially extending his rule until 2036.

Killings by small, magnetic bombs slapped under vehicles are unnerving Afghan officials, activists and journalists, who blame the Taliban for the attacks that are increasing despite peace talks aimed at ending two decades of war.
At least 10 government officials and their aides have been killed by “sticky bombs” in recent weeks, mostly in the capital Kabul. The tactic, senior security officials and Western diplomats say, is meant to instil fear while avoiding large-scale civilian casualties.

The United States has warned Pacific island nations about security threats posed by a Chinese company’s cut-price bid to build an undersea internet cable, two sources told Reuters, part of an international development project in the region.
Huawei Marine, which was recently divested from Huawei Technologies and is now majority-owned by another Chinese firm, submitted bids along with French-headquartered Alcatel Submarine Networks, part of Finland’s Nokia, and Japan’s NEC, for the $72.6 million project backed by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, the sources with direct knowledge of the project details said.


Global chip shortage threatens production of laptops, smartphones and more

Makers of cars and electronic devices from TVs to smartphones are sounding alarm bells about a global shortage of chips, which is causing manufacturing delays as consumer demand bounces back from the coronavirus crisis.


Surging investor interest sends bitcoin to peak past $23,000

Bitcoin rose to a record high on Thursday, just a day after passing the $20,000 milestone for the first time, amid surging interest from larger investors.


Climate change turns up the heat on ad industry

Critics have long attacked the oil industry for ad campaigns that they call “greenwashing” - telling people that policies or products are more environmentally friendly than they really are. But the ad agencies behind the campaigns have largely escaped scrutiny.


Macron and the moguls: Inside the fight over a 'French Fox News'

Behind the corporate battle for French media company Lagardere, there’s a political tug-of-war involving the country’s richest man, a media magnate and President Emmanuel Macron.



China welcomes WHO to investigate COVID-19

CHINA   1:54

U.S. labels Switzerland, Vietnam currency cheats


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