News Corp Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch will forgo his cash bonus for the current fiscal year due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on business, the company said on Wednesday.
Murdoch, who is also the chairman of Fox Corp, last month agreed to forgo his Fox salary through 30 September, in response to the coronavirus crisis.
Chief Executive Officer Robert Thomson will also forgo 75% of his annual cash bonus, the Wall Street Journal owner added. The collective cuts in bonuses and other cost initiatives will have a positive impact on the company’s profitability and cash position, News Corp said.
US President Donald Trump on Thursday said Russian President Vladimir Putin had accepted his offer to provide ventilators to aid in the fight against the novel coronavirus causes a potentially deadly respiratory illness, adding that Russia is having a hard time with the disease, Reuters reports.
Trump and Putin spoke by phone on Thursday, where they discussed the coronavirus as well as arms control, according to the White House.
In case you missed it, here is the full story on the Trump administration’s decision to bury a document from the US Centers for Disease Control:
The Trump administration shelved a document created by the nation’s top disease investigators with step-by-step advice to local authorities on how and when to reopen restaurants and other public places during the still-raging coronavirus outbreak.
The 17-page report by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team, titled Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework, was researched and written to help faith leaders, business owners, educators and state and local officials as they begin to reopen.
The AP obtained a copy from a second federal official who was not authorised to release it. The guidance was described in AP stories last week, prior to the White House decision to shelve it.
The Trump administration has been closely controlling the release of guidance and information during the coronavirus pandemic that scientists are still trying to understand, with the president himself leading freewheeling daily briefings until last week.
Traditionally, it’s been the CDC’s role to give the public and local officials guidance and science-based information during public health crises. During this one, however, the CDC has not had a regular, pandemic-related news briefing in nearly two months. Dr Robert Redfield, the CDC director, has been a member of the White House coronavirus task force, but largely absent from public appearances.
Hello and welcome to today’s live global coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
I’m Helen Sullivan, and I’ll be taking you through the latest news from around the world for the next few hours.
The White House has reportedly shelved a document created by the nation’s top disease investigators, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with step-by-step advice to local authorities on how and when to reopen restaurants and other public places during the still-raging coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile Trump has again claimed the virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan, but provided no evidence.
The Australian government has hit back at the claim, saying that it has determined that a “dossier” giving weight to the theory is not a Five Eyes intelligence document, but instead a compilation of open-source material – reports and studies that were publicly available. The identity of the author remains unclear.
Here are the most important recent developments:
- Global death toll passes 265,000. The total number of coronavirus deaths across the world has reached at least 268,999, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has tracked the spread of the virus. There are 3,836,215 confirmed cases.
- US death toll passes 75,000. The US death toll from coronavirus has now surpassed 75,000 people, according to the counter from Johns Hopkins University. Deaths in the US are the highest globally at 75,447, a rise of around 2,000 in a day, followed by the UK at 30,689 deaths.
- US President Donald Trump continues to push theory that virus originated in a lab, without evidence. “Something happened,” Trump told US reporters in the Oval Office when asked about the theory that the coronavirus was released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. “Probably it was incompetence. Somebody was stupid,” the US president added during a meeting with the Texas governor. It comes after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed he had seen “enormous evidence” that the virus had originated at the lab. No evidence has been produced. China has denied the claims.
- White House reportedly blocking release of CDC guidance on reopening businesses. A report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was abruptly shelved by the White House, according to AP News. The document includes step-by-step guidance on how and when local authorities should allow businesses to reopen and life to resume as normal.
- Australia hits back at US claim linking coronavirus to Wuhan lab. The Australian government has pushed back at US claims the coronavirus may have originated in a Wuhan lab and has determined that a “dossier” giving weight to the theory is not a Five Eyes intelligence document.
- Trump tests negative for coronavirus after report valet was infected. Donald Trump and his vice-president, Mike Pence, have tested negative for coronavirus after finding out that a member of the US military who worked on the White House campus had become infected, a White House spokesman said. The military official was identified by CNN as personal valet to the US president.
- US unemployment claims hit 33.3 million. A further 3.2 million Americans sought unemployment benefits last week as the economic toll from coronavirus continued to mount.
- WHO study: 190,000 people in Africa could die from virus. Up to 190,000 people could die of Covid-19 during the first year of the pandemic if containment measures fail, according to a study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) based on prediction modelling and analysing 47 countries in the region.
- France virus deaths fall. France reported 178 new coronavirus deaths, a fall on the previous day, and saw its number of patients in intensive care drop under 3,000 for the first time since late March.
- International tourism to plunge by up to 80%. The number of international tourist arrivals could plunge by 60-80% in 2020 owing to the coronavirus, the World Tourism Organization has said.
- Death toll rises by 539 in UK. The UK coronavirus death toll has reached 30,615 after a further 539 people died, the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, revealed at the government’s daily coronavirus briefing.
- UK minister warns against abandoning social distancing rules. Raab said that if people “abandon the social distancing rules” the virus “will grow again at an exponential rate”.
- Russia overtakes Germany and France after record rise in cases. Russia overtook France and Germany for coronavirus cases on Thursday, giving it the fifth-highest total in the world at 177,160. Donald Trump offered to send medical aid to Moscow during a phone call with Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said.
- France to keep borders closed until at least mid-June. France’s borders will remain closed until further notice following the lifting of the coronavirus lockdown on Monday, said the interior minister, Christophe Castaner. He said the restrictions would remain in place until at least 15 June.