Wall Street falls on dour economic data, corporate earnings

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday as dismal economic data and first-quarter earnings reports compounded concerns over the extent of damage from the coronavirus outbreak. Shares of Bank of America (BAC.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) dropped as they joined JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Wells Fargo & Co…

G20 agrees debt freeze for world's poorest countries

DUBAI/RIYADH/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Finance officials from the Group of 20 major economies agreed on Wednesday to suspend debt service payments for the world’s poorest countries from May 1 until the end of the year, as a group of private creditors also backed offering debt relief. The moves to freeze both…

Coronavirus spreads on French aircraft carrier, hundreds infected

PARIS (Reuters) – Nearly 700 sailors assigned to the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle’s naval group have tested positive for the coronavirus, the armed forces ministry said on Wednesday. The ministry said 1,767 mariners, nearly all from the Charles de Gaulle itself, had been tested and results showed at…

Notre-Dame's great bell tolls once more on anniversary of fire

PARIS (Reuters) – A year on from the inferno that gutted Notre-Dame de Paris, the cathedral’s great bell rang out across the capital on Wednesday in a tribute to the Gothic landmark’s resilience and to the medics battling the coronavirus epidemic. The bourdon bell had sounded just once since April…

UK virus outbreak 'probably' peaking, but too soon to ease lockdown

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s coronavirus outbreak is probably peaking, but it is too early to start relaxing restrictions, officials said as critics warned that the country may end up with the worst death rate in Europe due to government failings. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top medical adviser, Chris Whitty, said…

IMF's Georgieva says wants to triple concessional financing for poor countries

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Wednesday the Fund was deploying all its resources and was looking to triple its concessional financing for the poorest countries to over $18 billion. “We have full support of the membership to go on the offensive to raise…

WHO chief regrets U.S. move to halt funding, urges unity against pandemic

GENEVA/ZURICH (Reuters) – The head of the World Health Organization said on Wednesday that he regretted President Trump’s decision to pull funding for the agency and called for global unity to fight the new coronavirus pandemic. U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to halt funding to the WHO over its handling…

Poor Kenyans despair as coronavirus quarantine extended over unpaid bills

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan travellers say they are being held in a government quarantine centre after the expiry of their mandatory 14 days of isolation following their return from abroad because they cannot pay hefty bills for their stay. More than 30 people are being held at Kenyatta University since…