Cities are addressing homelessness during coronavirus pandemic | Vox


“We had near-record homelessness before this began,” said Giselle Routhier, policy director for the Coalition for the Homeless in New York. “We still have that homelessness crisis now as new people become homeless as a result of the pandemic.”

A pandemic poses a daunting situation for people who lack stable shelter, access to proper hygiene, and basic food supplies. Whether they live in shelters or on the streets in tent camps, there’s no way for them to practice social distancing to slow down the spread of the virus.

The inequities people face has only gotten more prominent since the pandemic, said Jennifer Friedenbach, director of San Francisco’s Coalition on Homelessness.

Source: Cities are addressing homelessness during coronavirus pandemic – Vox

The German debt blindspot in the European crisis | Brigitte Young

The postwar German debt experience should inform a spirit of co-operation and goodwill today.

Never before has Europe confronted such a ‘Great Lockdown’, likely resulting in a recession far worse than the global financial crisis of 2008. Germany and the Netherlands refuse to support guaranteed European Union funds to assist the most stricken southern European countries coping with the human and economic consequences.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has warned that the EU could collapse if countries continue to block joint support with common guarantees. The populist anger in Italy, Spain and even France could well put such parties into power at the next elections.

Source: The German debt blindspot in the European crisis – Brigitte Young

China allows Samsung Elec staff to enter country for chip factory expansion | Reuters


China has allowed 200 employees from South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to enter the country to work on an expansion of the firm’s NAND memory chip factory, the company said on Wednesday.

The move came after China said on Tuesday that it was in talks with some countries to establish fast-track procedures to allow travel by business and technical personnel to ensure the smooth operation of global supply chains.

Source: China allows Samsung Elec staff to enter country for chip factory expansion – Reuters

Corona Capital: Video games, Soccer battle | Reuters


Houseparty’s co-founder says 50 million new users have signed up to the social network in just the last month. One question is whether it will be a fad that fades once the virus does. Fortnite’s success has lasted in the ultra-competitive world of video games. But while Zoom may keep corporate users longer-term, younger Houseparty attendees could easily drift away.

Before investing in Epic, it’s worth considering when the Houseparty’s over. (By Jamie Lo)

Source: Breakingviews – Corona Capital: Video games, Soccer battle – Reuters

Asia pivots toward plants for protein as coronavirus stirs meat safety fears | Reuters


Demand for plant-based protein foods is surging in Asia, suppliers say, as suspicion over possible links between wild animal meat and the new coronavirus drives some consumers, particularly in Hong Kong and mainland China, to rethink diets.

Though still a tiny business compared to Asia’s giant meat supply chain, vegetarian alternatives to meat, dairy and seafood are gaining growing custom from people like Hong Kong-based fitness trainer Mike Lee.

Source: Asia pivots toward plants for protein as coronavirus stirs meat safety fears – Reuters

On Earth Day, calls grow to treat shock of coronavirus with ‘green recovery’ | Reuters


Although many countries remain on a pandemic emergency footing, some investors, politicians and companies see the longer-term economic response as a chance to address the more profound risks posed by climate change.

So far, the United States, China, Japan, India and European and other governments have focused on staunching the damage to industry, preserving jobs or trying to avoid corporate failures.

Nevertheless, ministers from Germany, France and other EU members and some other governments have begun to signal their support for aligning subsequent interventions with climate goals, a theme taken up by campaign groups around the world.

Source: On Earth Day, calls grow to treat shock of coronavirus with ‘green recovery’ – Reuters

Some U.S. fund managers risk long-term bets on tanking oil sector | Reuters


Some U.S. fund managers are attempting what seems like an impossible task: making bets on the stocks and bonds of energy companies at a time when oil futures have sunk to historic lows and a swelling global glut shows no sign of letting up.

On Monday, traders holding the expiring front-month May contract for U.S. crude had to pay nearly $40 per barrel to unload oil as they scrambled to avoid having to take delivery.

Source: Some U.S. fund managers risk long-term bets on tanking oil sector – Reuters

Tech feud complicates EU search for coronavirus tracking app | POLITICO


Governments are betting on coronavirus tracking apps to help ease lockdown restrictions. Too bad the techies developing these tools have turned on one another.

At first glance, the spat seems charmingly geeky — developers who favor so-called decentralized design for the apps, with data stored on devices, disagree with other developers who back a centralized design where data gets stored on the cloud.

But for those involved, the choice is ultra-serious and has far-reaching consequences for privacy and Europe’s technological independence.

It’s already prompted a series of defections from a high-profile German-led project, and comes at an inconvenient time for governments — just as they are agonizing over which apps to choose to help them out of their lockdowns.

Source: Tech feud complicates EU search for coronavirus tracking app – POLITICO

Red carpet for firms looking to ditch China | The Economic Times

[India]

The Prime Minister’s Office, Niti Aayog and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade are firming up a plan to offer incentives to attract companies looking to shift manufacturing activities out of China.

The benefits will be on the lines of those given to manufacture of electronic and medical devices. These may include production-linked incentives such as capital expenditure benefits.

Source: Red carpet for firms looking to ditch China – The Economic Times

As famines of ‘biblical proportion’ loom, Security Council urged to ‘act fast’ | UN News


Noting that the global spread of COVID-19 this year has sparked “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two”, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley pointed to deepening crises, more frequent natural disasters and changing weather patterns, saying “we’re already facing a perfect storm.”

As millions of civilians in conflict-scarred nations teeter on the brink of starvation, he said, “famine is a very real and dangerous possibility.”

Source: As famines of ‘biblical proportion’ loom, Security Council urged to ‘act fast’ | UN News