U.K. Significantly Pares Year-End Covid-19 Daily Test Target: FT
The U.K. government has significantly pared its year-end coronavirus testing target to around one million a day from nearly two million, the Financial Timesreported.
The government had planned to increase testing to about 1.9 million by end-December from 500,000 daily tests in October, the paper said, citing NHS Test and Trace documents it saw.
However, the effort has been hampered by the slower-than-expected roll-out of new tests due to delays in the process for validating new technology, two unidentified people familiar with the matter told the FT.
The country’s health department told the newspaper that a previous year-end target to test 1.9 million people daily was outdated. The department also denied that it had set a new goal of one million tests a day but did not elaborate on what its current target was, according to the report.
As the country races to contain the pandemic, the government had earlier asked health officials to deploy 30-minute saliva test kits in an effort to test as much as10% of England’s population every week.
Eurozone Q3 GDP Expands Most On Record
The euro area economy expanded at the fastest pace on record in the third quarter after shrinking sharply in the preceding period due to the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus, preliminary flash estimate from Eurostat showed Friday.
Gross domestic product expanded 12.7 percent on quarter, this was the sharpest growth seen since the series started in 1995. Economists had forecast a quarterly growth of 9.4 percent after falling 11.8 percent in the second quarter.
On a yearly basis, GDP fell 4.3 percent after easing 14.8 percent in the second quarter. GDP was forecast to decline 15 percent.
The EU27 grew 12.1 percent sequentially but fell 3.9 percent from the same period last year.
Among member countries, France recorded the highest increase of 18.2 percent compared to the previous quarter, followed by Spain and Italy. Germany grew 8.2 percent.
Eurostat is set to release next estimate on November 13.
Consumer price data released today showed that inflation remained negative for a third month in October. The harmonized consumer price index decreased 0.3 percent, same as in September.
“The strong third quarter GDP figure will not make much of an impression as a new downturn is almost certainly upon us,” Bert Colijn, an ING economist.
With inflation remaining very weak and GDP set to fall again in the fourth quarter, the ECB has started to work on a new monetary stimulus package, the economist added.
Another communiqué from Eurostat revealed that the jobless rate was unchanged at 8.3 percent in September.
Ukraine reports record daily high new coronavirus cases
KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine registered a record 8,752 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the national security council said on Saturday, up from 8,312 cases on Friday.
Total infections stood at 387,481, it said.
Biden Shows A Simple Way To Silence Trump’s Conspiracy Theories Once And For All
Democratic nominee Joe Biden demonstrated how to silence President Donald Trump’s climate change denials once and for all in a new ad Friday.
The spot begins with audio of Trump falsely claiming that the climate crisis is a hoax — but the sound of the president’s conspiracy theories get quieter and quieter as a pen fills in a circle to give a vote to Biden.
“You have the power to silence him,” read the tweet:
Trump has repeatedly called global warming “bullshit” and his administration has pursued an anti-environment agenda by slashing climate regulations and promoting the use of fossil fuels.
Biden, meanwhile, has called Trump a “climate arsonist” and has proposed transitioning America’s electricity grid off gas and coal by 2035.
Armenia Asks Putin for Security Consultation on Karabakh Clash
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for a security consultation on the military conflict with Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh district,according to a statement from the Armenian Foreign Ministry.
As the military action, the “result of the Azerbaijan-Turkish military aggression,” are approaching Armenia’s borders, Pashinyan wrote to Putin to request talks on help Russia could provide to the nation based on a treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance signed in 1997.
This is the first time Armenia has formally asked Russia for talks about aid under the mutual defense pact.
Armenia reported“intense” fighting Friday as Azerbaijan forces closed in on a key strategic city of the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The Yarn Store Would Like You to Vote
And so would nearly every company out there this year.
By Margot Sanger-Katz
Angola’s Oil Company to Spend $700 Million on Cabinda Refinery
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Sonangol, Angola’s state-run oil company, said it made a final investment decision with Gemcorp Capital LLP to build a refinery in the northern enclave of Cabinda that will reduce the country’s dependence on imports.
The two companies will spend $220 million in the first phase of construction, which began in March, and includes installing half of the plant’s processing capacity of 60,000 barrels a day. The second and third phases will turn the plant into a “total conversion” refinery, according to a statement Friday.
“The construction of this refinery will provide an increase in the processing capacity of crude oil and a considerable reduction in the country’s dependence on imports of refined products,” Sonangol Chairman Sebastiao Gaspar Martins said in the statement. The refinery should start operating in the first quarter of 2022.