Coronavirus news: Futurologists reveal their predictions for the post-pandemic world

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But now, as the controls are slowly set in reverse, and we begin the process of coming out of lockdown, our post-pandemic lives will look very different. At times it is going to feel as if we are still trapped in a strange version of the past where families spend most of their time together, our social lives are more restricted and overseas travel is an exotic option few can enjoy. Yet, at the same time, we have accelerated our move into an online world of working, buying and communicating. That leap forward also reveals perhaps our greatest future challenge – how to keep both the economy and an older population healthy. So what can we learn from this time travel? What should you expect now and in the future and how should you prepare yourself? Two leading futurology experts share their predictions…

THE WORLD OF WORK

Next Six Months

In the short-term, even as non-essential shops reopen and some return to offices, we will continue to grapple with lockdown policies whilst preserving social distancing. That means phased shifts at work and hybrid work/office arrangements and dealing with the challenges of commuting safely. Expect frequent workplace health tests to reassure people it’s safe to return and further encouragement to cycle or walk to work.

Next Two Years

The Bank of England believes we are heading for the worst recession in more than 300 years. That means a tough financial environment and firms looking to cut costs and jobs. Expect accelerating automation through greater use of Artificial Intelligence and robotics. Coronavirus has revealed how financially vulnerable we are to sudden social disruptions, so make sure automation isn’t your next unpleasant shock. Building up your online skills will help, but also focus on roles where human qualities such as empathy and creativity still dominate.

Next Five Years

As part of those efforts to cut costs, companies will look to reduce their property footprint. They will shift further towards a hybrid of working from the office and home, and invest in local hubs. Expect flexible working hours to become the norm with a four-day week for many. Much of this flexibility will come through the growth of the so-called “gig economy” – a labour market of short-term contracts and freelance jobs. We will have to be more entrepreneurial about managing our long-term career.

STAYING HEALTHY

Next Six Months

It’s time now to focus on losing those extra pounds gained during lockdown. Over the summer, you are likely to be joining millions of others in taking outdoor exercise. With gyms closed, expect parks, roads and the countryside to be packed with cyclists, runners and walkers. As the number of Covid-19 infections falls, contact your GP about non-coronavirus-related health issues.

Next Two Years

GPs have moved online during the crisis and this will continue apace as monitoring your health increasingly becomes a digital activity. Expect a vast array of new wearable apps to appear as Amazon, Apple and Google battle it out to become major players in the healthy living sector.

Next Five Years

The UK population is getting older. In 1970, just one in 25 people was over 75; and one in 120 over 85. By 2050, that will change to one in seven; and one in 20. Coronavirus has revealed how crucial healthy ageing is. We need a health system that keeps people out of hospital, rather than one based on treating them when they become ill. That means a greater emphasis on healthy ageing and lifestyles, especially for those over 50. Expect greater interventions and more drug treatments aimed at slowing down the biological path of ageing itself.

FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS

Next Six Months

The traditional boundaries between work and home have dissolved as millions work from home. And whilst women are still carrying the major load in caring, more fathers than ever are getting actively involved with their children. Over the coming months parents will begin to decide which aspects of these short-term habits they have developed they want to take into the future. Expect many (possibly heated) negotiations on the roles within families!

Next Two Years

Coronavirus has exposed the extent of problems in the care home sector at the same time as bringing the generations within families closer. This will create a strong incentive for families to work out how best to support their older parents – either in multi-generational homes or by using technology to support independent living for longer.

Next Five Years

In the past, a parent hoping to combine work with childcare experienceda pay penalty for flexible working. Post-Covid-19, as flexible working becomes increasingly the norm, expect that pay penalty to reduce. That will lead to more equal sharing between both partners around childcare and running a home. As working from home becomes more important, and working from the office less important, it will free up extra time to invest in your neighbourhood and local community.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Next Six Months

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair famously described his priorities as “Education, education, education”. For the education sector, its short term priorities are “Online, online, online”. Expect ever more imaginative ways of using online education in schools, colleges and universities – far beyond simply reciting the usual lesson into a camera.

Next Two Years

As online lessons becomes an increasingly accepted part of how we learn, there will be enormous growth in companies offering online learning – from fun-based apps through to full degrees. As with health, Amazon, Apple and Google will be seeking to be major players in this growth market.

Next Five Years

The big emerging trend will be lifelong learning. In part, that will be a response to the need to upgrade skills in the face of automation. It will also be driven by the need to work for longer as the cost of dealing with Covid-19 places pressure on household finances and the state pension.

Expect universities and firms to partnerwith each other to create new types of skill certificates. Many younger people will think hard about how they learn across the whole of their life – expect fewer to enrol for university and instead pick up skills as they need them later in life.

TRAVEL AND HOLIDAYS

Next Six Months

Expect nose-to-nose traffic jams as workers seek to avoid public transport by driving into work. The problem will be made worse as roads are increasingly configured to allow for more cyclists and pedestrians. As for holidays, the coronavirus time machine will be set firmly in reverse as family vacations in the UK soar.

Next Two Years

Pack an extra book to read at the airport as health tests lead to lengthy check-ins. The financial pressures on airlines will lead to bankruptcies and mergers – so expect fewer and more expensive flights. Meanwhile back home, as more people work flexibly and go to the office less frequently, expect to explore other ways of getting around – such as electric bikes and scooters.

Next Five Years

Coronavirus will shift the balance from global to local in many ways, including more local supply chains as firms seek to avoid disruption from future outbreaks. The increased possibility of trade wars will tip the global/local balance further. And as markets become less global and politics more national, expect many countries to become more difficult to visit as visa requirements increase and costs rise.

The pandemic taught us many lessons – not least that the future we get can be very different from the one we anticipated.

But these experiences have also catapulted us into a future where how we work, relateto each other and learn will shift profoundly. We may have been caught out by Covid-19, but we don’t need to be caught out by what is to come.

Lynda Gratton is a Professor of Management Practice and Andrew J. Scott a Professor of Economics, both at London Business School.The New Long Life: A Framework for Flourishing in a Changing World by Andrew Scott and Lynda Gratton (Bloomsbury, £20) is out now.

For free UK delivery, please call Express Bookshop on 01872 562310 or order via expressbookshop.co.uk Delivery may take up to 28 days.

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South China Sea: US warns of ‘serious threat’ as Beijing tracks US navy vessel

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The US Navy has issued a stern response to China after Beijing accused Washington of “violating international laws” during a routine freedom of navigation operation. Senior Colonel Li Huamin, a spokesman for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Southern Theater Command, said sea and air units were deployed to “warn off” US vessels from the region.

Colonel Li claims a US ship had illegally ventured near to the China-occupied Paracel Islands – something Washington has denied.

In a fiercely worded statement, Colonel Li said: “The provocative actions by the US have seriously undermined China’s sovereignty and security interests, seriously violated international laws and regulations and severely damaged the peace and stability of the region.

“It is a brazen act of navigational hegemony.”

US Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade Rachel Maul disputes China’s version of events and said the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer “asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the Paracel Islands, consistent with international law”.

The US insists it is the actions of China that is threatening peace in the disputed region.

Lieutenant Maul said: “This freedom of navigation operation (“FONOP”) upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognised in international law by challenging the restrictions on innocent passage imposed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam and also by challenging China’s claim to straight baselines enclosing the Paracel Islands.

“Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas.

“Including the freedom of navigation and overflight and the right of innocent passage of all ships.”

The US regularly conducts freedom of navigation operations in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Just last month, two US-flagged vessels have sailed through the contested Spratly Islands as part of scheduled operations.

The USS Barry guided-missile destroyer travelled near the disputed Paracel Islands, this was followed 24 hours later by the USS Bunker Hill aircraft carrier.

China’s Sansha city has established control over the Paracel Islands and the Spratly islands – two disputed archipelagos in the South China Sea.

Beijing has also established military outposts on the artificial islands.

China’s sovereignty over the South China Sea is disputed by claims from neighbouring Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

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Under international law, a large part of the South China Sea comes under Vietnamese sovereignty.

However, Beijing disagrees and says that the entire waterway up to the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan belongs to China – a claim rejected by an international court of arbitration in 2016.

The contested South China Sea is also one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and is crucial to global trade.

A 2015 US Department of Defense report found an estimated $5.3trillion (£4million) worth of goods are shuttled through the waterways every year.

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Chelsea Clinton’s cold response to TV host’s ‘be human’ request exposed

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Chelsea, 40, first entered the White House as the daughter of US President Bill Clinton in 1993 when she was 12 years old. She later supported her mother Hillary Clinton in bid to be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in 2008, as Secretary of State in the Obama administration, and as the party’s candidate in 2016. Ultimately, Mrs Clinton lost to Donald Trump, however, but Chelsea has not stopped opposing the government.

She appeared on The Late Show in March 2018 and sent the host into a frenzy over her response to one of his questions.

Mr Colbert asked her: “How do you guys talk about this at home? Come on, spill the tea.

“How do you guys talk about Donald Trump? Give me a conversation you had recently.”

At first, Chelsea just exclaimed “Goodness!” to which Mr Colbert asked: “That’s the strongest language you use? Gee williker!”

Then, Chelsea launched into a slightly robotic paragraph as to how her family discuss dealing with an administration they don’t like.

She said: “We just talk about what we should be doing today ‒ which organisations and candidates should we be supporting?

“How do you both stand in opposition to the degradation of norms and institutions, as well as the retrograde policies around voting rights, around womens’ rights, around transgender rights?

“And what do we do to keep pushing forward for the world that both my parents have been working on since before I was born and which I am really eager to help build for my children, for your children, for future generations.

“Because, as you noted, the President I think thrives on anxiety and insults, there is always so much to talk about.

“And because I think, unfortunately, this administration is the collision of cruelty and incompetence, there’s so much going on even beyond the president on any given day.”

While the audience appeared to enjoy her level-headed attitude, as they erupted into applause half way through, Mr Colbert appeared to find it oddly infuriating.

He asked: “Does your entire family speak in paragraphs? Because that was a really beautiful paragraph there.

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“It doesn’t get any sharper than that at home? No one ever throws a glass of chardonnay at the TV, ever?”

Chelsea replied that she does not think it is productive to respond like that.

Mr Colbert quipped: “It’s not productive, but it feels so good.

“You must have some weaknesses, show one, come on, be human here! What have you yelled about?”

Still resolutely calm, Chelsea said she would rather go to a protest or convince more people to vote in the mid-term elections.

These mid-term elections in November 2018 ended up being somewhat a success for the Democrats, who gained 41 seats in the House of Representatives and thus took control of the Chamber.

Nancy Pelosi became the new Speaker of the House and has since traded verbal blows with the President on a number of occasions.

Chelsea, meanwhile, has continued to criticise the government, especially in relation to its handling of the pandemic in recent months.

She has even spoken out against her former friend Ivanka Trump, who she said she has no sympathy for, because she has chosen to work for her father out of her own free will.

Chelsea branded the whole administration “a collision of cruelty and incompetence” and implied that the First Daughter is part of that.

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Tensions soar as Turkish troops invade Greece occupying piece of land on contested border

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According to Greek sources, around 35 soldiers marched onto a floodplain site on the east bank of the River Evros at Melissokomeio. Special forces and infantry also raised a small Turkish flag from a tree.

The small group of soldiers reportedly rejected demands from Greece to withdraw.

The Evros River, which marks out the border, is known to shift its course and this has caused ongoing disputes between the two countries – over its position.

As the river moves, it leaves land that is technically part of Greece to the east, and land that is technically part of Turkey to its west.

Sources claim the new invasion was a response to a Greek army survey of the 1.6-hectare site for plans to build additional border fences.

Since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus back in 1974, relations between Greece and Turkey have been strained.

The 1974 invasion was reportedly launched to stop the military junta in Greece, establishing a union between Greece and Cyprus.

The occupation remains in place today and is considered illegal under international law.

According to reports, in recent weeks, Greek soldiers and German border agency staff have been shot at over the border.

Turkish fighter jets have also had to be chased out of Greek airspace.

Earlier this year, Greece was reportedly on the brink of “devastation” as a result of Turkey’s disobedience of the EU pact, which has seen thousands of refugees make the perilous journey to the Aegean islands.

Thousands of refugees are crammed into destitute camps as they endure an agonising wait for asylum to be granted on their route from war-torn countries to the European Union.

But as their stay on the islands, including Moria and Lesvos, goes on, many are faced with the grim prospect of not being able to carry out the desired social distancing measures the Greek government is demanding of its citizens due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The idyllic islands have become refugee hotspots after Turkey disobeyed its pact with the EU and opted to allow thousands of migrants the chance to cross the seas and land in Greece.

Istanbul argued its reason for allowing the move was in part due to the bloc’s slow approach to moving the refugees on from Greece, which in turn affected the numbers in Turkey.

This has seen a massive boom in the volume of people making the hazardous trip in the attempt to reach the EU and safety from their home nations.

Greece, though, continues to refuse any new asylum applications, leaving refugees in an even bigger state of limbo, while living in camps.

Fears of World War 3 were ignited across the globe just a few days into 2020 and the threat of nuclear war continues as global tensions rise.

Concerns were first triggered around the globe following the death of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani in a US airstrike in January.

Tensions between the US and Turkey have also heightened over the past year over the Syrian border.

Additionally, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also suggested he has aspirations for Turkey which could involve nuclear weapons.

As a result, the state of the US-Turkey relationship has worsened, causing fear about the subsequent impact on the NATO alliance.

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U.S. auto industry to begin reopening plants in recovery from pandemic

(Reuters) – The U.S. auto industry is slowly returning to life, with vehicle assembly plants scheduled to reopen on Monday and suppliers gearing up in support as the sector that employs nearly 1 million people seeks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

General Motors Co (GM.N), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) (FCHA.MI) (FCAU.N) all have been preparing for weeks to reopen their North American factories in a push to restart work in an industry that accounts for about 6% of U.S. economic activity.

For the automakers and their suppliers, many of which began reopening their plants last week, the restart is critical to ending the cash drain caused by a two-month shutdown that was forced on them by COVID-19. The emphasis will be on getting assembly lines again producing such profitable vehicles as the Chevrolet Suburban SUV, Ford F-150 pickup truck and Jeep Wrangler SUV.

“Ultimately we’re in this together. Because if we don’t build trucks, Ford Motor Company is gone,” said Todd Dunn, president of UAW Local 862, which represents more than 14,000 hourly workers at Ford’s two Kentucky assembly plants.

President Donald Trump on Thursday will tour a Ford manufacturing plant in Michigan that has been repurposed to make ventilators and personal protective equipment, according to the White House.

The Kentucky Truck Plant, which builds the larger Super Duty pickups as well as the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs, will restart with two shifts, Dunn said, while the nearby Louisville Assembly Plant, which builds the Escape and Lincoln Corsair SUVs, resumes with only one shift.

A Ford spokeswoman said plants that were running on three shifts before the shutdown will reopen with two, and those that were operating with two shifts will restart with one.

GM is reopening a number of plants on one shift on Monday, including 1,600 hourly workers making heavy-duty pickup trucks in Flint, Michigan, and 1,600 workers manufacturing pickups in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The reopening will be a closely watched test of whether workers across a range of industries can return to factories in large numbers without a resurgence of infections.

Auto companies have rolled out a series of safety measures to protect workers, including the use of temperature monitors for those entering plants, personal protective equipment such as face masks and shields, revamped and deep-cleaned factory floors that emphasize social distancing and more.

The UAW’s Dunn said one question will be how many workers punch in at his local’s production facilities on Monday given a lack of daycare in Kentucky, where schools are closed, as well as fear among those with underlying health conditions who are at greater risk of infection. He said Ford has been hiring temporary workers to cover for any absenteeism.

Another issue automakers will have to watch closely is the financial health of suppliers. As most suppliers get paid on average 45 days after they deliver parts, some will struggle to stay afloat as the industry slowly reopens.

“Once you are up and running safely, the financial liquidity issue becomes a very significant concern for many suppliers,” said Julie Fream, president of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association.

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Gran Canaria’s sand dunes see ‘dreamy transformation’ in absence of tourists

The world famous maspalomas sand dunes in Gran Canaria have undergone a stunning natural transformation during six-week coronavirus lockdown. Stretches of golden untouched sand without any footprints or debris can be seen across its huge 1,000 acres.

The historic maspalomas dunes were named a Natural Reserve in 1897.

Grand Canaria is the second most populated Island in the Canary Islands and attracts more than four million visitors each year.

The sand dunes are located to the south of the Island next to a popular beach – which attracts visitors to its famous nudist bathing area.

The protected dunes had been under threat by the increased presence of holidaymakers.

Green campaigners had taken the step to hand out leaflets to arrivals at airports urging them to respect the sand by not drawing pictures and symbols.

Technical director of the Masdunas project, Miguel Ángel Peña said the famous attraction has returned to a “dreamy landscape” not seen for half a century.

He said: “The confinement has emptied the Dunes of Maspalomas of passers-by, which has resulted in it no longer having footprints and recovering a dreamy landscape that has not been seen for 50 years.

“The coronavirus and the State of Emergency, with harsh consequences for the population, but necessary to preserve their health, is nevertheless facilitating the recovery of essential ecological processes from diverse environments.

“More than half of the sand moved from the tip to nearby Playa de El Inglés has already been incorporated into the system by nature through marine dynamics.”

Spain has begun easing lockdown measures as its daily coronavirus death toll continues to fall.

Environment Minister Teresa Ribera added the government was keen to get the tourism industry moving again but only if it could be done safely.

Tourism accounts for a huge 12 percent of Spain’s GDP.

Ms Ribera said: “If we open it has to be with total security; most employers and unions are already working on what constitutes ‘safe tourism’ so as not to unnecessarily increase our risks.”

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Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has outlined a four-phase plan to lift the lockdown with a planned return to normality by end-June.

The Spanish Health Ministry confirmed a further 288 people had died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours – the lowest daily rise in a month.

Spain has the fourth highest number of coronavirus fatalities in the world behind the US, Italy and UK, with 23,190 fatalities.

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Chelsea Clinton: Why White House insiders claim Chelsea was ‘best First Daughter’

Chelsea, 40, was 12 years old when her father Bill Clinton became US President and grew up in the White House.

In Ronald Kessler’s 2010 book ‘In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect’, one agent recalled Chelsea to be a very well behaved teenager.

He said she “treated the detail right, told them what was going on, never gave problems that I knew of”.

In contrast, George W Bush’s daughters Jenna and Barbara had a more rebellious streak.

Twins Jenna and Barbara were 19 and in college when their father became President and so wanted more of their own freedom.

They tried to ditch their detail on several occasions and wouldn’t tell them where they were going or who they were seeing.

Jenna would apparently even run red lights to evade her agents.

One agent said: “I think she has a hard time grasping how easy it would be to pick her up, throw her in a van, and next thing you know she’s on Al Jazeera.

“And we’re out there, we’re trying to do the right thing. And I don’t think she understands it.

“She definitely didn’t respect what we were out there trying to do for her.”

Another added that Jenna “doesn’t like the protection whatsoever” and that “the supervisor of her detail was scared of her, because they were afraid that she was going to pick up the phone and call dad”.

Jenna apparently called her father many times when she wanted the agents to back off.

One said: “The President would call the special agent in charge (SAIC).

“The SAIC would call the detail leader, the detail leader would call the guys and say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to back off.’”

On the other hand, President Bush would sometimes scold the security detail for not following his daughter.

One afternoon at the White House, Jenna snuck out of a back exit that leads to the Rose Garden and gave her detail the slip.

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However, her father saw her leave and called the detail leader to complain that she was not being followed.

An agent recalled: “She stepped up to the plate and said, ‘Daddy, I didn’t tell them where I was going.”

Another added: “Every day we’d run the risk of losing her. She never told us where she was going. It was rare.

“Sometimes she’d tell Neil [the detail leader], and he would get the scoop of what was going on, and Neil would try hard to get that information.”

Another agent said Barbara, who was attending Yale, was almost as difficult as Jenna.

They said: “She’d pick up the phone and call dad and say that we’re getting too close.”

Sometimes Barbara would jump in her car with friends and drive to New York, where she would stay overnight, never giving her agents advance warning.

On other occasions, she would just go to the airport and fly there.

One explained: “Agents learned to pack a bag with clothing, because it became a habit for both Barbara and Jenna to say ‘I want to go to the airport, I want to fly to New York’.

“These guys were prepared to work an evening shift and all of a sudden they’re going with just the clothes on their backs.”

Susan Ford and Amy Carter also reportedly gave their agents a hard time.

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Kim Jong-Un’s death could spark North Korean civil war and military attack against US

Kim Jong-Un’s death has been reported by media outlets in China and Japan as fact following concerns over his health. Early reports have indicated that the North Korean dictator died following complications from heart surgery he had earlier in the month. If reports of his death are believed to be true, or verified before an official state announcement, this could spark turmoil for the secretive nation.

South Korean operations chief Lt. Gen. Chun in-Bum told Military Times: “It’s bad news for everyone.

“This could lead to chaos, human suffering and instability.”

Retired Special Forces Colonel David Maxwell also told the Military Times a military response may be necessary by the US and South Korea in the event of unrest from the country.

He claimed tensions between North Korea and the West could intensify following the death of Kim Jong-Un.

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Mr Maxwell said: “Since North Korea is a Guerrilla Dynasty built on the myth of anti-Japanese Partisan warfare, we can expect a large number of the military, 1.2 million active-duty and 6 million reserves, to resist any foreign intervention.

“This includes intervention from South Korea.

“Units of the North Korean People’s Army are going to compete for resources and survival.

“This will lead to internal conflict among units and could escalate to widespread civil war.”

Mr Maxwell said the confusion that follows the death of the North Korean leader could also be a cause for international concern.

He said: “It is unknown whether Kim Jong- Un has a designated successor.

“We can speculate that perhaps his sister Kim Yo Jong has been designation as his successor.

“This is based on her recent promotion and the fact she has begun making official statements in her name beginning last month.

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“But it is unknown whether a woman, despite being part of the Paektu bloodline could become the leader of the Kim family regime.”

Earliest reports of Kim Jong Un’s death came from Vice director of HKSTV Hong Kong Satelite Television Shijan Xingzou claimed that a very solid source told that the North Korean leader had died.

Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Gendai claimed that the dictator was not yet dead but in a vegetative state and would not recover from his heart surgery complications.

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Trump unmasked as first US President in 170 years to refuse key White House addition

Every previous president since James K Polk, the 11th US President who served from 1845 to 1849, has had at least one pet. It is such a well-known tradition that a presidential pet museum popped up in Maryland in 1999. Dogs have been the most common pets, but some presidents have had exotic animals and even those usually considered to be livestock have been kept as pets by presidents and their families.

The last inhabitants of the White House – the Obamas – had two Portuguese Water dogs called Bo and Sunny.

The Bushes had a number of dogs over the years ‒ George HW Bush had an English Springer Spaniel called Millie, and one of her puppies called Ranger, while he was in office.

By the time his son George W Bush was in the White House, Millie had been put down after a series of strokes, but the family had another puppy of Millie’s called Spotty.

They also had two Scottish terriers called Barney and Miss Beazley, the latter whom George gave to his wife Barbara for her birthday.

George W Bush and his family also had a cat called Ernie, a cat called India, nicknamed “Willie”, and a Longhorn cow called Ofelia, who lived in their Prairie Chapel Ranch in Texas.

The Clintons had a cat called Socks and a chocolate Labrador retriever named Buddy.

Ronald Reagan had six dogs – a Bouvier des Flandres called Lucky, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Rex, a Golden Retriever called Victory, an Irish Setter called Peggy, a Siberian Husky called Taca and a Belgian sheepdog called Fuzzy.

He also had a number of animals at his Santa Barbara ranch – Rancho del Cielo – including tortoiseshell cats called Cleo and Sara and at least four horses called El Alamein, Nancy B, Baby and Little Man, among others.

Jimmy Carter had an Afghan hound called Lewis Brown and his daughter Amy was given a Border Collie called Grits by a teacher, but the dog was quickly returned after it snapped at several White House visitors.

Amy also had a Siamese cat called Misty Malarky Ying Yang.

Before them, Gerald Ford had a golden retriever named Liberty, who had a puppy called Misty, born in the White House.

He also had another dog called Lucky and a Siamese cat called Shan.

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Richard Nixon had four dogs – a poodle called Vicki, a terrier called Pasha, an Irish Setter called King Timahoe and a Cocker Spaniel named Checkers.

During his candidacy for vice president under Dwight D Eisenhower in 1952, Mr Nixon was accused of hiding a secret slush and gave the televised “Checkers speech” named after his Cocker Spaniel.

In the speech he denied he had a slush fund, but did admit “there is one thing that I did get as a gift that I’m not doing to give back” – the black-and-white dog his daughters had been given.

There had been talk of Mr Nixon being dropped from the ticket, but after his speech he received an increase in support and Mamie Eisenhower reportedly recommended he stay because he was “such a warm person”.

Lyndon B Johnson had two beagles called Him and Her and upset animal lovers when he was photographed picking them up by the ears.

However, others did not understand the uproar, with former president Harry Truman saying: “What the hell are the critics complaining about; that’s how you handle hounds.”

President Johnson also had two more beagles called Edgar and Freckle, a white collie called Blanco and a mongrel dog called Yuki, famous for singing duets (in other words howling) with the President for White House guests.

Mr Johnson also had hamsters and lovebirds.

Before Mr Johnson was John F Kennedy, who had what could be called as a menagerie of animals.

He had 11 dogs including a poodle called Gaullie, a Welsh Terrier called Charlie, a Doberman Pinscher called Moe, an Irish Cocker Spaniel called Shannon, a mix of Irish Wolfhound and Schnauzer called Wolf and a German Shepherd called Clipper.

JFK also had a dog called Pushinka, which was a puppy of Soviet space dog Strelka, a gift from Soviet Union Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

Pushinka and Charlie had four puppies together called Butterfly, White Tips, Blackie and Streaker.

As well as the dogs, Mr Kennedy had a cat called Tom Kitten and three ponies – one called Macaroni, a bay Yacatan pony called Tex and Connemara pony called Leprechaun, who was a gift from the President of Ireland, Eamon de Valera.

President Kenney’s five-year-old daughter Caroline also raised ducklings in the White House, but ongoing conflicts with their terrier Charlie resulted in them being sent to Rock Creek Park, a national park.

On top of this, the family had hamsters Billie and Debbie, a rabbit called Zsa Zsa, a horse called Sardar, a canary called Robin and parakeets called Bluebelle and Marybelle.

From these previous presidents, it is clear that Mr Trump has truly broken a long-running trend of having pets in the White House.

At one point, it was believed that a friend of Mr Trump’s had offered him a Goldendoodle named Patton, but the pet’s owner, Lois Pope, decided she was too attached to the pup to give it up and she never heard back from the president about it anyway.

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U.S. auto sales show signs of life after gloomy coronavirus March: J.D. Power

(Reuters) – Auto retail sales in the United States are beginning to recover from a massive slump in March due to the outbreak of the coronavirus and nationwide stay-at-home orders, according to analysts at research firm J.D. Power on Wednesday.

Retail sales stabilized during the first two weeks of April and are now showing signs of recovery, the analysts said.

J.D. Power, which receives extensive sales data from U.S. auto dealerships, compares actual sales to its pre-virus forecast for the industry.

“For the week ending April 19, retail sales were down 48% from the pre-virus forecast, an improvement of 3 percentage points from the week ending April 12,” J.D. Power analyst Tyson Jominy said. Around 300,000 new vehicles were sold during the first 19 days of April.

J.D. Power said the recovery will also extend to the used vehicle market, which it expects to recover in the second half of the year when demand heats up.

During March, sales in some areas with high infection rates, such as New York, declined by as much as 80%, the firm’s data showed.

But throughout the crisis, light duty pickup trucks proved the most resilient, with sales down only 16%. That is a boon to U.S. carmakers whose production plans show a growing reliance on ever-larger gas-powered vehicles which they can sell at higher profits.

The analysts on Wednesday said sales in May would be critical for the auto industry, with several states relaxing stay-at-home restrictions and pent-up consumer demand flooding in to vehicle sales.

Sales could also get a boost from incentives doled out by most carmakers to entice purchases. Many automakers, including Detroit’s General Motors Co (GM.N), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCHA.MI) (FCAU.N), offer 0% financing rates and deferred payment options for new car purchases.

Due to the incentive offers, Americans are taking out larger loans, according to J.D. Power, with the average loan amount increasing by $2,900 in the first two weeks of April compared with March.

U.S. auto loans have been climbing at a steady rate since 2011 and were up $16 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019 to $1.33 trillion nationwide, according to data by the New York Federal Reserve.

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