While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 31

Trump raises possibility of delaying presidential election due to coronavirus

President Donald Trump on Thursday raised the idea of delaying the Nov 3 US elections, an idea immediately rejected by both Democrats and his fellow Republicans in Congress – the sole branch of government with the authority to make such a change.

Critics and even Trump’s allies dismissed the notion as an unserious attempt to distract from devastating economic news, but some legal experts warned that his repeated attacks could undermine his supporters’ faith in the election process.

Trump’s statement on Twitter comes as the United States is enduring the greatest crises of a generation: a coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 150,000 lives, a crippling recession sparked by the outbreak, and nationwide protests against police violence and racism.

On Thursday morning, the government reported the worst US economic contraction since the Great Depression: 32.9 per cent in the second quarter.


Covid-19 crushes US economy in second quarter; rising cases temper recovery hopes

The US economy suffered its biggest blow since the Great Depression in the second quarter as the Covid-19 pandemic shattered consumer and business spending, and a nascent recovery is under threat from a resurgence in new cases of coronavirus.

The bulk of the historic contraction in activity reported by the Commerce Department on Thursday occurred in April when activity almost ground to an abrupt halt after restaurants, bars and factories, among others, were shuttered in mid-March to slow the spread of coronavirus.

More than five years of growth have been wiped out. With the recovery faltering, pressure is mounting for the White House and Congress to agree on a second stimulus package.


Coronavirus: WHO urges countries to prioritise essential international travel

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday said countries should gradually lift international travel measures based on a thorough risk assessment and must prioritise essential travel for emergencies.

The WHO recommends that priority should be given to essential travel for emergencies, humanitarian actions, travel of essential personnel, and repatriation, it said in a statement.

A surge of new infections around the world has forced many countries to reimpose some travel restrictions in recent days.


Amazon posts biggest profit ever at height of coronavirus pandemic in US

Amazon.com on Thursday posted the biggest profit in its 26-year history as online sales and its lucrative business supporting third-party merchants surged during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares of Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, rose 5 per cent in after-hours trade.

While rival brick-and-mortar retailers have had to shut stores during government-imposed lockdowns, Amazon hired 175,000 people in recent months and saw demand for its services soar.


Perez to miss British Grand Prix after positive Covid-19 test

Racing Point Formula One team driver Sergio Perez will miss the weekend’s British Grand Prix after testing positive for Covid-19, Formula One said on Thursday.

Perez and some of his Racing Point team mates were self-isolating ahead of the race at Silverstone after the Mexican driver’s initial test came back as inconclusive.

Racing Point said Perez, who is the first driver to test positive since the season restarted this month, was “physically well and in good spirits” and that a reserve driver would take his place.


Source: Read Full Article