2020.03.16

News Headlines - 16 March 2020

Trump admits coronavirus 'not under control', as new guidelines unveiled for Americans

President Donald Trump and the Coronavirus Task Force released the guidelines as the US government moved to try to blunt the impact of the virus, racing to bolster testing and aid even as financial markets fell and Americans scrambled to reorder their lives... Trump also, for the first time, acknowledged that the virus, which has battered the global markets, may send the nation's economy into a recession, a potentially brutal blow for an incumbent in an election year... Trump, who adopted his most somber tone yet when discussing the crisis, acknowledged that it was “not under control” in the United States or globally, but said he did not yet plan to call for domestic travel restrictions.

Italy reports 349 new virus deaths, taking total to over 2,000 | The Times of Israel

Italy on Monday reported 349 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, taking its total since last month to 2,158, the most after China.
The number of official COVID-19 fatalities has more than doubled since Thursday, when Italy’s toll topped 1,000 for the first time. Italy now has 27,980 infections, compared to 15,113 four days ago.

EU leaders prepare to close bloc’s borders | Financial Times

Brussels is planning a temporary ban on “non-essential travel” to 31 European countries as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president, said on Monday that the measure would cover EU countries and non-members of the bloc that are part of the 26-country Schengen passport-free travel zone.

Why plague doctors wore those strange beaked masks

Their head gear was particularly unusual: Plague doctors wore spectacles, de Lorme continued, and a mask with a nose “half a foot long, shaped like a beak, filled with perfume with only two holes, one on each side near the nostrils, but that can suffice to breathe and carry along with the air one breathes the impression of the [herbs] enclosed further along in the beak.”
Though plague doctors across Europe wore these outfits, the look was so iconic in Italy that the "plague doctor" became a staple of Italian commedia dell’arte and carnival celebrations-and is still a popular costume today... Plague doctors filled their masks with theriac, a compound of more than 55 herbs and other components like viper flesh powder, cinnamon, myrrh, and honey. De Lorme thought the beak shape of the mask would give the air sufficient time to be suffused by the protective herbs before it hit plague doctors’ nostrils and lungs.

Apple hit with record €1.1bn fine in France - BBC News

France's competition authority has imposed a record €1.1bn (£1bn; $1.2bn) fine on US tech giant Apple for what it sees as anti-competitive practices.
It is the biggest fine ever imposed by the French regulator.
The firm and two of its wholesalers in France were found to have an unfair agreement to control prices.
The investigation began in 2012, following a complaint by eBizcuss, which sells Apple products as an Apple Premium Reseller.

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