2020.06.09

News Headlines - 09 June 2020

North to ‘cut off and shut down’ all communication with South at noon today

North Korea will cut all communication lines with South Korea at noon Tuesday, state media reported, blasting Seoul for failing to stop defectors from sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets into the communist nation.
The decision came days after the North vowed to abolish an inter-Korean liaison office and completely shut down other major cross-border programs, denouncing leaflet-sending as a hostile act breaching a series of peace agreements between the two sides.

Japan to launch probe into murky coronavirus relief deal linked to Dentsu | The Japan Times

The government will launch a probe this month into the outsourcing of administrative work related to a coronavirus relief package that was later subcontracted to Dentsu Inc., the nation’s largest ad agency, industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said Monday.
The move comes amid questions over a program to provide cash benefits of up to ¥2 million each to small and midsize businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic... The ministry has decided that it will not be able to gain the understanding of the public or opposition parties on the huge planned spending on coronavirus measures unless it carries out strict checks.

S&P Revises Down Japan’s Sovereign Outlook After Record Stimulus - Bloomberg

S&P Global Ratings revised down the outlook on Japan’s sovereign rating to stable from positive while keeping the rating unchanged after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s record stimulus measures.
“The Covid-19 outbreak has set back Japan’s fiscal stabilization process but we expect that to get back on track in the next two to three years as the economy recovers,” S&P said in a statement Tuesday.
Japan’s rating of A+ for long-term and A-1 for short-term sovereign debt are affirmed, the credit ratings firm said. The stable outlook reflects S&P’s view that, until the fiscal year starting April 2023, relatively large deficits will keep upward pressure on the ratio of general government debt to gross domestic product, it said.

German exports down nearly a quarter in April as virus hits - The Mainichi

German exports plunged by nearly a quarter in April compared with the previous month as coronavirus shutdowns dragged down demand, official data showed Tuesday.
The figures from the Federal Statistical Office followed data showing big drops in factory orders and industrial production in Europe's biggest economy in April, underlining expectations of a sharp economic contraction in the second quarter.
Exports dropped 24% in April, following an 11.7% decline in March -- the month when European countries, including Germany, started imposing lockdowns.
In year-on-year terms, exports dropped 31.1% in April, the biggest drop since records began in 1950.

Russian chefs in naked lockdown protest after virus strips them of income - Reuters

Russian restaurant owners stripped of their income by the coronavirus lockdown are campaigning for their businesses to be allowed to reopen by posting pictures of themselves naked on social media.
Hundreds of bar, restaurant and cafe employees have posted photographs of themselves naked with carefully positioned plates, cups, saucepans, bottles, bar stools and napkin holders.
Their demand is for authorities to allow them to start serving clients as the country gradually eases measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

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