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UK announces new plan to help workers hit by pandemic LONDON — Britain’s treasury chief announced a new income support program Thursday for workers hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, as the government races to prevent widespread layoffs when earlier employer subsidies end next month. Chancellor Rishi Sunak, in a speech to lawmakers, unveiled his plan to subsidize the wages of workers whose hours are cut due to the pandemic as part of a wider package of measures to help businesses and bolster the economy. Businesses and labor unions had pressed the government to step in with more direct support for people in precarious work situations. Under a furloughed worker program that expires next month, the government pays 80% of the wages of workers placed on leave.

George Floyd death homicide, official post-mortem declares Image copyright Getty Images The death of George Floyd, which triggered widespread protests across the US, has been declared a homicide in an official post-mortem examination. The 46-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest while being restrained by Minneapolis police, the report found. Coronavirus fight in Poland sees government using confiscated alcohol as disinfectant The fight against coronavirus in Poland has revealed that no resource will be wasted, even confiscated booze. Poland's Ministry of Finance said Friday that some 660 gallons of confiscated alcohol were recently donated to emergency responders and health care facilities. The donated alcohol will be used to prepare disinfectants, according to the ministry. The alcohol was originally intended to be destroyed after being confiscated as part of criminal investigations.

Trump relying on government officials in final campaign stretch This week alone, his White House press secretary has appeared on television from campaign headquarters, identified as a campaign adviser. His top White House immigration adviser convened a campaign-organized briefing to assail Joe Biden. And the head of the White House National Economic Council, a regular talker on the White House North Lawn, dialed into a campaign call to decry coronavirus lockdowns. It isn't only White House staffers entering the political realm. VE Day: UK marking 75th anniversary of end of WW2 in Europe The UK has held a two-minute silence to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, as the country remains in lockdown due to the coronavirus. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall led the silence at 11:00 BST to honour servicemen and women during World War Two, and the Queen will address the nation later. The PM thanked the VE Day generation, saying "our gratitude will be eternal". Events are taking place all day, but public gatherings have been cancelled.

Donald Trump steps up wild attacks on Joe Biden as first debate looms Five weeks from from polling day, two days from the first presidential candidates’ debate, and moments after the New York Times published bombshell revelations about Donald Trump’s taxes, the US president took aim at his Democratic opponent Joe Biden with a series of wild and unproven accusations. In an unfocussed White House briefing, the president retailed baseless allegations, including that his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden had used “performance-enhancing drug” during appearances. Trump compared Biden’s performance across primary debates, including, according to the president, that he was stronger in some debates than others: “People say he was on performance-enhancing drugs. A lot of people have said that,” Trump claimed, without evidence. When challenged Trump told reporters to “look on the internet” to see who was saying it. .

George Floyd death: Archbishop attacks Trump as US protests continue Media playback is unsupported on your device Washington's Catholic archbishop has strongly criticised President Donald Trump's visit to a shrine as civil unrest continues in the US over the death of a black man in police custody. Tuesday's visit "manipulated" the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, Archbishop Wilton D Gregory said. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people joined largely peaceful demonstrations in cities across the country. In New York City, protesters defied an earlier curfew. Coronavirus: World economy 'may face double recession' Image copyright Getty Images The world economy already faces an economic downturn worse than the Great Depression. But this could be followed by another “possibly much worse downturn”, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). World governments are giving trillions of dollars in stimulus packages to help prop up their economies. Sovereign debts that they are racking up may push the global economy into a second recession, the EIU warns. Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the world economy would shrink at its fastest pace in decades, raising fears it will be the worst recession since the 1930s Great Depression.

Rapper Lil Wayne meets with Trump Mic drop: Lil Wayne and President Trump "had a great meeting," according to the rapper. On Thursday, the 38-year-old, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., tweeted a photo of himself standing next to Trump. "Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership," Wayne said. "He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done." Coronavirus: UK drug trial for over-50s recruiting Image copyright Getty Images A trial of potential coronavirus drugs aimed at over-50s, who are vulnerable to developing serious symptoms, is looking to recruit more UK volunteers. Over 500 GP surgeries are asking those with a new, continuous cough or high temperature to test existing drugs. Patients aged over 65 or over 50 with an underlying health condition can fill out an online questionnaire at home to see whether they can be included. Patients can also contact participating GPs to discuss their suitability. The trial, led by a team at Oxford University, will compare with the current best available care a number of low-risk treatments recommended by an expert panel advising the chief medical officer for England, including:

Google Pixel phone 'designed for economic downturn' image copyrightGoogle Google's hardware chief has said its new flagship smartphone was designed to go on sale during an economic downturn. As a result, the Pixel 5 has abandoned some of its predecessor's headline features and runs on a slower chip in order to be sold at a lower price. U.S. Military Launches Cutting-Edge Hypersonic Weapon The U.S. military successfully tested a groundbreaking hypersonic weapon in Hawaii this week, Pentagon officials said Friday in the latest sign that America may be catching up to its global rivals in development and fielding of the 21st-century technology. Officials said the Army and Navy jointly tested the hypersonic glide body late Thursday night at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai. Hypersonic weapons fly at speeds at least five times the speed of sound — or Mach 5 — and are widely viewed as a game-changing military technology. But for years specialists and military insiders have warned the U.S. has fallen behind its chief competitors, China and Russia, in the development of the weapons.

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