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Hyundai, Kia deny Apple car talks

Shares are tumbling

South Korean automaker Hyundai and its affiliate Kia on Monday denied news reports they were in talks with Apple for a joint project to make autonomous vehicles, sending their shares tumbling. The announcement came about a month after the country’s cable broadcaster Korea Economic TV said the iPhone maker had approached Hyundai to discuss a potential partnership to develop electric vehicles and batteries for them, sending the car maker’s shares soaring. Reports last week suggested they could produce cars in the US state of Georgia.

But on Monday Hyundai and Kia said in regulatory filings they were “not discussing autonomous electric car development with Apple”. Both automakers added that they had talked with multiple firms about such projects, but no decision had been made. Hyundai said those talks were in their “early stages”. Kia shares slumped 14.98 percent at the close in Seoul on Monday, while Hyundai fell 6.21 percent.

https://www.rfi.fr/

Green Hydrogen Prices Are Set To Drop By 50% During The Next Decades

Three renewable power generation technologies

Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, has been stealing the spotlight from EVs and renewables lately. From a sort of boutique car fuel a couple of decades ago, hydrogen has evolved into one of the clean energy priorities for the future. And this future may be quite bright for it as prices for its production from renewable sources of energy are set to halve. A study commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation has found that the average price for a kilo of hydrogen produced through electrolysis using solar or wind power will fall by about 50 percent between 2020 and 2050 in the United States and Europe.

The stuffy examines three scenarios based on whether the electrolyzer—the installation that breaks down water into hydrogen and oxygen—is connected to the grid, to a renewable electricity generator, or is grid-connected but serves as a storage facility. It also looks into three renewable power generation technologies, including utility-scale solar, onshore wind, and offshore wind.

https://oilprice.com/

Just Eat Takeaway to Acquire Grubhub for $7.3 Billion

A foothold in the United States

Just Eat Takeaway, a European food delivery service, said on Wednesday that it had agreed to buy Grubhub for $7.3 billion, a deal that would give it a foothold in the United States.

In the all-stock deal, Just Eat Takeaway said it would value Grubhub at $75.15 per share, a 27 percent premium to Grubhub’s closing price of $59.05. Grubhub’s founder and chief executive, Matt Maloney, will join Just Eat Takeaway’s board and oversee its business in North America, the companies said.

http://www.nytimes.com

Irish drone operator bins fast food for medical drops

Critical supplies to isolated elderly people during the pandemic

Ireland’s Manna Aero should have been dropping off its first takeaway orders around a Dublin university campus by drone in March but then the coronavirus pandemic shut the country and its pilot programme down. Within a week, the drone company was testing out an entirely different concept – delivering medication and critical supplies to isolated elderly people whom the Irish government had told to stay home to avoid infection.

Manna worked with Ireland’s health service operator to try out the system in Moneygall, the small midlands town best known for its ancestral links to former U.S. President Barack Obama, who visited in 2011. After weeks of flying to and from residents’ homes, the local pharmacy and convenience store – located at the Barack Obama Plaza motorway service station – Manna says it has proved the technology works.

https://fr.reuters.com/

Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down state’s stay-at-home order

Unmasked Wisconsinites crowd bars

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned the state’s stay-at-home order, ruling it “unlawful” and “unenforceable” in a high-profile win for the state’s Republican-led Legislature. In a 4-3 decision Wednesday, the court ruled that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration overstepped its authority when the state Department of Health Services extended the order to May 26.

Legislature’s Republican leaders filed a lawsuit last month arguing the order would cost Wisconsin residents their jobs and hurt many companies, asserting that if it was left in place, “our State will be in shambles.”

The suit was filed specifically against state Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm and other health officials, who made the decision in mid-April to extend the state’s “Safer at Home” emergency order. At the same time as the extension, the state loosened some restrictions on certain businesses, including golf courses, public libraries, and arts and crafts stores.

Avianca files for bankruptcy

Avianca counts United Airlines  as stakeholder

Avianca Holdings SA, one of the biggest carriers in Latin America, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after travel bans across the region forced the Colombian airline to ground its fleet. Avianca, which counts United Airlines Holdings Inc. and Kingsland Holdings as stakeholders, filed for protection from its creditors in the Southern District of New York, according to court papers. It listed as much as $10 billion in liabilities and the same amount in assets. The company said it will not make bond payments due Monday.

The carrier grounded planes in late March after governments across Latin America sealed borders to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Avianca had just emerged from a tumultuous year in which it restructured debt and embarked on a business turnaround plan aimed at restoring profitability by focusing on flights through its Bogota hub. It cited the impact of the pandemic in a statement Sunday, adding that it intends to keep flying during the reorganization.

http://www.bloomberg.com

Immunity passports in UK

For people who have had the disease

The Government is considering introducing immunity passports, so those who have had coronavirus can get back to work.

Matt Hancock said he had a “very strong interest” in bringing in such a policy, after returning to work yesterday (Thursday) following his own spell of self-isolation with Covid-19.

However, the Health Secretary said that it was “too early in the science of immunity” to be able to bring in a comprehensive scheme.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Stocks and oil fall after US announces coronavirus travel ban

Flurry of selling

Global stocks and oil sold off sharply on Thursday after the US temporarily suspended travel from Europe in response to the coronavirus outbreak, triggering a flurry of selling that sent American stock futures into a tailspin.

President Donald Trump announced the move in a televised address hours after the World Health Organization said the crisis was now a “pandemic”. The number of cases of infected patients in the US has risen to 1,281. Mr Trump said the new travel restrictions, which exclude the UK, would take effect from Friday.

In Asian trading following the announcement, US futures pointed to another day of heavy losses on Wall Street, with the S&P 500 tipped to drop 4.1 per cent into bear market territory, down more than 20 per cent from its recent record high.

https://www.ft.com/

CDC: Americans over 60 should stock up on food and medications

CDC recommends to avoid venturing out as the coronavirus spreads

  • In a media briefing on Monday about the novel coronavirus, Dr. Nancy Messonnier from CDC  focused on making recommendations for people at a higher risk of getting ill from the virus.
  • She also said that eventually “many people in the United States” will be exposed to the virus and that “there’s a good chance many will become sick.”
  • For now, she said, people over 60 should stock up on food, medication, and other necessities so they can avoid needing to venture out too much.
  • Caretakers and family members should help older people prepare, and develop a plan for what they’ll do if either they or the people they’re caring for get sick.
  • While people over 60 are at a greater risk of becoming ill than younger folks, it’s important for people to understand that risk increases with age, making people in their 80s and 90s at the highest risk, especially if they have chronic health conditions too.

https://www.cdc.gov/

Coronavirus is mutating

Chinese scientists find second strain

Gileag is testing a potential coronavirus treatment

Antiviral remdesivir tested on patients with COVID-19

At the beginning of February, Gilead Sciences struck a partnership with Beijing’s China-Japan Friendship Hospital to test its experimental antiviral remdesivir on patients with COVID-19, the respiratory ailment caused by the novel coronavirus strain. On Tuesday, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) confirmed the drug was undergoing human clinical trials in the U.S. as well—the first of their kind in America. And just one day later, Gilead announced it was launching two other  late-stage studies of remdesivir across multiple countries as the coronavirus spreads globally.

Remdesivir’s unusually rapid advance across the clinical trial process highlights the urgent nature of the coronavirus outbreak’s public health threat—and the promise that regulators and global health agencies have credited to the treatment.

The two phase 3 clinical trials Gilead announced on Wednesday will enlist about 1,000 patients who have already contracted COVID-19. The participants will mostly be in Asia, the heaviest-hit region in a global health emergency that originated in China, although other nations with a high number of cases will also be involved. The trials are set to launch in March.

http://fortune.com

Greece may demand Britain give back ancient Parthenon Marbles

Parthenon Marbles, part of the Brexit negociations

Britain may be losing its marbles over Brexit. As part of negotiations with the European Union, the U.K. may be forced to return the Parthenon Marbles — and many other antiquities — to their original home in Greece.

https://www.cbsnews.com/

Coronavirus Infection Found After Cruise Ship Passengers Disperse

Hundreds of people disembarked in Cambodia and headed for airports. One was later found to be infected.

The cruise ship had been shunned at port after port for fear it might carry the coronavirus, but when the Westerdam arrived in Cambodia on Thursday, the prime minister greeted its passengers with flowers.

Amid assurances that the ship was disease free, hundreds of elated passengers disembarked. Some went sightseeing, visiting beaches and restaurants and getting massages. Others traveled on to destinations around the world.

One, however, did not make it much farther than the thermal scanners at the Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia. The passenger, an American, was stopped on Saturday, and later tested positive for the coronavirus..

https://www.nytimes.com/

Thousands of people could be exposed to the coronavirus on the London Underground

Doctors warn London Underground could exacerbate the spread of coronavirus

Doctors have warned the London Underground network could be a hotbed for the spread of the strain of coronavirus known as Covid-19.

The warning comes after a London woman became the ninth person in the UK to test positive for the deadly virus.

Wednesday proved to be the disease’s deadliest day in China, with 254 deaths reported, bringing the total to more than 1,360.

In the rest of the world more than 400 cases have been confirmed across 24 countries and only two deaths have occurred outside of mainland China.

https://www.itv.com

The world’s largest mobile trade show in Barcelona is cancelled

100,000 attendees from 200 countries to Barcelona

The GSMA, the organization behind MWC, the world’s largest mobile trade show, has announced that it is officially canceling the show. MWC usually attracts more than 100,000 attendees from 200 countries to Barcelona. This year’s show was supposed to take place on February 24-27.

Several publications received a statement about the cancellation. “The GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event,” GSMA CEO John Hoffman told Bloomberg and the Financial Times. El Diario, El País and La Vanguardia also report that the show has been canceled.

https://www.techcrunch.com/