World Coronavirus Dispatch: Top-5 oil firms cut value of assets by $50 bn

Each of the worms is a factory that manufactures a type of protein to serve as the key material for vaccine production.
The world’s five largest oil companies collectively cut the value of their assets by nearly $50 billion in the second quarter, and slashed production rates as the coronavirus pandemic caused a drastic fall in fuel prices and demand. The dramatic reductions in asset valuations and decline in output show the depth of the pain in the second quarter. Fuel demand at one point was down by more than 30 per cent worldwide, and still remains below pre-pandemic levels. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics

Total Confirmed Cases: 19,025,580


Change Over Yesterday: 611,926

Total Deaths: 726,781

Total Recovered: 11,939,109

Nations hit with most cases: US (4,997,929), Brazil (3,012,412), India (2,153,010), Russia (880,563) and South Africa (553,188)

New Zealand records 100 days without domestic virus case: New Zealand marked 100 days without a domestic transmission of the coronavirus on Sunday, but warned against complacency as countries like Vietnam and Australia which once had the virus under control now battle a resurgence in infections. Read more here

Brazil Covid-19 deaths reach 100,000: Brazil’s death toll from Covid-19 passed 100,000 on Saturday and continue to climb as most Brazilian cities reopen shops and dining even though the pandemic has yet to peak. Brazil reported its first cases at the end of February. The virus took 3 months to kill 50,000, and just 50 days to kill the next 50,000. Read more here

Struggling US economy gets limited lifeline from Trump’s actions: Trump’s redirection of disaster-relief funds would provide $300 a week in federal aid to the unemployed -- down from the weekly $600 in the Cares Act that expired in July. That money is capped at $44 billion, which at the current level of unemployment could run out in one to two months. Read more here

Specials

Opinion

 
Anyone lucky enough to have income should be saving it: 
If we’re spending less on stuff we don’t need, that’s a good thing. Electronics, appliances, sporting goods, home furniture and new cars are “Veblen” goods (named after the early 20th century economist) which a person usually buys to establish their status and induce envy in others. But these purchases have been shown to produce very little long-lasting satisfaction to the purchaser. Saving more right now could even help you break an addictive cycle: work by neurobiologist Dan Nettle, and sociologist Juliet Schor shows that buying creates its own addictive cycle of stimulus, reward and dissatisfaction. Read more here

China's manufacturing hub Shenzhen gets an overhaul
: Shenzhen is facing radical changes in the global business climate with massive implications for its future. With the Covid-19 pandemic sending investors running for cover, Shenzhen finds itself at a crossroads. Chinese venture-capital investment in the first three months of the year plummeted, falling about 40 per cent from a year earlier. Manufacturing start-ups are finding it especially difficult to raise finance because "their customer bases tend to be smaller than those of internet players,” And, raising funds has suddenly become a challenge for manufacturing ventures. Read more here

Japanese scientists turn to silkworms for Covid-19 vaccine: Each of the worms is a factory that manufactures a type of protein to serve as the key material for vaccine production. Kyushu University professor Takahiro Kusakabe
said it is possible to create an oral vaccine and aims to start clinical tests on humans in 2021.
At Kyushu University in Fukuoka, in western Japan, "we have about 250,000 silkworms in about 500 different phylogenies (family lines)," Kusakabe said. In his lab, student volunteers with special permission from the university are hard at work on vaccine development. Read more here



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