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Top Breaking News Worldwide This Evening, Wednesday 24th June, 2020

OG-ENT 06/24/2020

1. COVID-19: European Union (EU) considers barring Americans from travel list

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EU ambassadors meet on Wednesday to plan reopening external borders on 1 July, and travellers from the US could be among those not allowed in.

A number of European countries are keen to open up to tourists but others are wary of the continued spread of coronavirus.

The 27-member bloc must first agree the measures that non-EU countries should meet before deciding on a safe list.

The virus is spreading in the US, so it is likely Americans would be barred.

Brazil, Russia and other countries with high infection rates would also be left off a safe list, according to reports from Brussels.

The EU is not yet thought to have agreed how they will assess which countries meet health standards - one of the criteria for entry. Part of the problem is assessing reliable health data, reports say.

Comparing infection rates with other countries

Latest figures from the EU's health agency, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, highlight Brazil, Peru, Chile, Panama and Saudi Arabia as countries with the highest "case notification rate".

Russia and the US have a lower rate of cases per 100,000 inhabitants but are still higher than most of Europe. The US has seen 2.3 million infections and 120,000 deaths and cases are climbing in several states.

2. COVID-19 pandemic: Tracking the global outbreak

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Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with more than nine million confirmed cases in 188 countries. Nearly 500,000 people have lost their lives.

This series of maps and charts tracks the global outbreak of the virus.

Where are coronavirus cases and deaths still rising?

While some countries are starting to see confirmed cases and deaths fall following strict lockdown restrictions, others are still seeing figures rise.

A sharp increase in cases in Latin America in the second half of May led the World Health Organization (WHO) to say the Americas were the new centre of the pandemic. But there have also been new spikes in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

These charts show four countries - Brazil, Mexico, India and Pakistan - where cases (in blue) and deaths (in red) have been on an upward trajectory in recent weeks.

3. Texas governor urges people to stay home as states report surges of new Corona virus cases

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Texas' governor is urging people to stay home amid a surge in coronavirus cases, with some health officials calling for a stricter stay-at-home order.

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"Because the spread is so rampant right now, there's never a reason for you to have to leave your home," Gov. Greg Abbott told CNN affiliate KBTX. "Unless you do need to go out, the safest place for you is at your home."

New cases and hospitalizations are rising at their fastest rate yet -- something Abbott called "unacceptable" -- with Texas reporting more than 5,000 cases in a single day, breaking its previous record, health authorities said.

The surge comes as alarming coronavirus trends have emerged across several US states.

Further state actions in Texas could be announced if the virus continues to spread at this rate, even as officials encourage mask wearing and social distancing in places like bars that are often overcrowded, Abbott said.

The renewed caution by Abbott, a Republican, is welcome but doesn't go far enough, said Sarah Eckhardt, special assistant to Judge Sam Biscoe of Travis County, home to Austin, told CNN. Texas began reopening after the state's stay-at-home order expired May 1.

"I am glad that he did reverse court," Eckhardt said Wednesday. "I am not confident that we will be able to reduce this trajectory."

Texas is one of seven states seeing record hospitalizations. At least 26 states are seeing a rise in cases compared to the previous week, data from Johns Hopkins University show. Those states are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

California recorded a striking 5,019 new cases on Monday, topping the state's daily case record for the fourth time over the past week. In Florida, officials announced 3,289 confirmations in a day. And Arizona saw 3,591 new cases in a day.

In too many places across the country, the pandemic is quickly "spiraling out of control," one expert said.

More than 2,347,000 people have been infected across the US with the virus since the beginning of the pandemic and at least 121,225 have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The country accounts for a quarter of both the world's total infections and total global deaths.

"We stopped the treatment too early," CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said Wednesday. The result could be "exponential growth" of cases.

4. The recession is much worse than the IMF expected and the hit to jobs 'catastrophic'

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Woman making more off unemployment than when she worked

America's housing crisis was already here. Coronavirus made it worse.

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Workers prepare customer orders for dispatch as they work around goods stored inside an Amazon.co.uk fulfillment centre in Peterborough, central England, on November 15, 2017. - Shops could be seeing the effect of consumers postponing purchases until "Black Friday" on November 24, 2017, a day of sales in the United States that has become increasingly popular in Britain. (Photo by CHRIS J RATCLIFFE / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRIS J RATCLIFFE/AFP via Getty Images)

What economic lessons will the world learn from Covid-19?

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Virus cuts off lifeline for many of the world's poorest

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 16: A pedestrian walks by a retail store that has reopened on June 16, 2020 in San Francisco, California. According to a report by the U.S. Commerce Department, retail sales surged 17.7 percent in May as more states begin the process of reopening after being shut down due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Another 1.5 million workers file jobless claims

A face mask is seen in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on May 26, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City. - Global stock markets climbed Monday, buoyed by the prospect of further easing of coronavirus lockdowns despite sharp increases in case rates in some countries such as Brazil. Over the weekend, US President Donald Trump imposed travel limits on Brazil, now the second worst affected country after the United States, reminding markets that while the coronavirus outlook is better, the crisis is far from over. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

The US is in a recession. Here's what that means

The Floridian restaurant opens on May 18, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The restaurant re-opened, approximately two months after shutting it's doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, as Broward County starts the first phase of the states coronavirus pandemic re-opening plan, which includes openings with certain restrictions of businesses like barbershops, restaurants and retail stores.

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