Coronavirus pushes Boeing to offer early retirement, buyouts

Boeing CEO: Important for US government to reopen credit markets

Boeing CEO David Calhoun, in a wide-ranging interview, addresses production disruptions and plans to support the company throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

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Boeing Co. is expected to begin offering early retirement and buyout packages to its workforce as the plane maker comes to grips with the coronavirus pandemic’s deepening toll on the global aviation industry, people familiar with the matter said.

An internal announcement was expected as soon as early Thursday, one of these people said.

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The Chicago-based aerospace giant is the largest U.S.exporter and one of the nation’s largest manufacturing employers. It has previously announced steps including a freeze on hiring and overtime as it seeks to preserve cash amid turmoil in the credit markets and a broader economic downturn.

Boeing’s airline customers and some of its suppliers have already sought to cut labor costs—with measures including layoffs and voluntary leave without pay—as the pandemic wreaks havoc across the air-travel and aerospace industries.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BA BOEING COMPANY 130.70 -18.44 -12.36%

Boeing, whose workforce numbers approximately 160,000, hasn’t announced any layoffs, even after cutting and then suspending production of its 737 MAX jet in January and assembly of most wide-body planes last month.

CORONAVIRUS NOT IMPACTING 737 MAX PLANS: BOEING CEO

Almost 65,000 of its employees build commercial aircraft, and a further 25,000 work in the unit that provides spares and services to airlines.

Executives have said they were seeking to avoid layoffs as they sought taxpayer help to ease its financial strain and plan for a recovery.

BOEING CEO: NO GOVERNMENT EQUITY STAKE IN CORONAVIRUS AID

Boeing Chief Executive David Calhoun has said he wants to prepare for when the crisis abates. “I have to keep my workforce in place and we have got to be ready when the recovery comes,” he said last week in an interview on Fox Business Network.

Boeing sought at least $60 billion in government aid for itself, its suppliers and the broader aerospace sector. The company hasn’t said whether it will seek loans under a $2 trillion stimulus package approved in Washington, D.C., last week. Some of the aid would come with restrictions on layoffs.

As the pandemic worsened in March, Boeing suspended its dividend and temporarily halted production at its Everett, Wash., factory north of Seattle.

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Its share price doubled last week as investors bought on expectations that government aid would ease a liquidity squeeze, but has fallen sharply in recent days as analysts warned that more airlines may seek to cancel orders or be unable to take new planes.

Write to Andrew Tangel at [email protected]j.com

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Ford to build 50,000 ventilators within 100 days to help coronavirus patients

Ford plans to produce 50,000 ventilators within 100 days to help meet the demand for the machines critical to fighting the coronavirus.

Through a partnership with GE Healthcare, the automaker said it will start making ventilators by the week of April 20 at its car-parts plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan with the goal of producing 50,000 by July 4 and up to 30,000 per month after that.

“The Ford and GE Healthcare teams, working creatively and tirelessly, have found a way to produce this vitally needed ventilator quickly and in meaningful numbers,” Ford president and CEO Jim Hackett said in Monday statement.

The initiative — which a Trump administration official compared to Ford’s production of tanks during World War II — comes as states face shortages of the machines that can help keep coronavirus patients alive. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said the state will need as many as 30,000 ventilators when the virus crisis peaks in the American epicenter of the pandemic.

GE Healthcare will license the design for the ventilators from Airon Corp., a Florida-based company specializing in high-tech life-support products, according to a news release. The machine runs on air pressure and doesn’t need electricity to treat coronavirus patients, Ford said.

Workers at Ford’s Michigan plant will manufacture ventilators “nearly around the clock” at a rate of 7,200 machines a week at full production, the company said. That’s far more than Airon’s current production of three of its pNeuton Model A ventilators each day.

Ford’s announcement came after President Trump pressured the company in a Friday tweet to “GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!” Trump invoked the Defense Production Act that day to force rival automaker General Motors to make ventilators.

But Peter Navarro, the White House’s Defense Production Act coordinator, praised Ford Monday for helping the nation’s “full-scale war” against the virus.

“Just as Ford in the last century moved its manufacturing might seamlessly from auto to tank production during World War II, the Ford team is working with GE Healthcare to use its awesome engineering and manufacturing capabilities to voluntarily help this nation solve one of its most pressing problems,” Navarro said in a statement.

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How to mirror your Android phone to another screen or share videos to a monitor

TRYING to share or mirror your Android phone to another screen? It's easy when you know how.

We've put together a simple guide on how to screen-share to an external display using an Android phone or tablet.

Android screen-sharing and mirror – supported devices

First, you need an Android phone or tablet.

And you need to make sure it's running on software later than Android 5.0.

Generally, screen-sharing will work best on newer, more recently updated and more powerful handsets.

You'll also need a Chromecast-friendly display to stream to.

The best way to check if your device is supported is to follow the steps below, and simply see if your gadget turns up on the device list.

All compatible devices should appear on your screen, as long as they're plugged in, working correctly, and connected to the same WiFi network as your phone or tablet.

Android screen-sharing and mirror – how to cast your screen

The most smooth option is to use the Google Home app.

First, make sure this is installed on your phone.

Then open the app and choose the Chromecast-enabled device you want to share your screen with.

These devices need to be on the same network as you, and only certain smart devices will support this.

You can then tap the Cast My Screen button in the app to mirror your Android phone on the external display.

Sharing a video works in a similar way.
For instance, if you've got a YouTube clip open on your Android phone, simply tap the share icon and choose a device to stream the clip to.

This is handy if you want to share a particular video, rather than your entire screen.

It also means that playback should be much smoother than an outright screen-mirror session.

There's another way to do it too.

Go into settings and look for the button that says Screen Cast.

This will reveal a list of devices that you can mirror your screen with.

All you need to do is make sure you're connected to the same WiFi network.

Choose one and the cast will begin, which you can end at any time.

In other news, don't download this "coronavirus safety app" on Android.

Microsoft has warned about a new vulnerability in all supported versions of Windows.

And, a set of of 50 dodgy apps used by cyber crooks to hack into people's phones has been uncovered.

Do you know any great Android tips or tricks? Let us know in the comments!

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Mcdonald's Stock Likely to Hit New Lows

Dow component McDonald's Corporation (MCD) is likely to break March support in coming weeks and drop to the lowest lows since 2015. A variety of fierce headwinds have come into play in the first quarter, topped by the closure of restaurants and/or dine-in eating all across the world. The company is assisting franchisees under economic stress, but that's unlikely to forestall bankruptcies if sales don't bounce back in the next one or two months.

Mickey D has borrowed the $1 billion available under its credit agreement, highlighting a capital shortfall that will grow substantially if COVID-19 doesn't run its course in the first half of the second quarter. Making matters worse, Wall Street is pushing the fallacy that sales will rebound immediately when, in truth, customers will avoid public places for months after hospitals empty out. In addition, the industry has failed to convince many folks that restaurant workers and delivery drivers have taken the precautions needed to avoid virus transmission.

Americans will also come out of this crisis a lot poorer, despite massive government stimulus programs. At its core, casual dining is a cyclical industry, with consumers closing their wallets when the cash is needed to pay the household bills. A recent surge in meat sales also indicates that many folks are learning to cook at home for the first time, perhaps triggering a paradigm shift that generates fewer trips for Happy Meals.

MCD Long-Term Chart (1999 – 2020)

A multi-year advance ended at $49.69 in November 1999, marking a high that wasn't challenged for the next seven years, ahead of a decline into the new millennium. Selling pressure eased in the mid-$20s in the second quarter of 2001, establishing a support level that broke down in July 2002. Aggressive bears controlled the ticker tape into March 2003, when the stock finally bottomed out at a 10-year low in the lower teens.

The subsequent recovery wave posted steady gains during the mid-decade bull market, completing a round trip into the 1999 high in May 2007. A breakout ran into a buzzsaw of sellers after reaching the low $60s in December, yielding volatile range-bound action on top of new support. Even so, the stock exhibited relative strength compared to broad benchmarks during the economic collapse, underpinning a secondary breakout at the start of the new decade.

The uptrend topped out once again in January 2012, establishing heavy resistance at $100 that denied multiple breakout attempts into October 2015. The "all-day breakfast" initiative was introduced at that time, triggering a breakout that carved a broad Elliott five-wave advance. The bullish pattern finally completed in the summer of 2019, while subsequent downside posted the steepest correction in more than a decade.

The monthly stochastic oscillator entered a long-term sell cycle from the overbought zone in October 2019 and crossed into a buy cycle in January 2020. However, the stock has lost more 50 points since the bullish crossover, telling us the data isn't valid. Price action is currently testing the recent breakdown through 50-month exponential moving average (EMA) support, with the stock trading below that line in the sand for the first time since 2003.

MCD Short-Term Chart (2017 – 2020)

The on-balance volume (OBV) accumulation-distribution indicator ended a multi-year accumulation phase in April 2018 and eased into a support line going back to May 2017. It dropped into that level for the third time last week, while seven days of higher prices have barely budged accumulation readings. This is typical behavior when short covering, rather than bottom fishing, drives price action.

Finally, the stock has reversed off the 50% sell-off retracement level after filling the March 15 gap. The .618 Fibonacci retracement level at $180 has narrowly aligned with the March 12 gap, marking a price zone that is unlikely to be breached at this time. However, there's no timeline on an inevitable test of the March low because the tape is still working off an extremely oversold short-term technical condition.

The Bottom Line

McDonald's stock is likely to break the March low and test round number support at $100.

Disclosure: The author held no positions in the aforementioned securities at the time publication.

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G20 leaders to inject $5 trillion into global economy to fight coronavirus

Trump to speak to Chinese president Xi Thursday night

U.S. Army Lt. Col. James Carafano (ret.) talks about the propaganda war China is waging against the United States over where coronavirus started and how Washington needs to remain bipartisan while combating the virus in America.

RIYADH (Reuters) – Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies pledged on Thursday to inject $5 trillion in fiscal spending into the global economy to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus and “do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic.”

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Showing more unity than at any time since the 2008-2009 financial crisis that led to the G20’s creation, the leaders said they committed during a videoconference summit to implement and fund all necessary health measures needed to stop the virus’ spread.

President Donald Trump talks with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a group photo at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In a statement containing the most conciliatory language on trade in years, the G20 leaders pledged to ensure the flow of vital medical supplies and other goods across borders and to resolve supply chain disruptions.

DOES CORONAVIRUS MEAN NEGATIVE TREASURY YIELDS ARE HERE TO STAY?

As many countries enact export bans on medical supplies, the G20 leaders said they would coordinate responses to avoid unnecessary interference.

“Emergency measures aimed at protecting health will be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary,” they said.

The G20 leaders also expressed concern about the risks to fragile countries, notably in Africa, and populations like refugees, acknowledging the need to bolster global financial safety nets and national health systems.

“We are strongly committed to presenting a united front against this common threat,” the G20 leaders said in a joint statement following their 90-minute call.

ICONIC WALL STREET TRADER HAS CORONAVIRUS

Saudi Arabia, the current G20 chair, called the video summit amid earlier criticism of the group’s slow response to the disease. It has infected more than 470,000 people worldwide, killed more than 21,000, and is expected to trigger a global recession.

Saudi King Salman, in opening remarks, said the G20 should resume the normal flow of goods and services, including vital medical supplies, as soon as possible to help restore confidence in the global economy.

The group committed to national spending measures totaling $5 trillion — an amount equal to that pledged in 2009 — along with other large-scale liquidity, credit guarantee schemes and other economic measures.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was to address the G20 to seek support for ramping up funding and production of personal protection equipment for health workers amid a global shortage.

AMID CORONAVIRUS-CAUSED SHORTAGE, ANHEUSER-BUSCH TO MAKE HAND SANITIZER

“We have a global responsibility as humanity and especially those countries like the G20,” Tedros told a news conference in Geneva on Wednesday. “They should be able to support countries all over the world.”

In his remarks to the group, U.S. President Donald Trump shared details of the $6 trillion in support the United States is making available through legislation and increased Federal Reserve liquidity, including $2 trillion in fiscal spending, and spoke in support of multilateral action and coordination.

“He talked about working together and sounded more supportive of multilateral coordination than ever before,” said one source who observed the meeting.

The meeting was not marred by acrimony, as was feared given the ongoing oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, and a war of words between the United States and China over the origins and handling of the pandemic, said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Tedros told G20 leaders that the pandemic is “accelerating at an exponential rate” and urged them to ramp up production of protective gear for health workers and remove export bans.

No country advocated “total confinement” mainly because most of the countries in G20 are not implementing such moves, the official added.

Several participants called upon the G20 to play the same role that it played in overcoming the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, when member countries pledged to inject massive fiscal stimulus and financial liquidity into the economy, the Brazilian official said.

IMF RESOURCES

CORONAVIRUS 'SOCIAL DISTANCING' GETTING NEW GUIDELINES FROM TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

The G20 leaders also asked the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group “to support countries in need using all instruments to the fullest extent.”

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva plans to ask the Fund’s steering committee on Friday to consider doubling the current $50 billion in emergency financing available to help developing countries deal with the virus, a source familiar with the plans told Reuters.

To boost global liquidity, Georgieva also asked G20 leaders to back a Fund plan to allow member countries to temporarily draw on part of its $1 trillion in overall resources to boost liquidity. The IMF made a similar move in 2009 with a $250 billion allocation of Special Drawing Rights, its internal unit of currency.

Georgieva gave no specific number in her statement, but observers to the G20 meeting said an SDR allocation of up to $500 billion could be needed.

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HEALTH FUNDING

On the health response, the G20 leaders committed to close the financing gap in the WHO’s response plan and strengthen its mandate as well as expand manufacturing capacity of medical supplies, strengthen capacities to respond to infectious diseases, and share clinical data.

Despite calls for cooperation, the G20 risks entanglement in an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and frictions between the United States and China over the origin of the coronavirus outbreak.

Additional reporting by Nayera Abdallah in Cairo, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, David Lawder and Andrea Shalal in Washington, Anthony Boadle in Brasilia, Alaa Swilam, Yousef Saba and Maher Chmaytelli in Dubai, Anton Kolodyazhnyy in Moscow and Ryan Woo in Beijing; Writing by David Lawder and Stephen Kalin; Editing by Alexander Smith and Tom Brown

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New Yorkers flee to Hamptons, Catskills amid coronavirus fears

It was just over a week ago that Julia Noran-Johnston and her family made the decision — on the heels of the announcement that schools were closed and ahead of recent dire pandemic predictions for the city — to pack their bags for the countryside.

Noran-Johnston, her husband and her two young children bid farewell to their Upper West Side apartment for destinations north — far north.

“We found a super old farmhouse in Vermont for $3,000 for the month. We will likely stay beyond that,” says Noran-Johnston, founder and president of the Business of Home, a resource for interior design and home industry professionals.

Noran-Johnston, who chose Vermont because extended family is there, is far from alone in fleeing Manhattan during the city’s coronavirus lockdown. Some of her friends, she says, have rented vacation homes in the Poconos or the Berkshires.

Catskills houses for rent are in high demand for the same reason, brokers say, and many quarantined New Yorkers are making tracks to the Hamptons, boosting the short-term rental market there as well.

Leslie Hough, 55, who works in post-production and is currently on a project for Netflix, started her search weeks ago to find a work-from-home outpost away from the 1,000-square-foot Upper West Side apartment she shares with her partner, John Sudol, an acting coach.

The jump on looking paid off for Hough, who found a spacious three-bedroom in East Hampton close to the water for $3,500 a month, where she plans to stay until mid-May. “We needed space and two rooms to be in and need to be able to spread out,” says Hough, who adds that video conferencing is a large component of both of their jobs.

Vanessa, 32, and Ray Vargas, 40, founders of Home Sweet Hudson, an Ulster County-based listing and management service for Airbnb properties owned by city dwellers, have seen a significant jump in inquiries for full-home rentals in the last few weeks.

The Vargas’ roster of rentals — more than 30 properties — are sought after by families “asking about internet service and Wi-Fi and trying to keep connected but get out of the New York City area,” says Vanessa.

“We’re seeing customers inquiring about staying for a month or two,” adds Vanessa. “If we can’t accommodate them at one property, we can relocate them to another one.” Currently, rentals through Home Sweet Hudson range from $75 to more than $200 per night depending on the size of the house and its amenities. “We’re doing our best to work with folks and find the right place for them based on their budget,” says Vanessa.

Murray Hill resident Kate McMahon, 50, an actor, packed up a car with her husband, two teenage sons and the family dog, and opted for a $3,250-a-month creek-side three-bedroom home in Callicoon, New York. The cabin was secured through Red Cottage Inc., a rental service representing 58 cabins, farmhouses and woodland properties in the Catskills and Hudson Valley.

Red Cottage founder Jennifer Grimes, 53, reports working 70-hour weeks to help connect families — nearly all hailing from Manhattan — with rural dwellings amid coronavirus fears.

Though some properties initially reserved for spring and summer weddings have been canceled, Grimes says, they are just as quickly being scooped up by those seeking to shelter outside of the city for the next few months. “Someone just booked a huge house for two, maybe four people, until the Wednesday after Labor Day,” adds Grimes. Red Cottage’s rental properties skew high-end, often with amenities such as hot tubs and pools, with rates from $250 to $1,300 per night.

Owners of second homes upstate are also canceling renters’ reservations so they can also use the properties themselves. “We have had eight owners (out of 58) block their calendars for the foreseeable future,” Grimes says. “We have moved everyone to a different house, or have provided full refunds.”

To meet the unusually high demand, Grimes is even encouraging a handful of properties that typically close for the winter to reopen ASAP. Grimes says there are still places with availability starting in mid-April and new listings in the pipeline.

Patrick, 35, and Alana, 34, an engaged couple who declined to give their last names for privacy reasons, left their rental in Hell’s Kitchen for a woodsy three-bedroom rental in Stone Ridge, New York, where they have been working remotely since March 14. They are paying $5,500 for a 35-night stay — and will likely extend the reservation.

For Patrick, who works in finance, and Alana, who is in advertising, the notion to relocate out of the city for the short term was a no-brainer. “It just wasn’t feasible for us to work remotely from a small apartment in Hell’s Kitchen,” says Patrick. The area around Stone Ridge was familiar to the couple, who have made prior visits to New Paltz and Phoenicia.

New York’s more rural counties are taking notice of the influx, and pleading with city dwellers to reconsider relocating to their quiet towns during the public health crisis. Last Friday, Greene County, bordered on the south by Ulster County and to the east by Columbia County, issued a press release asking visitors and second homeowners to hold off on travel into the county and also to not expect the same resources. “Greene County is a large rural county with NO hospital!” the release said. “This limits our ability to serve a large number of people requiring higher levels of care for COVID-19 patients and other illnesses.”

Greene County currently has four confirmed cases of the coronavirus. And on Tuesday, the head of the White House coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, has asked anyone leaving the New York metro area to self-quarantine for 14 days in order to stop the spread.

I didn’t want to watch [New York City] crumble, and wanted to be in denial out in the country.

“We’ve taken some steps, like requiring a 14-day minimum for new bookings, to be considerate of our friends and neighbors,” Grimes says. “So it’s a legitimate concern.”

But given the orders to stay home except for essential outings — a lockdown-style policy also known as shelter in place — many NYC residents still prefer less-populated environments to wait out the pandemic.

“My phone is ringing off the hook with one- and two-month rentals,” Steven Zellman, a real estate agent with Town and Country Real Estate in the Hamptons, tells The Post via email. “I have done 11 rentals in the last five days, and am working on four others as I write this.”

Joseph Kazickas of Rosehip Partners Real Estate and HamptonsRentals.com reports a comparable flurry of activity. “There’s definitely an uptick in inquiries in seasonal rentals, but also this urgency of customers who want to get into a home tomorrow for the next few months,” says Kazickas, who primarily serves the area between Westhampton and Montauk.

For Hough, the temporary move out east is about finding solace and safety in turbulent times.

“I didn’t want to be around and see New York City shut down,”she says. “It would be too much to bear; to be met with closed stores, closed restaurants and not being able to go on the subway. I didn’t want to watch it crumble, and wanted to be in denial out in the country. I wanted to be where the environment is beautiful, and where we might be able to find peace of mind through nature.”

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How to get WhatsApp on iPad – an easy and safe guide

IF you love WhatsApp you may want to have it on more than just your smartphone.

Follow our easy guide below to download WhatsApp on your iPad.

How to get WhatsApp on your iPad

The great thing about WhatsApp is you only really need WiFi or data and a compatible device to use it.

One of the drawbacks is there isn't actually an official WhatsApp app for iPad.

The good news is there is a workaround for this if you already have WhatsApp on your phone.

Go to Safari on your iPad and type in web.whatsapp.com.

This page should display a QR code and some instructions.

Go to WhatsApp on your iPhone, click "Settings" and then "WhatsApp Web/Desktop".

You'll then see an option called "Scan QR Code".

Click this and then scan the QR code that you can see on your iPad screen.

The page should then reload as your WhatsApp and you can continue your conversations on a bigger screen.

There are a few small limitations like not being able to send voice notes and not getting notifications via Safari.

WhatsApp – a quick history

Here's what you need to know…

  • WhatsApp was created in 2009 by computer programmers Brian Acton and Jan Koum – former employees of Yahoo
  • It's one of the most popular messaging services in the world
  • Koum came up with the name WhatsApp because it sounded like "what's up"
  • After a number of tweaks the app was released with a messaging component in June 2009, with 250,000 active users
  • It was originally free but switched to a paid service to avoid growing too fast. Then in 2016, it became free again for all users
  • Facebook bought WhatsApp Inc in February 2014 for $19.3billion (£14.64bn)
  • The app is particularly popular because all messages are encrypted during transit, shutting out snoopers
  • As of February 2020, WhatsApp has over 2billion users globally

In other news, we rounded up some Facebook Messenger games you can play with friends remotely.

Find out how to disinfect your iPhone without breaking it.

And, here's how to record an iPhone screen.

What are your thoughts on WhatsApp? Let us know in the comments…

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‘Beginning to slow’: Supermarket panic buying starts to ease

Australian supermarkets have confirmed they've started to see a material drop-off in demand across stores after weeks of panic buying as fewer shoppers rush out to strip shelves of supplies.

Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci told media on Tuesday that buying over the weekend had reduced "quite materially" from its peak two weeks ago, though the company saw a spike again on Sunday night as confusion reigned over what stores would be shut as part of the government's partial lockdown.

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said there was another spike in panic buying after bungled messaging from the government on Sunday.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

"With some of the announcements on borders being shut and the bring-forward of school holidays in Victoria, (that) led to a surge late Sunday afternoon," he said.

This was not in the company's food division, but in its liquor stores such as Dan Murphy's, which experienced "quite a material pantry stock" Mr Banducci said.

"But we expect that to taper as customers have reassurance that our stores will continue to trade," he said.

Mixed messages from the federal and state governments on Sunday night over varying levels of lockdown measures prompted significant confusion amongst shoppers over what stores would be marked as an "essential service". Customers rushed to liquor stores, stocking up on alcohol in case bottle shops were set to close.

Ritchies Supa IGA chief executive Fred Harrison also said the demand had begun to wane. His stores' sales had been up between 100 and 150 per cent before the weekend and had since moderated back down to be up around 80 per cent.

"We're almost encouraging a bit of normality just so we can get the supply chain topped up," he said.

A Coles spokesperson also said there had been "signs that the demand is beginning to slow".

"This is in part due to customers taking heed of advice to stop over-purchasing, and also increased numbers of team members working in our stores, support from suppliers to improve availability, introducing purchase limits, reducing the hours of trade, and government intervention to relax truck curfews," the spokesperson said.



Meanwhile, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced today it would permit collaboration between the country’s supermarkets to stave off supply pressures caused by the surge in panicked shoppers.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said the watchdog had turned the interim authorisation around in just three days to expedite the deal which will allow retailers to work together with manufacturers, suppliers, and transport and logistics providers to ensure vulnerable and rural Australians could get access to groceries.

"Australia’s supermarkets have experienced unprecedented demand for groceries in recent weeks, both in-store and online, which has led to shortages of some products and disruption to delivery services," Mr Sims said.

"This is essentially due to unnecessary panic buying, and the logistics challenge this presents, rather than an underlying supply problem."

Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and Metcash are included in the ACCC's agreement, and any other grocery retailer is able to participate if they wish.

The agreement does not allow the supermarkets to collectively agree on prices for products, however it will protect the supermarkets from any court action for conduct that would otherwise raise concerns under competition law.

The Department of Home Affairs has also established a ‘Supermarket Taskforce’, with representatives from the government, the ACCC, and the retailers, which will look to resolve any issues facing the sector during this crisis.

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How to file for unemployment as coronavirus job losses mount

Unemployment numbers climb to 30k in Connecticut alone: Report

According to the Hartford Courant, jobless claim numbers are rising more than 10 times the normal rate. FOX Business’ Dagen McDowell with more.

The economic effects of the coronavirus are deepening as the illness spreads throughout the U.S. – impacting many Americans’ working lives.

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A new analysis from Goldman Sachs predicts that as many as 2.25 million unemployment claims could be filed this week. The previous record – 700,000 – was set in 1982.

Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Monday that the weekly unemployment claims number would be “a large number.”

Last week, 281,000 people filed jobless claims (for the week ending March 14) as federal and state governments across the country asked businesses to close down and workers to stay home in an attempt to limit human-to-human contact.

CORONAVIRUS AID: HOW THE GOVERNMENT MIGHT BOOST YOUR UNEMPLOYMENT CHECK 

If you find yourself among the many workers who are out of work as businesses across the country shutter, here’s what to know about filing an unemployment claim:

Eligibility

In order to qualify for unemployment insurance, it is generally required that individuals meet certain criteria, as outlined on the Department of Labor’s website. Those criteria include:

  • You are unemployed through no fault of your own. In most states, this means you have to have separated from your last job due to a lack of available work.
  • You meet work and wage requirements. You must meet your state’s requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a “base period.” (In most states, this is usually the first four out of the last five completed calendar quarters before the time that your claim is filed.)
  • You meet any other specific criteria outline by your state

Unemployment programs are administered jointly by the federal government and state governments – as such, procedures and criteria can vary. You can view your specific state’s program here.

How to apply

In order to apply for unemployment insurance benefits, you must file a claim through your state’s program, which – depending on where you live – could require you to file online, in person or by telephone.

The Department of Labor recommends you contact your state’s program as soon as possible after you become unemployed. It typically takes two to three weeks to receive your first benefit check after your claim has been filed.

CORONAVIRUS COULD MEAN 20% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE WITHOUT GOVERNMENT ACTION: MNUCHIN

To make sure your claim gets processed in a timely fashion, make sure all of the information you provide is accurate.

The Department of Labor is allowing states to amend their programs to specifically address new challenges brought on by the coronavirus. That flexibility allows states to pay insurance to individuals who, for example, leaves employment due to risk of exposure or to care for a family member.

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As previously reported by FOX Business, lawmakers were looking to potentially boost unemployment insurance for those who lost their jobs due to the effects of the coronavirus. Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney and South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said during a stakeout on Capitol Hill last week that they were both on board with a proposal to “substantially” increase unemployment insurance checks.

Graham said that lawmakers are considering having the federal government “make up the difference” of the amount of an individual’s unemployment check at the state level, up to 75 percent of his or her income, for a person earning $80,000.

The government is also planning to send checks of $1,200 to many American households as a separate form of relief. If the situation doesn’t improve, the government could issue two of these direct cash payments.

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Emirates to ground nearly all passenger flights, will still fly to Australia

Emirates, the world's largest long-haul airline, will suspend nearly all of its passenger operations this week, in the latest concession to the coronavirus pandemic that has devastated global travel.

Flights to most destinations will cease from March 25, Emirates said on Sunday in an email. Cargo service will remain in operation, as will routes to 13 countries including Australia, the US, UK, Switzerland and Singapore in response to requests from governments and customers to support repatriation, the company said.

Emirates will keep flying to 13 countries for the time being, including Australia. Credit:Bloomberg

"We cannot viably operate passenger services until countries re-open their borders, and travel confidence returns," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a memo to employees seen by Bloomberg. "Some of our competitors, or even our supply chain partners, may not survive this crisis."

With its fleet of all wide-body aircraft, the state-owned airline has turned Dubai into a hub for global travel, typically operating more than 500 flights a day. That mission, which has fed the city's growth since Emirates was founded in the mid-1980s, is now under assault by the coronavirus pandemic.

Shutting down

Countries are closing off access to protect their populace, dealing a body blow to the global airline industry. Carriers that were in relatively good health at the start of the year have had to ground fleets, lay off staff and request government aid for survival.

Major US carriers like Delta Air Lines and American Airlines are waiting on lawmakers to clear a bailout package, while in the London, where Heathrow airport the busiest hub in Europe, the government is considering moves to support the industry that include loans and potentially equity.

Similar scenarios are playing out in Germany, France and Scandinavia, while China has already nationalised the parent of Hainan Airlines, as is Italy with bankrupt flag-carrier Alitalia.

Long-distance hub

The Emirates business model is built around a fleet of Airbus SE and Boeing Co. long-distance aircraft carrying passengers between all corners of the globe, and while the spread of the virus is easing in parts of Asia, it's accelerating in Europe and North America.

The airline was just emerging from another crisis, completing a strategy rethink late last year after persistent low oil prices weighed on regional economic growth.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates, said most of the airline’s fleet will be grounded from Wednesday.Credit:AP

Emirates dropped the Airbus A380 from its long-term plans, ordered smaller wide-body aircraft and reviewed its route network, while increasing cooperation with regional discount carrier Flydubai – also state-owned.

Now a recovery in oil prices has been reversed by the outbreak, with a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia exacerbating the economic hit on the Gulf.

"Until January 2020, the Emirates Group was doing well against our current financial year targets," Sheikh Ahmed said. "But COVID-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past six weeks."

The airline's base at Dubai International Airport, the world's busiest airport in terms of international passengers, has followed other jurisdictions in banning tourists and residence visa holders from entering the country.

Emirates plans to ground 230 planes, or 85 per cent of its fleet, Chief Operating Officer Adel Al Redha told Alarabiya News Channel on Sunday.

The Gulf carrier was considering idling the bulk of its 115 Airbus A380 super-jumbo aircraft, and plans to delay the handovers of the final handful of planes that are due, Bloomberg News has reported. The airline also operates 155 Boeing 777 jets.

Salary cuts

Emirates announced the following measures in relation to employee salaries.

  • A temporary reduction of basic salary for the majority of Emirates Group employees for three months, ranging from 25 per cent to 50 per cent.
  • Employees will continue to be paid their other allowances during this time. Junior level employees will be exempt from basic salary reduction.
  • Emirates President Tim Clark and Dnata President Gary Chapman will take a 100 per cent basic salary cut for three months.

Cabin service attendants's basic salaries or fixed allowances will not be reduced, according to the memo.

"If any employee had volunteered previously for unpaid leave, they can now opt to cancel that leave in lieu of the above," Sheikh Ahmed said.

Flydubai, which has an extensive partnership with Emirates, cancelled more than 85 per cent of its flights.

Bloomberg

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