Spain’s King Felipe VI has renounced his personal inheritance from his father and stripped the former king Juan Carlos of his annual stipend after it was alleged that Felipe VI was poised to receive millions of euros from a secret offshore fund with ties to Saudi Arabia. The former head of state abdicated in 2014, after a series of scandals sent his popularity plummeting.
Italy has recorded 368 new coronavirus deaths – its largest number of fatalities in a day since the start of the outbreak. A total of 1,809 people with COVID-19 have now died in the country, which is the hardest-hit by the virus in Europe, as the number of cases rose to more than 24,700. It comes after Spain saw its number of coronavirus deaths more than double in a day to 288.
The US has cut interest rates to almost zero and launched a $700bn stimulus program in a bid to protect the economy from the effect of coronavirus. It is part of a co-ordinated action announced on Sunday in the UK, Japan, eurozone, Canada, and Switzerland. In a news conference Fed chairman Jerome Powell said the pandemic was having a “profound” impact on the economy.
France and Spain joined Italy in imposing lockdowns on tens of millions of people, Australia ordered self-isolation of arriving foreigners and other countries extended entry bans as the world sought to contain the spreading coronavirus. Panic buying in Australia, the United States and Britain saw leaders appeal for calm over the virus that has infected over 156,000 people globally and killed more than 5,800.
The French-based perfume maker LVMH recently announced plans to convert its cosmetics factories into hand sanitizer producers while distilleries in the U.S. are repurposing alcohol to make sanitizing solutions and giving them to customers for free. Companies that usually make liquor and perfume are shifting into hand sanitizer production as people seek ways to disinfect their palms in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.