The world is heading for the deepest economic slump since the Great Depression, with Britain set to experience the biggest recession in a century, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned. In its latest forecasts for the world economy, the IMF said that the world economy would shrink by 3% this year – a bigger contraction than the -0.1% in 2009 and, according to IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath, likely the “worst recession since the Great Depression”.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to halt funding to the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic prompted condemnation on Wednesday from world leaders who appealed for cooperation and unity. The WHO, which is based in Geneva, had promoted China’s “disinformation” about the virus that likely led to a wider outbreak than otherwise would have occurred, Trump said.
Barack Obama has endorsed Joe Biden for president, casting his former vice-president as the experienced statesman and unifying leader that will be needed to confront the public health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “Joe has the character and the experience to guide us through one of our darkest times and heal us through a long recovery,” Obama said in his endorsement video.
In a surprisingly high turnout, millions of South Korean voters wore masks and moved slowly between lines of tape at polling stations on Wednesday to elect lawmakers in the shadows of the spreading coronavirus. The government resisted calls to postpone the parliamentary elections billed as a midterm referendum on President Moon Jae-in, who enters the final two years of his single five-year term grappling with a historic public health crisis.
The Cannes film festival will not take place “in its original form” this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers first postponed the festival last month, saying that they would aim to stage it in June or July this year. But in an updated statement, they said that plan was now “no longer an option” after France extended its lockdown measures this week.