Shanghai achieves ‘zero COVID’ status but normal life is weeks away

SHANGHAI/BEIJING – Shanghai achieved on Tuesday the long-awaited milestone of three consecutive days with no new COVID-19 cases outside quarantine zones but most residents will have put up with confinement for a while longer before a return to more normal life. For other cities in China that have been under lockdown, a third day with no new cases in the community usually means “zero COVID” status and the beginning of the lifting of restrictions. The…

"Shanghai achieves ‘zero COVID’ status but normal life is weeks away"

China’s COVID controls will impact foreign investment for years – U.S. lobby

SHENZHEN, China – China’s strict COVID-19 controls will hamper foreign investment into the country for years to come as limits on travel block the pipeline for projects, the President of the American Chamber of Commerce warned on Tuesday. There are few signs that American companies are leaving the China market, but the years-long process of research and due diligence for projects has been delayed, Michael Hart said at an event launching the chamber’s annual report.…

"China’s COVID controls will impact foreign investment for years – U.S. lobby"

Oil prices open lower as EU struggles to seal Russia import ban

– Oil prices opened lower in early Asian trade on Tuesday after the European Union’s efforts to enact a ban on Russian oil imports, a move that would tighten global supply, ran into resistance from member country Hungary. Brent crude futures fell 35 cents, or 0.3%, to $113.89 a barrel at 0004 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 52 cents, or 0.5%, to $113.68 a barrel. EU foreign ministers failed on…

"Oil prices open lower as EU struggles to seal Russia import ban"

Explainer-What happened with Abbott baby formula that worsened a U.S. shortage?

– Abbott Laboratories, the biggest U.S. supplier of powder infant formula including Similac, initiated a recall and closed its Sturgis, Michigan, manufacturing plant earlier this year after reports of serious bacterial infections in four infants. The recall and shutdown has worsened a baby formula shortage among multiple manufacturers that began with pandemic supply chain issues. Here are some details about what has happened: WHEN DID THE PLANT CLOSE? Production at an Abbott plant in Sturgis,…

"Explainer-What happened with Abbott baby formula that worsened a U.S. shortage?"

Some U.S. inmates released under COVID protocols challenge orders to return to prison

WASHINGTON – Nordia Tompkins was serving a seven-year sentence for a drug charge in June 2020 when the U.S. federal Bureau of Prisons released her to home confinement under the terms of a law passed by Congress to slow the spread of COVID-19. The 37-year-old mother of two began settling back into her life north of New York City, pursuing studies for a new career in cosmetology. That changed a year later when she stopped…

"Some U.S. inmates released under COVID protocols challenge orders to return to prison"

COVID-19 may spread rapidly in North Korea, WHO warns

GENEVA – The World Health Organization warned on Monday that COVID-19 may spread rapidly in North Korea, where it said vaccination programmes had yet to begin. “With the country yet to initiate COVID-19 vaccination, there is risk that the virus may spread rapidly among the masses unless curtailed with immediate and appropriate measures,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO’s regional director for South-East Asia, in a statement sent to journalists. In the same statement, the WHO…

"COVID-19 may spread rapidly in North Korea, WHO warns"

EU says no final decision taken on ending Valneva COVID vaccine contract

BRUSSELS – The European Commission said on Monday that no final decision had been made about the possible termination of a contract with Valneva to supply its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union. Valneva said earlier on Monday it had received a notice of intent from the Commission to terminate the contract. The statement triggered a sell-off of the company’s shares, which lost one-fifth of their value in few hours. EU Commission spokesman Stefan de…

"EU says no final decision taken on ending Valneva COVID vaccine contract"

Lacking vaccines, N.Korea battles COVID with antibiotics, home remedies

SEOUL – Standing tall in bright red hazmat suits, five North Korean health workers stride towards an ambulance to do battle with a COVID-19 outbreak that – in the presumed absence of vaccines – the country is using antibiotics and home remedies to treat. The isolated state is one of only two countries yet to begin a vaccination campaign and, until last week, had insisted it was COVID-free. Now it is mobilizing forces including the…

"Lacking vaccines, N.Korea battles COVID with antibiotics, home remedies"

Gold prices buckle under pressure from ‘King Dollar’, higher yields

– Gold prices fell more than 1% to their lowest in 3-1/2 months on Monday as elevated bond yields and a firmer U.S. dollar dampened bullion demand, even as riskier assets dropped after grim China economic data. A stronger dollar makes gold expensive for overseas buyers, while higher Treasury yields raise the opportunity cost of holding zero-yield bullion. Spot gold was down 0.7% at $1,798.80 per ounce as of 0920 GMT, after hitting its lowest…

"Gold prices buckle under pressure from ‘King Dollar’, higher yields"

Factbox-Shanghai provides roadmap out of lockdown

– Shanghai authorities on Monday provided their clearest timetable yet on lifting the city’s lockdown that has been in place for over six weeks, saying they plan to fully restore normal life from June 1. Draconian measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in China’s largest city have generated widespread frustration and anger among its 25 million residents and contributed to a slowdown in the country’s economic activity. Most people have been forbidden to leave…

"Factbox-Shanghai provides roadmap out of lockdown"