News Burst 29 March 2020
- Over 600 movie theaters across China were given the green light to reopen their doors over the past week, but Beijing’s Film Bureau put out a notice late Friday ordering all theaters to go back into shutdown. No official explanation for the sudden reversal was provided. Industry insiders instantly began speculating that the government was worried about a potential second wave of coronavirus infections.
- The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts informed members of the National Symphony Orchestra that they would no longer be paid just hours after President Trump signed a $25 million taxpayer bailout for the cultural center, according to an email obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. Nearly 100 musicians will no longer receive paychecks after April 3, according to an email from the orchestra’s Covid-19 Advisory Committee. The email went out to members on Friday evening, shortly after President Trump signed the $2 trillion CARES Act, a stimulus package intended to provide relief to people left unemployed by the coronavirus pandemic. Congress included $25 million in taxpayer funding for the Kennedy Center, a provision that raised eyebrows from both Democrats and Republicans, but ultimately won support from President Trump. The bailout was designed to “cover operating expenses required to ensure the continuity of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and its affiliates, including for employee compensation and benefits, grants, contracts, payments for rent or utilities, fees for artists or performers,” according to the law’s text. The arts organization decided that the relief did not extend to members of the National Symphony Orchestra, its house orchestra.
- Residents in Riyadh, KSA reported multiple blasts followed by sirens in the northern districts of the capital. At least two rockets were intercepted in the sky above the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, local media reported. According to the Al-Arabiya broadcaster, citing sources, alongside the two rockets intercepted above the Saudi capital, another was intercepted over the southern city of Jazan. The first explosions in Riyadh were reported around 11:20 p.m. by residents of the capital’s northern districts, according to Al-Arabiya.
- The Russian oil company’s operations in Venezuela, where it was extracting the heaviest mix of crude in the world, have been complicated since Washington initiated a campaign to oust democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro. The US namely introduced sanctions on companies working in the Venezuelan oil sector. Russia’s Rosneft oil company has announced that it is selling 100% of its rights in all Venezuelan oil projects to a company owned solely by the Russian government. Rosneft will receive 9.6% of its shares, currently held by the government, in exchange for these rights. The sale means that Rosneft will cease all of its operations in the Latin American country.
- Thousands of ash urns have been delivered to a funeral home in the virus epicenter Wuhan in recent days, as relatives start picking up the remains of loved ones, further calling into question the true scale of the outbreak in China. At one of those facilities, the Hankou Funeral Home, trucks delivered about 2,500 urns on both Wednesday and Thursday, Chinese financial magazine Caixin reported. Officially, Chinese authorities have reported over 2,000 deaths in Wuhan, where the virus first emerged. This is 1 of 7 funeral homes in Wuhan.
- On Thursday, Brazil’s lower house approved an emergency salary of BRL 600 (USD 120) for informal workers and disabled people. That’s three times the amount the government had proposed a week ago. Lawmakers also passed a BRL 1,200 monthly payment for single-parent households, catering to a demand from the Women’s Caucus in Congress. The bill, which now heads to the Senate, establishes that a maximum of two people in a single household may receive the benefit. In its current terms, the project should cost the government BRL 43 billion in three months.
- Authorities at Machu Picchu yesterday closed the Inca Trail network temporarily, following mud and rock slides caused by heavy rainfall at different sections of the trail within the historic sanctuary. Two days ago, a landslide trapped three people working with a travel agency near the Pacaymayo Alto camp area. One of the workers died, the others sustained injuries. Seasonal rains will continue through to March.
- The legendary Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow has announced it will broadcast its best classic performances online for free in response to new restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus. The Bolshoi’s announcement came after the Moscow mayor on Thursday ordered the closure of all non-essential services and encouraged residents to stay home. The ballet and opera house said it will show six of its most popular productions on its YouTube channel beginning Friday with the Swan Lake ballet. LINK
- Amid the Wuhan Virus crisis, millions of Moroccan merchants and small store owners are living in a state of uncertainty, anxiously awaiting the government’s solution to their imminent financial challenges. In the handicraft sector, an industry that employs about 2.3 million Moroccans and contributes to 7% of Morocco’s GDP, the situation is alarming. While cash is the norm in commercial transactions across the country, traditional craftsmen and workers in the handicraft sector employ a different method of transaction: Commercial papers. Commercial papers are an unsecured promissory note with a maturity period that could vary between six months and a year, it continues to circulate, from supplier to artisan, from artisan to merchant, until they reach maturity and transform into cash. However, workers in the handicraft sector fear that commercial papers will lose their value during the crisis.
A minor stream of solar wind is approaching Earth. Estimated time of arrival: March 30-31. Flowing from a southern hole in the sun’s atmosphere, the incoming stream could spark springtime auroras around the Arctic Circle.
Strongest EQ in Europe M3.7 Azores Islands
Strongest EQ in North America M3.5 Alaska
Strongest EQ on the Planet M5.9 Vanuatu
Deepest EQ M5.3 597 km Pendolo, Indonesia News Burst 29 March 2020