UK government warns businesses to ‘act now’ on transition preparation

Britain's Business Secretary Alok Sharma arrives for a cabinet meeting at the FCO in London, Britain September 22, 2020. Photo: Leon Neal/Pool via Reuters
Britain’s Business Secretary Alok Sharma arrives for a cabinet meeting at the FCO in London, Britain September 22, 2020. Photo: Leon Neal/Pool via Reuters

As the Brexit transition period countdown hits 81 days, the UK’s business secretary Alok Sharma has called on companies to take action now to prepare.

Sharma is due to write to 600,000 businesses on Monday 12 October, emphasising that there is no time to waste to get ready for the UK’s “new start.”

Boris Johnson has said the transition period, due to end at the end of the year, will not be extended.

The EU and UK have been negotiating for months on the finer points of the exit agreement.

Johnson said the country is committed to “exploring every avenue” to reach an agreement on Brexit talks, in a phone call to France’s president Macron yesterday, in which he also urged the need for progress to

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Prince William warns impact of climate crisis will be felt by society’s ‘most vulnerable’

The Duke of Cambridge has spoken out about the urgency of protecting the planet amid the ongoing climate crisis in a new TED talk.



Prince William, Duke of Cambridge sitting in a tree


© Provided by The Independent


Filmed in the grounds of Windsor Castle, the talk forms part of Countdown, the first free and virtual TED Conference devoted entirely to environmental issues.

In the talk, Prince William stands alongside an oak tree and explains how it and many others in the grounds of Windsor Castle are thousands of years old.

“While these oaks have been growing, around 35 billion people have lived their lives on our planet,” he said.

“That’s 35 billion lifetimes worth of hope, love, fear and dreams. In that time, humankind has invented air travel, vaccines and computers. 

“We’ve explored every part of the globe, sequenced the human genome and even escaped Earth’s atmosphere. Our speed of innovation has been incredible. But so too has

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Czech COVID-19 cases surge, government warns on hospital capacity

PRAGUE (Reuters) – New coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic reached a daily record of 4,457 on Tuesday, the health ministry said, as separate data showed the country now has the highest number of cases per 100,000 in Europe, surpassing Spain.

Data published by the health ministry on Wednesday showed the rise in new cases during the previous 24 hours had exceeded the previous one-day record of 3,794, to bring the total number of cases in the country since March to 90,022.

Separate data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control showed that in the two weeks to Monday, Oct. 6, the Czech Republic reported 326.8 cases per 100,000 people. That compared with 302.4 cases per 100,000 in Spain, which has been one of the countries worst hit by the pandemic.

The Czech government has already reimposed restrictions on businesses and public events after relaxing them during the

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Powell Warns of Weak Recovery Without Enough Government Aid

“Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses,” Powell told a virtual conference hosted by the National Association for Business Economics. “By contrast, the risks of overdoing it seem, for now, to be smaller. Even if policy actions ultimately prove to be greater than needed, they will not go to waste.”

U.S. stocks dropped and bond yields were flat after his remarks.

Powell and his colleagues at the U.S. central bank cut their benchmark interest rate to near zero in March at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve pledged to keep rates low until the economy returns to maximum employment and have been urging Congress to pass additional fiscal stimulus on top of the roughly $3 trillion already authorized to keep the outlook for continued economic recovery intact.

Lawmakers have been debating additional aid since the end of July, when the

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Powell Warns of Weak U.S. Recovery Without Enough Government Aid

(Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned of a weak U.S. recovery without sufficient government aid and said providing too much stimulus wouldn’t be a problem.



a laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks during a virtual news conference seen on a laptop computer in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. The Federal Reserve left interest rates near zero and signaled it would hold them there through at least 2023 to help the U.S. economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.


© Bloomberg
Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks during a virtual news conference seen on a laptop computer in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. The Federal Reserve left interest rates near zero and signaled it would hold them there through at least 2023 to help the U.S. economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Powell’s remarks Tuesday came amid Republicans’ opposition to a larger relief package that’s kept talks with Democrats at a stalemate in Congress since aid to jobless Americans and small businesses expired in July and August.

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“Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses,” Powell said in the text of a speech for a virtual

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Civil Society Warns G20 of Dire Global Fallout & Demands Bold Reforms

The Civil 20 Virtual Summit, Saudi Arabia

The Civil 20 Virtual Summit has convened with more than 4,000 civil society leaders representing 109 countries at the biggest non-government organizations gathering in the G20 history, channeling their concerns and demands ahead of the G20 Virtual Leaders’ Summit next month. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The Civil 20 Virtual Summit has convened with more than 4,000 civil society leaders representing 109 countries at the biggest non-government organizations gathering in the G20 history, channeling their concerns and demands ahead of the G20 Virtual Leaders’ Summit next month. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The Civil 20 Virtual Summit has convened with more than 4,000 civil society leaders representing 109 countries at the biggest non-government organizations gathering in the G20 history, channeling their concerns and demands ahead of the G20 Virtual Leaders’ Summit next month. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Civil 20 Virtual Summit has convened today with more than 4,000 civil society leaders representing 109 countries at the biggest non-government organizations gathering in the G20 history, channeling their concerns and demands ahead of the G20 Virtual Leaders’ Summit next month.

The Civil 20 Communiqué

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New Brunswick Medical Society warns of health-care gaps after Clinic 554 closes

New Brunswick’s only clinic offering abortions outside of hospitals and family care practice Clinic 554 has closed its doors to most of its patients. The New Brunswick Medical Society now says this loss will create a gap in health-care services.



a sign on the side of a building: Clinic 554 in Fredericton, N.B., is shown on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. The only medical clinic offering abortions in New Brunswick announced its impending closure last week, blaming a provincial policy that refuses to fund surgical abortions outside a hospital. Advocates say rural Canadians across the country face barriers accessing abortions but a small number of clinics and strained healthcare systems make the issue especially pronounced in Atlantic provinces. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kevin Bissett


© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kevin Bissett
Clinic 554 in Fredericton, N.B., is shown on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. The only medical clinic offering abortions in New Brunswick announced its impending closure last week, blaming a provincial policy that refuses to fund surgical abortions outside a hospital. Advocates say rural Canadians across the country face barriers accessing abortions but a small number of clinics and strained healthcare systems make the issue especially pronounced in Atlantic provinces. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kevin Bissett

The clinic ended most care on Sept. 30, but some publicly-funded services are still offered to a few vulnerable patients with complex care.

“I am still seeing some people,” said Clinic 554

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Bank of France Governor Warns About Government Spending

(Bloomberg) — Bank of France Governor and European Central Bank policy maker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said the French government must be more careful about spending and debt that’s not linked to the novel coronavirus health-care crisis.



a person standing in front of a store: PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a "red zone," which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images Europe
PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a “red zone,” which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

The government must become more efficient as the pace of spending, stripping off Covid-19 measures, is accelerating “even more

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Bank of France Governor Villeroy Warns About Government Spending

(Bloomberg) — Bank of France Governor and European Central Bank policy maker Francois Villeroy Galhau said the French government must be more careful about spending and debt that’s not linked to the novel coronavirus health-care crisis.



a person standing in front of a store: PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a "red zone," which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images Europe
PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: A worker at a Paris bar sweeps up after closing early to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions forcing bars and cafes in the French capital to close at 10pm on September 28, 2020 in Paris, France. The French capital has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and was recently designated a “red zone,” which imposes set of restrictions on public gatherings and the sale of alcohol. From today bars are required to remain closed between 10PM and 6AM. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

The government must become “more efficient” as the pace of spending, stripping off Covid-19 measures, has been accelerating too quickly,

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Southwest Airlines warns furloughs, wage cuts still possible without more government aid

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told employees Thursday that the Dallas-based airline may still have to furlough workers or cut wages and benefits if the aviation industry doesn’t get another round of economic aid.

Southwest, which has said it won’t furlough employees this year even as competitors began letting go of workers Thursday, is still lobbying for Congress to extend the Payroll Support Program that gave $25 billion in grants to airlines to cover worker costs and another $25 billion in loans.

“But, I need to be honest with you and remind you, if the PSP extension fails, as we have warned for months, we’ll be forced to find a way to further reduce our spending, reduce our salaries, wages and benefits specifically by seeking concessions, or as a last resort, layoffs and furloughs,” Kelly said in the video message to employees posted Thursday afternoon.

Passengers walk through a largely empty check-in area for American Airlines at Miami International Airport during the coronavirus pandemic, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Miami. The airline industry has been decimated by the pandemic. The Payroll Support Program given to the airlines as part of the CARES Act runs out Thursday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

A similar program passed in

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