Corona vaccine telethon raises 7.4 bn euros: EU chief | AFP

Just hours after being announced, a teleconference of world leaders and philanthropists has raised 7.4 billion euros ($8.1 billion) to boost the search for a coronavirus vaccine, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announces. SOUNDBITE from Ursula von der Leyen

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Economic recovery depends on duration of containment measures: Lagarde | AFP

The eurozone economy could shrink by five to 12 percent, but ECB foresees a recovery depending on the duration of the confinement measures aimed at curbing the outbreak and the policy responses to the pandemic, ECB chief Lagarde says. SOUNDBITE of Christine Lagarde

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Euro area economy could shrink by 5-12% in 2020: ECB | AFP

The eurozone economy could shrink by five to 12 percent this year because of the coronavirus crisis, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde says. SOUNDBITE of Christine Lagarde

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French PM outlines gradual reopening of schools from May 11 | AFP

In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announces that French schools will gradually reopen from May 11 “on a voluntary basis”, with a decision on high schools due at the end of May. (COMPLETES VIDI1QV3PB_EN, VIDI1QV3YJ_EN, VIDI1QV45Y_EN, VIDI1QV484_EN, VIDI1QV493_EN) SOUNDBITE

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French football, rugby seasons off until September: PM | AFP

In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announces that French professional sports leagues, including football and rugby, cannot restart before September because of coronavirus restrictions. (COMPLETES VIDI1QV3PB_EN, VIDI1QV3YJ_EN, VIDI1QV45Y_EN, VIDI1QV484_EN) SOUNDBITE

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French PM urges companies to stock up on masks for employees | AFP

In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe urges companies throughout France to “ensure that they are able, within their means, to provide their employees with masks” if they are to resume business after May 11. (COMPLETES VIDI1QV3PB_EN, VIDI1QV3YJ_EN, VIDI1QV45Y_EN) SOUNDBITE

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French PM announces 1,500 euro bonus for Covid-19 healthcare workers | AFP

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announces that the country’s healthcare workers who are managing the Covid-19 crisis will receive a tax-free bonus of โ‚ฌ1,500. (COMPLETE VID1QM0X6_EN) SOUNDBITE

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Coronavirus: France says virus death toll totals 15,529 | AFP

France has registered 15,529 deaths due to coronavirus, with 5,600 recorded in nursing homes, the Director General of Health confirms. (COMPLETES VID1QL4JK_EN) SOUNDBITE

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Coronavirus deaths in Sweden pass 1,000: health agency | AFP

Sweden’s State epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, says that more than 1,000 people have now had died from the novel coronavirus, while the number of confirmed cases passes 11,000. Sweden’s Public Health Agency said it had recorded a total of 11,445 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,033 deaths. It cautioned that the true number of deaths might be higher as not all deaths had yet been reported over the four-day Easter weekend. SOUNDBITE from Anders Tegnell, State epidemiologist, Sweden’s public health authority

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Acting UK PM: Boris Johnson ‘breathing without any assistance’ | AFP

Dominic Raab, the British Foreign Secretary who has been delegated to act as acting Prime Minister by Boris Johnson while he is treated in intensive care for coronavirus, says Johnson ‘remained stable overnight’ and is ‘breathing without any assistance’. SOUNDBITE from Dominic Raab

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Europe now ‘epicentre’ of COVID-19 pandemic: WHO | AFP

Europe is now the “epicentre” for the global coronavirus pandemic, says Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general SOUNDBITE

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Coronavirus, a ‘major shock’ for the global economy (Lagarde) | AFP

Coronavirus is a “major shock” and will have a “significant impact” on the economy according to ECB head Christine Lagarde. SOUNDBITE of Christine Lagarde

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Virus lockdowns and quarantines must respect rights: UN | AFP

The spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Elizabeth Throssell, calls for measures taken by countries to combat the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic to respect human rights and be “proportionate to the assessed risk.” SOUNDBITE spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Elizabeth Throssell

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UK calls for ‘credible’ net zero CO2 targets at COP26 launch | AFP

Launching the UK’s hosting of December’s COP26 UN climate change summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the aim for the Glasgow event is “to get every country to announce credible targets” to reach net zero carbon dioxide emissions. SOUNDBITE from Boris Johnson

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Economic risks ‘less pronounced’ as trade tensions ease: Lagarde | AFP

European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde says risks to the eurozone economy had become “less pronounced” in the wake of a US-China trade truce even as President Donald Trump reignited a trade spat with Europe. SOUNDBITE of Christine Largarde

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ECB slightly lowers 2020 growth forecast to 1.1% | AFP

The European Central Bank slightly lowers its eurozone growth forecast for 2020 to 1.1 percent from 1.2 percent, but sees output strengthening in the following two years, according to President of the European Central Bank. SOUNDBITE from Lagarde

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WADA bans Russia from Olympics for four years over doping | AFP

The World Anti-Doping Agency bans Russia from global sporting events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics after accusing Moscow of falsifying data from an anti-doping laboratory. SOUNDBITE from WADA President Craig Reedie

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Choose hope or climate surrender, says UN chief Guterres at COP | AFP

Confronted with a climate crisis threatening civilisation, humanity much choose between hope and surrender, UN chief Antonio Guterres tells the opening plenary of the UN COP25 climate conference in Madrid. SOUNDBITE from Antonio Guterres

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Labour to hand Brexit decision back to voters if elected: Corbyn | AFP

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says his party will put forward a people’s vote over a future Brexit deal if Labour is elected in the upcoming December general election. Corbyn is giving a speech in Harlow as the opposition party gears up for the election. SOUNDBITE from Jeremy Corbyn

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Britain will leave EU by Oct 31 ‘come what may’: Johnson | AFP Images

Britain will leave EU by Oct 31 ‘come what may’ says British PM Boris Johnson. SOUNDBITE of Boris Johnson

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British parliament to resume on Wednesday: speaker | AFP

House of Commons speaker John Bercow says that Britain’s parliament will prepare to resume proceedings on Wednesday after the Supreme Court ruled Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend it unlawful. SOUNDBITE from John Bercow

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UK must prepare for possibility of a no deal Brexit: Boris Johnson | AFP

Britain’s newly appointed Prime minister Boris Johnson stresses the importance to ‘prepare for the remote possibility’ of leaving the European Union without a deal. SOUNDBITE by British Prime minister Boris Johnson

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Boris Johnson is elected leader of the Conservative Party | AFP

Former London mayor Boris Johnson wins the Conservative Party leadership contest, defeating Jeremy Hunt by 92,153 votes to 46,656 votes. SOUNDBITE from Co-Chair of the 1922 Committee, Cheryl Gillan

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Ursula Von Der Leyen ‘honoured’ by EU Commission nomination | AFP

Ursula Von Der Leyen says she is ‘honoured’ and ‘overwhelmed’ to hear that she has been nominated by the EU council as Head of the EU commission. SOUNDBITE from Ursula von der Leyen in Strasbourg

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HK police appeal for protest crowds to disperse | AFP

Hong Kong police appeal to protesters to leave after thousands converge on Hong Kong’s police headquarters and block major roads, demanding the resignation of the city’s pro-Beijing leader and the release of anti-government demonstrators arrested during the territory’s worst political crisis in decades. SOUNDBITE from police spokesperson

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