每日新闻播报(March 31)

2020-03-31 19:25:59

US President Donald Trump. [Photo/Agencies]

>$2 trillion stimulus bill

US President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law the largest economic stimulus package in American history - a $2 trillion relief measure in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The law will give direct payments and jobless benefits to individuals, money to states and a huge bailout to businesses battered by the crisis.

The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits surged to a record of more than 3 million last week as strict measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic ground the country to a sudden halt, unleashing a wave of layoffs that likely brought an end to the longest employment boom in US history.


A general view in a street in Pitlochry as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Scotland, Britain, March 24, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

>Air pollution reduces sharply

The level of air pollution in London, Rome, Milan and Paris has fallen sharply since coronavirus lockdown measures have forced people indoors and off the roads.

Levels of particulate matter, which can come from road transport and burning fuel, as well as nitrogen dioxide, which comes primarily from vehicle exhaust, are low across London.

The UK capital's levels of ultrafine particulate matter, known as PM 2.5, are currently around half of what would normally be recorded at this time of year.
The city's level of nitrogen dioxide has also been lower than the average for the previous five years, scientists say.

Both pollutants have fallen by around a half since a peak in mid-February, according to data from the London Air Quality Network, analyzed by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science.

Meanwhile, European Environment Agency data confirmed a 50% decrease in air pollutant concentrations in Rome and Milan.

A Paris air quality monitoring agency has also recorded up to a 30% decline in overall air pollution levels there.


A flight attendant wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 takes body temperature measurements of passengers with a thermometer on a Shanghai Airlines flight in Shanghai, on March 25, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

>China's new entry restrictions

China was compelled to temporarily suspend entry into the country for foreign passport holders with valid visas or residence permits in order to deal with the spread of COVID-19, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday. "We also took into account the practices of many other countries," Geng said at a regular news conference.

He said China will stay in close touch with all parties and properly handle personnel exchanges with the rest of the world.

Effective Sunday, domestic airlines are required to reduce their international routes to only one per country and cap the number of flights to and from each country to no more than one flight per week, while foreign carriers can maintain only one air route to China and operate no more than one flight a week, according to a notice issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.


Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears on a monitor for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) meeting in London, Britain March 28, 2020. The prime minister chairs the morning update meeting on the coronavirus remotely from Number 11 Downing Street, since self-isolating after testing positive for the virus. [Photo/Agencies]

>British PM tests positive

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus on Friday and is self-isolating in Downing Street.

He said he had experienced mild symptoms over the past 24 hours, including a temperature and cough, but would continue to lead the government.

England's Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he had also tested positive while England's Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty has shown symptoms.

Figures released on Sunday took the UK's death toll for people who had tested positive to 1,228, up 209 on the previous day.

If Johnson becomes too ill to run the country, under British protocol his Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab would temporarily lead the government.


Find more audio news on the China Daily app.