Google, Amazon Funnel Money to Virus Conspiracy Sites: Study

(Bloomberg) — Digital advertising platforms run by Google, Inc. and other tech companies will funnel at least $25 million to websites spreading misinformation about Covid-19 this year, according to a study released Wednesday.

Google’s platforms will provide $19 million, or $3 out of every $4 that the misinformation sites get in ad revenue. OpenX, a smaller digital ad distributor, handles about 10% of the money, while Amazon’s technology delivers roughly $1.7 million, or 7%, of the digital marketing spending these sites will receive, according to a research group called the Global Disinformation Index.

GDI made the estimates in a study that analyzed ads running between January and June on 480 English language websites identified as publishers of virus misinformation. Some of the ads were for brands including cosmetics giant L’Oreal SA, furniture website Wayfair Inc. and imaging technology company Canon Inc. The data exclude social-media and online-video services, so

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U.S. Cases at 3 million; Arizona, Florida See Rise: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. has surpassed 3 million, representing more than a quarter of all cases globally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The death toll sits at 131,594.

Arizona and Florida both reported increases in cases, but at lower rates than their 7-day averages. Meanwhile, in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said a decision on reopening schools won’t come until August. His statements followed tweets by President Donald Trump criticizing federal guidelines for reopening schools, and threatening to cut funding if schools don’t open before the November election.

Britain’s finance minister unveiled a plan to save jobs, and cut taxes on property and dining out to stimulate spending. France’s new prime minister said he would back targeted restrictions to preserve the economy if the country has a second wave of infections. Violence flared in Serbia, with Belgrade facing lockdown … Read More

McConnell eyes virus aid as evictions, benefits cuts loom

WASHINGTON (AP) — An eviction moratorium is lifting. Extra unemployment benefits are ending. Parents are being called to work, but schools are struggling to reopen for fall as the COVID-19 crisis shows no signs of easing.

With Congress bracing for the next coronavirus aid package, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is outlining Republican priorities as earlier programs designed to ease Americans through the pandemic and economic fallout begin to expire. He is eyeing $1 trillion in new aid.

“This is not over,” McConnell said during a visit to a food pantry Monday in Louisville, Kentucky.

The GOP leader’s next virus aid package is centered on liability protections, a top priority for Republicans seeking to shield doctors, schools, businesses and others from coronavirus-related lawsuits brought by patrons claiming injuries during reopenings.

McConnell is also considering a fresh round of direct payments targeted at those earning $40,000 a year or less. He

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Novavax Vaccine Funding; Europe Sees Deeper Slump: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — Novavax Inc. was awarded $1.6 billion in U.S. funding to support large-scale manufacturing of its coronavirus vaccine candidate. Any vaccine would likely be limited in how long it can shield against infection, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci warned.

European officials expect a deeper economic slump than previously estimated this year, underscoring the challenge faced by the continent after months-long shutdowns. The pace of new infections from Tokyo to Iran and Australia is raising concerns about another virus wave. U.S. cases are approaching 3 million.

Melbourne will be locked down for six weeks after new cases in the Australian state of Victoria jumped by 191, the biggest daily increase since the outbreak began. In contrast, Beijing reported no new infections for the first time in nearly a month.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 11.5 million; deaths exceed 537,000Beijing reported no cases. Here’s how the city turned

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Virus, Floyd death merge in brutal blow to Black well-being

Doctors have known it for a long time, well before the resounding cries of “Black Lives Matter”: Black people suffer disproportionately.

They face countless challenges to good health, among them food, transportation and income. The stress of living with racism has very real, physical effects. And they are especially prone to diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases that can be tricky to manage even in normal times.

Then came COVID-19 and George Floyd — one killing Black people in alarming numbers, the other shining a harsh light on systemic racism. In a matter of months and nearly 8 minutes, it became clear that institutions designed to ensure the two most important things in life — health and safety — had converged to turn against one segment of the population in stark, horrific ways.

It’s a brutal blow to Black people’s well-being and renewed calls for racial justice in all realms

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Virus Surges in Arizona, but the Rodeo Goes on

Testing for the coronavirus at a drive-thru testing site in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, June 27, 2020. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times)
Testing for the coronavirus at a drive-thru testing site in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, June 27, 2020. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times)

PHOENIX — As infections surged through Arizona’s desert landscape this week, word spread that the Round Valley Rodeo, a century-old tradition luring calf ropers, youth riders and big crowds to the mountain town of Springerville, might be called off. The fate of the Fourth of July parade in the nearby hamlet of Eagar seemed in doubt, too, as Gov. Doug Ducey prepared to issue new pandemic guidance.

But Ducey stopped short of ordering a halt to such events, and as of Friday, he had not required Arizonans to wear face coverings in public spaces, as Texas did Thursday. The rodeo and parade will march ahead Saturday as planned, even as infections in the state spiral.

Such is the way fiercely independent Arizona has handled the virus from the

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Mexican Retailers See Big Losses, Discounts in Virus Aftermath

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MEXICO CITY Mexican retailers face sales declines of up to 70 percent this year as COVID-19 continues to rip through Latin America’s second-largest economy with no signs of easing.

“We have started to reopen in phases, but there is still a lot of uncertainty,” said Marcela Muñoz, a retail analyst with Vector Casa de Bolsa brokerage, adding that leading department stores such as Liverpool or El Palacio de Hierro have been hit hard by the pandemic.

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“Department store sales declined 50 percent last month on a same-store basis and they had to stay closed in April and May,” said Muñoz. She added that May turnover recovered compared to April, when it fell 73 percent.

Sales are also expected to gradually increase this month as the government allowed some retailers to resume operations this week after three months of lockdowns.

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Choreographers relish ‘spontaneity’ unleashed by virus restraints

Paris (AFP) – How do you create dance in the age of coronavirus, when dancers are not supposed to touch each other and stay one or two metres apart?

All across the world choreographers are grappling with the challenge of coming up with safe, socially distanced pieces that still set the heart aflutter.

It may be completely counter-intuitive, but the very rigidity of the restrictions has been liberating for some — allowing them to play on the new taboos and the dramatic tension around personal space the virus has brought with it.

“It unleashed spontaneity!” declared the great German choreographer John Neumeier, the artistic director of the Hamburg Ballet.

“In ballet, we are so used to being free in the way we touch,” he told AFP.

“Sometimes we take this for granted, because we touch everybody almost everywhere in doing pas de deux, in doing a lift. And now we

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Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie tests positive for virus

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie says he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Dinwiddie told The Athletic he is experiencing symptoms and it is unclear if he can play when the NBA season resumes.

His absence would be a significant blow to the Nets. He has played well this season with Kyrie Irving out of the lineup because of injuries.

Dinwiddie says he tested negative for the virus multiple times after returning to New York and took part in a couple practices. But he has since tested positive and says he has a fever and chest soreness.

He is at least the fifth Nets player to test positive. The previous four were in March, with Kevin Durant saying he was among them.

Dinwiddie is averaging 20.6 points for the Nets, who have a half-game lead

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Dueling Trump-Biden events offer contrasting virus responses

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — As President Donald Trump visited a Wisconsin shipyard to emphasize job growth and reviving an economy hammered by the coronavirus, Joe Biden spent Thursday in Pennsylvania warning “there are no miracles coming” to help the nation beat back the still deadly pandemic.

“Amazingly, he hasn’t grasped the most basic fact of this crisis: To fix the economy we have to get control over the virus,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said of Trump while speaking at a community center in Lancaster. “He’s like a child who can’t believe this has happened to him. His whining and self-pity. This pandemic didn’t happen to him. It happened to all of us.”

The pandemic has largely prevented the two presidential candidates from holding dueling appearances in pivotal battleground states. On Thursday, it gave them an opportunity to show off their contrasting styles on a virus outbreak that has killed

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