Europe Global 

France Burned 1.6 Billion Face Masks in the Run Up to Coronavirus

Scandal is brewing in France as it has been revealed it was the policy of successive French governments to burn and not replace swathes of their expensive stockpiles of PPE. In 2011, the nation’s stockpile reached its peak with one billion surgical masks and 714 million high performance FFP2 masks. By 2020, there were just 117 million masks left… As recently as this year, PPE equipment was being burned as part of a policy introduced when potential pandemics like Swine Flue and SARS were discovered to be less deadly than…

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Asia Global South America 

Coronavirus update: Global death toll tops 360,000 as Brazil, South Korea, Iran and the Philippines record spikes in new cases

South Korea has closed more than 200 schools that had reopened Wednesday, after recording 79 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, as the Guardian reported. South Korea was widely praised for its initial response to the pandemic, implementing a robust testing-and-tracing program that appeared to have succeeded in containing the disease’s spread. Officials have been working to trace a cluster of infections in Seoul that appeared to have come from nightclubs. The country is now postponing the reopening of a further 800 schools. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease…

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Global North America 

Human Capital is an engineering talent agency and a VC fund all in one

Michael Ovitz didn’t invent the idea of a talent agency, but one might argue that he perfected it. He founded the CAA in 1975, and grew it into the world’s leading talent agency, serving as chairman for 20 years. Now, Ovitz is investing in a brand new type of talent agency called Human Capital. Human Capital is a hybrid organization, one part VC fund, one part recruiting business and one part creative agency. (Human Capital did not invest in its agency startup from its VC fund.) The Human Capital VC…

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Global North America 

‘Race against time’ to prevent famines during coronavirus crisis

UN calls for international solidarity to ease effects of Covid-19 on food security   Vulnerable parts of the developing world, particularly in Africa, are at risk of sliding into famine as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, while humanitarian relief efforts are being hindered by lockdowns and travel restrictions, according to the UN. Experts raised the spectre of unrest similar to that seen in 2007-08 when food price rises sparked riots around the world, destabilising fragile states and fuelling conflict in ways that are still being felt. They told the…

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Europe Global 

‘We’ve sold more Easter eggs than last year’

Upmarket chocolate retailer Hotel Chocolat closed all its UK stores three weeks ago. The firm was forced to “turn on a sixpence” reorganising the warehouse to make it safe for staff. But it has paid off. “As it turns out, we’ve sold more Easter eggs than last year,” says boss Angus Thirlwell. Online sales of Easter eggs are surging as UK consumers turn to the internet during the coronavirus lockdown. Thorntons too said it had seen “a significant increase in online orders” since the lockdown started. “Demand is four times…

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