While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 17

Coronavirus: US job losses hit 22 million as Trump eyes restart

US job losses from the coronavirus pandemic reached 22 million in the past month, according to new data on Thursday, as President Donald Trump is expected to unveil plans to re-open the world’s largest economy.

Amid business shutdowns and restrictions ordered to stop the spread of Covid-19, government data continue to show the growing economic damage.

Another 5.2 million workers filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the Labour Department’s weekly report, slightly less than the previous week but still a shocking figure.

A separate report from the Commerce Department detailed the damage to the housing market, with homebuilding slowed sharply in March, while a Federal Reserve report showed plunging manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region, echoing similar reports elsewhere.


Coronavirus clue? Most cases aboard US aircraft carrier are symptom-free

Sweeping testing of the entire crew of the coronavirus-stricken US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt may have revealed a clue about the pandemic: The majority of the positive cases so far are among sailors who are asymptomatic, officials say.

The possibility that the coronavirus spreads in a mostly stealthy mode among a population of largely young, healthy people showing no symptoms could have major implications for US policy-makers, who are considering how and when to reopen the economy.

It also renews questions about the extent to which US testing of just the people suspected of being infected is actually capturing the spread of the virus in the United States and around the world.


New York woman meets baby she gave birth to in Covid-19 coma

A woman in New York has met for the first time the baby she gave birth to in early April while she was on a ventilator in an artificial coma because she had a serious form of Covid-19.

Yanira Soriano, 36, was intubated for 11 days in an intensive care unit before recovering “miraculously” to welcome her fourth child, her doctor told AFP.

“We really did not know if she was going to survive at all,” said Benjamin Schwartz, head of obstetrics and gynecology at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore.


Alarm bells ring as Greenland ice loss causes 40 per cent of 2019 sea level rise

The kilometres-thick icesheet that covers Greenland saw a near-record imbalance last year between new snowfall and the discharge of meltwater and ice into the ocean, scientists have reported.

A net loss of 600 billion tonnes was enough to raise the global watermark 1.5 millimetres, about 40 per cent of total sea level rise in 2019.

The Greenland icesheet – which, until the end of the 20th century accumulated as much mass as it shed – holds enough frozen water to lift the world’s oceans by seven metres.


Tennis: Highly unlikely US Open would be held without fans, says USTA

The organisers of the US Open said on Thursday a decision on whether to hold the Grand Slam this year amid the coronavirus outbreak will be made in June, and playing it without fans is on the table but highly unlikely.

The US Open, which is scheduled to run from Aug 31 to Sept 13, is both the largest and loudest of the four Grand Slam events on the tennis calendar and United States Tennis Association (USTA) chief executive Mike Dowse does not anticipate that changing.

“Playing without spectators, we’re not taking anything off the table right now, but to be honest and open, I think that’s highly unlikely,” Dowse said on a conference call.


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