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Live Reporting

Edited by Hugo Bachega and Sarah Collerton

All times stated are UK

  1. Starting a business during lockdown

    For many firms, coronavirus has been one of the toughest problems they have ever faced.

    But, stuck at home, thousands of young people have been encouraged to started their own businesses during lockdown.

    Radio 4 Money Box Live talked to the new entrepreneurs about the successes and challenges they encountered along the way.

    Listen back to the episode here.

  2. The $100 tip that wasn't a mistake

    Helier Cheung

    BBC News, Washington

    A waitress at work
    Image caption: Will you tip more?

    When cleaner José Zaragoza finished his job at a home, he was surprised to find he had received a $100 tip on Venmo.

    "I was like 'hey you made a mistake' - you sent an extra zero," but the customer told him he had given him a large tip "to help you and your family in these tough times."

    There have been similar reports of generous tipping - sometimes extremely generous - across the US, as states start to reopen.

    In Austin, Texas, one restaurant reopened on 30 April - and found a customer left $1,300 to staff as a "welcome back" tip.

    Some delivery apps have also noticed an increase in tips since the pandemic began.

    Is the coronavirus making us more generous?

  3. Watch: The funeral director storing hundreds of bodies

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: The funeral director storing hundreds of bodies in the crisis

    The increase in deaths caused by Covid-19 has led to a shortage of space in mortuaries and delays to funerals in many countries around the world.

    BBC Panorama has been filming the distressing story of one funeral director in England who has taken extraordinary measures to provide storage for hundreds of bodies.

    Dean Floyd, of Floyd & Son in Essex, has bought refrigerated containers and converted most of his premises to take care of the dead.

  4. South Africa's new rules on clothes sales queried

    Andrew Harding

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    People with masks on stand in front of a shop window in Sea Point on May 06, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa
    Image caption: South Africa is starting to ease its lockdown

    South Africa has the highest number of confirmed cases in Africa (11,350), and one of the world's strictest lockdowns. It is starting to ease restrictions, but some of the new rules are being queried - particularly those around what clothes shops can and cannot sell.

    The new regulations are impressively detailed: shoes may now be sold - but not if they are opened toed. T-shirts are okay - but only if advertised and sold as undergarments. The same goes for sleeveless knitted tops… and so on.

    There is a logic to all this. Winter is coming here - hence the green light for the sale of winter clothes.

    But Dean MacPherson from the opposition Democratic Alliance is unimpressed. He called the regulations "quite frankly ridiculous and mad. More likely the sort of rules found in the Soviet Union and East Germany".

    The crisis has exposed deep rifts in government - between ministers more inclined to authoritarian solutions, including an ongoing ban on all alcohol and cigarette sales, and those who now believe South Africans should be trusted with more individual freedoms - including the right to buy sandals and exposed knitwear.

  5. Buzzfeed to close UK news operation

    Image caption: Buzzfeed set up a London office in 2013

    Online media giant Buzzfeed is to close its UK and Australian news operations.

    The US company, which set up its London office in 2013, said the decision had been made "both for economic and strategic reasons".

    The move comes as the media industry is facing an advertising downturn caused by the pandemic.

    Buzzfeed said it would be focusing on news that "hits big in the United States during this difficult period".

    In the UK, some staff will stay on to cover social news, celebrity and investigations for US readers, but it is thought about 10 jobs are affected.

    BBC News media editor Amol Rajan said the affected UK staff had been furloughed.

  6. 'Not safe to reopen schools,' warn teachers' unions

    Image caption: Some pupils may return to school on 1 June

    Plans to reopen primary schools in England do not have adequate safety measures and need to be halted, warns an alliance of school teachers' unions.

    A joint education union statement called on the government to "step back" from a 1 June start date and said "classrooms of four and five-year olds could become sources of Covid-19 transmission and spread".

    In the House of Commons, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson warned against "scaremongering" over safety, although his department's chief scientific adviser cast doubt on suggestions the virus spreads less among children.

    "Sometimes scaremongering, making people fear, is really unfair and not a welcome pressure to be placed on families, children and teachers alike," Williamson told MPs.

  7. 'Total lockdown' ordered for Chilean capital

    Testing centre in Santiago
    Image caption: Santiago has experienced a worrying spike in new infections

    The Chilean government is to impose a total lockdown across the capital, Santiago, following a spike in the number of coronavirus infections.

    A total of 2,260 new infections and 12 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. The current death toll is about 350.

    The new restrictions will affect eight million people and come into effect on Friday evening.

    Chile had limited lockdown measures to areas with higher rates of infection. The authorities were considering partially reopening the economy, but the country has now reported a 60% rise in the number of daily cases.

  8. Watch: What is a vaccine and how is one made?

    A few minutes ago we told you about the World Health Organization's warning that Covid-19 "may never go away".

    As we know, a vaccine would provide some protection, by training people's immune systems to fight the virus.

    But how easy is it to create a vaccine and when could we expect one to be ready? Our health correspondent Laura Foster explains.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: How close are we to getting a vaccine?
  9. London transport 'needs financial help'

    London's transport network needs to reach a deal with the government this week because of financial problems, said the deputy mayor for transport.

    Speaking to Eddie Nestor’s Drivetime show on BBC Radio London, Heidi Alexander said City Hall was in "very live negotiations" with the government and hoped to have a deal soon.

    Alexander denied a suggestion that Transport for London (TfL) only had "24 to 48 hours worth of money left".

    But, when asked if the Tube would be operating next week, she replied: "I'm sure TfL will be running this time next week. Let's hope by the end of this week we have a deal on the table with the government so that money is there."

    View more on twitter
  10. Domestic violence up in Canada since lockdown

    At least nine women and girls have been killed in domestic homicides in Canada since the pandemic, a new report says.

    There is no federal database, but the Battered Women’s Support Services, a non-profit, has been tracking them and tallied the numbers, which were confirmed by the Globe and Mail newspaper.

    It said three of the men involved also killed themselves.

    On average one woman is killed by a domestic partner ever six days in Canada. The government says some parts of the country have seen a 20-30% increase in rates of gender-based violence and domestic violence.

    The government has provided an additional $28m (£23.2m) to help address domestic violence during Covid-19.

  11. A pilgrimage without pilgrims

    Alison Roberts


    Nuns at Fatima
    Nun at Fatima

    For the first time in more than a century, the Catholic shrine at Fátima in Portugal has held a pilgrimage without pilgrims.

    On 12 May every year, hundreds of thousands flock to attend mass at the famed shrine to mark the anniversary of reported sightings of the Virgin Mary by three children in 1917.

    But due to the coronavirus, ceremonies have been livestreamed this year.

    The bishop of Fátima called for solidarity to combat "the virus" of indifference and individualism that he said could only be defeated "with the antibodies of compassion and solidarity".

  12. This virus may never go away, WHO says

    Police officers check people at les Invalides as France is slowly reopening after almost two months of strict lockdown throughout the country due to the epidemic of coronavirus
    Image caption: Lockdown measures have been loosened in France

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that Covid-19 may be here to stay.

    "This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away," Michael Ryan, the WHO's emergencies director, told a virtual press conference in Geneva.

    "HIV has not gone away - but we have come to terms with the virus."

    He said that, without a vaccine, it could take years for the population to build up sufficient levels of immunity to the virus. There are many attempts being carried out around the world to develop a vaccine but experts say there is a risk that one may never be created.

    Meanwhile, as countries across the globe start easing lockdown measures, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the process could trigger new waves of infections.

    Ryan said there was lots of "magical thinking" surrounding countries opening back up. He added that there was a "long, long way to go" on the path to returning to normal.

  13. German coronavirus app takes different path to NHS

    Woman in mask on app
    Image caption: Countries are hoping that technology will be an ally in curbing the spread of the virus

    Germany's forthcoming coronavirus contact-tracing app will trigger alerts only if users test positive for Covid-19.

    That puts it at odds with the NHS app in the UK, which instead relies on users self-diagnosing via an on-screen questionnaire.

    UK health chiefs have said the questionnaire is a key reason they are pursuing a "centralised" design despite privacy campaigners' protests, although Germany ditched that model in April.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel said there would be a "much higher level of acceptance" for a decentralised approach, which is designed to offer a higher degree of anonymity.

  14. Thousands share fake quote claiming US and China created virus

    Reality Check and BBC Monitoring

    A fake quote attributed to a prominent French scientist has gone viral. The Facebook post claims Prof Didier Raoult said Covid-19 was created by the US and China to kill millions of Africans.

    We spoke to the hospital in Marseille where Prof Raoult works and they confirmed it is not genuine. Prof Raoult has become well-known for promoting chloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, to treat coronavirus.

    An account in the Democratic Republic of Congo first posted the message, which has been shared more than 150,000 times in a number of African countries including Madagascar and Cameroon.

    We investigated another fabricated statement that was falsely attributed to Jeff Bezos - that linked to the same Instagram account as the Prof Raoult post did.

    Reality Check has been fact-checking coronavirus misinformation across the continent.

  15. What's the risk on public transport?

    In the Paris metro, passengers respect physical distances and wear masks on 11 May 2020
    Image caption: Many commuters in Paris wear masks on the metro

    With some countries easing their lockdowns and allowing people to return to the workplace, it is natural to ask how safe public transport is.

    Well, a lot depends on how crowded it is and how far apart you can stay from others.

    Ventilation also plays an important role as fresh air can help droplets containing the virus dissipate faster.

    What can you do if do not feel safe but must travel to work?

    Globally, many cities are introducing temporary cycle lanes (as well as subsidies for bike repairs in France) to encourage commuters to use their bikes instead of trains or buses. You could also walk if you live close enough.

    If that is not an option, travel at less busy times and wait for passengers to get off before you board public transport.

    We have more tips for you here.

  16. The numbers from Europe

    A further 83 deaths because of coronavirus have been reported in France, taking the country's total number of fatalities to 27,074.

    The Directorate General of Health says 2,428 patients are in intensive care, with 69 new serious cases in the last 24 hours.

    The relatively low number of deaths reported today comes after an increase of 348 on Tuesday and 263 on Monday.

    The US, the UK, Italy and Spain are the only other countries to have reported more than 27,000 coronavirus fatalities.

    France had overtaken Spain but slipped back to fifth highest in the world as Spain announced 184 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total there to 27,104.

    Meanwhile, Italy reported 195 deaths on Wednesday, against 172 the day before, bringing the total to 31,106.

  17. Little cause for optimism in Brazil as deaths spiral

    Katy Watson

    BBC South America correspondent

    Jair Bolsonaro
    Image caption: President Jair Bolsonaro has sowed confusion by ignoring global health guidelines

    Brazil's coronavirus figures are issued at the end of each day - and every evening people are hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

    The country is at the centre of the Latin American outbreak and is now the sixth worst-affected country in terms of recorded deaths. The total death toll currently stands at 12,400 after the highest daily rise in deaths so far.

    Brazil does not have a lot going for it at the moment, when it comes to flattening the curve.

    It has a president in Jair Bolsonaro who sows confusion by flouting global health guidelines - at the weekend he jumped on a jetski, mask-free and attended a floating BBQ - and government statistics that reveal residents in the worst-hit city S?o Paulo are increasingly failing to isolate.

    S?o Paulo city has banned cars from circulating on particular days and tried to block roads in recent weeks, trying to dissuade people from commuting. Some badly-affected states in the north-east have introduced much tougher lockdown measures.

    But they all feel like desperate attempts to reverse an inevitable course of spiralling deaths. With no federal leadership for people to look to, Brazil has resorted to a fragmented approach to an ever more worrying crisis.

  18. Ford and Vauxhall restarting UK production

    Ford engine plant in Dagenham
    Image caption: Dagenham is one of two Ford plants reopening next week

    Carmakers Ford and Vauxhall have announced plans to restart production at UK factories.

    Ford is to resume work from 18 May at its engine plants in Dagenham, Essex, and Bridgend, South Wales.

    The company's engine plant in Valencia, Spain, will also start operations again - meaning that all of Ford's European manufacturing facilities will be open.

    Meanwhile, BBC Newsnight has been told that Vauxhall will restart production at its Luton plant on the same date.

    Managing Director Stephen Norman says the plant, which produces vans, will start up with only a third of its 1,600-strong workforce.

    Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant, which makes cars, remains closed.

  19. Major US airlines not enforcing face mask policies

    An empty airport
    Image caption: Airline passengers dropped by 51% in the US in March

    The top three US airlines have told flight attendants not to enforce a policy requiring passengers to wear face masks.

    United, Delta and American Airlines all have policies which state that customers should cover their faces, and employees have been told they may deny boarding at the gate to customers who do not follow them.

    However, once on board the plane flight crew have been been advised by the airlines that they should simply encourage passengers to follow the policies, rather than enforce them.

    Airline passengers dropped by 51% in the US in March, resulting in the lowest air travel level in almost 20 years, according to the US Transportation Department.

  20. Rare inflammatory reaction to coronavirus in UK children

    Philippa Roxby

    Health reporter, BBC News

    Around 150 children in the UK have been affected by a rare inflammatory disease linked to coronavirus, medics say. Some needed intensive care while others recovered quickly - but cases are extremely rare.

    In April, NHS doctors were told to look out for a rare but dangerous reaction in children. This was prompted by eight children becoming ill in London, including a 14-year-old who died.

    Doctors said all eight children had similar symptoms when they were admitted to Evelina Children's Hospital, including a high fever, rash, red eyes, swelling and general pain.

    Most of the children had no major lung or breathing problems, although seven were put on a ventilator to help improve heart and circulation issues.

    The doctors described it as a "new phenomenon" similar to Kawasaki disease shock syndrome.

    Dr Liz Whittaker, clinical lecturer in paediatric infectious diseases and immunology at Imperial College London, said the fact that the syndrome was occurring in the middle of a pandemic, suggests the two are linked.