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U.S. tells G7 that it is back at the table to help with global recovery

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By David Lawder and William Schomberg

WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden‘s administration told allies on Friday it was re-engaging with them to help steer the global economy out of its worst slump since the Great Depression, a contrast with the go-it-alone approach of Donald Trump.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told her peers from the Group of Seven rich democracies that Washington was committed to multilateralism and “places a high priority on deepening our international engagement and strengthening our alliances.”

Yellen spoke to the G7 in a virtual video meeting, chaired by Britain, at which she called for continued fiscal support to secure the recovery, saying “the time to go big is now.”

Britain said officials discussed giving help to workers and businesses hit by the pandemic while ensuring sustainability of public finances “in the long term.”

As well as the United States and Britain, the G7 includes Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Canada.

Italian Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said the group had committed to continuing coordinated action to support the economy. “The withdrawal of policy support is premature,” he wrote on Twitter.

Biden has proposed a further $1.9 trillion in spending and tax cuts on top of more than $4 trillion of coronavirus relief measures enacted by his predecessor Trump.

British finance minister Rishi Sunak is expected to say next month that he will extend his economic rescue programs and that reining in public finances will have to be addressed later.

Britain said G7 officials also agreed that making progress on reaching “an international solution to the tax challenges of the digital economy” was a key priority.

Countries have been trying to revive attempts at a global approach to taxing giant digital firms – many of them American, such as Amazon and Alphabet’s Google – after progress was blocked by Trump’s administration.

Britain called on G7 countries to agree a joint approach to taxing internet giants by mid-2021, a deadline agreed by the wider Group of 20 nations.

NEW IMF RESOURCES

Some G7 countries are keen to back a new issuance of the International Monetary Fund’s own currency, known as special drawing rights (SDRs), to help low-income countries hit by the coronavirus crisis, a step last taken in 2009.

Officials from the United States, the IMF’s biggest shareholder, had signaled they were open to a new issuance of $500 billion, sources said on Thursday – another Biden shift away from Trump administration opposition.

A G7 source, who asked not to be named, said the United States told other countries it needed a few weeks to finalize the SDR increase.

The move is politically tricky for Yellen because it would provide new resources to all IMF members, including rich countries, China, and U.S. adversaries such as Iran and Venezuela, drawing Republican opposition.

“Over the last year, the G7 has not even spoken about special drawing rights, so considering that was part of this agenda, it certainly is progress,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, a charity group that focuses on reducing poverty. “In terms of getting to a strong global stimulus, SDRs have to be a part of the equation.”

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva did not mention SDRs in a tweet about the meeting, but said that G7 members were in “full alignment” on vaccines, fiscal stimulus, climate and “comprehensive support for vulnerable countries.”

Sunak called on private creditors to give debt help to the poorest countries and said climate change and nature preservation would be priorities for Britain’s G7 presidency. Britain is due to host the first in-person summit of G7 leaders in nearly two years in June.

Yellen said the G7 should expect to see the U.S. Treasury’s engagement on climate change to “change dramatically relative to the last four years.”

The Treasury declined comment on a Wall Street Journal report that Yellen is considering Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former deputy Treasury secretary, for a new high-level climate “czar” position at the department.

 

(Additional reporting by Crispian Balmer in Rome and Andrea Shalal in Washington; Editing by Catherine Evans and Rosalba O’Brien)

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – Richmond News

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

4:25 p.m.

Prince Edward Island is ushering in “circuit breaker measures” to interrupt the chain of transmission in the province as it reports six new cases of COVID-19. 

The province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Heather Morrison, says gatherings must be limited to the immediate household, plus a circle of 10 contacts. 

Organized gatherings will be limited to 50 people, and wedding and funeral receptions are prohibited. 

Sports games and tournaments must be cancelled, and in-person dining is barred. 

2:50 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting five new COVID-19-related deaths today and 162 new cases.

All of the people who died were in their 80s or older, according to the province’s daily pandemic update, and were in the Regina, Saskatoon and South East health zones.

The update says 1,548 cases are considered active in Saskatchewan, with 151 people in hospital.

It says 5,211 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in the province on Friday, for a total of 75,501 since immunizations began.

2:20 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 88 new COVID-19 infections as of this morning, as well as four new virus-related deaths.

Officials say two of those who died were in their 80s and two were in their 90s.

All were from the Winnipeg health region.

The government says there are 1,208 active COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, with 189 people in hospital.

Manitoba has recorded 893 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

2 p.m.

Four new cases of COVID-19 are being reported in Nova Scotia today as stricter rules are ushered in to stop the spread of the virus.

Provincial health officials say three of the cases are in the Halifax region and are all close contacts of previously identified patients, while the fourth case in eastern Nova Scotia is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.

The latest cases come as new measures to control the virus take effect in Halifax and some neighbouring municipalities.

Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang says while the number of new cases is low, he remains concerned that some recent infections do not have an obvious origin.

12:20 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say the new infections are both in the Edmundston region and both patients are between the ages of 70 and 79.

New Brunswick currently has 41 active cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, with one patient hospitalized in intensive care.

All areas of the province remain at the orange level of New Brunswick’s pandemic response plan, which seeks to prevent the resurgence of transmission through a number of restrictions.

11:20 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 858 new COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including five deaths in the past 24 hours.

The Health Department reported 599 hospitalizations today, a drop of 21 patients. There are also seven fewer people requiring intensive care, bringing the total to 112.

Quebec administered 15,902 doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Friday for a total of 418,399.

The latest numbers come one year after the first case of COVID-19 was declared in Quebec.

The province has reported 287,003 confirmed infections and 10,385 deaths since the pandemic began.

11 a.m.

Ontario’s COVID-19 case count is nearing the 300,000 mark. 

The province reported 1,185 new infections today for a total of 299,754 since the onset of the pandemic. 

Ontario also reported 16 new virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours. 

Health Minister Christine Elliott says Toronto saw 331 new cases in the past 24 hours, nearby Peel Region recorded 220 and York Region logged 119.

Hospitalizations in the province declined by three to 680, with 276 patients in intensive care and 182 on a ventilator.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021

The Canadian Press

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – Richmond News

Published

 on


The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

4:25 p.m.

Prince Edward Island is ushering in “circuit breaker measures” to interrupt the chain of transmission in the province as it reports six new cases of COVID-19. 

The province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Heather Morrison, says gatherings must be limited to the immediate household, plus a circle of 10 contacts. 

Organized gatherings will be limited to 50 people, and wedding and funeral receptions are prohibited. 

Sports games and tournaments must be cancelled, and in-person dining is barred. 

2:50 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting five new COVID-19-related deaths today and 162 new cases.

All of the people who died were in their 80s or older, according to the province’s daily pandemic update, and were in the Regina, Saskatoon and South East health zones.

The update says 1,548 cases are considered active in Saskatchewan, with 151 people in hospital.

It says 5,211 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in the province on Friday, for a total of 75,501 since immunizations began.

2:20 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 88 new COVID-19 infections as of this morning, as well as four new virus-related deaths.

Officials say two of those who died were in their 80s and two were in their 90s.

All were from the Winnipeg health region.

The government says there are 1,208 active COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, with 189 people in hospital.

Manitoba has recorded 893 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

2 p.m.

Four new cases of COVID-19 are being reported in Nova Scotia today as stricter rules are ushered in to stop the spread of the virus.

Provincial health officials say three of the cases are in the Halifax region and are all close contacts of previously identified patients, while the fourth case in eastern Nova Scotia is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.

The latest cases come as new measures to control the virus take effect in Halifax and some neighbouring municipalities.

Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang says while the number of new cases is low, he remains concerned that some recent infections do not have an obvious origin.

12:20 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say the new infections are both in the Edmundston region and both patients are between the ages of 70 and 79.

New Brunswick currently has 41 active cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, with one patient hospitalized in intensive care.

All areas of the province remain at the orange level of New Brunswick’s pandemic response plan, which seeks to prevent the resurgence of transmission through a number of restrictions.

11:20 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 858 new COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including five deaths in the past 24 hours.

The Health Department reported 599 hospitalizations today, a drop of 21 patients. There are also seven fewer people requiring intensive care, bringing the total to 112.

Quebec administered 15,902 doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Friday for a total of 418,399.

The latest numbers come one year after the first case of COVID-19 was declared in Quebec.

The province has reported 287,003 confirmed infections and 10,385 deaths since the pandemic began.

11 a.m.

Ontario’s COVID-19 case count is nearing the 300,000 mark. 

The province reported 1,185 new infections today for a total of 299,754 since the onset of the pandemic. 

Ontario also reported 16 new virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours. 

Health Minister Christine Elliott says Toronto saw 331 new cases in the past 24 hours, nearby Peel Region recorded 220 and York Region logged 119.

Hospitalizations in the province declined by three to 680, with 276 patients in intensive care and 182 on a ventilator.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021

The Canadian Press

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The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – Richmond News

Published

 on


The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):

2:50 p.m.

Saskatchewan is reporting five new COVID-19-related deaths today and 162 new cases.

All of the people who died were in their 80s or older, according to the province’s daily pandemic update, and were in the Regina, Saskatoon and South East health zones.

The update says 1,548 cases are considered active in Saskatchewan, with 151 people in hospital.

It says 5,211 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in the province on Friday, for a total of 75,501 since immunizations began.

2:20 p.m.

Manitoba is reporting 88 new COVID-19 infections as of this morning, as well as four new virus-related deaths.

Officials say two of those who died were in their 80s and two were in their 90s.

All were from the Winnipeg health region.

The government says there are 1,208 active COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, with 189 people in hospital.

Manitoba has recorded 893 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

2 p.m.

Four new cases of COVID-19 are being reported in Nova Scotia today as stricter rules are ushered in to stop the spread of the virus.

Provincial health officials say three of the cases are in the Halifax region and are all close contacts of previously identified patients, while the fourth case in eastern Nova Scotia is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada.

The latest cases come as new measures to control the virus take effect in Halifax and some neighbouring municipalities.

Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang says while the number of new cases is low, he remains concerned that some recent infections do not have an obvious origin.

12:20 p.m.

New Brunswick is reporting two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say the new infections are both in the Edmundston region and both patients are between the ages of 70 and 79.

New Brunswick currently has 41 active cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, with one patient hospitalized in intensive care.

All areas of the province remain at the orange level of New Brunswick’s pandemic response plan, which seeks to prevent the resurgence of transmission through a number of restrictions.

11:20 a.m.

Quebec is reporting 858 new COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including five deaths in the past 24 hours.

The Health Department reported 599 hospitalizations today, a drop of 21 patients. There are also seven fewer people requiring intensive care, bringing the total to 112.

Quebec administered 15,902 doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Friday for a total of 418,399.

The latest numbers come one year after the first case of COVID-19 was declared in Quebec.

The province has reported 287,003 confirmed infections and 10,385 deaths since the pandemic began.

11 a.m.

Ontario’s COVID-19 case count is nearing the 300,000 mark. 

The province reported 1,185 new infections today for a total of 299,754 since the onset of the pandemic. 

Ontario also reported 16 new virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours. 

Health Minister Christine Elliott says Toronto saw 331 new cases in the past 24 hours, nearby Peel Region recorded 220 and York Region logged 119.

Hospitalizations in the province declined by three to 680, with 276 patients in intensive care and 182 on a ventilator.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021

The Canadian Press

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Source link

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