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Live Reporting

Edited by Sean Fanning and Chris Clayton

All times stated are UK

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  1. We're pausing our live coverage

    Thank you for following our updates.

    We're wrapping up the live page for now. But before we go, here are some of Friday's main developments:

    You've been kept up to date today by our team of writers and editors in Singapore, Sydney, Delhi, Washington DC, Toronto and the UK. They are:

    Sean Fanning, Thomas Spender, Rebecca Seales, Henri Astier, Georgina Rannard, Josh Cheetham, Chris Clayton, Owen Amos, Emma Atkinson, Mathew Cannon, Saj Chowdhury, Robin Levinson-King, Ben Collins, Frank Keogh, Tom Gerken, Joseph Lee, Lucy Webster, Krutika Pathi, Anna Jones, Yvette Tan and Saira Asher.

  2. Canadian politician shares baking lesson from lockdown

    Ontario Premier Doug Ford wants people to start baking to fight coronavirus stress.

    After boasting of his baking prowess in a press conference, Mr Ford, who leads Canada's most populous province, posted a video of himself making cherry cheesecake.

    "If I wasn't premier, I'd open up a cheesecake factory."

    Sporting a t-shirt with the phrase "we're all in this together", Mr Ford's video has been viewed more than 100,000 times.

    "You can tell I've eaten one too many cheesecakes," the portly premier joked.

    Prior to the pandemic, the folksy, conservative politician was best known for public squabbles with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the local teacher's union.

    But his popularity has soared as people turn into his daily press conference for his no-nonsense takes, such as when he called anti-lockdown protestors "a bunch of yahoos".

    View more on twitter
  3. Virus deaths continue to decline across Europe

    Countries across Europe are continuing to report lowering daily death tolls this week, as lockdowns begin to ease.

    Italy was once the global epicentre of the pandemic, reporting over 900 deaths on 27 March. But authorities there have reported 262 for yesterday.

    France, Spain and the UK are among the other European states also reporting declines.

    Denmark registered no new Covid-19 deaths for the first time since 13 March.

    Slovenia has become the first EU country to declare the Covid-19 epidemic over, though it is still leaving some protective measures in place.

    Coronavirus daily death figures

    But as the continent begins to emerge from lockdown, the economic impact of coronavirus is being acutely felt - with millions of consumers confined to their homes, many of them now jobless.

    Today Germany reported that its economy - the largest in Europe - shrank by 2.2% in the first three months of this year, pushing the country into recession.

  4. Sudan coronavirus medic: 'There aren't enough gloves'

    Sarah Ali
    Image caption: Dr Sarah Ali says Sudan's healthcare system failed long before coronavirus hit the country

    Sudanese doctor Sarah Ali is not surprised by the recent report that 250 million people in Africa could catch coronavirus in the first year of the pandemic.

    She told the BBC's OS radio programme that coronavirus was a huge challenge because of her country's already "collapsed healthcare system".

    The junior doctor has symptoms of Covid-19 herself, so she's self-isolating at home.

    Ms Ali says the strain on health services means people are dying from other conditions such as heart attacks because there are so few doctors available.

    One of the biggest hospitals in the capital, Khartoum, is calling for doctors to come and help because [there are] only three doctors," she told the BBC.

    There is also a dire lack of medical equipment needed to fight the virus.

    [Doctors] can’t examine patients because they don't have enough gloves," said Mr Ali. "We’ve been promised that PPE [personal protective equipment] will be provided."

    She said doctors like her fear that the actual number of coronavirus cases is "much, much higher" than the 1,964 currently reported.

  5. Portugal to further ease restrictions from Monday

    People exercise on Cascais beach near Lisbon
    Image caption: People have been permitted to exercise on beaches in Portugal, such as Cascais beach near Lisbon

    Portugal is set to further ease lockdown restrictions from Monday with the opening of some shops, cafes, restaurants, museums, monuments, galleries, crèches and selected school classes.

    Meanwhile, prime minister Antonio Costa said the country's beaches would reopen on 6 June.

    He encouraged the public to download an app that will tell them if their beach of choice is full or still has space, while other rules needed to be adhered to.

    According to government figures, Portugal has had 1,190 deaths associated with Covid-19 which was up six from Thursday, and a cumulative total of 28,583 confirmed cases, an increase of 264.

  6. Five Canadian soldiers infected in nursing homes

    Canadian armed forces help out at a care home in Montreal
    Image caption: A member of the armed forces helping out at a Montreal care home

    Five soldiers stationed in Canadian nursing homes have been infected with coronavirus, the government confirms.

    Four soldiers were based in Quebec, one was in Ontario.

    "There are always risks in what they do and they go into that knowingly and willingly, and that is why we offer them our deepest gratitude every day," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

    The Canadian Armed Forces have sent about 1,700 personnel to 30 long-term care facilities.

    The military was called to help in Quebec and Ontario in mid-April, after several outbreaks at residences exacerbated long-standing staffing issues.

    The military intends to release figures every two weeks on the number of personnel in long-term care homes who are infected.

    Approximately 82% of all Covid-19 deaths in Canada occur in these facilities, according to the National Institute on Ageing.

  7. The people behind "Operation Warp Speed"

    Health and Human Secretary Alex Azar, President Donald Trump and Moncef Slaoui, the former head of GlaxoSmithKlines vaccines division
    Image caption: Moncef Slaoui (r) outlined the programme at a briefing with President Trump and Health Secretary Alex Azar (l)

    A bit more now on "Operation Warp Speed", the Trump plan to expedite vaccine development we told you about earlier.

    Moncef Slaoui, former vaccine chief at GlaxoSmithKline, and Gustave Perna, who oversees distribution for the US Army, will head the effort, which will begin with studies on 14 promising vaccine candidates for accelerated research and approval.

    Trump promised "roughly $10bn" to back the project.

    Speaking after Mr Trump, Mr Slaoui said he was "confident" that a "few hundred million doses of vaccine" will be delivered by the end of 2020.

    However, some health experts have remained sceptical about this.

    "I don't understand how that happens," said Dr Peter Hotez, co-director of the Medicine Coronavirus Vaccine Team at Baylor College.

    "I don't see a path by which any vaccine is licensed for emergency use or otherwise till the third quarter of 2021," he told CNN, citing safety concerns.

    Read more on this story here:

  8. Celtic to be crowned Scottish champions

    A bit more detail now on the Celtic story, as the Scottish football season is expected to be officially brought to an end on Monday, BBC Radio 5 Live understands.

    The Scottish Professional Football League will announce that the Premiership season - and the Scottish Cup - will not be completed, which means Celtic will be awarded their ninth consecutive title. The Hoops were 13 points ahead of Glasgow rivals Rangers with eight games remaining.

    Hearts will be relegated, while Rangers, Motherwell and Aberdeen will gain qualification for the Europa League. Dundee United will be promoted to the Scottish Premiership next season.

    The lower-league seasons were declared over in April after a controversial ballot.

    View more on twitter
  9. Health minister did not see eye-to-eye with Brazil president

    Katy Watson

    BBC South America correspondent

    Nelson Teich
    Image caption: Nelson Teich was appointed as health minister on 17 April

    To lose one health minister was awkward, but to lose two in less than a month is not only embarrassing for Jair Bolsonaro but deeply worrying for Brazil.

    The country has become the latest coronavirus hotspot and rather than politicians trying to tackle it together, the pandemic has turned political. The leader of the country is failing to provide direction for a population who really needs it.

    Nelson Teich didn't give any reasons for his departure, merely saying "life is full of decisions and I decided to leave" - but he didn't see eye-to-eye with his boss on the use of chloroquine and his health ministry was excluded this week when Bolsonaro decided to include beauty salons, hairdressers and gyms as essential services.

    It appears the job of health minister to Bolsonaro is a thankless task at the moment - but it’s a difficult job vacancy at the worst-possible time in Brazil.

  10. Rugby summer tours postponed - sports round-up

    Ireland's rugby team playing Australia in Brisbane in 2018
    Image caption: Ireland were due to tour Australia this summer
  11. Reality Check

    Are US states reopening ahead of White House guidelines?

    Fauci in a face mask behind Trump

    At today’s press conference in the White House Rose Garden, President Trump talked up the reopening of the US, saying that “as of this morning almost every state has taken steps to begin reopening”.

    He added: "Tomorrow will mark 30 days since we released the White House guidelines for a safe and phased opening of America - that's what we're doing."

    But some states have eased restrictions before meeting the reopening criteria proposed by the Trump administration - and Dr Anthony Fauci, the White House's top infectious disease adviser, has said he's concerned some states are opening up too soon.

    Read more in our piece on the reopening guidelines and whether states are meeting them.

  12. Canada zoo fundraising for baby giraffe

    A Masai giraffe near Nairobi
    Image caption: A Masai giraffe near Nairobi

    A cash-strapped Canadian zoo is fundraising for its latest addition - a baby Masai giraffe born on 12 May.

    Staff at the Toronto Zoo hope to raise C$70,000 ($49,600; £41,000) to reconfigure existing spaces to better accommodate the newborn. Masai giraffes are approximately 2m (6ft) tall at birth, and can grow to over 5.5 meters (19 feet) in adulthood.

    The money will also go to improving educational and monitoring opportunities.

    The zoo is facing financial difficulties after being forced to shut its doors due to the coronavirus lockdown. Staff say they plan to reopen as a drive-through experience as soon as they are able.

    The calf is the firstborn child of six-year-old mother Mstari, who was also born at the zoo. There are only 35,000 Masai giraffes left in the world, and the zoo heralded the birth as "an important contribution to a genetically healthy Masai giraffe population".

  13. Tobacco-based vaccine 'ready for human trials'

    British American Tobacco logo

    One of the world's largest cigarette companies, British American Tobacco (BAT), says it is ready to begin human trials on a tobacco-based coronavirus vaccine.

    In a statement, the firm said it was using proteins from tobacco leaves, which have generated a positive immune response in pre-clinical trials.

    The maker of famous brands such as Lucky Strike said human trials could begin in late June, pending approval by the US Food and Drug Agency.

    It raised eyebrows after announcing plans for the jab in April, saying it could produce up to three million doses a week if it received government support.

    But it's not the only tobacco firm to do so - industry rival Philip Morris International is also working on its own vaccine.

  14. Police warn Londoners against weekend gatherings

    Police have warned Londoners against taking part in "spontaneous or planned mass gatherings" in public this weekend.

    "Games of football ...outdoor concerts or parties, protest, marches or assemblies are still not permitted", the Met's Ch Supt Karen Findlay said.

    Officers "will engage and encourage people to comply" with public health regulations, the force added.

    Some restrictions have been eased in England, where two people from different households are now allowed to meet in public, and sports in which people can keep apart are now allowed - such as tennis or golf.

    Social distancing of two metres still has to be observed, although police do not enforce this guidance because it has not been written into the law.

    The warning came as latest figures show police in England and Wales issued more than 14,000 tickets for alleged breaches of lockdown laws.

    The minimum fine for breaches has recently increased from £60 ($73) to £100 (reduced to £50 if paid within two weeks), while repeat offenders can also face fines of up to £3,200.

    Hackney Marshes during lockdown
  15. Club Bruges declared Belgian champions

    Club Bruges' Krepin Diatta (left) celebrates after scoring

    The pandemic has left European football leagues in a state of flux as they figured out how to conclude their respective seasons.

    Today, the Belgian top flight, like its Dutch and French counterparts, provided closure to its own competition by announcing Club Bruges as champions.

    It was a fairly easy decision because the Club had a 15-point lead over Gent with one match left when the season was suspended.

    It was also announced that Waasland-Beveren would be relegated while Gent would enter next season's Champions League.

    The German Bundesliga restarts this weekend behind closed doors, while the English Premier League, Italian Serie A and Spain's La Liga are hoping to resume in the second week of June.

  16. Find lockdown ‘sex buddy’, Dutch singles advised

    Silhouette of woman over red background
    Image caption: The Netherlands starting easing its lockdown earlier this week

    The Dutch government has issued new guidance to single people seeking intimacy during the pandemic: find a "sex buddy".

    The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) says singletons should come to an arrangement with one person.

    But couples should avoid sex if one of them suspects they have coronavirus, the advice says.

    It comes after critics argued social distancing rules have complicated intimate relations for partners not living together.

    Read more here

  17. States easing lockdown measures across the US

    Four people together clinking glasses in a restaurant/bar. One has a face mask.

    Pictures are emerging of people out and about as lockdown measures are easing across the US.

    People wearing face masks walking at the entrance to Universal Orlando Resort
    Image caption: Guests have been visiting Universal Orlando's CityWalk in Florida, where some entertainment venues are open for limited hours
    A family walking to Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah
    Image caption: Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah also had a limited reopening on Thursday
    Two people prepare orders in a market
    Image caption: Some businesses have been able to reopen in Ohio, such as Cincinnati's Findlay Market
    Construction workers in a pit with a crane
    Image caption: Construction work has begun again in parts of New York State

    In Wisconsin bars and restaurants reopened after the state's Supreme Court overturned a lockdown extension announced by Democratic governor Tony Evers earlier in the week.

    There have been 434 coronavirus-related deaths in Wisconsin, with more than 11,000 confirmed cases.

    Images of people going out for a meal soon emerged - for instance Nick's Bar in Platteville shared a picture showing it was packed with patrons.

    View more on twitter
  18. How Vietnam kept virus at bay

    A Vietnam coronavirus advice poster in a city street

    How did a country with a population of 97 million people, record only just over 300 cases of Covid-19 and not a single death?

    That country is Vietnam. It implemented extreme measures as soon as it recorded its first case on 23 January.

    In came travel restrictions, close monitoring and then closure of the border with China. Health checks were increased at other borders.

    "This is a country that has dealt with a lot of outbreaks in the past," said Prof Guy Thwaites, director of Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City.

    "The government and population are very, very used to dealing with infectious diseases and are respectful of them, probably far more so than wealthier countries," he said. "They know how to respond to these things."

    Read more here

  19. Mass testing scheme begins in Moscow

    Sarah Rainsford

    BBC Moscow Correspondent

    Testing clinic in Moscow

    Moscow has launched a mass screening programme for coronavirus antibodies, inviting people chosen at random from various age groups to clinics across the city.

    The hope is that the test results can allow the authorities to map their way out of lockdown, despite uncertainty over how much immunity to Covid-19 the antibodies actually provide.

    Three dozen Moscow clinics are collecting intravenous blood samples, which are sent to laboratories for analysis overnight.

    Russian doctors believe the method, known as IFA, is more accurate than express-testing used elsewhere.

    It identifies the Immunoglobulin M antibody (IgM), which appears when the body is fighting a new infection, and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) which shows that someone has previously been infected.

    Swabs for Covid-19 itself are taken at the same time.

    Testing clinic in Moscow

    Free tests will be given to 70,000 people every three days, allowing Moscow to build a much clearer picture of the spread of the virus since the start of the epidemic – as well as isolating anyone who is sick, but didn’t realise it.

    This is in addition to widespread coronavirus testing of those with symptoms that’s already taking place.

    "If that’s what’s needed, then it’s needed," one man who had received a text-message inviting him for testing told the BBC. "The main thing is that it’s free!"

    Vladimir Putin this week announced that the full nationwide lockdown was over, instructing regional leaders to decide when to lift specific restrictions.

    Moscow’s mayor has described that as the "most difficult decision" of his life, and schools and playgrounds, bars and many businesses remain closed until at least 31 May.

    Russia currently has one of the world’s highest rates of coronavirus infection, with 10,598 new cases detected on Friday.

  20. France not exempt from UK quarantine - PM's spokesman

    Theo Leggett

    BBC International Business Correspondent

    A man wears a mask in front of a Eurostar sign

    The UK has denied that travellers from France will be exempted from its planned quarantine measures.

    Under the plans - announced last weekend - people arriving in the UK from abroad will be obliged to isolate themselves for 14 days.

    Initially, the two governments said the exemption would apply to any travellers between France and the UK, and any future steps would be taken in a concerted and reciprocal manner.

    The policy attracted criticism from other governments and the EU. Some experts suggested it would be unworkable.

    But today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said there was no French exemption, and that the original statement referred to co-operation to manage the common border.

    It now appears that those exempted from the policy could include freight drivers - to allow the flow of goods to continue - and people working on Covid-19 research, but not ordinary travellers.