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Live Reporting

Edited by Gary Kitchener

All times stated are UK

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  1. We're pausing our live coverage

    That's it from us for today - it's been good to have you with us.

    Today's updates were brought to you by our team of reporters in the UK, Singapore, Australia, India and the US - Andreas Illmer, Anna Jones, Owen Amos, Yvette Tan, Jay Savage, Krutika Pathi, Ben Collins, Hamish Mackay, Flora Drury, Sophie Williams, Jasmine Taylor-Coleman, Matt Cannon, Alex Kleiderman, Sarah Collerton, Becky Morton, Henri Astier, Francis Keogh, David Walker, Holly Honderich, Paul Seddon, Emma Harrison, Gareth Evans, Vicky Baker and Gary Kitchener.

    Our colleagues in Singapore will be resuming live coverage soon. In the meantime you can follow the latest developments on our website.

  2. Round-up of today's main news

    As we near the end of today's live coverage, here is a round-up of developments.

    • People living alone in England will soon be able to stay at another household (of any size) to form a "support bubble". The move was announced by PM Boris Johnson as part of further easing of coronavirus restrictions
    • One of the UK's leading epidemiologists says he believes if the country had locked down a week earlier it would have cut the number of coronavirus-related deaths by at least half. Neil Ferguson made the remarks to a parliamentary committee
    • The global economy will contract by 6% in 2020, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says, and the UK is likely to be the hardest hit among major economies
    • Prosecutors in the northern Italian city of Bergamo say they will question members of the government over their handling of the outbreak. PM Giuseppe Conte said he would be questioned on Friday. Bergamo is in one of Italy's worst-hit areas
    • In the US, several members of the Washington DC National Guard tested positive for Covid-19 after being deployed to the recent Black Lives Matter protests
  3. Trump to restart rallies after Covid-19 pause

    President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Charlotte in March

    US President Donald Trump has said he will begin holding campaign rallies in at least four states after they were paused for three months due to the pandemic.

    He told reporters at the White House today that rallies would restart in Oklahoma, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina.

    He added that the first one would probably take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, next Friday.

    But he did not provide details on what precautions would be taken to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading at the events.

    Mr Trump will face Democrat Joe Biden in November.

    The BBC's Anthony Zurcher notes that the majority of the chosen states are electoral battlegrounds.

    View more on twitter
  4. US cases near 2 million, with new infections rising in 21 states

    As former hotspots like New York and New Jersey see declining infection rates, new coronavirus cases are climbing in 21 US states, as the country marches forward with its economic reopening.

    And nationwide, total Covid-19 infections are creeping towards the 2 million mark, with more than 112,500 deaths.

    Of these 21 states, 12 of them - including South Carolina, Texas and Utah - have reported increased hospitalisation rates since the Memorial Day holiday weekend last month.

    In Arizona, which has seen an especially pronounced spike in both Covid infections and hospitalisations, local health officials are starting to sound the alarm. Banner Health, the state's largest hospital system, warned this week that its intensive care units were filling up, and ventilator use was rising, while the state health director told Arizona hospitals to "fully activate" emergency plans.

    As of Wednesday, Arizona had confirmed 29,852 cases and 1,101 deaths.

  5. Starbucks expects $3bn sales plunge in one quarter

    People queue outside a Starbucks coffee shop in Portobello Market in west London in June 2020

    Global coffee chain Starbucks says it expects revenue this quarter to have plummeted by more than $3bn (£2.3bn) because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The company also projected an adjusted loss of about 55 to 70 cents per share for its third quarter ending in June. In further bad news it said its current-quarter operating income was expected to plunge by up to $2.2bn

    Like other cafe and restaurant chains, Starbucks had to close thousands of outlets around the world as part of coronavirus lockdowns or convert them to drive-through or take-away only.

    The company says it expects to permanently close about 400 stores in the Americas over the next 18 months.

  6. US ex-ambassador tests positive in mid-election

    The former US ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, has announced he has tested positive for Covid-19.

    "After a second try, test results came back positive," he wrote on Twitter earlier today.

    View more on twitter

    Mr Huntsman, a Republican, is currently running to be governor of Utah. He served in that role from 2005 to 2009, and most recently spent two years as ambassador to Russia under President Donald Trump.

    He also ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

    On Tuesday, he said he had received the "wrong results" from an earlier test. "Very illuminating to see the process firsthand," he wrote on Twitter.

  7. Delhi doctor: 'Persistent fear of contracting Covid-19'

    BBC OS

    People with coronavirus symptoms queue outside a hospital in Delhi. 29 May 2020
    Image caption: Queues of people with virus symptoms have formed outside hospitals in Delhi

    Infections in India are rising. In the capital, Delhi, images have emerged of patients queuing outside hospitals, waiting to be treated for Covid-19.

    Dr Parv Mittal, who works in Delhi's Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, spoke to BBC Outside Source.

    "It's really difficult to say how we will be able to cope," he said. "I'm not sure if we have the beds. Even if you create the beds, there will be a shortage of manpower."

    Delhi is seeing more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases every day, stretching hospital resources. Dr Mittal says his hospital initially struggled to get personal protective equipment (PPE). Now it has enough but working in PPE is "exhausting", he says.

    "Wearing it even for one hour, you start sweating a lot. You start getting dehydrated. Initially we had to work for six to eight hours non-stop. There's a persistent fear of contracting the infection."

  8. England zoos prepare to reopen to visitors

    Elephants feed in their enclosure at Chester Zoo in Chester, north west England on June 4, 2020
    Image caption: Chester Zoo - home to these elephants - says the lockdown has threatened its survival

    Some zoos and safari parks in England are preparing to throw open their doors to visitors from Monday, bringing in some much-needed revenue.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the outdoor attractions can reopen at today's daily briefing.

    Dominic Jermey, head of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) which runs London and Whipsnade Zoos, said they were "raring to go".

    "We expect to have tickets ready to book by Friday and everyone will need to book so we can manage capacity," he said.

    Last month London Zoo said it faced an "uncertain future" without immediate financial support.

    Jamie Christon from Chester Zoo in north-west England said a week ago they had been "in despair", not knowing when the zoo would reopen or if it would even survive.

    "The zoo has suffered severe financial damage over the past three months and the road to recovery will be long and uncertain," he added.

    Some other zoos have said they are still putting in place social distancing and hygiene measures and won't be able to open until July.

    A lion rests in an enclosure at ZSL London Zoo. 10 June 2020
    Image caption: This lion at London Zoo was more interested in a nap...
    Penguins within their enclosure at ZSL London Zoo. 10 June 2020
    Image caption: The penguins, however, appeared ready to welcome back the public
  9. Police warn of lockdown radicalisation threat

    Gordon Corera

    Security correspondent, BBC News

    The lockdown may have led more individuals to become radicalised as they spend more time online, a British police chief has warned.

    The Metropolitan Police's Lucy D'Orsi said the precise impact of the lockdown on the terrorism threat was not yet known.

    She urged the public to remain alert as people return to crowded places closed in March.

    The current UK threat level is "substantial", meaning an attack is likely.

    "The reality is that the threat has not gone away," Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner D'Orsi told the BBC.

    Police in London
  10. Social bubbles could ease loneliness - Labour

    Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves has welcomed the latest government guidance that adults living alone in England can form a "support bubble" with one other household.

    In a further easing of coronavirus restrictions, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that, from Saturday, single adults could spend the night at another house.

    Ms Reeves, Labour MP for Leeds West, said she hoped the measure would "ease some of the loneliness that we see in society", but qualified her support by saying that people were "anxious about the easing of restrictions and of good work being undone" if it wasn't backed up by the science.

    She said the government had "got to get this right and needs to make sure the test, trace and isolate policy is in place to ensure that further easing of the restrictions can work".

    Read more on how social bubbles work.

  11. What are 'social bubbles'?

    Social bubbles

    People living alone in England will soon be able to stay at another household (of any size) to form a "support bubble". The move was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as part of further easing of coronavirus restrictions.

    A bubble is defined as a group of people with whom you have close contact.

    For example:

    • A grandparent who lives alone would be able to form a support bubble with one of their children, which means they could go to see them and interact with their grandchildren as normal
    • A single parent could form a support bubble with a parent or friend
    • Two single people who each live alone could also form a support bubble
    • So could a couple who do not live together - but only if they both live alone or one of them lives alone and whoever lives with the other one doesn't form a bubble with anyone else

    Read more here on how social bubbles work.

  12. Virus deaths soar among New York homeless

    A homeless man walks out of a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) temporary shower trailer in Manhattan for the homeless and other vulnerable communities on on May 07, 2020 in New York City
    Image caption: A man leaves a temporary shower trailer in Manhattan for the homeless and other vulnerable communities in May

    New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and sleeping in shelters during the coronavirus outbreak were disproportionately vulnerable to death or illness, a report from the Coalition for the Homeless has found.

    As of 1 June, the Covid mortality rate in New York City overall was 200 deaths per 100,000 people. Among those sleeping in shelters, this figure was 321 deaths per 100,000 people.

    And according to the coalition, the number of coronavirus-related deaths among homeless New Yorkers sleeping in shelters in April 2020 was 157% higher than the number of deaths from all causes among this same group during an average month in 2019.

    As of 31 May, there were 926 confirmed Covid-19 cases across some 179 shelters.

  13. People return to places of worship in India

    Hindu priests stand on a white line keeping a distance

    Places of worship have now opened in India as the country eases its lockdown measure.

    These images from Koltata show priests wearing protective gear, preparing to enter the Dakshineswar Kali Temple.

    Hindu priests help each other with protective head gear

    Restrictions on shops, market places and transport services were eased on Monday.

    It comes despite a surge of infections in the country, which now has 266,598 confirmed cases.

    However experts say there was no other option but to lift the lockdown, which had a massive economic impact on the country.

    Priests perform rituals in front of the idol of Hindu deity Kali
  14. WHO: No sign of season change affecting virus

    Image shows Mike Ryan

    There is little evidence that a change in the seasons will affect the spread of Covid-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

    "We cannot rely on an expectation that the season or the temperature will be the answer to this," Mike Ryan, the head of the organisation's emergency programme, told reporters.

    "Right now, we have no data to suggest that the virus will behave more aggressively or transmit more efficiently or not" when the seasons change, he said.

    In the initial stages of the pandemic, some suggested that warmer weather might slow the spread of Covid-19. But this idea faded as the virus took hold during springtime in the northern hemisphere.

    Separately, Mr Ryan also said that a lack of personal protective equipment remained a major issue globally. "Health systems in some countries are struggling and are under huge strain," he added.

  15. Chelsea Women donate £100,000 prize money to domestic abuse charity

    Bethany England celebrates scoring her side's first goal during the FA Women's Super League match at Kingsmeadow, Kingston Upon Thames. 13 October 2019

    Chelsea are to donate their prize money for winning the Women's Super League to a charity that supports women and children experiencing domestic abuse.

    UK charities say there has been a huge spike in reports of domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown.

    Chelsea Women were named champions on Friday, when final places in the curtailed 2019-20 WSL season were decided on a points-per-game basis.

    The £100,000 first prize will be given to Refuge. Team manager Emma Hayes said the charity was "close to the hearts and minds of the women's team".

    Read more here

  16. 'Virus is surging in new places': Latest from Latin America

    A worker takes the temperature of a woman before she enters a mall in Montevideo, Uruguay, 09 June 2020

    As cases continue to soar across Latin America, some parts of the region have begun to open up. Here are some of the latest updates:

    • Shopping centres have opened up in Uruguay for the first time in three months. Shoppers must submit themselves to strict security protocols and temperature checks
    • At least eight doctors have been fired in Nicaragua after criticising President Daniel Ortega's strategy for managing the coronavirus, AFP news agency reports. So far the government has not opted to impose a quarantine
    • The number of new coronavirus cases in Argentina rose above 1,000 for the first time on Tuesday, and the head of the Pan-American Health Organisation warned that the illness is "surging in new places" where transmission levels had previously been low
  17. Reality Check

    A lesson from Germany?

    Earlier on Wednesday, Professor Chris Whitty – the chief medical officer for England – was asked what his biggest regret was in the handling of the pandemic

    He said he wished that testing could have been speeded up “very early on” in the outbreak, and mentioned Germany as an example.

    In the week ending 4 April, Germany was using 132 laboratories to carrying out an average of 116,655 diagnostic tests for Covid-19 per day.

    The total number of tests done by that date was over 1.3 million.

    The UK, by contrast, had carried out a total of 316,836 tests by 10 April and didn't hit its target of 100,000 daily tests until the end of that month.

  18. Belgian prince faces €10,000 fine for breaking lockdown rules

    File pic of Prince Joachim from May 2019

    Prince Joachim has already apologised for breaching Spain's quarantine rules when he travelled to the southern city of Córdoba last month.

    Now he will be up to €10,400 (£9,200; $11,800) out of pocket too.

    The 28-year-old prince, a nephew of King Philippe of Belgium, travelled to Spain last month for what the palace had described as an internship and a "family event". He later tested positive for Covid-19 and health officials had to get in touch with people he had been in contact with.

    According to local reports, the prince has been fined for failing to observe the necessary 14-day quarantine and attending two meetings or parties.

    If he pays up within 15 days, he only needs to pay half the fine.

  19. Catching up on global headlines

    National Guard members deploy near the White House
    Image caption: Several members of the National Guard in Washington DC have tested positive for Covid-19

    If you're just joining us, here are the latest coronavirus headlines from around the world:

    • The pandemic will have "dire" economic consequences globally, a report has warned. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said global output could shrink by 7.6% this year
    • France is likely to suffer 800,000 job losses in coming months as a result of the pandemic, its finance minister has said
    • Japan’s lower house of parliament attempted to offset the economic impact of the outbreak by approving an emergency budget worth more than £230bn ($293bn; 258bn euros)
    • Some European countries are set to lift their border controls. Germany will open its borders with Switzerland, France, Austria and Denmark on Monday, while Austria is to end quarantine requirements for more than 20 European countries
    • In Italy, prosecutors say they will question members of the government over their handling of the outbreak. PM Conte said he would be questioned on Friday over his government's response in the northern city of Bergamo
    • In the US, several members of the Washington DC National Guard tested positive for Covid-19 after being deployed to the recent Black Lives Matter protests
  20. Analysis: Fine line to tread over virus risks

    Nick Triggle

    Health Correspondent

    The pandemic has, effectively, become a game of risk management – that’s because, as UK chief medical adviser Chris Witty says, nothing is “risk free”.

    We could continue to suppress the virus by not easing lockdown any further. That would further reduce the spread of coronavirus – and no doubt save lives.

    But it would come at a huge cost – economically, socially, to children’s education and also to people’s health, whether it is from mental or physical illness linked to continued strict curbs.

    So instead, the government and its advisers are treading a fine fine, and trying to navigate a way through this (whether they are doing a good job or not is a different question).

    The aim is to keep the spread of the virus low, while re-opening society.

    Whatever is done there will be losers. After all, there is a new virus circulating, which for some is deadly.

    In the end it will come down to both political judgements, in terms of how quickly restrictions continue to be lifted, and also individual judgements in terms of how quickly we each embrace the new freedoms.

    That, unfortunately, is the way life is in this pandemic.