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Live Reporting

Edited by Sarah Collerton and Claudia Allen

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's it from us

    We're now pausing our live coverage for the day and will be back tomorrow. Thanks for joining us.

    Here's a list of those who contributed to the live page today.

    Our writers included: Frances Mao, Aparna Allurri, Andreas Illmer, Mal Siret, Ashitha Nagesh, Victoria Lindrea, Toby Luckhurst and Alex Therrien.

    The editors for the page throughout the day were Owen Amos, Paul Kirby, Sean Fanning, Sarah Collerton and Claudia Allen.

  2. A look back at today's main developments

    Rishi Sunak delivering his statement

    We'll soon be suspending our live page coverage for the day.

    Here is a round-up of today's biggest developments from the UK and around the globe:

    • UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a package of measures aimed at combating the economic damage caused by the coronavirus. He announced a cut in VAT on hospitality, a stamp duty holiday and a £1,000 bonus to employers who keep staff employed when the job retention scheme ends, among other things. Read more here
    • Those fancying a meal out also got a welcome boost in the chancellor's emergency plan, with diners set to get a 50% discount off their restaurant bill during August. The "eat out to help out" deal will allow people to get up to £10 off per head if they eat out between Monday and Wednesday
    • The US has passed three million confirmed cases of coronavirus, as infections continue to surge in a number of states. However, VP Mike Pence has said the latest wave of cases is flattening out
    • Australia's second-largest city, Melbourne, has gone back into lockdown, after a surge in cases locally. Residents will now only be allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons, including food shopping and exercise, for six weeks
    • Ministers who have had contact with Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, over the past days are getting tested for coronavirus. Mr Bolsonaro announced on Tuesday that he had tested positive after developing a high temperature and a cough
  3. Texas set to resume executions amid pandemic

    The lethal injection chamber in Huntsville, Texas

    Texas is set to resume executions on Wednesday after a five month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the state.

    Billy Joe Wardlow, 45, is to be put to death for the the robbery and murder of a 82-year-old man in 1993, when he was 18.

    On Tuesday, Texas broke its single day record with over 10,000 new infections.

    Texas is not the first state to resume executions after suspending them amid virus lockdowns across the country. Missouri executed a prisoner on 19 May.

    Read the full story here.

  4. Why are we 'milking' crabs for a coronavirus vaccine?

    Horseshoe crabs gather along a beach at night

    Horseshoe crab blood is used to help develop medicine, but some people want the practice stopped.

    Read more about why the blood of these "living fossils" is used to help make sure there are no dangerous bacteria in newly created drugs here.

  5. Pence: Here to help on schools

    Mike Pence

    As we reported earlier, VP Mike Pence has been holding a press briefing, where he confirmed the US has passed 3 million cases of the virus.

    He's downplayed a threat from President Trump over schools reopening, saying the White House would be "very respectful" of states and communities who decide they can't fully open their schools.

    "We're here to help," Mr Pence - a former governor of Indiana - told reporters.

    "We don't want federal guidance to be a substitute for state and local laws and rules and guidance. We're here to assist with the shared objective, which I think is shared by every parent in America, which is we want to get our kids back. We want to get them back in the classroom."

    His tone was markedly different to that of President Trump, who earlier today threatened to cut off funding to schools that don't open in the autumn. He also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidelines for reopening schools were "very tough and expensive".

    View more on twitter

    Schools in the US normally begin the year in either August or early September.

    The CDC's guidelines suggest pupils and staff all wear face coverings and stay at home if necessary. They also suggest schools should implement staggered timetables and socially distanced seating arrangements, and close communal spaces.

    However Mr Pence said the agency would be issuing new guidelines soon.

    The US has the highest number of infections, and the highest death toll, in the world.

  6. The difference between droplet and airborne transmission

    The Visual and Data Journalism Team

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged there is "emerging evidence" that Covid-19 could be spread through particles in the air.

    It comes after more than 200 scientists wrote an open letter to the agency urging officials to recognise the possibility of airborne transmission of the virus.

    Current guidelines from the WHO focus on the virus being spread primarily through droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.

    So what is the difference between droplet and airborne transmission? We've produced this graphic to show you.

    The difference between droplet and airborne transmission
  7. Serb president backtracks on weekend curfew plans

    Guy Delauney

    BBC News, Belgrade

    Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic says it is unlikely there will be a long-weekend curfew in Belgrade. It follows overnight protests in the capital after he announced a possible lockdown.

    Mr Vucic says the final decision will be made tomorrow by Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar.

    He asked protesters to stay at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus - and blamed right-wing extremists for the violent scenes at the National Assembly. Opposition parties had announced plans for another protest this evening.

    Serbia has reported 341 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.

    Police officers stand guard as demonstrators gather during an anti-government rally, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in front of the parliament building in Belgrade, Serbia, July 8, 2020
    Image caption: Police are guarding the Serb parliament again this evening after Tuesday night's violent scenes
  8. University to charter plane for Chinese students

    Qatar aircraft
    Image caption: The flight, operated by Qatar airlines, leaves Beijing on 18 September

    Queen's University in Belfast has chartered a jumbo jet to take hundreds of students from China to Northern Ireland.

    The September flight is strictly for Queen's students travelling to the university, with flights priced at £616 one way.

    Chinese students offer a vital source of income at a time when Covid-19 has triggered fears about huge losses across the higher education sector.

    "With international travel badly impacted by the pandemic, and with many people still wary of travelling via London and other major airports, flying students from China to Belfast is seen as reassuring to both students and their families, while helping reduce fuss and anxiety levels for those making the trip," the university said in a statement on its website.

    Students will have to take a Covid-19 test 48 hours before departure in order to board the Boeing 777. Depending on government guidance in September, students will be transported to Queen's accommodation for quarantine if required.

    Read more.

  9. Nigeria resumes domestic flights

    Ishaq Khalid

    BBC News, Abuja

    A passenger wearing a face mask pushes a trolley outside the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport
    Image caption: Passengers are required to wear face masks at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja

    Domestic passenger flights have resumed in Nigeria more than three months after they were suspended as part of measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

    Airports in the capital Abuja and the commercial hub Lagos have begun operating again, while other airports across the country will follow in the coming days.

    A number of measures have been put in place to check the spread of the coronavirus - including disinfecting passengers‘ luggage and footwear, mandatory wearing of face mask at airports, washing of hands before entry into the terminal building and social distancing.

    Authorities also say only passengers are allowed into the terminal building and they must arrive at least three hours before their flight.

    The reopening of the airports for domestic flights is part of the gradual easing of coronavirus restrictions to help bring the economy back to life.

    However, international flights remain suspended until further notice.

    The number of coronavirus cases in Nigeria continues to rise sharply daily.

    The country has recorded 29,879 cases of the virus, 12,108 recoveries and 669 deaths.

  10. VP Pence reacts to US passing 3m cases

    Mike Pence removing mask to speak to reporters

    We reported earlier that the US has passed 3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

    Vice President Mike Pence has just confirmed this at a press conference, and added that more than 130,000 people had died.

    Removing his mask to address reporters, Pence went on to defend President Trump's handling of the pandemic. He said the latest wave of cases seemed to be flattening out.

    "While we mourn with those who mourn, because of what the American people have done, because of the extraordinary work of our healthcare workers around the country, we are encouraged that the average fatality rate continues to be low and steady," he said.

  11. Pandemic pushes Brooks Brothers into bankruptcy

    Brooks Brothers, one of America's oldest clothing brands, has become the latest US retailer to fall into bankruptcy.

    The menswear company, which is more than 200 years old, sought court protection from creditors on Wednesday while it looks for a buyer.

    It had already shut stores and warned of plans to close its US factories.

    Known for its suits, it joins J Crew, JC Penney and Neiman Marcus as a business casualty of the pandemic.

    The company dates back to 1818 and employs more than 4,000 people.

    Read more here.

  12. The animals abandoned during lockdown

    The RSPCA has voiced fears that there will be a surge in abandoned animals in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

    Dogs Penny and Storm were rescued by the RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre in Woking, south-east England, during lockdown.

    BBC Breakfast went to meet them and got these tips for people who are struggling with a pet.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: The animals abandoned during lockdown
  13. Analysis: Chancellor promises hope - but job fears will persist

    Laura Kuenssberg

    Political editor

    The chancellor has just outlined another hefty chunk of spending to try to prop up the UK economy, specifically to try to keep millions of people from joining the dole.

    Many of the measures run against traditional Tory instincts. And there isn't a whiff of how any of it will be paid for at least another couple of months.

    But that's against the background of the sharpest decline in the economy in generations, with the fortunes of what will actually happen next dependent on the progress of a deadly disease.

    The opposition parties already suggest that the scale of what the government is proposing falls short of what will be required.

    Rishi Sunak admitted in his statement "our plan will not be the last - it is the next", knowing full well that the profound economic impact of the coronavirus crisis is far from passed.

    Read more from Laura here.

  14. BreakingUS passes 3m coronavirus cases

    The number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in the United States has officially passed 3 million, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

    More than 131,000 people in the US have now died with Covid-19.

  15. UK coronavirus death toll rises by 126 to 44,517

    The UK death toll for those who have tested positive for coronavirus has risen by 126 to 44,517, the Department of Health and Social Care has said.

    The below charts show the figures - and trends in the numbers - in more detail.

    Coronavirus figures
    Coronavirus cases
    Different ways of measuring Covid-19 deaths
    Downward trend in daily deaths
  16. South Africa records 10,000 new cases in 24 hours

    Pumza Fihlani

    BBC News, Johannesburg

    Gauteng MEC for Health, Dr Bandile Masuku
    Image caption: Gauteng is expected to be the next coronavirus epicentre

    South Africa now has the 14th highest number of Covid-19 infections globally and officials are concerned it is spreading rapidly.

    More than 10,000 new infections and 192 deaths were recorded over the last 24 hours.

    The Western Cape has the most cases currently, with just over 72,000 infections.

    But Guateng, the country’s economic hub, is set to become the new epicentre of the disease in the next few days.

    Prof Salim Abdool Karim, chairperson of the Covid-19 ministerial advisory committee, said the virus was spreading fastest in Gauteng for two reasons:

    The province has the highest traffic of foreign and domestic employees, and Gauteng also has the highest population density.

    Although the re-opening of more industries is deemed necessary to save the economy, the government has asked South Africans to continue taking precautions to help slow down the spread of the virus.

    At least 3,470 people in South Africa have died from the disease.

  17. National Gallery in London reopens to public

    People queue outside London's National Gallery

    The National Gallery has reopened its doors to the public.

    The London gallery has become the first of the major UK art institutions to reopen as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

    Visitors to the gallery will follow one-way routes and any visit must be booked in advance. Two-metre social distancing rules are in place and visitors are being encouraged to wear face coverings.

    The gallery's Titian exhibition has reopened - after being forced to close in March, three days into its run.

    "People are desperate for some good news and some places to go and, frankly, I think that the arts are very important in people's wellbeing," said the gallery's director, Gabriele Finaldi.

    "We're very keen to be part of that recovery process."

  18. Melbourne gets in last round before lockdown

    Diners at a restaurant in Melbourne
    Image caption: Diners in Melbourne after the first lockdown was eased last month

    Melbourne is now officially in lockdown, again, for six weeks, after a surge in cases of coronavirus.

    People in the city, where it's now the early hours of 9 July, are barred from leaving their homes other than in very specific circumstances, such as work, exercise and shopping for food.

    Schools will largely return to distance learning and restaurants will only be permitted to serve takeaway food, although hairdressers will remain open.

    Before heading indoors for a month and a half, many Melburnians went out for dinner and drinks, while others had their friends over for a final hurrah.

    View more on twitter

    But people aren't just worried about the next six weeks. According to Melbourne's The Age, as many as 15% of the city's businesses face permanent closure because of the economic impact of the second lockdown.

  19. 2020 Ryder Cup postponed due to coronavirus

    Ryder Cup

    The Ryder Cup has become the latest sporting event to be postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The golf competition between the United States and Europe was due to take place this year at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, on 25-27 September.

    It has now been rescheduled for 24-26 September 2021.

    Professional men's golf in the US has resumed behind closed doors but players say the biennial event should not go ahead without fans.

    The Olympics and Wimbledon are just some of the other sporting events that were unable to take place this year due to the pandemic.

  20. Romania hit with record new infections

    Swing chairs for kids are wrapped and locked onto the upper bar while the whole kids play installation in Bucharest, Romania
    Image caption: Romania's capital, Bucharest, is one of the country's worst affected cities

    Romania has reported its highest daily number of infections since the country's first case of coronavirus was confirmed.

    The record tally of 555 new cases over a 24-hour period brings Romania's total to 30,175 infections, the government said today.

    The last time the number of confirmed daily infections breached 500 was on 11 April, when 523 cases were reported.

    Since Romania's first infections were announced on 26 February, 1,817 people have died in the country.

    It comes as the Netherlands and Austria adopt new coronavirus measures against countries in the Balkans in response to rising infections there.

    The Dutch government shut the borders again to people from Serbia and Montenegro, while Austria has warned against travel to Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova.