Coronavirus latest: Merkel calls on EU to close ski resorts to fend off Covid spread

President-elect Joe Biden urged Americans to forgo their traditional Thanksgiving customs during the pandemic, warning of the dangers of coronavirus “fatigue”. “This is the moment where we need to steel our spines, redouble our efforts and recommit ourselves to the fight,” Mr Biden said in a Thanksgiving speech.

ExxonMobil said it will sack up to 300 workers at its Canadian affiliates, including oil sands producer Imperial Oil, as it continues to reduce costs in the wake of the coronavirus-led crash this year. “The impact of Covid-19 on the demand for ExxonMobil’s products has increased the urgency of the efficiency work,” the company said.

Turkey is in the midst of a severe resurgence of coronavirus, the country’s health minister has confirmed as he announced a full figure for confirmed new daily cases after months of opacity. Health minister Fahrettin Koca said in a press conference that authorities had identified 28,351 confirmed cases of the virus in the past 24 hours.

The UK pub industry has outlined the desperate straits they face over the Christmas period in a letter to the prime minister that calls for the immediate publication of evidence of the virus spreading in pubs. The letter was signed by the British Beer and Pub Association alongside the majority of the UK’s large pub groups.

New York on Wednesday reported more than 6,000 coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time in seven months. A further 6,265 people tested positive over 24 hours, Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed at a press conference, up from 4,881 on Tuesday.

The US goods trade deficit swelled last month as a recovery in domestic demand has driven imports back above pre-crisis levels. The trade gap, which US president Donald Trump had vowed to slash during his four years in office, widened to $80.3bn in October, from $79.4bn in September, the Department of Commerce said.

More than £56m has been set aside to support an additional 1,000 loans for entrepreneurs under the start-up loans scheme administered by the state-owned British Business Bank. The government has said that £519m would be allocated for the broader Covid-19 loans schemes through 2021.

Global trade rose for the fourth consecutive month in September, narrowing the gap with last year’s level as China’s economic rebound fuelled global imports and exports. The volume of international goods trade rose 2.1 per cent in September compared with August, according to a widely watched world trade monitor published by the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

Large minorities in “frugal” EU countries are concerned about the misuse of the bloc’s €750bn pandemic recovery fund. The EU sealed a deal on the recovery fund in July after resistance from Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden, which were opposed to the idea of permitting the union to borrow money and hand it out as budgetary expenditure for member states.

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