WORLD NEWS | Trump Tells GM: Stop ‘wasting time’, build ventilators to address coronavirus

BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday invoked emergency powers to require General Motors Co to build much- needed ventilators for coronavirus patients after he accused the largest U.S. automaker of ‘wasting time’ during negotiations.

Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, saying ‘negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course’.

He said the action ‘will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives’.

GM said in a statement in response to Trump it has been working with ventilator firm Ventec Life Systems and GM suppliers ‘around the clock for over a week to meet this urgent need’ and said its commitment to Ventec’s ventilators ‘has never wavered’.

The act grants the president power to expand industrial production of any key materials or products for national security and other reasons. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and other Democrats have urged him to invoke the act, but the president had been reluctant to do so until now.

On Friday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States topped 100,000, the highest in the world according to a Reuters tally. The U.S. death toll topped 1,550.

Trump criticized the U.S. automakers and later said he expected thousands of ventilators would be produced as part of the U.S. response. He did not specify if he was referring to the devices GM would be required to make under the order.

The attack on the automakers coincided with rising tension between Trump and the Democratic governors of New York and Michigan, who have criticized the administration’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic. On Thursday evening, Trump questioned in an interview on the Fox News network whether New York state needed 30,000 ventilators to cope with rising numbers of coronavirus patients, as Cuomo had said.

GM and Ford separately announced earlier this week they were working with medical equipment companies to help boost ventilator production.

GM and its partner Ventec confirmed after Trump’s tweets that the No. 1 U.S. automaker would deploy 1,000 workers to build ventilators at its Kokomo, Indiana, parts plant and ship as soon as next month. It was aiming to build more than 10,000 per month with the ability to go higher. Suppliers in the effort were told the target was 200,000 ventilators.

But early Friday, before GM issued its release, Trump attacked the automaker and Chief Executive Mary Barra on Twitter, reviving his grievance with Barra for closing and selling a car factory in Ohio, a state critical to the president’s re-election campaign.

“General Motors MUST immediately open their stupidly abandoned Lordstown plant in Ohio, or some other plant, and START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!! FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!!!!!!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday.

“They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed ventilators, ‘very quickly’,” Trump said on Twitter of GM and Ventec’s effort. “Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar.”

Trump’s comments about GM and Ford came after a New York Times story Thursday suggested the White House had backed away from announcing a major ventilator deal with GM and Ventec because the price tag was too high. That drew criticism from Democrats.

Following Trump’s tweets, Ford said it was moving as fast as it could to gear up its ventilator manufacturing efforts and was in “active conversations” with the Trump administration seeking approvals. Ford said it has “teams working flat-out with GE Healthcare to boost production of simplified ventilators.”

Other automakers have said they are working to produce ventilators, masks and other medical equipment.

On Friday, Toyota Motor Corp said it was “finalizing agreements to begin working with at least two companies that produce ventilators and respirators to help increase their capacity.”

New York City Mayor Bill be Blasio on Friday said on Twitter that Tesla Inc had agreed to donate hundreds of ventilators to hospital intensive care units in New York City and the state of New York.

 Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk in response said the electric carmaker was helping locate and deliver existing ventilators.

 Tesla on Friday did not respond to a request for comment on where it got the ventilators from and whether the company was producing any ventilators of its own, something Musk has said the company will do.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Ferrari previously said they were exploring making ventilators in Italy.


CORONAVIRUS | Pakistan Has More Confirmed Covid-19 Cases Than China

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Pakistan now has 85,264 confirmed cases of Covid-19, authorities said, becoming the latest country to overtake the total in China, where the pandemic began. At least 1,770 virus-related deaths have also been recorded in Pakistan. The country lifted its nationwide lockdown in early May, though the rate of new infections … Continue reading CORONAVIRUS | Pakistan Has More Confirmed Covid-19 Cases Than China

CORONAVIRUS | Surgeon General Warns Of Coronavirus Outbreak From Floyd Protests

NEW YORK – U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said to expect new outbreaks of the coronavirus from the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd that have seen thousands of people gather in close proximity. While a majority of protesters nationwide have worn masks and face coverings as they demand justice for Floyd, … Continue reading CORONAVIRUS | Surgeon General Warns Of Coronavirus Outbreak From Floyd Protests

U.S. NEWS | Los Angeles Mayor Says He Won’t Increase The Police Budget

While addressing plans to reform the Los Angeles police department earlier today, Mayor Garcetti said he will not be increasing the police budget. He explained that ‘this is bigger than just a budget’, and ‘it’s time to move our rhetoric towards actions to end racism in our society’. He announced that the city had identified … Continue reading U.S. NEWS | Los Angeles Mayor Says He Won’t Increase The Police Budget

ARTS & CULTURE | Thunaiyat Al-Diriyah Foundation is KSA’s First Art Biennale

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi minister of culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan just established Al – Diriyah Biennale Foundation for Contemporary Art, the first art biennale to be set in Saudi Arabia. The biennale will focus on two central themes: an exhibition of contemporary art for the first edition set for 2021 … Continue reading ARTS & CULTURE | Thunaiyat Al-Diriyah Foundation is KSA’s First Art Biennale

BUSINESS NEWS | Zoom Doubles Full-Year Revenue Forecast On Remote – Work Boost

NEW YORK | Zoom Video Communication Inc. nearly doubled its expectations for annual sales on Tuesday, riding on a surge in usage of its video conferencing platform due to coronavirus – driven lockdown measures globally. However, the latest quarterly reported shows the issue had little impact on its numbers. The company said it now had … Continue reading BUSINESS NEWS | Zoom Doubles Full-Year Revenue Forecast On Remote – Work Boost

BUSINESS | Twitter Names Ex-Google CFO Patrick Pichette Chairman

NEW YORK | Twitter Inc. said on Tuesday that it appointed Patrick Pichette, former chief financial officer at Google, as chairman, replacing Omid Kordestani. Pichette has been the lead independent director on Twitter’s board since the end of 2018, and his appointment as chairman coincide with the microblogging site’s escalating tensions with President Donald Trump. … Continue reading BUSINESS | Twitter Names Ex-Google CFO Patrick Pichette Chairman

BUSINESS | Spanish Nightclub Industry Draws Up Code To Allow Safe Parting

MADRID | Spain – Dancing with masks on, sipping drinks with straws and keeping to market off areas of the dance floor are among post-lockdown safety proposal aimed at helping Spain’s nightclubs reopen their doors in time for the summer season. Clubs have been shut since the government imposed one of the most stringent coronavirus … Continue reading BUSINESS | Spanish Nightclub Industry Draws Up Code To Allow Safe Parting

NEWS | Saudi King Orders Appointment Of 156 Members To Judiciary

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud order on Monday the appointment of 156 men and women with the rank of investigative lieutenant to Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecution. Attorney General Skeikh Saudi bin Abdullah Al-Mujab said the order is in line with King Salman’s ongoing … Continue reading NEWS | Saudi King Orders Appointment Of 156 Members To Judiciary

BUSINESS | Malls, Private Businesses To Reopen In Dubai On Wednesday

DUBAI – Dubai will allow the full reopening of malls and private business starting on Wednesday, its media office said, in the latest easing of coronavirus restrictions, the emirate’s media office announced. ‘Shopping malls and private sector businesses in the emirate will fully operate at 100 percent from Wednesday’, the Dubai Media Office tweeted on … Continue reading BUSINESS | Malls, Private Businesses To Reopen In Dubai On Wednesday

BUSINESS NEWS | LVMH – Tiffany Deal Seen Au Uncertain: WWD

PARIS – French luxury goods group LVMH’s board called a meeting in Paris to discuss its $16.2 – billion offer for Tiffany & Co amid a deteriorating situation in the U.S. market, fashion trade publication WWD reported on Tuesday, citing sources. Tiffany did not immediately respond to a request for comment and LVMH declined comment.

SPORTS NEWS | F1 Set For A Series Of Firsts With Revised Race Calendar

LONDON – Formula One is set for a series of firsts after publishing a revised eight – race schedule on Tuesday that will see Austria’s Red Bull Ring and Britian’s Silverstone circuit each host two grands prix without spectators in July and August respectively. The season, which originally envisaged a record 22 races, has been … Continue reading SPORTS NEWS | F1 Set For A Series Of Firsts With Revised Race Calendar

BLACK LIVES MATTER | Small, Independent Fashion Brands Are Leading The Fundraising Efforts For Black Lives Matter And Bail Funds

While much of the fashion community has posted about the Black Lives Matter movement on social media, the number of companies that have announced sizable donations to causes are few. Yes, Rihanna’s lingerie line, Savage X Fenty, has donated to Black Lives Matter’s New York chapter and the Bail Project, and Ganni has pledged $100,000 … Continue reading BLACK LIVES MATTER | Small, Independent Fashion Brands Are Leading The Fundraising Efforts For Black Lives Matter And Bail Funds

NEWS ALERT | Saudi-Led Coalition Says Shot Down Two Drones Launched By Yemen’s Houthis: Agency

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – The Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen shot down two drones launched in the direction of Saudi Arabia by the Houthi group, Saudi States News Agency SPA reported, citing a coalition spokesman. The two drones were launched the border town of Khamis Mushait, SPA said, accusing Houthi forces of targeting civilian … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Saudi-Led Coalition Says Shot Down Two Drones Launched By Yemen’s Houthis: Agency

NEWS | Putin and Trump Discussed G7 Summit, Oil Markets In Call: Kremlin

BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – U.S. President Donald Trump told President Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Monday about his idea of holding an expanded Group of Seven Summit later this year with a possible invitation for Russia, the Kremlin and the White House said. Trump said on Saturday he would postpone a G7 Summit … Continue reading NEWS | Putin and Trump Discussed G7 Summit, Oil Markets In Call: Kremlin

BUSINESS | Saudi FX Reserve Down Sharply In April To Back Wealth Fund Investments

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi foreign reserves dropped sharply in April for a second consecutive month as the kingdom used tens of billions of dollars to back investments of its sovereign fund abroad while its economy is hit hard by the new coronavirus. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is suffering from historic … Continue reading BUSINESS | Saudi FX Reserve Down Sharply In April To Back Wealth Fund Investments

TRAVEL | Seychelles Bans Cruise Ships Through 2021 To Prevent Covid-19 Spread

The Seychelles is taking the bold step of banning all cruise ship tourism through the end of 2021 as a measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. The East Arica island nation’s largest, the Seychelles Nation, reports that Didier Dogley, the country’s Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, made the decision. According … Continue reading TRAVEL | Seychelles Bans Cruise Ships Through 2021 To Prevent Covid-19 Spread

BUSINESS NEWS | Russia Has No Objection To Earlier OPEC+ Meeting: Sources

LONDON – Russia has no objection to the next meeting of OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, being brought forward to June 4 from the following week, three OPEC+ sources familiar with the meeting’s preparations told Reuters on Sunday. Algeria, which currently holds the presidency of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has … Continue reading BUSINESS NEWS | Russia Has No Objection To Earlier OPEC+ Meeting: Sources

SPORTS NEWS | Hamilton Criticizes F1 For Staying Silent On Floyd Death

LONDON – Six times Formula One motor racing champion Lewis Hamilton has criticized his sport for its silence on the killing of George Floys, an unarmed black man who died after a white U.S. police officer knelt on his neck. The death in Minneapolis triggered a wave of outrage and violent protests in the United … Continue reading SPORTS NEWS | Hamilton Criticizes F1 For Staying Silent On Floyd Death

BUSINESS | Coty To Appoint Chairman Peter Harf As Its New CEO: ESJ

JEDDAH | SAUDI ARABIA – Coty Inc. is set to announce that Peter Harf, its current chairman, will become the cosmetics company’s new chief executive officer, replacing Pierre Laubies, that Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter. Coty declined to comment on the report. Harf’s appointment would come as a … Continue reading BUSINESS | Coty To Appoint Chairman Peter Harf As Its New CEO: ESJ

FASHION | The Paris Haute Couture Shows Will Go Digital This July

PARIS – Paris’s haute couture Fashion Week will go digital this July, translating the craftsmanship of couture to a virtual format for the first time. From July 6 to 8, the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode will host videos from accredited couture maisons on a dedicated platform. The videos will be … Continue reading FASHION | The Paris Haute Couture Shows Will Go Digital This July

SCIENCE NEWS | NASA resumes human spaceflight from U.S. soil with historic SpaceX launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA – SpaceX, the private rocket company of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, launched two Americans toward orbit from Florida on Saturday in a mission that marks the first spaceflight of NASA astronauts from U.S. soil in nine years. A SpaceXFalcom 9 rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center at 3:22 p.m. EDT … Continue reading SCIENCE NEWS | NASA resumes human spaceflight from U.S. soil with historic SpaceX launch

NEWS ALERT | Saudi Arabia Opens Prophet’s Mosque In Medina To The Public From May 31

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz approved on Friday opening the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina to the public starting from Sunday, May 31, as part of the government’s plan to ease coronavirus restrictions and re-open the Kingdom. Worshippers will be able to enter the Prophet’s Mosque for group prayers, with … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Saudi Arabia Opens Prophet’s Mosque In Medina To The Public From May 31

NEWS ALERT | Saudi Arabia Allows Gatherings, Family Visits Of 50 People, Sets Fines

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia modified the coronavirus regarding limiting gatherings and family visits to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Interior said in Saturday, according to state news agency SPA. The maximum number of people allowed to gathering family visits, non-family gatherings inside homes, gatherings in farms, and social events … Continue reading NEWS ALERT | Saudi Arabia Allows Gatherings, Family Visits Of 50 People, Sets Fines

ENTERTAINMENT | Kylie Jenner Is Not A Billionaire, Forbes Magazine Now Say

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Forbes magazine, which in March 2019 declared reality TV star Kylie Jenner had become the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, said on Friday that is no longer believed that her net worth was that much. The magazine said it reviewed financial data released by Coty INC, which bought a 51 percent … Continue reading ENTERTAINMENT | Kylie Jenner Is Not A Billionaire, Forbes Magazine Now Say

BUSINESS | ZOOM Plans To Roll Out Strong Encryption for paying customers only

NEW YORK – Zoom, the video conferencing provider whose business had boomed with the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to strengthen encryption on video calls made by paying clients and institutions like schools, but not for users of its popular free accounts, a company official said Friday. The company previewed its intentions on a call with civil … Continue reading BUSINESS | ZOOM Plans To Roll Out Strong Encryption for paying customers only

ROYALS | Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s LA Home Is Being Inundated by Drones

JEDDAH | SAUDI ARABIA – Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, like many of us in the U.S., spend Memorial Day weekend taking in the sun, sitting poolside with their family, and…spotting a small drone flying just a couple feet above their head? Okay, most families didn’t have to deal with that last one, but Meghan … Continue reading ROYALS | Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s LA Home Is Being Inundated by Drones

WORLD NEWS | Trump Says Terminating U.S. Relationship With World Health Organization Over Virus

NEW YORK – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he is termination the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus, saying the WHO has essentially become a puppet organization of China. Appearing in the White House Rose Garden, Trump went ahead with repeated threats to eliminate American funding … Continue reading WORLD NEWS | Trump Says Terminating U.S. Relationship With World Health Organization Over Virus

BUSINESS NEWS | Saudi Arabia Says It Provided $40 Billion To PIF From Foreign Reserves

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia transferred a total of 150 billion riyals ($40 billion) from central bank foreign reserves to fund investments by sovereign wealth fund PIF in March and April, the finance minister said on Friday. Saudi Arabia’s central bank foreign reserves fell in March by nearly $27 billion month-on-month, their fastest … Continue reading BUSINESS NEWS | Saudi Arabia Says It Provided $40 Billion To PIF From Foreign Reserves

ARTS & CULTURE | France’s Louvre Museum To Reopen July 6, Versailles June 6

PARIS | FRANCE – The Louvre museum in Paris will reopen on July 6, it said on Friday, as France’s historical and cultural sites emerge gradually from the coronavirus lockdown. In a statement, France’s most visited museum said a booking system and new signposting would offer visitors the maximum possible safety while they are in … Continue reading ARTS & CULTURE | France’s Louvre Museum To Reopen July 6, Versailles June 6

SOCIAL MEDIA | Twitter Hides Trump Tweet For ‘Glorifying Violence’

JEDDAH | SAUDI ARABIA – Twitter hid a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump behind a warning for the first time on Friday, accusing him of breaking its rules by ‘glorifying violence’ in a message that said looters at protests in Minneapolis would be shot. Twitter’s decision to step in escalates a feud between Trump … Continue reading SOCIAL MEDIA | Twitter Hides Trump Tweet For ‘Glorifying Violence’

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