House passes' $3T 'HEROES' aid for stimulus checks, rent assistance

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
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Truckers protest low rates and lack of broker transparency along Constitution Avenue in Washington on May 15, 2020.Olivier Douliery / AFP - Getty Images

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The global coronavirus death toll passed 300,000, with more than 4.4 million confirmed cases around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. remains the world's worst-hit country, with more than 86,600 deaths.

Friday evening the House passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that would include another round of stimulus payments of up to $1,200 per person. President Donald Trump has suggested he won't support the bill.

Critics Friday said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is presenting families detained at the border with the choice of allowing children to be released without them or staying together and facing possible virus exposure in detention.

Additionally, the CDC issued a health alert to physicians on a rare but potentially deadly condition linked to COVID-19 in children that has now been reported in at least 19 states and Washington, D.C.

Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments:

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Pandemic teleworking is straining families, E.U. study says

The COVID-19 pandemic is placing unprecedented strain on families and working life, an E.U. study showed on Friday, with more than a fifth of people who now work at home in households with younger children struggling to concentrate on their jobs.

The study by the E.U. agency Eurofound, found that over a third of people working in the European Union had started working remotely or teleworking as a result of the pandemic.

"The toll this pandemic has taken on family life cannot be ignored," said Mary McCaughey of Eurofound. "Parents are facing unprecedented challenges." 

Wuhan to test all 11 million residents as China tries to avoid second wave

All 11 million residents of Wuhan will be tested for the coronavirus, officials in the Chinese city where the outbreak began last year said on Friday, as the country marked one month without any reported deaths from the disease.

Beijing also responded to the latest volley from President Donald Trump, who said he didn't want to speak to President Xi Jinping at the moment, and added that he could cut ties with the world's second-largest economy if he wanted to.

China called for "maintaining the stable development of Sino-U.S. relations" Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told press on Friday. 

Read the full story here.

A medical worker takes a swab sample in Wuhan, China. AFP - Getty Images

April retail sales fell by 16.4 percent, the lowest level on record

April retail sales sank by 16.4 percent to their lowest level on record, as stores and restaurants felt the full weight of a month of coronavirus closures.

The monthly sales data, which measures spending at places such as gas stations, restaurants, bars, and stores, was released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

The number was worse than economists had been anticipating, with most having forecast a 12 percent drop.

By comparison, March sales were down by 8.3 percent, which was at that time the worst decline since records began in 1992.

Consumer spending drives around three-quarters of the U.S. economy, but social distancing measures have restricted business operations, limited driving, and forced the closure of most retail stores and food service locations.

Amal Clooney: Coronavirus exacerbates 'existing human rights crisis'

Catholic churches gradually reopen in Pittsburgh

Catholic churches in the Diocese of Pittsburgh will gradually reopen on Friday in most areas, with private prayers, baptisms and confession allowed, the diocese announced.

Worshipers will be required to follow social distancing rules and wear masks. Daily masses are scheduled to resume on June 1, with a goal of restarting weekend masses over the weekend of June 6 and 7. 

“It fills my heart with so much joy to think of the doors of our Churches opening once again,” said Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik. "I’ve heard from so many who have missed praying in their parishes, I’ve missed it too."

Moscow announces massive antibody testing program

Moscow health officials launched an ambitious antibody screening program Friday to evaluate the population’s immunity levels as coronavirus cases continue to grow across Russia, with more than 260,00 cases reported nationwide.

In a blog post explaining how the effort will work, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that every several days 70,000 residents will be selected and invited into one of 30 state clinics across the city to be given an enzyme test for Immunoglobulin M antibodies. Sobyanin said the effort was necessary to provide an informed answer to the question of when Moscow can begin lifting a strict lockdown that has been in place for the past six weeks, and is currently not scheduled to end before May 31.

Sobyanin’s decision would seem to be a subtle rebuke to President Vladimir Putin, who earlier this week lifted a federal stay at home order and declared Russia was now ready to begin a gradual easing of restrictions — despite growing case numbers that surpassed a quarter of a million by mid-week, propelling Russia’s outbreak to be the second largest in the world.

Germany begins to loosen quarantine requirement for some travelers

German states have begun to loosen requirements on travelers entering the country in the coming days, with North-Rhine Westphalia now allowing travelers from other E.U. states, as well as the U.K., Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway, to forego a 14-day quarantine following arrival.

Other Germans states are expected to lift the quarantine restrictions in the next few days. However, restrictions around who is allowed to enter the country still remain in place. That means only those with a valid reason to enter the country, such as family ties or medical personnel, will be allowed in. 

The goal is to restore free travel by June 15, however, a resurgence of the pandemic in these nations could lead to a reinstatement of the stricter measures, officials have said.

Trump says he lost five people to the coronavirus

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he has personally lost five people who contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

"It's a very tough disease. I lost five people that I know. A couple of very good friends, too, out of it," he said in an interview with The Washington Examiner.

Trump added that he's never lost anyone because of the flu. The president did not identify any of the five people and did not elaborate further on who they were. 

Last month, Trump's personal friend and New York real estate mogul Stanley Chera died on from complications of coronavirus.

Masks become fashion accessory in the Ivory Coast

Arthur Bella N'guessan, a fashion designer, wears a protective face mask matching his clothes in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Fashion lovers in some of Africa's biggest cities are combining style and safety by donning colourful masks.Luc Gnago / Reuters

Italy to test 150,000 people to better understand coronavirus epidemic

Italy will begin testing 150,000 people next week across 2,000 areas in an attempt to better understand the extent of its COVID-19 epidemic. The testing, which is due to begin Monday and conclude on May 31, will cover a representative sample of the population and be carried out by 550 Red Cross volunteers.  

"This testing program will involve a significant sample of citizens and will allow us to understand the extent of the national spread of the virus," Agostino Miozzo, head of the government's scientific committee told Parliament on Thursday.

Italy was one of Europe's hardest hit countries by the coronavirus with more than 31,600 deaths. It has now slowly started lifting its strict lockdown.