The United States marked Memorial Day with somber ceremonies and, in many places, reopened beaches, as the number of coronavirus deaths inched closer to 100,000, according to NBC news' count.
President Donald Trump, who participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, was also looking ahead to the Republican National Convention. Trump threatened on Twitter on Monday to move the event from Charlotte, North Carolina, if there is a chance the venue might not be filled there later this summer due to virus-related restrictions.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden appeared in public Monday for the first time in more than two months, laying a wreath to honor the fallen at a Delaware war memorial.
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide; confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally
- Reopening America: See what states across the U.S. have already reopened.
- The coronavirus has destroyed the job market in every state. See the per-state jobless numbers and how they’ve changed.
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Japan to lift state of emergency on Tokyo and four remaining areas
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that Japan will lift a state of emergency for Tokyo and four remaining areas later in the day but that it could be reimposed if the pace of infections picked up.
Social distancing curbs were loosened for most of the country on May 14 as new infections fell, but the government has kept Tokyo and four other prefectures under watch. He added that Japan had managed to get the coronavirus infection under control in just one and a half months, in its own way, and that this showed the strength of the "Japan model."
The world's third-largest economy has escaped an explosive outbreak with more than 16,600 infections and 839 deaths so far, according to NHK public broadcaster; however, the epidemic has tipped it into a recession and plunged Abe's popularity to multi-year lows.
Countries try 'travel bubbles' to save post-lockdown tourist season
Never heard of “travel bubbles” or “air bridges”? Read on because what you learn just might save your summer vacation now that we are in the coronavirus era.
With little clarity on when the pandemic might end, many Europeans have already given up on the idea of a summer getaway.
But some countries, desperate to salvage this year’s travel season — and eager to jump-start their economies — are slowly reopening their borders and offering a glimpse of what travel might look like now.
European security experts warn of bioterror risk after coronavirus pandemic
Security experts from the Council of Europe human rights organization have warned against the increased risk of bioterrorism after the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement released on Monday, the Secretariat of the Committee on Counter-Terrorism, said terrorist groups were already experimenting with biological weapons, and cautioned that the intentional use of agents such as viruses and bacteria could cause both human and economic damage “on a far grander scale than traditional terrorist attacks.”
The council’s experts called for a “coordinated” response to this threat and urged all 47 Council of Europe member states to develop common legal standards and implement training exercises to prepare civil security and health experts for a possible attack.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson under fire after supporting aide who traveled during lockdown
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced rising anger among lawmakers in his own party, bishops and the public at large after he supported an aide who drove hundreds of miles out of London during the lockdown.
Johnson said on Sunday that adviser Dominic Cummings acted “responsibly, legally and with integrity” to ensure that his son could be cared for "at the moment both he and his wife were about to be incapacitated by coronavirus." The response on social media was fierce, with people tweeting stories of how they managed to obey lockdown in difficult circumstances.
Britain is the worst-hit country in Europe by coronavirus with more than 36,000 deaths and the fourth highest number of reported cases in the world.
Russia's confirmed coronavirus cases top 350,000
Russian health authorities reported 8,946 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the nationwide total to more than 350,000 cases since the start of the outbreak. It has the third highest number of reported cases in the world, behind only the U.S. and Brazil.
Though nationwide confirmed case growth appears more or less stable, the daily case count continues to rise outside of Moscow — Russia’s epicenter — and into the rest of the country. Moscow reported just 2,560 cases overnight, the lowest the capital has seen in over a month, while the rest of the country reported a combined total of 6,386, a record high.
Fatalities dropped to 92 on Monday after authorities reported a nationwide record of 153 deaths on Sunday. The country has recorded 3,633 coronavirus deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Republicans sue California over expanded mail-in voting
The Republican National Committee and other GOP groups filed a lawsuit against California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday, arguing a move to expand mail-in voting during the pandemic is illegal.
The federal lawsuit also names the California Republican Party and the National Republican Congressional Committee as plaintiffs. In a tweet announcing the suit, national committee chair Ronna McDaniel called Newsom’s executive order “radical” and a “recipe for disaster that would create more opportunities for fraud.”
The May 8 order requires election officials in each of the state’s 58 counties to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters.
“No Californian should be forced to risk their health in order to exercise their right to vote,” Newsom said.
Brazil's cases surge in densely packed neighborhoods
Japan looking to end Tokyo's state of emergency
TOKYO - Japan is looking to lift a state of emergency for Tokyo and remaining areas still facing restrictions while also considering fresh stimulus worth almost $1 trillion to help companies ride out the coronavirus pandemic, Nikkei reported on Monday.
Social distancing curbs were removed for most of the country on May 14 as new infections fell, but the government had kept Tokyo and four other prefectures under watch.
The government will seek approval from key advisers for the lifting on Monday. If approved, Japan would have no regions under the state of emergency, which was first instated on April 7.