2 July: Your round-up of the issues leading today's agenda
- Oxford University is leading the world in developing a vaccine against Covid-19 and offers the best chance of having something protective against the virus as we go into winter, MPs have been told, according to The Guardian. Kate Bingham, chair of the UK vaccine taskforce, said she expected to have a vaccine “early next year” from one or more of the candidates, although it was possible the first vaccines might only “help alleviate the symptoms” so that people have a less serious bout of disease, rather than fully protecting them.
- The collapse of mall landlord Intu Properties Plc is about to send shockwaves through a sector that’s already reeling, according to Bloomberg. Nine of the U.K.’s biggest shopping centers could potentially be sold into a market that had already seized up before the virus struck. With the tenants of those properties only paying a fraction of their rent as the pandemic deepens a prolonged retail crisis, the risk they’re sold at knock-down prices threatens to further sink the values of malls nationwide. And that all assumes one key factor: somebody wants them in the first place.
- Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Ola Kallenius said the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars and the industry as a whole face painful cutbacks to overcome the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bloomberg says. The virus outbreak will force manufacturers to do more significant restructuring than they had planned before the crisis erupted, Kallenius said Wednesday during a webcast hosted by Germany’s largest labor union, IG Metall.
- The border between Spain and Portugal was officially reopened on Wednesday in a ceremony led by Spain’s King Felipe VI and the president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, reports El País. The Spain-Portugal border, which is informally known as “la raya,”or the line, was closed for an unprecedented three and a half months due to the coronavirus crisis, which led to the imposition of strict travel restrictions. Its reopening is a symbolic sign that the worst of the crisis is now over.