British Airways scraps its dividend and furloughs over 30,000 staff on 80 per cent pay in desperate bid to survive the worst crisis in its history

I’ve been furloughed: What does it mean, why are companies doing this and what happens next?  Until a fortnight ago, it’s unlikely many British workers had ever encountered the term ‘furloughed’, but now it is a concept that has been thrust into the spotlight by the coronavirus crisis.

A last hurrah for banknotes as UK switches to mobile and card payment

Technology experts see contactless payment as just a stepping stone to the cashless society, with smartphones becoming the main way to pay. Since the launch of Apple Pay in July last year, 8 million journeys on London Underground have been paid for by iPhone users tapping their handset at entry and exit points. Meanwhile, Google’s rival, […]

Lifting the veil of secrecy: Meet the female code-breakers of WWII

After the Nazi regime fell in 1945, many of Bletchley’s women returned home, while others stayed involved with the military’s work. Bourne was given work as a wire destroyer: desoldering the many cables that had been painstakingly connected during intelligence operations throughout the war, while Webb was sent to the Pentagon to paraphrase translated Japanese […]

WRAPUP 3-Global coronavirus cases surpass one million

Britain initially took a restrained approach to the outbreak but Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for the virus himself, changed tack and imposed stringent social distancing measures after modeling showed a quarter of a million people in the country could die.

Europe’s hospitals buckle under the crush of the coronavirus

Shortages of critical equipment led to fierce competition between buyers from Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere. A regional leader in Paris described the scramble to find masks a “worldwide treasure hunt.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned that New York could run out of breathing machines in six days.

Off our trolleys: what stockpiling in the coronavirus crisis reveals about us

Two weeks ago, pre-lockdown, I popped to Sainsbury’s on the way home from school with my 11-year-old son. He drags his heels at shopping, but I assured him I only wanted to buy potatoes. I had everything else I needed for a shepherd’s pie. But we stopped in our tracks to see that there were […]

Coronavirus latest: Too early to ease restrictions, Merkel says

11:50 The People’s Bank of China, the nation’s central bank, has said it would slash reserve requirements for smaller banks, releasing around 400 billion yuan ($56.3 billion; €52.2 billion) in liquidity. The freed-up money is aimed at helped ease the impact of the coronavirus on its economy. The bank also said it would cut the interest […]

Boris Johnson will be judged on the next four weeks. That prospect should frighten him

That complacency was formalised in the government’s flirtation with the notion of herd immunity, an approach that some ministers still try to deny was ever policy but which was spelled out explicitly by the chief scientific adviser as recently as 13 March. To be sure, Johnson U-turned on that, ditching mitigation for all-out suppression when […]

Coronavirus latest: Over 90 countries request emergency funds

07:00 Israel has declared the city of Bnei Brak, a coronavirus hotspot, off limits and sent more than 1,000 police officers to block off entry points into and out of the city. The city, located east of Tel Aviv, is one of Israel’s poorest and most densely populated. Most of its residents are Haredi Jews, an ultra-Orthodox denomination. […]

‘Sell one of your yachts!’: Outrage as billionaire Sir Philip Green asks for taxpayer help to pay emergency wages to 14,500 workers he has furloughed

‘I’d like to think I will go back eventually’ Primary school teaching assistant Dawn Harrison from Hertfordshire was furloughed on 30 March, ten days after Boris Johnson announced schools would be closing in response to the coronavirus pandemic.