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Khamenei: Ramadan gathering in Iran may be forbidden

Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. Image: Ayatollah.ir/Wikimedia

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has suggested mass gatherings in the Islamic Republic may be banned through the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Iran’s supreme leader has commented in a televised address: ‘We are going to be deprived of public gatherings of the month of Ramadan.’

Khamenei is the first highest-ranking official in the Muslim world to admit the Ramadan period will be disrupted by the virus spread.

He also said:

Those gatherings are meetings for praying to god or listening to speeches which are really valuable. In the absence of these meetings, remember to heed your prayers and devotions in your lonesomeness.

Italian PM warns: European Union could fail in supporting coronavirus emergency

Italy’s prime minister has told the BBC that the European Union could fail as a project in facing the coronavirus crisis.

Giuseppe Conte says the EU must act in a co-ordinated way to help countries worst hit by the virus.

Mr Conte’s interview came after the ‘corona bonds’ affair.

Netherlands and German oppose the proposal of sharing debt between EU nations to help the weakest countries.

This refusal led to a clash between the finance ministers of the eurozone.

The Italian prime minister told the BBC that Europe’s leaders were ‘facing an appointment with history’ that they could not miss.

He also said:

‘If we do not seize the opportunity to put new life into the European project, the risk of failure is real.’

The unemployment rate in the US has reached a record of 16.8 million 

The impact of shut down in the US is without precedent.

In the last three weeks, the pandemic has left 16.8 million Americans with no employment.

Roughly one in 10 workers have lost their jobs in just the past three weeks.

These figures represent the largest and fastest string of job losses in records dating back to 1948.

It is expected that more than 20 million Americans may find themselves in the same position by the end of this month.

The unemployment rate could hit 15% when the April employment report is released in early May.

Associated Press reports that the viral outbreak is believed to have erased nearly one-third of the economy’s output in the current quarter.

Forty-eight states have closed non-essential businesses.

Restaurants, hotels, department stores and small businesses have laid off millions as they struggle to pay bills at a time when their revenue has vanished.

Spain PM said ‘a total victory’ over the virus is now possible

Spain’s Prime Minister announced: ‘The fire starts to come under control.’

Pedro Sánchez told MPs that the country is close to passing the worst of its coronavirus outbreak as parliament debated extending the national state of emergency.

Spain has Europe’s highest number of confirmed cases, with 152,446.

On Thursday, the country has reported 15,238 deaths.

As the pandemic curve is dropping down, some European nations are now considering how to slow down restrictions as early as next week.

The European Commission is planning a possible ‘roadmap’ to start the second stage of virus containment

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