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An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8, on a flight from Miami to New York City, comes in for landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York.
American Airlines to sell shares, debt to cope with coronavirus hit
22 June 2020, 5:00 AM

American Airlines Group Inc said on Sunday it plans to raise $1.5 billion by selling shares and convertible senior notes, to improve the airline’s liquidity as it grapples with travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus.

The company expects to use a portion of the net proceeds from the offerings for general corporate purposes and to enhance its liquidity position, the airline said in a statement.

The stock and notes offerings include a 30-day option for the underwriters to purchase up to $112.5 million of additional common shares and up to $112.5 million of additional notes respectively, the company said.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Citigroup, BofA Securities and JP Morgan will be acting as representatives for the underwriters.

The offerings, first reported by Bloomberg News, is said to be due by 2025.

The airline said it also intends to enter into a new $500 million term loan facility due 2024.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines Inc said last week that a modest recovery in demand was helping to slow daily cash burn rates in June after the US government reported record low passenger numbers in April amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tom Petty family tells Trump not to use late rock star’s songs for ‘campaign of hate’
22 June 2020, 5:00 AM

Tom Petty’s family slammed President Donald Trump for using the late rock star’s hit “I Won’t Back Down” at his sparsely attended rally in Tulsa, sending the campaign a cease and desist warning.

“Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,” the late rocker’s family said on Twitter late Saturday.

“Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate,” said the tweet signed by Petty’s widow Dana, ex-wife Jane and his daughters Adria and Annakim. “Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind.”

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The campaign played the song at Saturday’s rally, which drew an underwhelming crowd that left many seats empty at the 19 000-seat BOK Centre arena.

Trump, who hoped to reinvigorate his re-election campaign, criticized anti-racism protests that have engulfed much of the country since the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.

George Floyd’s funeral service


Petty wrote the 1989 song “for the underdog, for the common man and for everyine,” his family said on Twitter. “We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideals of either.”

Lyrics of the song speak of resisting oppression: “I’ve got just one life in a world that keeps on pushing’ me around. But I’ll stand my ground. And I won’t back down.”

Adria Tour final cancelled after Dimitrov tests positive for COVID-19
22 June 2020, 4:42 AM

Grigor Dimitrov said on Sunday said he has tested positive for COVID-19, making him the highest-profile tennis player to reveal he has the disease.

The 29-year-old Bulgarian had been competing in the Adria Tour exhibition tournament in Croatia until he withdrew due to feeling ill during the weekend.

The final of the Croatia event in the coastal resort of Zadar, the second leg of the tour which would have featured world number one Novak Djokovic and Russian Andrey Rublev, was cancelled as a result.

“I want to reach out and let my fans and friends know that I tested positive back in Monaco for COVID-19,” former world number three Dimitrov wrote on Instagram.

“I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during these past days gets tested and takes the necessary precautions.

“I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused. I am back home now and recovering. Thanks for your support and please stay safe and healthy.”

Goran Ivanisevic, the director of the tour’s Zadar leg and Djokovic’s coach, was greeted with jeers from the fans when he broke the news courtside.

“We have just been informed that Grigor Dimitrov has tested positive for coronavirus and we will have to call off the final of the tournament in Zadar,” he said.

“Unfortunately we had to make the decision as we don’t want anybody else to catch the virus.”

Dimitrov pulled out of the tournament on Saturday after he felt unwell following his opening singles match against Croatian Borna Coric.

Germany’s coronavirus reproduction rate jumps, indicating rising contagion
22 June 2020, 4:00 AM

Germany’s coronavirus reproduction rate jumped to 288 on Sunday, up from 179 a day earlier, health authorities said, a rate showing infections are rising above the level needed to contain the disease over the longer term.

The rise brings with it the possibility of renewed restrictions on activity in Europe’s largest economy – a blow to a country that so far had widely been seen as successful in curbing the coronavirus spread and keeping the death toll relatively low.

To keep the pandemic under control, Germany needs the reproduction rate to drop below one.

The rate of 2.88, published by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health, means that out of 100 people who contract the virus, a further 288 people will get infected.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had favoured maintaining lockdown measures for longer but gradually eased restrictions in recent weeks following pressure from regional politicians to reboot the economy.

Already, the country is grappling to get people to adhere to isolation rules in places where they have been imposed. Over the weekend, authorities in Goettingen needed riot police to enforce quarantine measures.

In North-Rhine Westphalia, more than 1 300 people working at a slaugterhouse in Guetersloh tested positive for coronavirus, up from 803 infections on Friday.

As a result, North-Rhine Westphalia has put 7000 people under quarantine and closed kindergartens and schools close to the abbatoir.

“I cannot rule out a broader lockdown,” North-Rhine Westphalia’s premier Armin Laschet told German television ZDF on Sunday.

Outbreaks in recent weeks have occurred in nursing homes, hospitals, institutions for asylum seekers and refugees, in meat processing plants and logistics companies, among seasonal harvest workers and in connection with religious events, RKI said.

The 288 rate is a jump from 106 on Friday, based on RKI’s moving four-day average data, which reflects infection rates one to two weeks ago.

Based on a 7-day average, infection rates have risen to 2.03, RKI said, adding that an accurate reading for long-term patterns will take a couple of days.

The spike in infections is mainly related to local outbreaks including in North Rhine-Westphalia, RKI said. North-Rhine Westphalia was one of the regions most vocal about urging Merkel to ease lockdown restrictions.

Below is the dashboard tracking global COVID-19 cases, death toll, recoveries and more:

UK’s Johnson to announce lockdown easing plans on Tuesday
22 June 2020, 2:35 AM

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will unveil the latest easing of Britain’s coronavirus lockdown on Tuesday when he will also announce the conclusion of a review into whether a two-metre rule on social distancing should be relaxed, his office said.

Britain’s economy has been hammered by the lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 and although non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen last Monday, many businesses, particularly in the hospitality and leisure sectors, have remained closed.

Some lawmakers in Johnson’s party have been vocal in calling for him to drop the two-metre rule saying it was having a devastating impact on the economy which shrank by a quarter over March and April.

But the government has been cautious, saying it did not want to risk a second spike in novel coronavirus cases.

Johnson’s office said the prime minister would tell parliament on Tuesday which sectors would be allowed to reopen on July 4 under the government’s roadmap out of the lockdown.

Detailed guidance would be provided to each sector so businesses were “Covid secure”.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that Johnson would also announce a change to the social distancing guidelines so people would only need to remain one metre apart providing they took additional measures such as wearing a mask.

Britain has one of the highest death tolls in the world from COVID-19, but the number of cases has been steadily falling in recent weeks.

The death toll on Sunday of confirmed cases rose by 43 to 42 632, one of the lowest increases since the lockdown was imposed in March.

Below is the dashboard tracking global COVID-19 cases, death toll, recoveries and more:

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