Morning, Briefly: The news you need to know for March 14, 2020
We read the news so you don't have to. Here are the news headlines you need to know today.
India records second Coronavirus death
A 68-year-old woman has died of coronavirus in Delhi, the government said on Friday, in the second death linked to the global pandemic in the country.
The woman was the sixth case of coronavirus to be reported from the capital and had other conditions including high blood pressure and diabetes.
A resident of West Delhi, she had come in contact with her son who had contracted the virus after travelling to Switzerland and Italy last month.
Her death comes on a day when the number of cases in India rose to 85, including a 76-year-old man who died in Karnataka on Thursday.
Warning against mass panic, the Health Ministry said the situation in India so far is "not a health emergency".
Besides three patients from Kerala who were released last month after recovering, seven more people have been cured and they will be discharged soon, government officials said.
Yes Bank Withdrawal Limit To End On Wednesday, Rescue Plan Notified
The Government has said that the restrictions on withdrawals from Yes Bank accounts will be lifted in "three working days", which is by Wednesday. They have also notified the reconstruction scheme for the crisis hit bank.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said on Friday, after a meeting of the Union Cabinet, that "State Bank of India will invest up to 49 per cent equity in Yes Bank and other investors are also being invited.”
As part of the RBI-backed rescue plan for the troubled private sector lender, State Bank of India (SBI) will acquire up to 49 per cent stake in Yes Bank, and will be required to maintain a minimum holding of 26 per cent in Yes Bank for three years.
She also said that the administrator's office will be vacated after seven calendar days following the lifting of moratorium, and a new board will be constituted.
All the existing employees of Yes Bank will be retained as part of the deal.
Trump declares state of national emergency in US over coronavirus
US President Donald Trump announced a national state of emergency on Friday, freeing up $50 billion in federal funds for the battle against the coronavirus pandemic as he vowed to "vastly" ramp up testing capacity.
"To unleash the full power of the federal government, I'm officially declaring a national emergency," Trump told a news conference on the White House lawn. "The next eight weeks are critical," he said. "We can learn and we will turn a corner on this virus."
Trump called on all US states to set up emergency operation centers and said the government was partnering with the private sector to "vastly increase and accelerate our capacity to test" for the virus, amid criticism about a lack of test kits nationwide.
"I'm also asking every hospital in this country to activate emergency preparedness plan to meet the needs of Americans everywhere," Trump said.
Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates Leaves Board
Microsoft on Friday announced that co-founder Bill Gates has left its board of directors to devote more time to philanthropy.
The 64-year-old stopped being involved in day-to-day operations at the firm more than a decade ago, turning his attention to the foundation he launched with his wife, Melinda.
Gates served as chairman of Microsoft's board of directors until early in 2014 and has now stepped away entirely, according to the Redmond-based technology giant.
"It's been a tremendous honour and privilege to have worked with and learned from Bill over the years," Microsoft chief executive and company veteran Satya Nadella said in a release.
"Bill founded our company with a belief in the democratizing force of software and a passion to solve society's most pressing challenges; and Microsoft and the world are better for it."
Nadella said Microsoft would continue to benefit from Gates' "technical passion and advice" in his continuing role as a technical advisor.
"I am grateful for Bill's friendship and look forward to continuing to work alongside him," Nadella said.
Israel reaches out to India for masks and Pharma to battle Coronavirus
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested Narendra Modi to approve and allow the export of masks and pharmaceutical raw materials to Israel during his telephonic conversation with Modi this week, according to a media report.
Israel's Channel 13 on Friday reported that Netanyahu made the request after India decided to stop the export of these items to meet its own domestic requirements in view of the rapid spread of coronavirus.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the Israeli Prime Minister had mentioned about reaching out to Modi, among other leaders, hinting at Israeli efforts to maintain and stabilise "supply lines" of essential materials in view of the massive disruption caused by COVID-19.
"I also spoke to the Prime Minister of India, my friend Narendra Modi. We are dependent on supply lines from various countries. We are looking into it all the time," Netanyahu told reporters on Wednesday evening.
Netanyahu, however, did not share any specific details of his discussions with his Indian counterpart during the press conference.
The Israeli leader on Friday sought to reassure his countrymen that a series of restrictions imposed by the administration to try and stem the spread of coronavirus would not affect the food supply, saying there was "no reason to storm supermarkets".