** People rescuing an injured passenger from inside a passenger bus hit by a truck on Dhaka-Mawa Expressway in Shologhar area of Shreenagar upazila in Munshiganj on Thursday. ** Motorcycles allowed on Padma Bridge after 10 months ** Commuters charge extra fare, passengers disappointed ** 78 people killed in Yemen stampede ** Moon sighting committee meets today to ascertain Eid day ** 9 killed in road accidents in 3 districts ** US announces new $325 m military aid package for Ukraine ** Eid-ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia today ** Eid exodus begins ** LPG price cut illusive ** 15 hurt as bus overturns in capital ** New interbank cheque clearing timings set for Eid holidays ** Four women hit by a train die in Tangail ** 12.28 lakh SIM users left Dhaka on Tuesday ** Sylhet engineer threatened over power outage ** People rush to village homes to spend Eid holidays with their near and dear ones. This photo was taken from Sadarghat Launch Terminal on Tuesday. NN photo ** Surge in cases of dehydration, diarrhoea amid summer heat wave ** Padma Bridge construction cost increases by Tk 2,412cr ** PM gives Tk 90m to Bangabazar fire victims ** Textile workers block highway demanding wage, Eid bonus ** Attack on PM's motorcade Ex-BNP MP, 3 others get life term ** Load-shedding increases for demand of electricity during heat wave ** Motorbikes to be allowed on Padma bridge from Thursday ** 5-day Eid vacation begins from today ** Take Nangalkot train accident as a warning about negligence of govt functionaries **

US leads global fight against coronavirus economic threat

05 March 2020 AFP, Washington

The US Federal Reserve on Tuesday led the global charge in response to the growing economic risk posed by the new coronavirus, announcing an emergency interest rate cut after the UN health agency said the world has entered "uncharted territory."
But the Fed's stimulus, which came hours after the Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers pledged to take action using "all appropriate policy tools," wasn't enough to prevent Wall Street stocks from tumbling as the virus continued its global spread.
The death toll in the United States rose to nine, many linked to a nursing home in the Seattle suburbs, while the overall number of infections shot past 100 including cases on both coasts and the Midwest. More than 90,000 people have been infected and 3,100 killed since the first cases were identified in China's Hubei province late last year.
The vast majority of cases have been in China, but South Korea, Italy and Iran have also emerged as hotspots. The virus has also spread into Latin America and Africa, raising fears it could become established in conflict-hit countries with weak health infrastructure.
The World Bank unveiled a $12 billion aid package on Tuesday to help the world's poorest nations with medical equipment or health services.
Global bourses have seen dramatic swings over the past week as concerns mount that the outbreak could threaten global growth and drive some countries in to a recession.
In a unanimous decision, the Fed's policy-setting committee slashed its key interest rate by a half point to a range of 1.0-1.25 percent - the first between-meeting cut since the height of the global 2008 financial crisis.
"My colleagues and I took this action to help the US economy keep strong in the face of new risks to the economic outlook," Fed Chair Jerome Powell told reporters.
But the immediate impact seemed the opposite of what was intended:
Investors fled to safe assets, sending the 10-year Treasury yield to its lowest ever return while stocks lost most of the ground recovered Monday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished nearly three percent lower, though European stocks and oil markets were higher but off the day's best levels. Financial jitters followed a dire warning from the World Health
Organization's chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who said on Monday: "We are in uncharted territory."
He added that "we have never before seen a respiratory pathogen that is capable of community transmission, but which can also be contained with the right measures."
Countries across the world have imposed extraordinary measures in a bid to contain the virus, with millions of people across large swathes of China forced into quarantine.
Italy has also locked in entire regions, while many nations have imposed travel restrictions on visitors from badly hit countries.
Sports events, concerts and large gatherings have been canceled, including Google's annual developer conference, one of its most important events, which was to be held in May.

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