India health care workers

Global markets skid after Wall St. rout over US virus cases surging; Another 1.5M laid-off US workers seek benefits

Global shares were lower after an overnight rout on Wall Street as investors were spooked by reports of rising coronavirus cases in the U.S.

The Dow Jones industrials lost more than 1,800 points, or nearly 7% in a retreat after more than two months of robust gains. Fear that a so-called “second wave,” is already coming has punctured bubbling optimism for a quick economic recovery. Yuri Kageyama reports from Tokyo.

U.S. Jobs: About 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week, evidence that many Americans are still losing their jobs even as the economy appears to be slowly reopening and recovering. Though there has been a decline in applications for jobless aid since a peak in mid-March when the coronavirus struck hard, the pace of layoffs remains historically high, reports Christopher Rugaber.

Racial Bias: The field of economics is facing an upheaval, with African American scholars decrying bias in the profession and presenting evidence that leading journals have failed to publish sufficient research documenting racial inequalities, Josh Borak reports

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Indian capital’s crematoriums overwhelmed with virus dead; Alarming rise in US cases as states ease lockdowns

India’s morgues are filling with the dead and graveyards and crematoriums are overwhelmed.

As it has painfully been elsewhere in the world, the virus has made honoring those who have passed away in New Delhi a hurried affair, largely devoid of the rituals that give it meaning for mourners in their grief.

All one man could do was place his mother’s wrapped corpse on a wooden pyre and along with a handful of relatives watch it burn, reports Sheikh Saaliq from New Delhi. “I never thought I would watch my mother go like this,” the grieving man said.

The capital has officially reported close to 1,100 deaths from the coronavirus, but cemeteries and crematoriums in the city say the actual number is several hundred higher.

US Infections: States are rolling back lockdowns, but the coronavirus isn’t done with America. Cases are rising in nearly half the states, according to an AP analysis, a worrying trend that could intensify as people return to work and venture out during the summer, reports Mike Stobbe.

Blood of the Recovered: Scientists are beginning a new study to tell if the blood plasma of COVID-19 survivors might help prevent infection in the first place. Doctors already are using survivor plasma as a treatment for many hospitalized patients, even as research still is underway to tell if it really works, reports AP medical writer Lauran Neergaard. The plasma harbors virus-fighting antibodies.

More from AP’s Global and U.S. teams:

  • White House: President Trump is back to business as usual three months after bowing to the realities of a pandemic that put large swaths of life on pause. But Trump’s campaign is again scheduling mass arena rallies, and he is back to spending summer weekends at his New Jersey golf club even as a model cited by the White House projects tens of thousands of more deaths by the end of September.
  • Syria’s Meltdown: The war-ravaged nation is crumbling under the weight of years-long Western sanctions, government corruption and infighting, the pandemic and an economic downslide made worse by the financial crisis in Lebanon, Syria’s main link to the outside world.
  • Argentina’s Woes: The percentage of Argentines in poverty could reach as high as 45% this year as the pandemic worsens already grave economic problems.
  • US Farmworkers Town: Among the numerous rural areas across the U.S. that have recently experienced outbreaks are migrant farmworker communities in Florida.
  • LA Homeless: The number of homeless people counted across Los Angeles County jumped nearly 13% over the past year to more than 66,000. Authorities fear that figure will spike again once the impact of the pandemic is felt.
  • Masks with a Window: In the One Good Thing series – face coverings are making it hard for people who read lips to communicate. That has spurred a slew of startups making masks with plastic windows.
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Historical figures caught in sea change of reckoning in racial injustice fallout; Black Lives Matter goes mainstream

The burgeoning movement to pull down Confederate monuments around America in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police has swept up statues of slave traders, imperialists, conquerors and explorers around the world, including Christopher Columbus.

It’s a searing re-examination of racial injustices over the centuries. Scholars appear divided over whether the campaign amounts to erasing history or updating it, report Sarah Rankin and David Crary.

The latest instance occurred in New Zealand today, where the city of Hamilton removed a bronze statue of the British naval officer for whom it is named. Captain John Hamilton is accused of killing indigenous Maori people in the 1860s.

Africa Statues: These new campaigns to confront history and pull down monuments to slave traders and colonial rulers are now following Africa’s lead. Statues honoring Queen Victoria, Cecil Rhodes and King Leopold have been pulled down over the years in Africa after countries won independence or newer generations said racist relics had to go. Andrew Meldrum has this story from Johannesburg.

Black Lives Matter Mainstream: For much of its seven-year existence, the movement has been seen by many Americans as a divisive, even radical force. But suddenly it’s gone mainstream, David Crary and Aaron Morrison report. Many black activists welcome the developments but worry that businesses and politicians will hijack the slogan without any real commitment to doing the hard work needed to fight racism.

Juneteenth: Black community and political leaders have called on President Donald Trump to change the date or place of a campaign rally scheduled for Juneteenth in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They denounced his plans for a public rally on the day, June 19, which marks the end of slavery in America and in a place that in 1921 was the notorious site of a deadly, fiery and orchestrated white-on-black attack, report Ellen Knickmeyer and Jonathan Lemire.

Seattle Zone: Following days of violent confrontations with protesters, police in the city have largely withdrawn from a neighborhood where protesters have created a festival-like scene that has Trump fuming and making threats.

Milley’s Walk: The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff crafted a low public profile in his first eight months on the job, but that changed after “the walk.” Gen. Mark Milley strolled with Trump and a presidential entourage across Lafayette Square on June 1 to be positioned near a church where Trump held up a Bible for photographers. Pentagon reporters Robert Burns and Lolita C. Baldor have that story.

Police Training: With calls growing for police reforms across the U.S., instructors and researchers say officers lack sufficient training on how and when to use force. That leaves them unprepared to handle tense situations. Better training can’t fix all the issues facing the nation’s police departments, but experts believe it would have a big impact, reports Martha Bellisle.

Floyd Investigation: Taking over as lead prosecutor in George Floyd’s death is giving Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison a national platform to talk about race in America. While Ellison is careful not to talk about details of the criminal cases against four Minneapolis police officers, he’s using the opportunity to raise issues about police reform that he’s worked on in the past, reports Kathleen Hennessey.