William Shakespeare is widely regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time and one of the most important and influential people who has ever lived. His written works (plays, sonnets, and poems) have been translated into more than 100 languages, and these are performed around the world. There is also an enduring desire to learn more about the man himself. Countless books and articles have been written about Shakespeare’s life. These have been based primarily on the scholarly analysis of his works and the official record associated with him and his family. Shakespeare’s popularity and legacy endures, despite uncertainties in his life story and debate surrounding his authorship and identity. The life and times of William Shakespeare and his family have also recently been informed by cutting-edge archaeological methods and interdisciplinary…
PARIS鈥擳he economy of the 19-country eurozone shrank by a devastating 12.1 percent during the second quarter from the quarter before as coronavirus lockdowns froze business and consumer activity. It was the largest drop on record.
Spain, which suffered a severe virus outbreak that devastated its tourism industry, was the hardest hit with a 18.5 percent drop. Italy and Portugal were also hard hit but no country escaped. It was the biggest decline since the records started in 1995.
European governments are countering the downturn with massive stimulus measures at the national and European Union level. EU leaders have agreed on a 750 billion-euro recovery fund backed by common borrowing to support the recovery from 2021.
National governments have stepped in with loans to keep businesses afloat and wage support programs that pay workers salaries while they are furloughed. The European Central Bank is pumping 1.35 trillion euros in newly printed money into the economy through bond purchases, a step which helps keep borrowing costs low.
The Spanish contraction was by far the sharpest slump since the country’s national statistics agency began collecting data. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro S谩nchez was meeting later Friday with the leaders of Spain’s regions to discuss how to rebuild the economy and where to deploy billions of euros in European Union aid for recovery.
In France, the startling plunge of 13.8 percent in April-June from the previous three-month period also starkly illustrated the punishing economic cost of its two-month lockdown. It was the third consecutive quarter of economic contraction in France’s worsening recession. The pain has been so damaging to jobs and industries that the government is talking down the possibility of another nationwide lockdown as infections tick upward again.
“All the growth in GDP seen in the 2010-2019 decade has been wiped out in five months,” said Marc Ostwald, chief economist at ADM Investor Services International. In Italy’s case, economists said it wiped out about 30 years of growth.
France is faring worse than Germany, Europe’s largest economy, which on Thursday reported a 10.1 percent plunge in GDP during the April-June period as its exports and business investment collapsed. Germany’s drop was also the biggest since quarterly growth figures began being compiled in 1970, the official statistics agency said.
By John Leicester and David Mchugh
Focus News: Eurozone Economy Suffers Record Drop During Lockdown Months
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday continued to defend his decision to require public schools to reopen in August for in-person learning, saying he would “absolutely” send his own children back to classrooms if they were old enough. During a round-table meeting held at a school for special needs students, the republican governor restated the reasons why reopening Florida’s schools is necessary, including the difficulties of distance learning for special education students, the heavy burden on parents who have to earn a living while taking care of children, and low-income families that rely on school meals for nutrition. DeSantis moved on to say that although his children aren’t old enough, he would still feel comfortable sending them to school for in-person learning. “I would have no problem, and I would…