Dec 10, 2018

Macron promises minimum wage hike in bid to calm protestors

Photo: Mario De Fina/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In a direct address to the people of France, Emmanuel Macron responded to the "yellow vest" protests against his presidency by promising a series of financial concessions, including a 100 euro-per-month raise for minimum wage workers, a canceled tax hike for low-income pensioners and a crackdown on tax evasion, the BBC reports.

The big picture: Macron firmly denounced the violent riots that have dominated headlines for the past four weekends, with hundreds injured and more than 1,000 arrested this Saturday alone. But he acknowledged that the yellow vests have legitimate grievances and declared an "economic and social state of emergency" in order to tackle the many issues that plague France. He refused to budge, however, on reinstating a wealth tax, having made its elimination a hallmark of his pro-business reform agenda.

Between the lines: It was a notable change in tone for a leader deemed by many to be a "president of the rich." But whether or not the concessions will be enough to satisfy the yellow vests — a decentralized movement whose only consistent message has been their calls for Macron to resign — remains to be seen.

Go deeper: The fallout from France's fuel tax cave

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Coronavirus updates: World case count tops 600,000, Spain sees its deadliest day of outbreak

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain reported a record 832 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours — just one day after Italy reported nearly 1,000 deaths.

The big picture: The U.S. now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, as the number of global cases nears 615,519. Governments around the world are trying to curb the medical and financial fallout of COVID-19, as infections surge across Europe and the U.S.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 615,519 — Total deaths: 28,687 — Total recoveries: 135,671.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 104,837 — Total deaths: 1,711 — Total recoveries: 894.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to provide businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day.
  6. Business latest: President Trump authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to direct General Motors to build ventilators for those affected by COVID-19. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been appointed to enforce the act.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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The one-minute coronavirus story

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

News about the coronavirus is so big and coming so fast that it's hard to remember what happened just last week, let alone last month.

Here's the quickest possible review of the story so far — how it happened and how the U.S. lost control.

Go deeperArrow22 mins ago - Health