Jun 1, 2018

Malaysia turns to crowdfunding to cut national debt

Prime Minister Mahathir at a press conference. Photo: Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images

Malaysia's new government wants to cut the crippling $250 billion national debt (about 80% of GDP) and it's giving citizens the opportunity to chip in, per the BBC.

The latest: The crowdfunding campaign netted $2 million in its first day, officials said. The BBC notes, "The move is reminiscent of the late 1990s when South Koreans queued to donate wedding rings and other valuables to help their struggling economy amid Asia's financial crisis."

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

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.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Health

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.