Mar 15, 2018

Unilever picks Netherlands over U.K. as its sole HQ

Marmite, a quintessentially British product, is a Unilever brand. Photo: Ben Stansall / AFP via Getty Images

Consumer products behemoth Unilever, the United Kingdom's third biggest company by market value, has chosen the Netherlands over the U.K. as its sole headquarters, per the NYT. The company has long had a relatively unique setup with dual headquarters in both countries, though its complex corporate structure hindered its financial agility — illustrated by the withdrawn $143 billion takeover offer from Kraft Heinz last year.

Why it matters: While the move won't result in the loss of any U.K. jobs, it is sure to signal to some observers a lack of confidence in Britain given the uncertainty surrounding the scope of Brexit. Though, according to the FT, Prime Minister Theresa May is comfortable with Unilever's decision: "Mrs. May is adamant that the Unilever move has nothing to do with Brexit and felt vindicated by comments from Paul Polman, chief executive, that it was not a factor in the decision."

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China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown

People wearing facemasks stand near Yangtze River in Wuhan. Photo: HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

China has lifted its lockdown of Wuhan, the city in Hubei province where the coronavirus outbreak was first reported in December, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: As cases surged in January, China took the draconian step of sealing off the city of 11 million and shutting down its economy — a response that was viewed at the time as only possible in an authoritarian system, but which has since been adopted by governments around the world.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,381,014— Total deaths: 78,269 — Total recoveries: 292,973Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 378,289 — Total deaths: 11,830 — Total recoveries: 20,003Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill
  4. Federal government latest: Senate looks to increase coronavirus relief for small businesses this week — Testing capacity is still lagging far behind demand.
  5. States update: New York death toll surged to its highest one-day total as state predicts a plateau in hospitalizations.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The race to reopen America
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill

Glenn Fine, acting Pentagon watchdog

President Trump on Monday replaced the Pentagon's acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, who had been selected to chair the panel overseeing the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed last month, Politico first reported.

Why it matters: A group of independent federal watchdogs selected Fine to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, but Fine's removal from his Pentagon job prevents him from being able to serve in that position — since the law only allows sitting inspectors general to fill the role.

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