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U.S.: Europe has ability to face debt crisis

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WASHINGTON — The White House said Tuesday it was confident Europe had the ability and will to tackle its debt crisis and said there was “no question” events across the Atlantic could impact the US economy.

Officials in Washington are eyeing events in Europe as fears mount that a banking or sovereign debt crisis could further slow the stalled US economy, which failed to create any net jobs last month.

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“The Europeans face a difficult challenge, but we believe they have both the ability and the will to meet their obligations,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Carney said that President Barack Obama’s top aides were in regular contact with European financial leaders, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who will be in France for a meeting of G8 finance ministers at the weekend.

Ahead of Obama’s major speech on job creation to a joint session of Congress on Thursday, Carney acknowledged that outside factors were impacting the US economy that the White House could not control.

“There is no question that there is an impact,” he said.

“We have some role with our European counterparts, but it is not completely within our control,” Carney said.

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Obama has frequently cited the European debt crisis, along with the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster and turmoil sparked by the Arab Spring as among the factors that have caused US economic growth to slow in recent months.


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England pubs reopen on US Independence Day — after first nationwide closure since 1665’s Great Plague

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The streets of Soho filled with merry drinkers in London on Saturday and the pubs of Manchester were packed as England's hospitality sector returned from a three-month coronavirus hiatus.

"It feels amazing," said Leo Richard Bill, a soldier, after getting through the door of one of London's buzziest restaurants on the Thames River's popular south bank.

"It’s been what, like three months since... me and everyone else haven’t been able to get outside and have a good time. So yeah, it feels good to get amongst it," he said.

Parts of London and other cities, deserted during lockdown, sprang to life as people dressed up and came out for "Super Saturday" -- the day England's hospitality sector reopened for the first time since March.

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Experts say coronavirus is spreading through ‘airborne transmission’ — and there could be major implications

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The World Health Organization was warned in an open letter sent by 239 scientists from 32 countries that COVID-19 is being spread through airborne transmission, The New York Times reported Saturday.

"If airborne transmission is a significant factor in the pandemic, especially in crowded spaces with poor ventilation, the consequences for containment will be significant. Masks may be needed indoors, even in socially distant settings. Health care workers may need N95 masks that filter out even the smallest respiratory droplets as they care for coronavirus patients," the newspaper explained. "Ventilation systems in schools, nursing homes, residences and businesses may need to minimize recirculating air and add powerful new filters. Ultraviolet lights may be needed to kill viral particles floating in tiny droplets indoors."

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Paris’s Louvre reopens on Monday after lockdown losses of ‘over €40 million’

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The Louvre in Paris, the world's most visited museum and home to the Mona Lisa, reopens on Monday but with coronavirus restrictions in place and parts of the complex closed to visitors.

The Louvre has been closed since March 13 and this has already led "to losses of over 40 million euros," its director Jean-Luc Martinez said.

Among more than 10 million visitors in 2018, almost three-quarters were tourists.

"We have lost 80 percent of our public. Seventy-five percent of our visitors were foreigners," Martinez said.

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