World news today, June 25: US records largest one-day increase since April

World news today (June 25): The US reported 34,700 new cases Wednesday, the highest number in the last two months. Meanwhile, Honduras President needs oxygen to battle coronavirus, Singapore PM’s Brother Joins Opposition Party Ahead of Polls and Oil drops on record U.S. crude inventories also make headlines today (June 25). 
June 25, 2020 | 10:42
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The US reported 34,700 new cases Wednesday
The US reported 34,700 new cases Wednesday

US records largest one-day increase since April

The US reported a total of 34,700 new COVID-19 cases, cases, the highest level since late April, when the number peaked at 36,400. The resurgence is said to be wiping out the two-month progress of the states, concurently sending infections to a new dire level in the west and south of the country.

According to The Guardian, while newly-confirmed infections have been declining steadily in early hot spots such as New York and New Jersey, several other states set single-day records this week, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma.

North Carolina and South Carolina saw breaking hospitalization records this week.

As of June 25 morning, the US is still the hardest-hit country worldwide, with 2,462,554 confirmed infections and 124,281 deaths.

Honduras President needs oxygen to battle coronavirus

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez needed oxygen following his hospitalization after contracting the novel coronavirus last week, according to Lieutenant Colonel Juan Diaz, a military doctor. The doctor warned that Hernandez is still in a "delicate" situation and would need to stay in hospital.

Hernandez confirmed his positive state to nCoV last week along with his wife and two aides. He initially intended to work remotely but later went to the hospital. Given his cough, breathing problems and signs of inflammation, doctors adjusted his medication, including the application of oxygen and changing of his intravenous drip.

This is the first time the Lieutenant offers a public glimpse of the seriousness of Hernandez's medical condition, stemming from treatment for pneumonia.

Diaz said the president's condition was "somewhere between a good state and feverish with trouble breathing", adding, "There is a clear improvement."

Juan Orlando Hernandez
Juan Orlando Hernandez (Photo: Today Online)

Singapore PM’s Brother Joins Opposition Party Ahead of Polls

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s family feud has spilled into politics, with his estranged younger brother joining an opposition party ahead of general elections next month, The Diplomat reported.

Lee Hsien Yang said Wednesday he has joined the Progress Singapore Party because he is concerned about issues such as governance and transparency but declined to say whether he will run in the July 10 polls. The party was launched a year ago by former ruling party lawmaker Tan Cheng Bock.

The Lee brothers, whose father Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore’s first prime minister and turned it into an affluent city-state, have engaged in a public spat since 2017 over the late patriarch’s family home.

Lee Hsien Yang and his sister Lee Wei Ling accused their eldest brother of abusing his power to stop them from demolishing the family home according to the wishes of their father, who died in 2015. They accused him of seeking to preserve the house to maintain his own political popularity and legitimacy. Lee Hsien Loong said the government should be allowed to decide whether to maintain the house as part of the national heritage and that he had no role in the decision.

Lee Hsien Loong’s estranged younger brother joining an opposition party ahead of general elections next month
Lee Hsien Loong’s estranged younger brother joining an opposition party ahead of general elections next month (Photo: AP News)

Even with Lee Hsien Yang’s star power, the opposition is unlikely to seriously threaten the rule of the People’s Action Party, which has been in power since 1959 and currently holds 83 of the 89 parliamentary seats.

The test will be whether the ruling party can retain the 69.9 percent share of the vote it received in 2015. The elections are expected to be the last for Prime Minister Lee, who plans to retire and hand over power to a new crop of leaders.

Lee called for early elections on Tuesday, ahead of the end of his government’s five-year term next April, saying it is a good window now since the coronavirus pandemic has stabilized and there is no assurance it will be over by next April. He said other countries such as South Korea have showed that elections can be held safely during the outbreak.

Progress Singapore Party leader Tan on Wednesday said holding elections now is an “irresponsible act” that shows the prime minister is putting politics above public safety. His party welcomed the younger Lee into its fold and tweeted that “it’s time for a change.”

Oil drops nearly 6% on record U.S. crude inventories, pandemic resurgence fears

Oil prices fell nearly 6% on Wednesday after U.S. crude storage hit another record and coronavirus cases rebound in countries like Germany and surge in heavily populated areas of the United States.

Mounting coronavirus cases in the United States, which had its second-largest rise in new infections since the crisis began, China, Latin America and India have unnerved investors and pressured oil prices.

Brent crude was down $2.29, or 5.5%, to $40.29 a barrel, a day after hitting its highest levels since early March, just before the pandemic and Saudi-Russia price war hit the markets. West Texas Intermediate crude settled $2.36, or 5.85%, lower at $38.01 per barrel.

U.S. crude oil inventories swelled last week by 1.4 million barrels, exceeding analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 299,000-barrel rise, the Energy Information Administration said, citing rising production.

That marked the third straight record for crude in U.S. storage.

Oil drops nearly 6% on record U.S. crude inventories
Oil drops nearly 6% on record U.S. crude inventories (Photo: MSN)

The International Monetary Fund said the coronavirus is causing wider and deeper damage to economic activity than first thought, and it slashed its 2020 global output forecasts further.

India’s oil imports in May hit the lowest since October 2011 as refiners with brimming crude inventories cut purchases.

China, the world’s top crude importer, is also expected to slow imports in the third quarter, after record purchases in recent months.

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