Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
Covid-19 fears are weighing on the financial markets again today, as rising infections put governments under pressure to consider fresh, tougher restrictions to combat the pandemic.
Overnight, the number of infections worldwide has passed 38 million, with cases still rising sharply. In France, president Emmanuel Macron, is expected to make a significant announcement about additional national lockdown measures later today.
Yesterday, the Netherlands government ordered a partial lockdown after seeing cases surge, with PM Mark Rutte warning “That hurts, but it’s the only way.”
Rutte’s plan includes the closure of bars and restaurants, and limit on the size of social gatherings.
We’re also expecting Northern Ireland to announce wide-ranging
The Tory minister has called for an end to the leaking of the government’s lockdown proposals
3 min read
Tory business minister Nadhim Zahawi has called for an end to “corrosive” leaks after it was reported that ministers were set to announce new lockdown measures on Monday.
Leaders in the north have already hit out at Boris Johnson after details of his plans to introduce tough new restrictions from Monday to tackle a surge in cases across England were reported earlier this week.
According to The Times, the Prime Minister is set to order the closure of as many as 7,000 pubs and restaurants in the North and the Midlands as part of a new “traffic light” system for escalating lockdown measures in England.
But the leaking of the plans has provoked fury among local leaders, with Sheffield City Region metro mayor Dan Jarvis
The Australian government this week unveiled its $574 million Digital Business Plan that includes seven-figure grants for distributed ledger technology initiatives.
Announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison ahead of next week’s Federal Government budget, the plan outlines $4.95 million in support for “two blockchain pilots directed at reducing business compliance costs.” Morrison said:
“The plan supports Australia’s economic recovery by removing out-dated regulatory barriers, boosting the capability of small businesses, and backs the uptake of technology across the economy.”
Piper Alderman partner Michael Bacina told Cointelegraph that these two projects are important “to help demonstrate and unlock the value of blockchain”:
“With blockchain adoption accelerating around the world, this funding is a very welcome boost to the Australian blockchain industry and our local expertise.”
As part of the plan, $480 million has been designated for various technological initiatives that could intersect distributed ledger technologies, including $183 million towards a new