Good morning. As states continue to reopen and people begin to leave their homes, dogs everywhere are in for a rude awakening. Let’s show them a little love on this National Rescue Dog Day (especially Cooper, the cute pup who started it all).
“Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”
– Dale Carnegie
WHO Are You
President Trump threatened to permanently cut off U.S. funding for the World Health Organization in a letter he shared on Twitter Monday night.
The WHO & China Last month, Trump temporarily halted funding for the WHO while his administration conducted a review of the agency’s response to COVID-19.
In Monday’s letter, addressed to the WHO director-general, Trump said the review “confirmed many serious concerns I raised last month” over the WHO bowing to pressure from the Chinese government.
Trump gave the WHO 30 days to commit to significant substantive improvements or face a permanent cut on U.S. funding along with a threat to “reconsider” the U.S.’ membership in the organization.
It is not immediately clear how the funds will be withheld, as the president typically cannot unilaterally redirect congressional funds.
Around The World Other countries have joined Trump in criticizing the WHO’s handling of the initial pandemic response and the organization’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China.
Japan’s deputy PM and finance minister noted in late March that some members of parliament started referring to the WHO as the “Chinese Health Organization” for its close ties to Beijing.
Taiwanese officialssay the WHO ignored their initial warnings about the virus since China refuses to allow it to recognize Taiwan as a member.
The WHO has defended its early response to the virus, saying it gave countries enough time to prepare adequately. The agency declared a global health emergency on Jan. 30 when there were 82 confirmed cases outside of China and zero deaths.
What’s Next? More than 110 members of the WHO – including the EU & China – officially called for a review of the organization’s COVID-19 response on Monday, asking WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus to begin an “impartial, independent, and comprehensive evaluation.”
So… what are people saying?
Sure, the WHO screwed up. But withdrawing from it would be a colossal mistake.
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Global cases rose above 4.98 million yesterday, with over 324,400 deaths. The number of confirmed U.S. cases rose to almost 1.57 million, with 93,486 confirmed deaths.
According to a study published in Nature Climate Change, global daily carbon dioxide emissions between January and early April decreased roughly 17% year over year.
All 50 U.S. states are at least partially reopened as of today (Connecticut is the last state to lift restrictions). See where your state stands on reopening here.
Both Texas and North Carolina saw their largest increase in daily cases over the weekend. Marylandalso saw its largest increase in daily cases yesterday.
The U.S. and Canadaextended their agreement to restrict all nonessential travel across their shared border for another 30 days.
Four million Americans who do not have their direct deposit information on file will receive a prepaid debit card with their stimulus funds on it, according to the Treasury Department.
Germany Bans Surveillance Of Foreigners
On Tuesday, Germany’s constitutional court banned its foreign intelligence agency (BND) from monitoring the communications of foreigners without legal justification. The court gave the German government until 2022 to comply with the ruling and amend the law regulating the BND.
The UK announced plans for a post-Brexit tariff regime, set to begin in 2021. Under the new system, tariffs will be eliminated on 60% of its imports, while levies on industries such as agriculture, automotive, and fishing will remain in place.
More: Brexit (Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union) gave the UK flexibility to set its own trade policy. Read more about it here.
At least 30 public companieswill not return loans received under the PPP (about $110 million in total) as was requested by the Treasury Department, claiming they are eligible for those funds.
Pier 1 Importsfiled a motion for bankruptcy approval on Tuesday that would initiate the closure of its 541 stores and liquidate inventory. The company spent months searching for a buyer to continue operations after filing for bankruptcy in February.
Magic Johnson is collaborating with MBE Capital Partners to offer $100 million in loans to minority- and women-owned companies through the PPP.
Unemployment among U.S. travel workers (~15.8 million in total) has reached 51%, per the U.S. Travel Association.
Spotify Gains Valuable Experience
The Joe Rogan Experience podcast (JRE) will be moving exclusively to Spotify later this year, host Joe Rogan announced yesterday. Launched in 2009, the JRE currently ranks as the second most popular show on Apple Podcasts, reportedly reaching 190 million downloads per month in 2019. The multi-year deal is worth more than $100 million per the WSJ.
More: Spotify has made several other podcast acquisitions over the past year-and-a-half, including The Ringer (nearly $200 million), Gimlet Media ($200 million), Anchor ($140 million), and Parcast ($55 million).
Take A Powder
Johnson & Johnson will stop selling its talc-based baby powder in the U.S. and Canada, citing a decline in customer demand. The company is currently facing ~20,000 lawsuits alleging the powder causes ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. J&J has defended the safety of its powder and fought several lawsuits in court already, winning some while receiving costly verdicts in others.
I’m Coming Home
On Oct. 17, 1988, Mao Zhenjing’s 2-year-old son, Mao Yin, was abducted from a hotel in Xian, China, leading to a wide-scale search lasting more than three decades.
This past Monday, the family was reunited at a police news conference – nearly thirty-two years after Mao Yin’s abduction. The emotional reunion brought many onlookers to tears (video).
Lifting Their Spirits
Many high school graduations have been put on hold (or transitioned online) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One notable exception is Kennett High School in NH, where the administration reached out to a local ski resort with a unique idea.
The idea in question: a ski lift graduation. This June, each of the school’s 174 graduates will ride a ski lift up Cranmore Mountain to receive their diploma.
The Good Place
The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted food supply chains across America, causing mass euthanizations of animals as some farmers are forced to scale down operations.
A California animal sanctuary named Animal Place sent two planes to Iowa over the weekend to rescue 1,000 hens scheduled to be euthanized at an egg farm that had fallen on hard times.
📜 Epic Games… U.S. federal prosecutors filed a civil complaint seeking the return of the 3,500-year-old Gilgamesh Dream Tablet to Iraq (its original owner) after it was purchased by Hobby Lobby at auction in 2014.
🚀 How To Space Quarantine… a new 37-minute documentary – called ‘Spacedrop’ – takes viewers inside an international team of scientists’ two-week quarantine inside a simulated space capsule.
💼 Fortune Teller… the 66th edition of the Fortune 500 was released on Monday, showing a record 37 women at the helm of America’s largest companies.
📹 Brand-New Tiger Saw… Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive recently unearthed, digitized, and released a 21-second clip showing the last remaining footage of a live Tasmanian tiger.
The Sun Always Sets
In 1920, the British Empire held sway over ~24% of the Earth’s total land area. Each year, how many countries celebrate an ‘independence from the UK’ day (e.g. Fourth of July in America)?
A) 24 B) 66 C) 37 D) 49
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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