Happy Friday. With the recent absence of sports, bookmakers have been struggling to keep gamblers engaged, and as a result have become increasingly open to taking wagers on a wide range of topics. In this brave new world, “you can bet on anything.”
“The most wasted of days is one without laughter.”
– E. E. Cummings
Around The World In 80 Seconds
Germany: 136,600 Total Cases – 3,900 Deaths – 77,000 Recovered
Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday unveiled plans to gradually reopen the country’s economy, which has been shutdown since March 16. The plan calls for some small businesses to reopen starting April 20, with schools beginning to return on May 4.
Japan: >9,000 Total Cases – 190 Deaths – 900 Recovered
Prime Minister Shinzo Abedeclared a nationwide state of emergency yesterday, expanding on the one put in place less than two weeks ago for Tokyo and six other prefectures. Abe also announced an upcoming one-time payment of 100,000 yen (~$930) to each of Japan’s 120 million citizens.
Russia: 27,900 Total Cases – 230 Deaths – 2,300 Recovered
Russiareported its highest daily increase of cases on Thursday, with a majority of them coming from Moscow, which has been under lockdown since March 30. Health experts have cautioned that Russia’s testing capacity is hampered by bureaucracy, and the country’s true number of cases is likely much higher than reported numbers.
France: 165,000 Total Cases – 17,900 Deaths – 32,800 Recovered
France on Monday extended its country-wide lockdown until May 11. Yesterday, the number of new patients admitted to the hospital fell for the second straight day, as the country’s total number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients reached its lowest point since April 1.
China: 82,300 Total Cases – 3,300 Deaths – 77,900 Recovered
China last week began to ease restrictions on the city of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated. Health officials have questioned the accuracy of China’s reported numbers, saying it is likely the country experienced many more cases and deaths than officially recorded.
United Kingdom: 103,000 Total Cases – 13,700 Deaths – Recovered: N/A
On Thursday, the government extended the nationwide lockdown – first put in place on March 23 – for another three weeks. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, deputizing for PM Boris Johnson as he recovers from COVID-19, said he could not provide a definite timeline for reopening the country.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte last week extended the country’s nationwide lockdown to May 3. Italy experienced a roughly 10% day-to-day decrease in deaths yesterday, while the number of new cases in the country went up nearly 50% compared to the day before.
The numbers in each headline were taken from Worldometers – Japan’s data gathered from here. Current data is still evolving, and the true number of cases is very likely much higher than reported across the board due to mild or asymptomatic cases that go untested.
On A Positive Note… Before you go further down the newsletter, here’s a few positive coronavirus-related stories:
Early peek at data on Gilead coronavirus drug suggests patients are responding to treatment
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
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Global cases rose above 2.18 million yesterday with more than 145,500 deaths. The number of confirmed U.S. cases rose to more than 677,000 with 34,617 confirmed deaths.
President Trump yesterday released a set of guidelines that recommend states follow a three-phase plan for reopening parts of the country.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomoannounced the recently formed coalition of Eastern states – NJ, PA, RI, CT, MA, DE, & NY – have extended their lockdown until May 15.
Seven Midwestern governors – from MI, OH, WI, MN, IL, IN, & KY – announced the formation of a regional coalition to plan for the reopening of their respective economies.
The IMF on Thursday said five countries – the UK, Canada, France, Australia, and Japan – pledged a total of $11.7 billion in aid towards the world’s poorest countries.
China on Fridayreported a 6.8% year-over-year contraction in GDP for the first quarter of 2020, its first drop since the country began disclosing quarterly GDP in 1992.
Refugees Rescued From Indian Ocean
Nearly 400 Rohingya Muslim refugees were rescued off the coast of Bangladesh on Thursday after spending two months adrift at sea. A survivor told reporters that at least 28 others had died of starvation during the refugees’ failed attempt at reaching Malaysia.
Thae Yong-ho on Thursday became the first North Korean defector to be elected to South Korea’s government. Yong-ho previously served as North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the UK, but defected in 2016 with his family, becoming the highest ranking official ever to do so.
The Labor Department on Thursday said about 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total up to 22 million over the past month.
The Small Business Administration’s $350 billion rescue loan program reached the end of its funds Thursday morning, with new applications no longer accepted.
U.S. stock indexesclosed Thursday slightly up, with futures trading significantly up. Share prices of Amazon and Netflix both closed at all-time high.
General Electric and Ford have agreed to a contract with the U.S. government under the DPA to produce 50,000 ventilators for $336 million.
Digital payment platform Stripe has raised $600 million in new funding at a valuation of $36 billion, a reflection of the economy’s virus-induced shift towards e-commerce.
Facebookannounced Thursday that it will begin to alert users who have engaged with COVID-19 misinformation on its platform and direct them to resources from the WHO.
On Thursday, Impossible Foods announced that their plant-based meat substitute will be available today at 777 additional supermarkets across the country. Since debuting in September, Impossible Foods said their product is the number one selling item at each store where it has been made available.
As part of a recent settlement, self-driving startup Zoox admitted that four of its employees took confidential documents from their previous employer, Tesla, and agreed to pay the EV manufacturer an undisclosed amount. Zoox must also undergo an audit to ensure none of its employees are still using Tesla’s proprietary information.
Live From New York
Earlier this month, Saturday Night Live star Michael Che revealed that his grandmother had passed away from the novel coronavirus, leaving him devastated and looking for a way to make a difference in her name.
On Wednesday, Michael announced that he would be honoring his grandmother’s memory by paying one month’s rent for each one of the 160 apartments in the NYC Housing Authority building where she lived.
Hit The Road (For) Jack
Four-year-old Jack Winter of Newfields, NH completed his final round of oral chemotherapy on Monday, signaling the end to a three-year battle with leukemia – a milestone his mother, Rebecca, asked the local community to help them celebrate.
Rebecca posted on Facebook asking the residents of the small town for a special favor, and they came through in a big way. The next day, more than one hundred cars paraded past the family’s home, honking their horns and waving homemade signs congratulating Jack.
Girl On Fire
In October 2019, the Cincinnati Fire Department hosted their first story time at a local school, which was a rousing success. Unfortunately, due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, plans for a follow-up gathering had to be put on hold.
When two little girls wrote in to the department asking to meet some female firefighters, the department seized the opportunity and responded with a video of several female first responders reading the storybook Girls Can Do Anything.
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🏜 About The Drought… a study published yesterday suggests that a 20-year ‘megadrought’ – as bad as any in the past 1,200 years – is currently taking place in the western U.S.
⛽ Making Emissions Their Mission… Taiwanese company Zero-Emission Venture (ZEV) is a taxi service with a fleet of 20 all-electric Teslas to cater to the country’s eco-conscious consumers.
🎁 That’s A Wrap… CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday confirmed that customers purchasing the Tesla Cybertruck will be able to wrap their new vehicle in any color or pattern they choose.
❌ Bad Ad… a Los Angeles mother was shocked to discover an 8-year-old photograph of her family used in a Facebook ad falsely claiming that all but one member of her family had died from COVID-19.
Three Is The Magic Number
Which NBA legend owns the trademark to the term ‘three-peat’ (referring to three consecutive championships)?
A) Pat Riley B) Michael Jordan C) LeBron James D) Phil Jackson
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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The former LA Lakers head coach trademarked the term in 1988 when his team was on the verge of winning three straight championships. They failed to do so, but Riley later cashed in when Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls accomplished two separate ‘three-peats’ in the 1990s.