3.10.2020

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Need to Know
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Markets Halted as Stocks Free Fall
US markets plummeted more than 7% yesterday, driven by the combination of an emerging oil price war and fears of global economic disruption caused by the new coronavirus. Leading the plunge was a 20% drop in oil prices, the result of a standoff between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia. OPEC alone accounts for more than 40% of global oil production (see 101) and typically controls production to keep prices high. Saudi Arabia cut its export prices by 10% Friday after Russia's refusal to follow the group's production cuts. The resulting shock sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average, already down more than 10% over the past two weeks, down another 7.8%, with the S&P 500 (-7.6%) and Nasdaq (-7.3%) also dropping. The S&P 500 fell more than 7% as soon as trading opened, triggering a circuit breaker mechanism that temporarily halts trading for 15 minutes to let markets cool. It was the first time the mechanism had been used since new limits were put in place in 2013.

The impact of lower oil prices on the US economy is mixed. Lower gas prices are good for consumers, but a number of state economies depend on the oil industry, whose production slows as prices drop. 
Mini-Super Tuesday
One week after the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination was winnowed to two major candidates, voters in six states head to the polls in races that could once again reshape the 2020 election. After reversing his fortunes last Tuesday, new frontrunner Joe Biden leads Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in delegate count 652 to 575, with 1,991 needed to win the nomination on the first ballot. There are 352 total delegates available today, with the big prize being Michigan and its 125 delegates, where Biden has opened up a lead in polls following his Super Tuesday wins. Sanders has keyed in on the state, with some framing it as a make-or-break contest for his campaign, while Democrats are viewing the race as a litmus test for the general election. President Trump won Michigan in 2016, 47.5% to 47.3% over Hillary Clinton. Biden enters the day after picking up an endorsement from former candidate Sen. Cory Booker yesterday.
Italy Goes Full Quarantine
Italian officials extended a quarantine in the northern regions to the entire country yesterday, locking down more than 60 million people in an attempt to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. Though comparable in scale to China's lockdown of its Hubei province, the move makes Italy the first to apply such severe travel restrictions across the entire country. The quarantine, which requires people to demonstrate critical work, health, or emergency needs to leave the area in which they live, is slated to last until April 3. The decision comes as confirmed cases in the country jumped to more than 9,200 (real-time map), making it the biggest outbreak outside China, with 463 deaths. Meanwhile, in the US, President Trump proposed a temporary cut to payroll taxes to counter the economic impact of the outbreak and is expected to announce further measures today.

See eerie photos of a deserted Venice here.
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Former Under Armour execs are making your new favorite jeans.
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If you work for a performance athletic brand, you work with some pretty amazing materials. Materials that stretch, breathe, and move with you. As in, materials that aren't denim. 

So when a few Under Armour execs left to blaze their own trail, they started by addressing the biggest shortfall of denim, and jeans in general: movement. In Revtown’s book, three things make great jeans: comfort, function, and durability. That’s why their Decade Denim jeans are made with proprietary, Italian denim that’s tough as nails, but still mobile. Revtown jeans are designed to keep you on the move, whether it’s from the office to the bar, or right back to the couch. No tight thighs, no bum-sweats, and absolutely no crotch-binding.

Because Revtown deals directly with its customers, they can sell their designer-quality jeans at a fraction of the price of other fashion brands. So check out Revtown today for denim made right.
 
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Max von Sydow, prolific actor memorable for roles in "The Exorcist" and "Game of Thrones," dies at 90 (More)
> More than two dozen racehorse trainers and handlers charged in horse racing doping scheme; well-known trainer Jason Servis allegedly gave performance-enhancing drugs to nearly every horse he worked with (More)
> Prince Harry and wife Meghan appear at Commonwealth Day service, the couple's final appearance as working members of the Royal Family (More) | See photos (More)
Science & Technology
> Study suggests people infected with the new coronavirus are highly infectious early on, but those with mild symptoms stop being infectious after about 10 days (More) | CDC says US outbreak could persist into 2021 (More)
> Robots that admit mistakes and express vulnerability are received more positively by humans; results may increase efficiency in settings where robots and humans work together (More)
> Fossil study suggests the Earth rotated faster on its axis 70 million years ago; days were 30 minutes shorter, with 372 days in a year (More)
Business & Markets
> Aon to buy fellow insurance giant Willis Towers Watson for approximately $30B in all-stock deal, combined company to become world’s largest insurance broker (More)
> Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to remain at the helm after company raises $1B from tech private equity firm Silver Lake, proceeds plus cash on hand will be used to start a $2B share repurchase program to appease activist shareholder Elliott Management (More)
> Wells Fargo board members resign after House report finds bank hasn’t enacted reform related to fake account scandal fast enough (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Rivals of Benjamin Netanyahu agree to cooperate on forming a new government; partnership would avoid fourth repeat election within the past year while pushing Netanyahu's Likud Party from power (More)
> Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani sworn in for second term as chief rival holds parallel inauguration; political crisis threatens new US-Taliban peace deal (More) | ... as the US begins withdrawing troops (More)
> Trial of four suspects involved in the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 begins in the Netherlands; prosecutors accuse Russian agents in absentia of shooting down the aircraft (More)
In-Depth
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Elon's Rocket
Esquire | Rachel Monroe. In 2014, Elon Musk's SpaceX chose a sleepy beach town at the southern tip of Texas as the location for the company's private launch pad. Now, the company is buying out the entire town, one house at a time - but some residents refuse to leave. (Read)
'Bailey' vs. 'Blood and Teeth'
Politico | Alex Thompson. Now that the dust has settled on Sen. Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign, two dozen staffers offer their competing views of what went wrong. (Read)
 
 
The Khaki is dead.
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As workplaces around the globe go casual, its time to elevate your everyday pants from routine to game-changing. Revtown's Khaki Jean is available in four office friend colors: bunker green, field khaki, slate blue, and original khaki.

They're the Swiss Army Knife of pants, wear them to the office, to the bar, or even hiking. Long live the khaki jean.

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Etcetera
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The 17 most comprehensive charts on the coronavirus outbreak.
... and February's best science images include a coronavirus close-up.
A detailed look at what it really costs to run a restaurant.

From our partners: Here's why you might be overpaying for renters or home insurance. #Ad
Twitter's first use of its manipulated media tag comes on a viral Joe Biden video.
The world's tallest mountains, and what their names mean (in one infographic).
Photographer captures love of the ocean in portraits of powerful waves.
Malfunction causes red wine to flow from taps in an Italian town.
XFL fans create an epic beer-cup snake
Clickbait: These 30 drawings will make you feel guilty about society.
Historybook: Courrieres mining accident kills 1,099 in France (1906); RIP Harriet Tubman (1913); HBD Chuck Norris (1940); HBD Sharon Stone (1958); Ethiopian Airlines flight crashes, killing 157 (2019).
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"Every great dream begins with a dreamer."
- Harriet Tubman
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