The Senate approved a $2T economic package to blunt the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The bill now moves to the House for approval. The sweeping package, the largest in US history, expands unemployment support, provides for $1,200 direct payments to Americans making less than $75K, a $300B loan fund for small businesses, a $500B corporate loan fund, and more. See what's in the massive deal here.
Anticipating positive news on the stimulus bill, markets notched their first back-to-back gains since early February. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 496 points (2.4%), followed by the S&P 500 (1.2%). The Nasdaq fell slightly, dropping 0.5%.
Governors are pleading for additional support from Washington as unemployment claims have surged over the past two weeks. Many states have reported a hundredfold increase in new claims each day. The number of new filings caused New Jersey's online system to crash last week, while California saw a weekly average of 750,000 claims, or nearly 3.8% of the state's workforce. A number of states are waiting for disaster unemployment funds to be released.
The full picture will come into view today, when official unemployment numbers are released. An earlier estimate from Goldman Sachs projected a whopping 2.25 million people filed initial unemployment claims last week. Mortgage applications also plunged almost 30% last week, an early sign of the impact on the broader economy.
Buckingham Palace revealed Prince Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the throne, tested positive for the virus but was in good health. Meanwhile, the first day of India's lockdown of its 1.3 billion residents began amid confusion and chaos.
The US had 69,197 confirmed cases as of this morning, with 1,050 deaths (real-time map).
Deaths in Italy, home to the world's second-worst outbreak, rose by 683 yesterday but appear to be leveling off as quarantine restrictions went into place.
More Charges in Khashoggi Murder
Turkish prosecutors unveiled charges yesterday against 20 people said to be involved in the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Washington Post reporter, a Saudi national and critic of the Saudi royal family, was brutally murdered in the Saudi consulate in the Turkish capital of Istanbul. Though he denies involvement, a United Nations report found the attack was carried out at the behest of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, angered over Khashoggi's critiques of the royal family. The move by Turkey is mostly symbolic - all of the men charged are believed to be in Saudi Arabia, and won't be tried - as the killing was viewed by many ($$, WashPo) as a state-sponsored assassination on Turkish soil.
Putin Delays Constitutional Vote
Russian President Vladimir Putin delayed a vote that would potentially allow him to extend power until 2036. The nationwide referendum would consider a package of constitutional amendments that includes a provision limiting presidential terms to two; a special exemption was created for Putin, whose current terms ends in 2024. The loophole would allow Putin, who has held power either as president or prime minister since 2000, to run for two new six-year terms. Other amendments include outlawing same-sex marriage and a host of social welfare programs, but the whole package must be considered in a single up or down vote, increasing its chances of passing. Putin pointed to the acceleration of the coronavirus in Russia to indefinitely delay the April 22 vote.
Over the past couple of days, much of the world's workforce has been practicing social distancing, and they're beginning to learn a thing or two about the working-from-home (that's WFH for those in the know) lifestyle. It's a lot easier to get away with playing Minecraft, Post-It Notes are now overkill to stop coworkers from stealing your lunch, and, very importantly, that meeting definitely could've been an email.
But we're also learning what an awful headache we can get from staring at computer screens all day long. And MVMT is here to help. Today, they're announcing a line of Everscroll blue light glasses to 1440 readers, and you're going to want in. Combine antireflective technology, up to 420nm of UV protection, and a fantastically stylish frame, to get the blue light glasses you didn't realize you needed. They've been shown to promote sounder sleep, elevate mood, improve focus, and sharpen vision. Sounds good to us (so good, in fact, that our COO wears his from home every day)!
Please support our sponsors - they help us keep the lights on!
In the Know
Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> AMC Theatres, the largest movie theater chain in the world, furloughs 600 corporate employees, including its CEO (More) | NFL 2020 Draft (April 23-25) will raise funds for coronavirus relief efforts (More)
> Elton John to host a living room concert to raise money for relief efforts (March 29, 9pm ET, Fox); the concert will include performances by Alicia Keys, Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey, and others (More)
> Chef Floyd Cardoz dies at 59 from COVID-19 complications; he tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from India, where he filmed an episode of the Netflix show “Ugly Delicious” (More)
Science & Technology
> New York City hospitals to trial blood transfusions from recovered patients to treat severe cases of COVID-19, in the hopes that antibodies in the donor blood will help fight the disease (More)
> New research suggests Humboldt squids communicate with each other via bioluminescence, changing colors as they hunt (More)
> Study finds that a person's teeth act as an archive of their life, exhibiting changes linked to major life events like illnesses and giving birth in each tooth's cementum (More)
Business & Markets
> US Treasury bill yields turned negative yesterday, following recent Federal Reserve rate reductions and investor flights to safe assets (More)
> The Cheesecake Factory informs US landlords it won’t make April 1 rent payments (More)
> Online coupon giant Groupon fires CEO and COO as company's struggles continue; share price has dropped 70% in past five weeks (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Yuli Edelstein, speaker of the Israeli Parliament and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, resigns under pressure from Supreme Court; Likud narrowly lost its majority in a March election (More)
> US confirms former FBI agent Robert Levinson likely died in Iranian custody; Levinson disappeared in 2007 while doing contract work for the CIA, becoming the longest-held American hostage (More)
> Hourslong assault on Sikh temple in Afghanistan capital of Kabul leaves 25 dead and eight injured, with dozens of hostages recovered; attack claimed by Islamic State (More)
It Takes a World to End a Pandemic
Foreign Affairs | Mahlet Mesfin. Facing one of the greatest public health challenges of the modern era, scientists around the world have embarked on an unprecedented effort of collaboration and coordination. Many countries have been forced to close their doors, but - fortunately, for the rest of us - science knows no borders. (Read)
Podcast Who Would You Be Without Them?
Science of Happiness | Dacher Keltner. Think of an important person in your life. Now imagine you had never met them. Here's how to count your blessings by picturing life without those closest to you. (Read)
Why blue light?
Until the advent of artificial lighting, the sun was the major source of lighting, and people spent evenings in (relative) darkness. Now, our evenings are illuminated. We're all guilty of staring into our phones, TVs, and monitors well past sundown. But we may be paying a price for basking in all that light. At night, blue light throws the body's biological clock (our "circadian rhythm") out of whack. The light suppresses secretion of melatonin and sleep suffers.
Historybook: RIP Ludwig van Beethoven (1827); American poet Robert Frost born (1874); RIP American poet Walt Whitman (1892); HBD Diana Ross (1944); 39 die in Heaven’s Gate mass suicide (1997).
Enjoy reading? Forward this email to a friend.
"Be curious, not judgmental" - Walt Whitman
Why 1440? The printing press was invented in the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses. Guess what else? There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Spend your first five with us and never miss out on the conversation. Drop us a line and let us know how we're doing at hello@Join1440.com.