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Need To Know.
NYC Issues Vaccine Mandate.
New York City mayor Bill Bill de Blasio issued a public health emergency yesterday that would require certain communities in Brooklyn to receive the measles vaccine. The move, which primarily affects the borough's ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, comes with fines of up to $1,000 for those who don't comply with the order. The Williamsburg neighborhood has been the epicenter of an outbreak that has seen nearly 250 cases of measles since last September. In nearby Rockland County, which has seen over 150 cases, officials issued a ban on unvaccinated children in public spaces. Health officials say preventing measles, a highly contagious airborne disease that was declared eliminated in the US in 2000 before making a comeback, requires a community vaccination rate of 92-95%. Officials blamed a mix of strict religious views and the spread of misinformation about vaccine safety for the low vaccination rate.
One handout in particular claims the vaccine contains DNA from monkeys, rats, and pigs, making it prohibited (paywall) by kosher dietary law.
Black Hole Breakthrough.
In one of the biggest milestones in astrophysics in recent memory, scientists are expected to unveil the first-ever direct photos of black holes at a series of simultaneous press conferences being held across the globe. Technically, the photos - collected by a worldwide array of radio observatories working in unison, effectively creating an Earth-sized telescope - will be silhouettes capturing the event horizons of two black holes. Black holes are ultra-dense, collapsed stars whose gravitational pull is so strong that even light can’t escape if it gets too close (see 101). That boundary, the point of no return for light, is known as the event horizon and represents one of the enduring mysteries of science, since no one understands precisely what happens on the other side. Among other things, scientists will test Einstein’s theory of general relativity in the vicinity of the black hole’s edge.
The announcement is currently scheduled for 9am ET.
NHL Playoffs Begin.
The road to the Stanley Cup begins tonight as the 2019 NHL playoffs get underway, with the Tampa Bay Lightning the odds-on favorite to win the championship. After having made deep playoff runs in three of the past four years, the Lightning are coming off one of the best regular seasons in NHL history. The team posted a record of 62-16, tied with the ‘95-’96 Detroit Red Wings for most wins in an 82-game season, scored 103 more goals than they gave up, and finished 21 points ahead of the second-place Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins. Tampa Bay (2/1 odds) faces the Columbus Blue Jackets in the opening round tonight (7pm ET, USA). Aside from the Lightning, keep an eye on Boston (9/1) and the defending champion Washington Capitals (9/1).
> Actress Lori Loughlin among 16 parents from college admissions scandal to be indicted on further charges; Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering (More)
> Peabody Award nominations announced for excellence in storytelling in television, radio, and online media; journalist Ronan Farrow to host (More)
> NBA great Magic Johnson abruptly steps down as president of Los Angeles Lakers; the Lakers, led by LeBron James, went 35-47 and missed the playoffs (More)
Science & Technology.
> Google parent company Alphabet receives approval to launch drone delivery service, Wing, in Australia; users can order food, coffee, medicine, and more (More) | But the drones sound atrocious (More)
> Generating charged particles in fragments of air, known as a cold plasma, shown to kill 99.9% of airborne viruses; may have applications in clean rooms and surgical settings (More)
> New research says cancer-fighting gene, p53, also plays critical role in suppressing congenital disabilities, development of the neural tube in female embryos (More)
Business & Markets.
> International Monetary Fund (IMF) reduces global 2019 growth projections from 3.5% to 3.3% (More) | IMF 101 (More)
> Yahoo reaches $117M settlement with millions affected by largest data breach in history (More)
> Shares of Australian casino giant Crown Resorts tumble after Wynn Resorts cancels estimated $7B takeover following leak in newspaper (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Attorney General William Barr testifies to House Appropriations Committee, says redacted Mueller report will be released within a week (More)
> Texas Tech medical school agrees to stop using race-based admissions following Department of Education probe; foreshadows similar investigations at Harvard and Yale (More)
> In tight election, Israeli Prime Minister and opponent Benny Gantz both declare victory; Netanyahu has slight lead, outcome expected to take until Friday to determine (More)
Historybook:The Great Gatsby published (1925); HBD labor rights activist Dolores Huerta (1930); HBD football personality John Madden (1936); Paul McCartney leaves The Beatles (1970); Good Friday Agreement is signed (1998).
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