4.13.2020

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Need to Know
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Half a Million Cases
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US passed half a million over the weekend as officials pondered when and how the economy may begin reopening. Total deaths from the virus hit 22,109 as of this morning, giving the US the highest publicly reported death toll. See day-by-day stats here

The news came as people around the world celebrated Easter Sunday in isolation (see photos).

President Trump launched a task force to examine restarting the economy, while many outside groups have proposed measures that would allow stay-at-home orders to be lifted without causing a dangerous spike in new cases. Most plans involve some combination of extended social distancing measures, mass tracking and surveillance of potential and known patients, and widespread testing as preconditions for a return to normal.

A disaster declaration was approved for Wyoming, marking the first time all 50 states have been under the same major disaster declaration. The rate of new cases in New York, the country's epicenter, has slowed somewhat while deaths have remained relatively flat - between 750-800 per day - for the past five days.

In Washington, DC, Treasury officials are set to send out the first wave of stimulus checks to Americans this week, while Congress appears to have punted on a fourth bill to blunt the economic shock from the virus.

Overseas, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released from the hospital, but won't return to work yet. Spain, once the world's hot spot, issued back-to-work guidelines as its rate of new cases leveled out. Meanwhile, cases in Russia appear to be accelerating.

Need a 101 on viruses and the human body? Check out the guide to how the immune system works, posted on our coronavirus resource page. We've also added a nice visual metaphor for social distancing and a breakdown of why fatality rates seem to vary so much. It's curated by PhD experts - check it out today
Historic Oil Agreement
A number of oil-producing nations agreed to coordinate a 10% cut in oil production over the weekend in an unprecedented effort to avoid a crash in oil prices. Led by Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the US, the group of 23 countries agreed to collectively reduce output by 9.7 million barrels per day. The effort is meant to blunt the effect of falling prices caused by a coronavirus-induced nosedive in demand. Oil prices have tumbled almost 40% since mid-March (the average gas price in the US is under $1.90 per gallon) exacerbated by a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia effectively ended by the agreement. US officials reportedly played a key role in the deal, facilitating disagreements between Saudi Arabia and Mexico. The US ultimately agreed to cut 300,000 barrels per day from the global market, though how those cuts will be enacted was not detailed. 
'Houston, We've Had a Problem'
Today marks the 50th anniversary of a near-fatal accident aboard NASA's Apollo 13 spacecraft, a mission meant to be the third human landing on the moon's surface. Known as the Apollo program's "successful failure," an electrical short two days after launch caused an oxygen tank on the craft's service module to explode, forcing Commander Jim Lovell and astronauts Jack Swigert and Fred Haise to abort the lunar landing. As the crew retreated to the lunar module, conserving power in the command module for reentry, an improvised plan was drawn up that would send the spacecraft around the far side of the moon before being slingshot back toward Earth. At their farthest location, Lovell's crew was 248,000 miles from the Earth's surface, a record that still stands today. All three survived a dramatic reentry, with tens of millions watching the splashdown in the South Pacific Ocean (see video).

Experience the entire flight with this amazing mission simulation, which includes the astronauts' view and original flight audio. 
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Upstart football league XFL suspends operations, lays off staff with no plans for 2021 season (More) | Walt Disney World to furlough 43,000 employees April 19 due to the coronavirus (More)
> Harvey Weinstein faces new sexual assault charges in Los Angeles; Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for sexual assault in New York (More)
> British racing legend Sir Stirling Moss dies at 90 (More) | NFL Pro Bowler and “M*A*S*H” actor Timothy Brown dies at 82 (More) | Colby Cave, who played for the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, dies at 25 from brain bleed (More)
Science & Technology
> Apple and Google partner on voluntary coronavirus tracking app, with phase one available to public health officials in mid-May; app is designed to work between iPhone and Android devices (More)
> Fossil find suggests ancient primate species traveled across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to South America roughly 30 million years ago, possibly making the 900-mile journey by accident (More)
> Researchers find what is believed to be the longest organism ever discovered during a dive off the Australian coast; giant siphonophore is estimated to be almost 400 feet long (More, w/video)
Business & Markets
> March US consumer prices fall 0.4%, the biggest drop since January 2015, as travel-related costs decline rapidly (More)
> US Postal Service tells Congress it faces insolvency risk by September without financial assistance (More)
> World’s largest pork producer Smithfield shuts down meat-processing plants as pandemic cases grow among employees, warns there could be upcoming meat supply shortages (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Israel President Reuven Rivlin rejects extension for prime minister candidate Benny Gantz to build a governing coalition; deadline is tonight by midnight, raising the possibility of the country's fourth national election in the past 12 months (More)
> Former staffer Tara Reade files criminal complaint against Joe Biden, accusing him of sexual assault in 1993; Biden denies allegations, which originally surfaced last year (More)
> Easter storms sweep through the southern US; at least six people killed in Mississippi, 750,000 people without power from Texas to Georgia (More)
Etcetera
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A day with a paramedic on the front lines of the crisis.
The economic shutdown imperils low-wage jobs.
Watch opera singer Andrea Bocelli perform in an empty Milan cathedral.

From our partners​: Is your company working remotely? This product empowers businesses to work productively from anywhere with Apple devices. ​Create your free account here. #Ad
The Library of Congress is archiving your memes. ($$, NYT)
Supervillians are swiping tips from Instacart shoppers.
Comic book artist pays homage to the pandemic's heroic women.
Paul McCartney's handwritten "Hey Jude" lyrics sell for $910K.
Anonymous donor sends an entire Iowa town $150 gift cards.
Clickbait: It's raining holy water in New Orleans.
Historybook: President Thomas Jefferson born (1743); NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art founded (1870); Author Eudora Welty born (1909); Sidney Poitier becomes the first African American male to win Best Actor at Oscars (1964).
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"I always wanted to be someone better the next day than I was the day before."
- Sidney Poitier
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