4.15.2020

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Need to Know
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Depression-Sized Downturn
The global economy is expected to shrink by 3% this year due to the economic shock of the coronavirus, according to analysts from the International Monetary Fund. If realized, it would mark the sharpest downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s, with the best-case scenario in the analysis projecting a cumulative $9T in lost output. The report tentatively forecasts a rebound of 5.8% growth in 2021, but with activity still below what was projected before the pandemic. See the full report here.

India extended its nationwide lockdown, prohibiting its 1.3 billion residents from leaving their homes. Meanwhile, Russia appears likely to be among the world's next hotspots. The country has reported 21,000 cases, more than 30% of which have come in the past three days.

The number of COVID-19 deaths in New York City soared by 3,700 yesterday to more than 10,800, largely driven by city officials adding a slew of presumed coronavirus victims to the official toll. Across the country, California and Oregon outlined a joint plan to reopen the regional economy, basing progress on six factors, including the ability to widely test and trace those who have tested positive for the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are also reportedly working on guidelines that are expected ($$, WashPo) to feed into a larger White House plan that could include some areas reopening by May 1.

Separately, the CDC estimated nearly 90% of Americans have complied ($$, Bloomberg) with social distancing policies. Initial projections assumed a 50% compliance rate, leading to early models predicting significantly higher total deaths. See current projections here.

Have you checked out our coronavirus resource page? We had a group of PhDs scour the web for the best articles, datasets, maps, explainers, and more to help you wrap your mind around the crisis. Click here to visit the home page.
Obama Endorses Biden
Former President Barack Obama endorsed Joe Biden yesterday, marking his first formal foray into the 2020 election (see video). The news was unsurprising, as Obama's former vice president is now also the presumptive Democratic nominee, but gives Biden much-needed visibility, having been squeezed aside by the ongoing pandemic. The degree to which Obama, capable of drawing big crowds, will stump for Biden is still up in the air. With the Democratic convention delayed until Aug. 17 and the coronavirus crisis likely stretching into the summer, observers say Biden may have limited opportunities to break into the news cycle. One of the most anticipated decisions will be choosing his running mate; he has already committed to selecting a female vice presidential candidate (see contenders) but has not set a timeline for a decision.

See general election poll averages here. 
Bloomberg Spikes China Story
Bloomberg News allegedly killed a high-profile investigation into the link between the Chinese Communist Party and the country's wealthy elites, fearing retribution from the government. Part of former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg's sprawling empire, the outlet produced an award-winning series ($$) in 2012 detailing the accumulation of wealth by China's ruling class. Angered by the story, the Chinese government not only raided the company's news operations, but threatened the sale of the broader company's lucrative financial data analysis products to Chinese firms. A follow-up to the series examining the country's richest man, Wang Jianlin, was then squashed by senior staff after CCP officials threatened to expel the entire company from the country. The company was also said to have used nondisclosure agreements to prevent its reporters - and their spouses - from discussing the episode. 

The episode took place in 2013 but has surfaced just weeks after China booted reporters from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post over pieces that drew the ire of party officials.
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Taylor Swift, Oprah sign on for “One World: Together at Home,” the Lady Gaga-curated benefit concert set for Saturday, April 18 (8pm ET) (More) | Cannes Film Festival postponed again, unlikely to take place in 2020 after French lockdown announced through mid-July (More)
> New York Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner dies at 63 (More) | Jim Frey, former manager of Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs, dies at 88 (More) | Nearly 10,000 MLB players and employees to participate in coronavirus study (More)
> Carolina Panthers sign Christian McCaffrey to four-year, $64M deal, making him highest-paid running back in NFL history (More)
Science & Technology
> New evidence links deoxygenation of the Earth's oceans to the world's first mass extinction 444 million years ago, when nearly 90% of species died off (More) | Read about the "Big Five" mass extinctions in Earth's history (More)
> Sources say Google will move to in-house developed processors in future Pixels and Chromebooks; devices are currently powered by Qualcomm chips (More)
> Astronomers identify the brightest supernova to date, possibly formed by two merging stars before explosion (More) | What is a supernova? (More)
Business & Markets
> US airlines reach $25B government aid agreement to fund payrolls through September; airlines will not pay back 70% of proceeds, 30% to be repaid via long-term low-interest loan, and government will receive warrants for 10% of loan amount (More)
> US stock markets surge (S&P 500 +2.4%, Dow +3.1%, Nasdaq +4.0%) on optimism of easing pandemic despite banks JPMorgan and Wells Fargo setting aside billions to cover projected loan losses (More)
> Amazon under pressure for terminating critics of working conditions (More) | Amazon stock reaches all-time high as demand surges (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> White House to temporarily halt funding to the World Health Organization, citing failures in preventing the coronavirus pandemic; long-term mechanism to pull funding is unclear, with the funds appropriated by Congress (More)
> Millions vote in national parliamentary elections in South Korea despite virus fears, viewed as a midterm referendum on President Moon Jae-in (More)
> French officials to ring Notre Dame cathedral's great bell at 8pm local time to mark one year since a fire nearly burned the iconic structure to the ground (More)
Etcetera
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New poll shows life satisfaction for Americans has plummeted
A 3D simulation of how coughs spread in space.
Mapping where the world's ultrawealthy live.

From our partners: Here's a way to earn $650 from your couch. Make introductions to your network as a side hustle. #Ad
Forget video conferences, future meetings will be held in virtual reality.
Two gerbils make themselves at home in a miniature art museum
A balloon artist is bringing joy to the streets of Philadelphia
Dissatisfied partners are taking to Zoom to break up.  
Cars line up to give a 101-year-old veteran a birthday salute.
Clickbait: Indiana man looks for stimulus check, finds millions.
Historybook: Leonardo da Vinci born (1452); RIP Abraham Lincoln (1865); RMS Titanic sinks after hitting an iceberg, killing more than 1,500 (1912); HBD actress Emma Watson (1990); Two bombs explode at Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 264 (2013).
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- Abraham Lincoln
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