4.16.2020

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Need to Know
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Two Million Cases
A grim milestone was reached yesterday as the global total of publicly reported coronavirus cases passed 2 million, with more than 130,000 deaths. While some countries are approaching or have already reached a turning point, the outbreak is still accelerating in many areas, causing the daily number of deaths to jump 30% yesterday. 

Almost one-third of those cases have been in the US, which stands at nearly 640,000 illnesses and almost 31,000 deaths as of this morning (county-level map). Models used in federal projections estimate today to be at or just past the peak number of daily deaths, though the accuracy of the estimate is subject to incoming data and will vary by state. You can see projections at the national and state levels here

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country would begin easing restrictions on businesses beginning Monday. Having navigated the crisis with relatively few deaths so far, the country represents the best European success story to date, which is largely credited to meticulous tracing of cases from early in the outbreak. Spain, Italy, and Denmark have begun easing restrictions as well. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will require all residents to wear facemasks during most public situations as the economy begins to restart. All proposals to reopen the US economy rely on some form of testing to identify who has had the virus (and may be immune) and who is still susceptible; here's a look at how those tests work.

Stimulus checks begin hitting bank accounts this week; you can use this website to track the status of your payment, if you're eligible.  

How much of the virus does it take to make you sick? We've posted a look at this question on our coronavirus resource page, along with a 101-style review of where new viruses come from. Our experts have curated nearly 100 various resources on the pandemic; check it out today
Breakthrough Neutrino Discovery
Researchers believe they have discovered a difference between the neutrino, nature's most elusive particle, and its antimatter counterpart, the antineutrino, potentially answering one of the universe's most perplexing questions. Standard theories suggest matter and antimatter - nearly exact copies of matter but with separate charges (see 101) - were created in equal amounts during the Big Bang. However, despite the fact particles and antiparticles annihilate each other when they meet, the universe appears to be filled nearly entirely with ordinary matter. This asymmetry is considered one of the great unsolved problems of physics, and researchers have assumed some undiscovered difference in one of the fundamental particle-antiparticle pairs is responsible. The new work finds that muon neutrinos are more likely to change into electron neutrinos than their antimatter counterparts (paper here). 

That obscure-sounding difference may provide the basis for ultimately explaining why the universe is filled with something, rather than nothing.
Notre Dame Rings Again
Parisian officials marked the first anniversary of Notre Dame's devastating fire last evening by ringing the iconic cathedral's great bell, timed to coincide with public applause by city residents for healthcare workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. It is the second time in 12 months the bell, known as Emmanuel, has rung, and the first time since September when former President Jacques Chirac died. Believed to have been started by faulty electrical wiring in the building's attic, the blaze burned through the wood-lattice roof and collapsed its great spire (see photos), but left much of the original structure. President Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild the centuries-old symbol of French identity by 2024 (aided by these digital maps), an ambitious timeline thrown into limbo as work pauses during the ongoing pandemic. 

Watch video of the bell tolling here.
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Access stabilized alternative investments amid uncertainty.
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COVID-19 has caused an economic crisis around the world resulting in market fluctuation and investor panic. You’ve heard the saying, “don’t keep all your eggs in one basket,” and that’s why one of the keys to financial success is diversifying your portfolio. 
 
Alternative investing platforms, like DiversyFund, were especially built to fight against market uncertainty. DiversyFund allows everyday investors to easily invest with stabilized commercial real estate by using this once-unattainable asset class to help all Americans build wealth just like the 1% has been doing for centuries.  
 
DiversyFund’s Growth REIT strategy focuses on multifamily cash-flowing properties, which have historically been less affected by economic markets, allowing you to start building generational wealth. Start your wealth-building journey with DiversyFund and invest today!
 
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Netflix ($187.3B) worth more than Disney ($186.6B) for first time as more families turn to streaming-only options during pandemic (More)
> NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock had soft launch yesterday; here’s what to know on full launch dates, pricing, and content lineup (More) | Andrea Bocelli’s Easter Sunday concert breaks YouTube classical livestreaming record with 2.8 million concurrent viewers (More)
> Pro Football Hall of Famer and five-time NFL champion Willie Davis dies at 85 (More)
Science & Technology
> General Motors to ship the first batch of 600 medical ventilators for severe COVID-19 patients by end of month; automaker was contracted under the Defense Production Act to deliver 30,000 by August (More)
> Apple announces a new entry-level iPhone to retail at $399; the iPhone SE combines features of an iPhone 11 with the body of an iPhone 8 (More)
> Double-blind study of antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 suspended after patients develop heart problems; experts say study was small but points to need for more rigorous review (More)
Business & Markets
> US stock markets down (S&P 500 -2.2%, Dow -1.9%, Nasdaq -1.4%) as US retail sales dropped 8.7% in March, highest monthly drop recorded (More)
> JCPenney skips $12M interest payment to bondholders as it considers bankruptcy options (More)
> Airbnb secures another $1B loan as pandemic hammers travel industry (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Election 2020: Former presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) endorses Joe Biden (More)
> President Trump criticizes Senate pro forma sessions, calling on the Senate to approve nominees for administration positions or formally adjourn, allowing him to make recess appointments; Trump raises possibility of forcing adjournment (More)
> Winter conditions cause 50-car pileup on Chicago expressway; the crash sends 14 people to the hospital with injuries (More)
In-Depth
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Last Words From the Front Lines
NYT | Staff. Madhvi Aya worked long hours in Brooklyn's Woodhull Medical Center emergency room, before contracting and ultimately succumbing to the coronavirus. Aya's final texts paint a deeply personal portrait from the front lines of the crisis. (Read, $$)
The White Island Eruption
Outside | Alex Perry. Four months ago, a routine tour to New Zealand's White Island turned into a terrifying race for survival when the island's volcano erupted without warning. Go inside the harrowing aftermath as first responders raced to save those who survived the initial blast. (Read)
 
 
Protect your future during market uncertainty.
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Etcetera
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Colleges are considering dropping test requirements for this year's applicants.
This couple is spending the lockdown recreating famous movie scenes.
Stunning finalists of Nikon’s Surf Photo of the Year.
... and check out the microscopic winners of the Olympus Image of the Year Awards.

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Fruit detectives discover 10 pioneer-era apple varietals thought to have gone extinct.
Ranking this year's best venture capital investors.
Coronavirus quarantines have been a boon for cheap wine.
Melting glacier reveals long-lost Viking relics
Clickbait: Get ready to be a walk-on in the next Martin Scorsese film.
Historybook: Actor Charlie Chaplin born (1889); Harriet Quimby is first woman to fly across English Channel (1912); HBD Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947); Singer-songwriter Selena Quintanilla-Pérez born (1971); 32 die, 17 injured in Virginia Tech mass shooting (2007).
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- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
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