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Need to Know
Senate Passes Next Stimulus
After weeks of negotiation, Senate leaders announced an agreement on a $484B aid package. The bill would be the fourth aimed at blunting the economic impact of the pandemic, pushing the total support provided to more than $2.6T in the past two months. For context, the federal government was projected to spend $4.7T during the entire 2020 fiscal year before the pandemic hit.

The new package is expected to add $380B to a depleted small business payroll loan program. The program ran out of money after approving an estimated 1.7 million loans, with many small businesses still in the application pipeline. Hospitals will receive an extra $75B in support while $25B will be set aside for testing. The bill could be approved by the House as early as Thursday.

Separately, President Trump signed an executive order pausing the majority of new green cards, which allow foreigners to work and live permanently in the US, for 60 days. The decision was framed as protecting American jobs, though temporary foreign visas, which employ hundreds of thousands of high-tech and seasonal farmworkers, are exempted ($$, WSJ). The order is expected to be signed today.

More states across the US set timetables to begin reopening their economy. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said he would start easing restrictions starting Friday, while Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said the state would transition from a stay-at-home order to a safer-at-home approach next week. Ohio, Texas, Florida, and others have announced tentative plans to reopen. Plans are likely to vary with the circumstances in each region; track the status for all 50 states here.

In encouraging news, New York state saw its lowest number of new cases since March 20. The US has reported more than 825,000 cases, with 45,000 deaths, as of this morning (see stats).

Have more questions? Check out our expert-curated coronavirus resource page here.
Oil Price Crash Continues
Oil prices continued a historic slide yesterday, with prices for June delivery benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures falling 22%, to $15.75 per barrel. Demand has cratered as the coronavirus has brought the global economy to a standstill, leading to an oversupply of oil that many traders fear has nowhere to be stored. The drop in prices comes one day after a futures contract went negative for the first time ever, implying sellers would pay buyers to take oil off their hands. 

The price levels are the lowest since 1999 and less than half of what was seen at the bottom of the 2008-09 recession (see data). US stock markets were dragged down as well (S&P 500 -3.1%, Dow -2.7%, Nasdaq -3.5%), as the impact spread into the energy sector and affected the currencies of countries which depend on oil exports. 

Low oil prices are a mixed bag for the US economy - read about the dynamics here.
Conflicting Reports from Korea
National security officials confirmed they were monitoring reports about the health of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un yesterday, following rumors that Kim was in critical condition. The stories, some of which went as far as to suggest Kim was in a coma, followed a report the 36-year-old underwent heart surgery April 12. His absence from an April 15 ceremony honoring his grandfather, state founder Kim Il Sung, also raised red flags.

North Korea is notoriously opaque and conflicting information on its leadership is frequent. Countering the reports, South Korea said it had noticed no irregular activity from its neighbor; China also cast doubt on the rumors. Still, concerns over Kim's weight and smoking habit have left observers open to the possibility of a health crisis. 

One open question is who might follow Kim; his family tree does not have a clear successor.
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In the Know
Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Retired NFL star Rob Gronkowski traded to Tampa Bay Buccaneers; will join former New England Patriots teammate Tom Brady (More)
> Germany’s Oktoberfest, originally planned for Sept. 19-Oct. 4, canceled due to the coronavirus (More) | South by Southwest announces its April 27 virtual film festival lineup; only 5% of the original slate of feature films will participate (More)
> HBO Max to launch May 27; new streaming service will cost $14.99/month with 10,000 hours of content including “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory” (More)
Science & Technology
> Nearly 2 billion phones worldwide lack adequate hardware for contact tracing, a key element of plans to slow the spread of the coronavirus (More) | How contact tracing works (More)
> Genetically engineered rice shown to withstand extreme heat waves, produce up to 20% more grain than control plants (More)
> Alphabet's Loon, which aims to provide wide area broadband internet via hot air balloons, deploys its first commercial fleet in Kenya (More)
Business & Markets
> Netflix adds 15.8 million subscribers in Q1, doubling Wall Street estimates (More) | Chipotle beats earnings estimates as digital sales increase 81% in Q1 (More)
> US home sales drop 8.5% in March, analysts expect sales could drop 30-40% in Q2 (More)
> General Motors folds Maven car-sharing service; company had already pulled service from half of its cities before the pandemic (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> FDA approves first at-home coronavirus test; samples will still need to be mailed to a lab for analysis (More)
> Senate Intelligence Committee report supports the findings of earlier intelligence assessments that Russia attempted to influence 2016 election (More) | Read redacted report (More)
> Election 2020: Biden campaign reports $46.7M in March fundraising, his highest monthly total to date; still lags the Trump campaign in total funding by $187M (More)
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On its 50th anniversary, Earth Day goes digital.
... plus seven charts showing how Americans view the environment
Michael Jordan's "Dream Team" jersey sells for more than $200K.

From our partners: Here are some of the best sales we could find at elite retailers across the country. #Ad
Daughter uses Zoom class with professor to matchmake for mom.
US newspapers have shed half their newsroom employees since 2008.
How the coronavirus changed what we Google. ($$, WashPo)
This Texas doctor self-quarantined in his children's treehouse.
When hide-and-seek goes horribly wrong.
Clickbait: Evidence there's a party on your tongue.
Historybook: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Ellen Glasgow born (1873); Earth Day first celebrated in US (1970); RIP photographer Ansel Adams (1984); RIP President Richard Nixon (1994); Former NFL football player Pat Tillman dies in Iraq War (2004).
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