4.28.2020

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Need to Know
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Global Cases Pass 3 Million
The number of coronavirus cases confirmed across the globe zoomed past 3 million yesterday, with more than 210,000 deaths reported. The US appears likely to pass 1 million reported cases today, with 56,253 deaths as of this morning (see stats). 

While data are still being compiled, the virus has hit nursing homes particularly hard. More than a quarter of US deaths have been in long-term care facilities, and accounts for half of the deaths in some states. Separately, a new analysis suggests more than 15,000 previously unaccounted for deaths could have been due to the virus in the early days of the US outbreak. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he would likely extend stay-at-home orders past the May 15 deadline for some parts of the state while easing them in less hard-hit areas. Deaths in the state, which exceed 22,000, fell to 316 yesterday, the lowest daily total since March. The state Democratic Party canceled its primaries, which had been delayed to late June. 

Georgia, which has been the most aggressive state in easing restrictions, allowed restaurants to reopen with limited services. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said the state would let its stay-at-home order expire Thursday, allowing retail businesses, restaurants, and other businesses to reopen Friday (if they choose) at 25% capacity. Orders expire in a number of other states this week; see a state-by-state guide here.

Officials at Tyson Foods warned that parts of the nation's food supply chain were in danger as a number of meat processing plants have been forced to shut down or curtail operations due to on-site outbreaks. About 25% of the country's pork production and 10% of its beef production have been shuttered. The closures have had negative upstream effects on farms. Reports say nearly 2 million chickens were killed on East Coast farms because a regional poultry plant was forced to operate at reduced capacity. 

Have more questions? Head to our expert-curated coronavirus resource page.
Florida Voting Rights Case Kicks Off
A federal trial examining the voting rights of people previously convicted of felonies began yesterday in Florida. The closely watched proceedings were shifted online in an attempt to avoid the coronavirus while maintaining a timeline that would yield a decision by November. Before 2018, an estimated 1.5 million people with felony convictions - nearly 9% of Florida's voting-age population - were barred from voting, even after serving their sentences. A ballot initiative that year overturned the law, except for those convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses.

The state Legislature passed a 2019 law requiring the settlement of debts and outstanding fines before a felony sentence could be considered complete. The current court case challenges that stipulation, which affects approximately 774,000 residents across the state. 

Ten other states have laws permanently disenfranchising those with certain felony convictions, absent government approval.
Risk Corridors
The federal government must pay more than $12B to insurers who participated in a program designed to shield them from financial risks under the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday. The decision was a major win for health insurers who suffered losses participating in the initial years of the government-run health benefit exchanges.

To address uncertainty in the new marketplaces, the Obama administration established risk corridors (see 101), which helped spread profits and losses among participating insurers. The program ended up losing more than $8B across plans that saw fewer healthy people join, forcing the government to compensate the companies from general federal funds. However, Congress passed a 2014 law prohibiting the use of such funds for risk corridor payments.

Yesterday's 8-1 decision effectively found the federal government to be in breach of contract, thereby requiring the government to reimburse companies after nearly five years. 
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The cable-killer?
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Notice how everyone seems to be cutting cable lately in favor of streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, HBO, and Hulu? The shift is happening without a doubt, and things could look pretty bleak for cable. But who do you pick to be the biggest winner? With so many programs and offerings, it seems daunting to predict who's coming out on top in the Netflix-versus-all battle royale.
 
Our friends at The Motley Fool have been scouring the investment world for the stock most likely to capitalize on this shift, and shockingly, both of The Motley Fool’s cofounders, David and Tom, independently arrived at the same company. This has only happened 25 times over the entire history of The Motley Fool Stock Advisor, and when it does, the average return has been an astounding 773%!
 
The company they’re featuring today could stand to grow immensely within the multitrillion-dollar media and entertainment industry, sitting nicely in the middle of the advertising market. And the best part is most investors have never even heard of it. Check out the report now!

Returns as of March 26, 2020
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Los Angeles Lakers, valued at $4B, return $4.6M loan from the federal small business loan program (More) | NFL’s coronavirus contingency plan includes mid-October start to 2020 season (More)
> Michelle Obama documentary “Becoming,” which follows the former first lady on a nationwide book tour, to be released May 6 on Netflix (More)
> YouTube announces free “We Are One” global film festival beginning May 29 benefiting COVID-19 relief efforts (More)
Science & Technology
> Oxford University scientists prepare for large-scale clinical trials after vaccine candidate shows success in monkey trials; all six monkeys exposed to heavy doses of the virus tested negative after 28 days (More)
> Tesla rolls out new feature to its partially autonomous driving system, allowing its vehicles to spot and obey traffic signals and stop signs (More)
> Intermittent dosing of cancer drugs finds no positive effects on melanoma tumor growth; previous studies suggested the approach could help counter cancer drug resistance (More)
Business & Markets
> US stock markets up (S&P 500 +1.5%, Dow +1.5%, Nasdaq +1.1%) ahead of busy earnings week as certain states start to reopen (More)
> Oil futures dive 25% as investors fear additional lack of storage issues as pandemic leads to significantly reduced demand (More)
> Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund discloses 5.7% stake in promoter Live Nation, shares surge 10% (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> New Zealand says community spread of the coronavirus, or cases whose origin can't be traced, has been eliminated in the country; will begin easing restrictions this week (More)
> Small Business Administration's website crashes due to volume on the first day Paycheck Protection Plan loans become available again; the stimulus loan program was replenished with $310B Friday (More)
> Former neighbor of Tara Reade, who has accused Joe Biden of sexual assault in 1993, says Reade recounted the incident to her at the time; Biden denies allegations, which originally surfaced last year (More)
In-Depth
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The Long Exoneration
CNN | Thomas Lake. Framed for murder and convicted on scant evidence, Richard Phillips served 46 years in prison, the longest known wrongful conviction in US history. Fate served Phillips a final temptation - a chance to exact revenge on the murderer who sent him to jail. (Read)
The Deepfake Era is Here
Lawfare | Jacob Schulz. On Sunday, the president retweeted a fabricated GIF of Joe Biden, made on an iPhone app. Attention on the tweet itself obscures a much bigger problem; the barrier to creating deepfakes, which used to require powerful computers, has essentially dropped to zero. (Read)
 
 
Weathering the storm?
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The Motley Fool was founded by brothers Tom and David Gardner out of their garage in Alexandria, VA. Since then, they’ve grown remarkably, thanks in part to some life-changing stock recommendations. "How's that?" you ask. Because they’re long term investors who provide the same great investing guidance today that they’ve always provided. And now, The Motley Fool teams are creating live video Q&As with The Fool’s CEO, CIO, and investment analysts to help give further guidance in an uncertain time.
 
The Motley Fool Stock Advisor made it through 2008, when it offered some of its best guidance to panicked investors. It's in times like these that The Motley Fool earns its trust with its members. Become one today and learn how to potentially weather the storm.
 
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Etcetera
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This immersive data visualization captures our coronavirus anxieties in Google searches.
Public support for government aid during the pandemic crosses party lines.
Italian artist illustrates some good coronavirus news.
Everything we know about the future of the universe.
Drive-in movies are making a comeback.
Discover America's 15 most colorful places.
NYC's healthcare workers will get a thunderous salute today.
The economic downturn has even hit Girl Scout cookies.
Clickbait: The Ministry of Silly Walks has given its orders.
Historybook: “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee born (1926); Italian dictator Benito Mussolini executed (1945); HBD US Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan (1960); Charles de Gaulle resigns as president of France (1969).
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"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view."
- Atticus Finch, from Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird"
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