5.12.2020

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Need to Know
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Focus on Nursing Home Deaths
The White House recommended yesterday that states aim to test all nursing home residents and workers within the next two weeks, a feat that would require testing more than 1 million people. The directive was sparked by the stunning impact of the coronavirus on the elderly, particularly those at long-term care facilities. The US has reported 1.35 million cases, with 80,684 deaths, as of this morning (real-time map). The death toll rose 1.5% from yesterday. More than one-third of those deaths have been linked to such facilities, despite making up only 11% of total cases. 
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States were also encouraged to test at least 2% of their population during May, with the administration providing additional testing supplies. Public health experts have said the US will require a minimum of 3.5 million tests per week, and up to 10 million or more, to safely fully reopen the economy. Roughly 9 million tests have been administered to date, though the daily testing capacity has been steadily increasing (see data).

Separately, most White House officials will now be required to wear masks. The directive follows news that a top aide to Vice President Mike Pence tested positive for the virus. In Congress, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other public health officials are expected to testify remotely before a Senate panel today. 

New York, once the epicenter of the outbreak in the US, will begin to open low-risk businesses across the state this week. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also outlined seven metrics regions must meet to reopen, including 14 days of declining hospitalizations and hospitalized deaths (using a five-day average). On the other side of the country, Western states called on Congress to provide nearly $1T in state and local for budget shortfalls in communities across the country. 

Overseas, China has begun locking down small clusters of outbreaks that reappeared as restrictions have been eased. Five new cases were reported in Wuhan, where the virus first emerged, the highest total since mid-March.

Have more questions? Check out our expert-curated coronavirus resource page here
Interpol Red Notice
The worldwide policing body Interpol issued a red notice yesterday for the wife of a US diplomat over a fatal car crash that killed a British teen last year. The move is the latest in a simmering diplomatic dispute between the US and the United Kingdom that has spilled into public view.

According to reports, Anne Sacoolas collided with 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn in August while allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road (see background). Sacoolas claimed diplomatic immunity and returned to the US three weeks after the crash. UK officials brought charges in December, but the US has refused to extradite Sacoolas, who says the crash was an accident. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced consistent pressure to raise the issue with the US. 

Still, a red notice isn't an arrest warrant, but a request from one country to another to make a provisional arrest; Interpol itself does not have the authority to make arrests. 
Trump's Taxes Hit High Court
The Supreme Court will hear arguments today, likely determining whether President Trump must provide access to his tax returns and other financial documents. The first is a consolidated case brought by a trio of committees determining whether Congress has the constitutional and statutory authority to subpoena private financial records from the president. The second case, brought by the New York City district attorney, asks whether the president's records are subject to a grand jury subpoena. See a primer on both cases here.

The first case could have far-reaching ramifications, testing the reach of congressional subpoenas over the executive branch. Courts have historically hesitated to weigh in on conflicts between branches and the Supreme Court has never ruled on the specific question of executive privilege versus congressional subpoenas. 

Decisions in both cases are expected in early summer, months ahead of November's general elections.
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Home fitness in style.
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Jerry Stiller, longtime actor, comedian, and father of actor Ben Stiller, dies of natural causes at 92 (More) | Cast of “Seinfeld” reacts to Stiller’s death (More)
MLB owners approve proposal to start season in July (More) | English Premier League could return June 1 without fans after UK government releases road map to opening up cultural and sporting events (More)
> Shanghai Disneyland opened yesterday for first time since January (More) | Los Angeles County beaches reopen tomorrow (More)
Science & Technology
> Researchers identify close relative of SARS-CoV-2 in bats, providing more evidence the coronavirus evolved naturally before jumping to humans (More)
> Largest US solar power project to date receives final approval; Gemini solar and battery storage project will generate 690 megawatts of power (More)
> Intel partners with University of Pennsylvania Medicine to develop AI brain tumor detection program; system will employ a decentralized computing technique known as federated learning to protect privacy (More)
Business & Markets
> Tesla reopens production at Fremont, California Gigafactory, defying pandemic shutdown order; CEO Elon Musk tweets “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me” (More)
> State of Michigan reopens manufacturing plants, with Detroit automakers - General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler - to reopen Monday (More)
> Richard Branson's Virgin Group to sell approximately $500M shares of space-travel business Virgin Galactic to cover growing losses of Virgin businesses amid pandemic (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Election 2020: Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign bring in $62M in April fundraising; Biden and the Democratic National Committee pull in $61M (More)
> US meat exports to China have quadrupled since March, despite a projected shortage as meat processing plants grapple with coronavirus outbreaks; the US government invoked the Defense Production Act in April, deeming such facilities critical infrastructure (More)
> Justice Department weighs federal hate crime charges in Georgia killing of Ahmaud Arbery (More) | Atlanta-area district attorney becomes third outside prosecutor to take over case (More)
In-Depth
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36,000 Feet Under the Sea
New Yorker | Ben Taub. At 7 miles underwater, any misstep or imperfection will (literally) cause your mission to implode. Go inside the thrilling race to reach the deepest point in each of the world's oceans. (Read, $$)
The Real 'Lord of the Flies'
The Guardian | Rutger Bregman. When a group of British schoolboys was stranded on a deserted island for 15 months, the scenario played out much differently than the bestselling dystopian novel. (Read)
 
 
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Etcetera
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Americans are lost in a coronavirus infodemic.
Princeton University announces the first black valedictorian in school history.
Let's ratchet down the panic over murder hornets.

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Missing your local pub? Just recreate it in virtual reality.
Astronomers capture a dazzling new image of Jupiter.
"The Office" cast recreate their iconic wedding dance for some Zoom nuptials.
Quarantine prompts 11-year-old boy to make skateboarding history.
See the winners of the 2020 BigPicture Natural World photo competition. ($$, Atlantic)
Clickbait: Bear breaks into cabin, steals candy and beer.
Historybook: Modern nursing innovator Florence Nightingale born (1820); Actress Katharine Hepburn born (1907); Charles Lindbergh’s son found dead two months after being kidnapped (1932); HBD skateboarding legend Tony Hawk (1968); Former President Jimmy Carter visits Cuba, the first American president to visit since 1959 revolution (2002).
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