5.5.2020

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Need to Know
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California Eyes Reopening
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said some businesses across the state may begin reopening by Friday with modifications, such as curbside pickup for retailers. The state, home to the earliest known coronavirus death (Feb. 6), has been under a stay-at-home order since March 19. Newsom also said rural counties may further loosen restrictions if they meet certain criteria. Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also laid out a checklist to begin to reopen but said no region in the state has met the criteria so far.

A number of other states across the country have likewise continued their slow march toward normalcy, including Arkansas, Kansas, and Montana, all of which eased some restrictions yesterday. See an updated state-by-state guide here.

The moves come as uncertainty around how the outbreak will evolve has risen. The widely referenced model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation now predicts more than 130,000 deaths, with a minimum of 95,000 and a maximum of 240,000, in the US by August (data here). While that forecast matches earlier projections from March, the model had been recently revised to around 72,000 deaths. As of this morning, the US had reported 1.18 million cases with 68,934 deaths (see stats).

Separately, reports surfaced that internal White House projections show as many as 3,000 deaths per day by July. Officials noted the outlook is less of a second wave of infections as previously discussed, and more a sustained plateau as cases rise and fall in counties across the country. See the projections under discussion here (PDF). 

President Trump is scheduled to visit Arizona today, touring an aerospace plant that has been expanded to produce medical respirators. It marks the president's first official trip since the beginning of the pandemic in March. 

Should you get an antibody test? We've posted a look at everything you need to know about serological testing on our coronavirus resource page
Pulitzer Prizes Announced
The 2020 Pulitzer Prizes were announced yesterday, with the traditional ceremony replaced by a livestream from board director Dana Canedy’s living room due to the coronavirus pandemic. Notable winners include the Louisville Courier-Journal for its coverage of hundreds of last-minute pardons by outgoing Gov. Matt Bevin, the Baltimore Sun for a series of financial investigations that led to the resignation of Mayor Catherine Pugh, and the Anchorage Daily News (with ProPublica) for its look at the lack of police forces in rural Alaskan villages. 

The board also awarded its first prize in audio reporting to "The Out Crowd," a personal look at the effects of the Trump administration's Remain in Mexico policy. You can see the full list of winners and finalists here.

The awards are the highest honor US-based journalists can receive, but the winners aren't exactly showered with gifts: awardees take home $15K and a certificate (the public service winner gets a gold medal).
Don Shula Passes Away
Legendary head coach Don Shula, the NFL's leader in coaching wins, passed away yesterday at the age of 90. Shula is best known for guiding the 1972 Miami Dolphins to an undefeated regular season and winning Super Bowl VII, notching the only perfect season in league history. However, the consistency of Shula's teams was arguably his greatest accomplishment. Over 33 seasons - seven with the Baltimore Colts, 26 with the Dolphins - Shula only had two losing seasons (see timeline). He coached teams to 14 division titles and six Super Bowls, winning two, and won 347 games during his head coaching career, including playoff victories. The cause of death was not released, but family representatives said it was not linked to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Watch Shula's 1997 Hall of Fame induction speech here.

Editor's note: Yesterday, we mistakenly referred to a gunman opening fire on the Kent State campus in 1970. The incident involved the Ohio National Guard firing on protesters, killing four; see the original link here
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> The 2020 James Beard Awards, recognizing the best culinary professionals in the US, postponed until September (More) | See finalists for best chefs, restaurants, and media (More)
> NFL cancels international games in London and Mexico City for the 2020 season (More) | NCAA gives notice of allegations to University of Louisville basketball stemming from 2017 investigation into alleged improper recruiting offers (More)
> “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer announces long-awaited prequel “Midnight Sun” to be released in August (More) | New “Star Wars” film to be directed by “Thor” actor and director Taika Waititi (More)
Science & Technology
> New York City to test high-power ultraviolet lights to decontaminate public buses and trains (More) | Effect on the coronavirus still being studied; here's UVC light affects influenza (More
> Scientists discover microbe that prevents mosquitoes from being infected with malaria, offering a path to controlling the spread of the disease (More)
> High-profile Amazon engineer Tim Bray leaves post after six years, criticizes the company for allegedly firing workers who organized protests over working conditions during the pandemic (More)
Business & Markets
> Retailer J.Crew files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, will convert $1.6B debt into equity; other retailers projected to follow suit (More) | Gold’s Gym also files for bankruptcy (More)
> Insurance giant AIG sees 93% quarterly profit drop, says pandemic is largest catastrophe loss in industry history (More)
> Mobile trading firm Robinhood raises $280M at $8.3B valuation as younger investors continue migration to commission-free trading platforms (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> US Supreme Court holds teleconference hearing on trademark law case, the first case not to be argued in person in the court's history; Justice Clarence Thomas asked questions for just the third time in more than a decade (More) | Listen here (More)
> Treasury announces record borrowing of nearly $3T during the second quarter; officials projected paying down $56B in debt during the same period before the pandemic (More)
> Senate reconvenes, holds first roll-call vote since March 24; Intelligence Committee to consider nomination of Rep. John Ratcliffe (R, TX-4) for director of national intelligence (More)
In-Depth
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Inside the Early Days of China's Coronavirus Cover-Up
Wired | Shawn Yuan. Some reporters say you should cover China as if it were Snapchat - take screenshots of everything. Hundreds of censored articles and posts, captured before they were taken down, reveal how China moved to tamp down information in the early days of the Wuhan outbreak. (Read, $$)
The Battle That Chicago Forgot
Chicago Magazine | Ryan Smith. The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 - the nation's first nationwide strike - saw a wave of protests grip American industrial cities. But in Chicago, where the violence was the worst, the scars have been all but forgotten. (Read)
 
 
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Etcetera
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Crumbs from Halley's comet lit up the sky last night (w/photos). 
See Apple CEO Tim Cook's message to graduating seniors
Get ready for Nicolas Cage as Joe Exotic.

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Americans are hoarding cash as savings rates hit four-decade high.
Peruse 300,000 images from London's British Museum
Here's how to make your own origami prawn.
Watch Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane break the world deadlift record.
A single-table restaurant will open in a Swedish meadow
Clickbait: When stuntwomen have too much time on their hands (w/video).
Historybook: Napoleon Bonaparte dies while in exile (1821); Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexican victory in the Battle of Puebla (1862); Alan Shepard becomes first American in outer space (1961); HBD singer-songwriter Adele (1988).
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