George Floyd, whose death at the hands of police last week catalyzed global protests, was memorialized yesterday in Minneapolis. Among a number of high profile attendees, Floyd's brother recalled him as being "like a general ... everyone wanted to greet him." Scott Hagen, president of North Central University, where the service was held, said the school would establish a scholarship in Floyd's name and challenged
other universities to do the same.
Protests were calmer again last night, and confrontations between police and protestors have decreased over the past few days; however, officials expect sizable crowds across several major cities tomorrow. In particular, large demonstrations are expected in Washington, DC, where hundreds of National Guard troops from around the country have arrived to support local
Separately, The New York Times defended its decision to publish an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) arguing for the deployment of active-duty troops to help quell protests (read here, $$). The piece refers to the Insurrection Act of 1807, which President Trump has threatened to invoke, allowing the use of federal forces to enforce laws (see 101). As of this morning, the Act had not formally been invoked, and
active-duty troops have not been deployed (though some were relocated near Washington, DC).
Yesterday's memorial was the first in a string of events honoring Floyd, who will be buried in a private service in Houston Tuesday.
43 Million Jobs
Nearly 1.9 million Americans made initial unemployment claims last week, bringing the total number of new claims made during the pandemic to almost 43 million. While marking the ninth straight week of declining job losses, the figure is still historically large; before the pandemic, the US was averaging 200,000 initial claims per week. Analysts say the high numbers reflect the cascading effect of the coronavirus-induced economic crisis.
Continuing claims—workers who have
been collecting unemployment for at least two weeks, a clearer picture of current unemployment—rose by 650,000 to 21 million total. Almost 15% of the US labor force currently collects unemployment benefits, a number that does not include self-employed and gig economy workers currently covered under a temporary relief program. The May jobs report, due out today, is expected to show unemployment near 20%.
Anthony Fauci, the administration's top expert on the crisis, said local officials should consider how to reopen schools for the fall. Fauci said whether any individual school should reopen must depend on local infection rates.
The US had reported 1.87 million coronavirus cases, with 108,211 deaths, as of this morning. Deaths rose by 1% since yesterday morning; see the moving three-day average here.
Tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong broke through police barricades surrounding the city's Victoria Park yesterday, defying a ban to demonstrate on the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. While the 1989 government crackdown on student activists (see 101) is virtually unacknowledged in the mainland, Hong Kong has held annual memorials since its occurrence.
The ban on the vigil was the latest in a crackdown by Beijing over the region, which has operated under a semiautonomous governing structure since being returned by the British in 1999. It follows a national security bill broadly outlawing any activities considered seditious. Two of Hong Kong's biggest banks announced support for the bill yesterday.
The spirit of the original 1989 protests was captured by the iconic "Tank Man"—a single person who momentarily halted an advancing
column of tanks. Watch the encounter here.
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It's time to escape! Escape the room, that is.
But Puzzle Break isn't just any old escape room. It's a Virtual Escape Room Experience. Its real-time, livestreaming platform combines challenging puzzles, fun themes, teamwork, and brain power to create a unique social experience, all from the comfort of your own home. Sessions include live game operators to guide you through the fun, and you can easily play live with friends and family from anywhere in the world. It's perfect for corporate events, camps, schools, fundraisers, or just a night out (or in).
>NBA Board of Governors approves 22-team restart plan in 29-1 vote; the season is set to resume July 31 with all games being played at Disney World in Orlando, Florida (More)
>Kanye West donates $2 million to families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and pays college tuition for Floyd’s daughter (More)
>YouTube star Jake Paul, who has 20 million subscribers on his channel, charged with trespassing at an Arizona mall that was being looted following protests last week (More)
Science & Technology
>New imaging technique allows scientists to see the individual atoms of proteins for the first time; cryo-electron microscopy can allow unprecedented understanding of how single proteins function (More) | What are proteins anyway? (More)
>Top medical journal The Lancet retracts study that raised safety concerns around the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19; follows a separate study showing the antimalarial drug does not prevent coronavirus infections any better than a placebo (More)
>Report says Apple established a robotics lab to automate its production lines in 2012, but abandoned it in 2018 after being unable to match the skill and efficiency of human
Business & Markets
>Facebook to block ads from state-controlled media starting this summer; will also label ads and posts for increased transparency (More)
>Business intelligence platform ZoomInfo soars 62% on first day of trading; marks the first major tech initial public offering since the pandemic began in March (More)
>Apparel retailer Gap reports near $1B quarterly loss from pandemic store closures, stock down more than 5% (More) | Workplace communication platform Slack delivers 50% revenue growth over last year, but stock falls over 15% in after-hours trading (More)
Politics & World Affairs
>Michael White, a US Navy veteran detained in Iran since 2018, will be released; in exchange, the US will let an Iranian-American scientist visit family in Iran (More)
>Russia declares state of emergency after giant diesel oil spill at a remote Arctic power plant; spill released 17,000 tons of oil into a river, nearly half the size of
the 1989 Exxon Valdez ocean spill (More)
>Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte set to sign anti-terrorism bill that critics say would classify dissent as terrorism; bill would allow authorities to detain people without warrants and arrest those criticizing the government on social media (More)
The Argument for De-escalation
FiveThirtyEight | Maggie Koerth, Jamiles Lartey. Qualitative evidence suggests de-escalation strategies reduce violence during protests. So whatever happened to the model of "negotiated management"? (Read)
Bridge | Staff. Two heirs bought a handful of Michigan dams as tax shelters. After years of ignoring regulator warnings to increase capacity, one of them burst. (Read)
Survival of the Littlest
Nature | Amber Dance. Thanks to medical advances, survival rates for extremely premature babies—those born before 28 weeks—have never been higher. Researchers now have more data than ever on the long-term health impacts of early births. (Read)
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Historybook: US moves off gold standard (1933); Bobby Kennedy is shot at campaign rally, dies next day (1968); RIP Ronald Reagan (2004); RIP science fiction writer Ray Bradbury (2012); RIP fashion designer Kate Spade (2018).
"If you’re as honest and fair as you can be, not only in business but in life, things will work out."
- Kate Spade
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