Wednesday, May 20, 2020
4:00 pm ET: Around the World in 90 Seconds
Face masks are the hottest new beach accessories in Spain and a COVID-19 outbreak forces French schools to close again. Here are your international coronavirus headlines.
— Megan Pratz
3:21 pm ET: From Clean Bunks to COVID-19 Tests: Summer Camp's New Safety Measures
Some parents whose children have had to remain at home as COVID-19 closed schools for the rest of the academic year may be breathing a sigh of relief as the Northeast region's TLC Family of Camps is set to reopen facilities this summer.
"As long as the governors of the states, New York and Pennsylvania, say that it's okay, we will be open," CEO Jay Jacobs told Cheddar. TLC Family of Camps operates two sleepaway and day camps in New York and one sleepaway summer camp in Pennsylvania. Read more...
— Mike Nam
2:39 pm ET: Apple, Google Release Technology for Pandemic Apps
Apple and Google on Wednesday released long-awaited smartphone technology to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus.
The companies said 22 countries and several U.S. states are already planning to build voluntary phone apps using their software. It relies on Bluetooth wireless technology to detect when someone who downloaded the app has spent time near another app user who later tests positive for the virus. Read more...
— The Associated Press
This combo of photos shows the logo for Google, top and Apple, bottom. Apple and Google on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, released long-awaited smartphone technology to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus. (AP Photo/File)
1:08 pm ET: U.S. Health Officials Quietly Release More Reopening Guidance
U.S. health officials have quietly released more reopening guidance that was created more than a month ago but initially shelved. The guidance discusses different steps organizations can take as they reopen from closures aimed at stopping the coronavirus’s spread. On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention placed the information in a 20-page appendix to a document previously posted on its website. As with other recently released guidance, religious organizations were not included. Instead, the document has advice for childcare facilities, schools, camps, mass transit systems, restaurants, bars, and other businesses. Read more...
— The Associated Press
10:21 am ET: Stocks Open Higher on Wall Street a Day After a Late Slide
Stocks are opening broadly higher on Wall Street as investors regain their confidence following a sudden drop a day earlier. Big-name investor favorites like Facebook, Apple, and Amazon helped pull the market higher in early trading Wednesday. The S&P 500 was up 1.4% in the first few minutes of trading, more than it lost a day earlier. Target reported that its online sales more than doubled in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic put millions in lockdown. Markets in Europe and Asia also rose. The price of crude oil was up about 3% and bond yields held steady. Read more...
— The Associated Press
10:19 am ET: Gary Whitta's 'Accidental' Talk Show Set in Nintendo's 'Animal Crossing'
Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced sets to shut down in the interest of safety, the television industry has had to rethink the way it creates shows.
That's where screenwriter and gaming journalist Gary Whitta comes in as the creator and host of Animal Talking, a live stream that takes place entirely in the Nintendo Switch video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Read more...
— Samantha Errico
8:25 am ET: Need2Know: All States Reopening, Fall Semester Plans & Spotify Snags Rogan
Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (Stitcher, iTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.
COVID-19: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: With Connecticut the last state to lift some of its lockdown restrictions, all 50 states have now partially reopened for business. The Bay Area, home to the first stay-home orders, has now gone two days without any COVID-19 deaths. Meanwhile, the CDC has subtly changed its guidance to say that the coronavirus does not easily spread in any way other than person-to-person contact, while a new study out of Hong Kong finds that person-to-person transmission decreases as much as 75 percent when masks are used. YAHOO
COLLEGE IN CORONAVIRUS: We're getting a sense of what the fall semester for college students might look like. NYU says it will bring students back to campus as planned but will allow them to spread their course loads out over two or three semesters, and is designing new online course models if they choose to stay home. Earlier this week, Notre Dame and the University of South Carolina both said they’d start the semester earlier, cancel fall break, and plan to have students off campus by Thanksgiving as a precaution against a second wave. NY TIMES
EMISSIONS PLUMMET: Global carbon-dioxide emissions fell 17 percent during the peak of the pandemic and could fall as much as 7 percent for the entire year, according to new research. Even if the world could get back to pre-pandemic levels of activity next month, greenhouse gas emissions for 2020 would still fall 4 percent. The UN estimates emissions need to fall by 7.6 percent a year to combat the worst effects of climate change. NBC NEWS
CYCLONE AMPHAN: Millions of people in India and Bangladesh are bracing for the biggest cyclone in 20 years. Amphan has weakened slightly to the equivalent of a Cat 3 hurricane, but Indian officials are prepared for widespread damage when it makes landfall today. More than three million people are being evacuated to shelters, raising questions about how they’ll hunker down and also social distance in tight quarters. The area expected to take the brunt of the landfall is also home to a million Rohingya refugees as well as the endangered Bengal Tiger. AL JAZEERA
BABY POWDER SHELVED: Johnson & Johnson is discontinuing its iconic — and plagued — talc-based baby powder in North America once and for all. The product is at the center of some 20,000 lawsuits filed by people who say it contained a carcinogen, and the company knew of the risks. J&J says it still stands by the product’s safety and will continue to defend it in court. REUTERS
T-MINUS ONE WEEK: Space history will be made a week from today — weather permitting. Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, two NASA astronauts, will launch into space aboard a SpaceX spacecraft. It will be SpaceX’s first attempt at sending humans to space, and the first time astronauts are launched into space from American soil since the shuttle program ended in 2011. We’ve been hitching a ride to the ISS with the Russians since then. AXIOS
JET: Walmart is shutting down Jet.com, its e-commerce site directed toward young urbanites. The company made the announcement in its earnings call, in which Walmart reported its e-commerce sales were up 74 percent last quarter. TECHCRUNCH
PIER ONE: Pier 1 Imports is on the verge of shutting down all of its stores, three months after the 58-year-old home-goods retailer declared bankruptcy. All 540 Pier 1 stores will liquidate, once they’re allowed to reopen, and the rest of its business will be sold off. HOUSE BEAUTIFUL
ROGAN TO SPOTIFY: Joe Rogan is taking his hugely popular and influential podcast to Spotify. The Joe Rogan Experience will become exclusive to Spotify “later this year” after the licensing deal goes into effect September 1, at which point his entire catalog will become available on the platform. The deal is reportedly worth more than $100 million. WSJ
SPOTTED...Chicago’s Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, without power since its basement flooded in heavy rains last weekend, looking like an ominous void on the city’s skyline: SEE PICS
LEFTOVERS: TITANIC SALVAGE MISSION: A federal judge has given the go-ahead for a salvage crew to cut into the remnants of the Titanic in an attempt to remove a critical piece of the wreckage. The goal is to recover the telegraph machine, which the crew famously used to broadcast distress signals after the ship hit an iceberg. Not everyone is on board with the mission: NOAA says the wreckage should be respected as a gravesite for the 1,500 people who died and not mined for artifacts. ABC NEWS