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Friday, June 19, 2020

4:56 pm ET: Wall Street Dips as Virus Fears Drown Out Economy Hopes

Wall Street careened through all the forces that have pushed and pulled it through the week, at first rising on Friday amid hope for the economy and then falling on worries about worsening coronavirus levels in some states, all before ending with modest losses.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.6%, a relatively small move to cap its fourth weekly gain in the last five. But the market had appeared headed for a bigger day earlier in trading, either up 1.3% or down 1%.

It’s another example of how uncertainty is the dominant force over Wall Street as investors weigh budding improvements in the economy against worsening infection levels in the South and West. Also, exacerbating volatility was Friday's simultaneous expiration of contracts for stock options and futures, an occasional occurrence that can drive bouts of buying and selling and is known as “quadruple witching day.” Read more...

2:56 pm ET: Tattooer Trades Inks for Fabric Pens During Pandemic

Growing up, Eve Steuer always had notepads full of clothing designs and other apparel ideas.

The tattoo artist moved away from a career in fashion as she grew older, preferring to put ink to skin rather than paper. But when the coronavirus halted the tattoo industry, she picked up the fabric pen once again. Read more...

— Michelle Castillo

2:08 pm ET: Senator Marsha Blackburn Says Social Media 'Censorship' Will Not Stand

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, (R-Tenn.) is joining the Republican-led fight to change internet regulations that she said allow social media platforms to "disadvantage conservative thought."

The senator is getting behind an effort to reform Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects online services from legal liability for what users publish on their platforms. Read more...

— Alex Vuocolo

12:39 pm ET: Louisville Officer in Breonna Taylor Shooting to Be Fired

 Louisville's mayor says one of three police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor will be fired. Read more...

— The Associated Press

12:15 pm ET: Facebook Takes Down Trump Ads Featuring Nazi Symbols

After coming under criticism for refusing to take down controversial posts on President Donald Trump's Facebook page, the social media giant has removed an ad for his re-election campaign that used Nazi imagery.

The post, which was taken down on Thursday, described "dangerous MOBS of far-left groups," calling out Antifa, and featured an upside-down red triangle like the ones the Nazis used to identify political prisoners during World War II. Read more...

— Michelle Castillo

11:40 am ET: MLS Exec Says Safety Is the Priority as Players Return to Action

Major League Soccer is preparing to begin its MLS is Back Tournament on July 8 at Disney World's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. But before teams take the pitch, MLS Executive Vice President of Communications Dan Courtemanche says safety is of the utmost importance.

"Testing is going to take place twice before they come down, and then once all of our players, coaches, staff, the entire entourage of what is nearly 1,500 people. Once they arrive, they will have a regular cadence of testing essentially every other day throughout the tournament," explained Courtemanche."We were laser-focused on it." Read more...

— Jeff Cohen

10:11 am ET: Wall Street Rises in Early Trading, Tracking Gains Worldwide

Wall Street is rising in early trading Friday, putting the S&P 500 on pace to close out a winning week after encouraging reports raised hopes for a coming economic recovery. The S&P 500 was up 1.1%, following up on similar gains in European markets and more modest ones across Asia. Treasury yields also rose in a signal of improved optimism. The gains were widespread with some 90% of stocks in the S&P 500 higher, with energy companies leading the way. The S&P 500 is on pace to finish the week with a 3.5% gain, its fourth in the last five weeks. Read more...

— The Associated Press

8:10 am ET: Need2Know: Dreamers Win, Fauci on Football & A Special Juneteenth

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

'DACA' KEPT ALIVE: The Supreme Court dealt another blow to the Trump administration, ruling that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program can stand, at least for now. The 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice Roberts again joining the liberal wing, found that the government did not legally justify its decision to terminate DACA. The program was put in place via an executive order from President Obama in 2012, allowing some 800,000 immigrants -- known as Dreamers -- who were brought to the U.S. as children to stay and work without the fear of being deported. NY TIMES

COVID-19 LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: Florida reported its largest single-day case count since the pandemic began, and experts are warning that the state is at risk of becoming the next U.S. epicenter. As the caseload grows again in California, Gov. Newsom has issued a mandatory order for residents to wear masks in most public settings. Meanwhile, early data shows no real uptick in cases from people who attended protests, suggesting that widespread mask usage and outdoor settings probably made a significant difference. CBS MIAMI

CONVALESCENT PLASMA: A major study of the use of convalescent plasma to treat coronavirus suggests that the century-old medical technique is helpful. Though the study didn’t use a placebo, the results found that the process of transfusing plasma from people who have recovered from the virus to those who have just gotten sick was safe and seemed to be effective in reducing mortality rates. JOURNAL SENTINEL

VEEPSTAKES: Sen. Amy Klobuchar has taken herself out of the running to be Joe Biden’s vice president, saying that the current moment calls for Biden to pick a woman of color. Sen. Kamala Harris is the current favorite among Democrats, according to a new poll. Biden has opened up a 12 point lead against the president in the latest Fox News poll. REUTERS

THE GREAT ESCAPE: With mortgage rates at historic lows, more people are racing into the housing market -- and they’re looking to the ‘burbs. Data from the real estate listing site shows searches for suburban zip codes are up 13 percent -- double the pace of growth in urban areas. That’s a small piece of data but one that enforces a growing belief that the pandemic has accelerated millennials’ exodus from cities. CNBC

FACEBOOK REMOVES TRUMP ADS: Facebook has removed dozens of ads from President Trump’s reelection campaign that depicted a symbol once used by Nazis to label political prisoners in concentration camps. The ads included an inverted red triangle to warn against “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups.” Facebook, which rarely intercedes on political content, said the ads violated its policy against hate speech. WASH POST

FAUCI ON FOOTBALL: Dr. Fauci is warning that football season may not be feasible unless the league adopts a "bubble" format, similar to the NBA, NHL and MLS, in which players and team personnel are essentially isolated from the public and regularly tested. As of now, the NFL’s plan is to open the season on schedule on Sept. 10. ESPN

WATCHMEN WEEKEND: If you’ve been meaning to watch HBO’s Watchmen since it debuted last year, now’s your chance. HBO is making the acclaimed series free all weekend on as part of the network’s commitment to "highlighting Black experiences." The nine-episode series, currently sitting on a 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes, is a re-imagining of the graphic novel by the same name. THE VERGE


… Lady Gaga, giving the jacket off her back to a fan who noticed her at the supermarket and thanked her for being an "incredible ally" to the LGBTQ community. READ THE BACKSTORY

...Raven-Symoné, of The Cosby Show and That’s So Raven fame, announcing her marriage to girlfriend Miranda Maday on Instagram: SEE PI

LEFTOVERS: DO YOU EVEN LIFT? A gym in California has come up with a creative way to reopen while still abiding by social distance guidelines. Inspire South Bay Fitness in Redondo Beach built individual exercise “pods” sheathed in plastic that will allow gym-goers to safely work out in proximity to one another. SEE IT

Thursday, June 18, 2020

4:33 pm ET: NBA Union Head 'Proud' of Players' Responses to Social Issues

There's beauty in tough conversations — even those about racism, police brutality, and underrepresentation, according to National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts.

"We are all saying, 'Enough,' when it comes to police accountability and the savaging of members of our community," she said during a wide-ranging interview on Cheddar. Read more...

— Chloe Aiello

4:33 pm ET: Wall Street Ends at Standstill Amid Caution Over Virus Cases

Wall Street held at a near standstill on Thursday, and indexes were split as caution about rising coronavirus infections in hotspots around the world washed over hopes for a coming economic recovery. The S&P 500 edged up by 0.1% after flip-flopping repeatedly between small gains and losses through the day. Slightly more stocks fell in the index than rose, but most of the moves were modest. Earlier, stocks slipped in European and Asian markets, while Treasury yields faded in another sign of increased caution. Markets have slowed following a tremendous, nearly 40% rally for U.S. stocks that began in late March.  Read more...

— The Associated Press

3:58 pm ET: Juneteenth Gets New Support in 2020 From Activists and Corporations Alike

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, U.S. Rep. Pramilla Jayapal, and hip hop artist Pharrell Williams all agree on at least one thing: Now is the time to make June 19, or Juneteenth, a national holiday.

Juneteenth marks the date in 1865 when slaves in the last southern state to be emancipated, Texas, learned from a Union general speaking in Galveston that they were finally free.

Now, in the midst of a national protest movement calling for an end to systemic racism in the criminal justice system, the idea of celebrating this moment in history is gaining momentum among political leaders, activists, and corporate head-honchos alike. Read more...

— Alex Vuocolo

2:34 pm ET: NAACP President Calls for Corporate Accountability to Aid Race Relations

Major corporations are joining the recent calls for equality in America but Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, told Cheddar, companies need to back up their words with action.

"We need some corporate accountability," he said.

The NAACP is among several civil rights organizations calling for advertisers to boycott Facebook, which has recently faced criticism for its handling of controversial posts. Read more...

— Lawrence Banton

12:41 pm ET: U.S. Mortgage Rates Fall; 30-Year at All-Time Low of 3.13 Percent

Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week as the benchmark 30-year home loan reached a new all-time low.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the key 30-year loan declined to 3.13% from 3.21% last week. It was the lowest level since Freddie began tracking average rates in 1971. A year ago, the rate stood at 3.84%. Read more...

— The Associated Press

11:55 am ET: Facebook Gaming Head Says New App Offers Community Amid Pandemic

Facebook has waded into the content creation and video game streaming space with its new Facebook Gaming app, and users reportedly clocked in 291 million hours in April.

The strong start likely has to do, in part, with timing: the launch of the app came as people across the globe were looking for safe activities during COVID-19-related lockdowns and quarantines. Read more...

— Mike Nam

10:22 am ET: Justices Reject End to DACA Protections for Young Immigrants

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants, a stunning rebuke to the president in the midst of his reelection campaign. Read more...

— The Associated Press

10:15 am ET: Wall Street Slips in Early Trading, Markets Pause Worldwide

Wall Street is dipping modestly in early trading on Thursday as rising infection levels of the coronavirus in hotspots around the world get markets more cautious. The S&P 500 was down 0.2%, following up on sharper losses across European markets and relatively mild moves in Asia. Treasury yields also slipped in a sign of increased caution. Markets worldwide have been showing more apprehension following a nearly 40% rally for U.S. stocks that began in late March. Surprisingly strong reports on retail sales and employment have built hopes that the economy can pull out of its recession relatively quickly as governments ease up on lockdown. Read more...

— The Associated Press

10:08 am ET: 1.5 Million More Laid-Off Workers Seek Unemployment Benefits

About 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, a historically high number, even as the economy increasingly reopens and employers bring some people back to work. The latest figure from the Labor Department marks the 11th straight weekly decline in applications since they peaked at nearly 7 million in March as the coronavirus shut down much of the economy and caused tens of millions of layoffs. The decline was much smaller than in recent weeks, falling just 58,000. Read more...

— The Associated Press

8:30 am ET: Need2Know: Atlanta Cop Charged, Bolton Bombshells & Aunt Jemima Shelved

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

ATLANTA COP CHARGED: Garrett Rolfe, the former Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks outside a Wendy’s last week, has been charged with 11 criminal counts, including felony murder. A second officer, Devin Brosnan, was charged with assault and failing to render aid, and is cooperating with prosecutors. After the charges were announced, a higher than usual number of Atlanta police called out from work in protest. AJC

COVID-19: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: Several states continue to report a surge of virus infections and hospitalizations, including Oklahoma, where President Trump will preside over the largest indoor gathering in three months on Saturday. Meanwhile, NYC’s numbers are hitting record lows and the city will begin the next reopening phase on Monday -- allowing offices to reopen and restaurants to open for outdoor seating. REUTERS

BOLTON BOOK BOMBSHELL: John Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser, has a book coming out next week that is causing considerable alarm with his old bosses. The Justice Dept. has sued to stop the release of The Room Where It Happened, though it's already been shipped to bookstores. The book will reportedly give first-hand accounts of Trump encouraging Chinese President Xi's use of concentration camps for religious minorities, which Trump thought was “exactly the right thing to do.” WASH POST 

MADDIE MCCANN CASE: German authorities now say they have “concrete evidence” that Madeleine McCann is dead. McCann went missing in Portugal in 2007 when she was 3, sparking a global manhunt and media frenzy. Earlier this month, police in Germany announced they were investigating a convicted pedophile known as Christian B. in connection with the McCann case. NDTV

JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY: Tomorrow is Juneteenth, and more Americans than ever will have the day off to reflect on the commemoration of the abolition of slavery. NY Gov. Cuomo signed an order to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees and will propose a law to make it a statewide holiday next year, after Virginia proposed something similar. Nike and Target are among the national companies giving workers the day off. At Amazon, Jeff Bezos told employees to cancel meetings for the day (though they still have to work). CNBC

AMERICA'S NEWEST PHILANTHROPIST: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, are giving $120 million to the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College and Morehouse College. It’s the largest ever individual gift to historically black colleges and universities and comes as Hastings is reportedly the mysterious developer behind a sprawling luxury retreat in Colorado that will act as a training facility for public school teachers. FORBES

BASEBALL BREAKTHROUGH: There has reportedly been a breakthrough in the stalemate between MLB owners and players over the prospects of a season this year. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has met with his counterpart in the players’ union and both sides are said to have hammered out a framework that revolves around playing 60 games in 70 days starting around July 20, with players getting paid their prorated salaries. CBS SPORTS

KIM K ON SPOTIFY: Spotify has inked a deal with Kim Kardashian West to front an exclusive podcast, in partnership with The Innocence Project, that will highlight those who have been wrongly convicted of crimes. Spotify has been pouring money into exclusive podcast deals with big names, from Joe Rogan to Bill Simmons. WSJ

LADY DI CASTING: Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame has been cast as Princess Diana in an upcoming biopic, titled Spencer. The film, from the director of Jackie, will cover a single pivotal weekend in the early ‘90s when Diana decided to leave Prince Charles. DEADLINE

LEFTOVERS: GOING THROUGH CHANGES: After 131 years, Aunt Jemima is no more. Quaker Oats, part of Pepsi, is dropping the Aunt Jemima name and image from its pancake mix and syrup line that’s been on shelves since 1889. Quaker Oats says it recognizes that “Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.” Separately, Mars plans to “evolve” its Uncle Ben’s rice brand and ConAgra is reviewing its Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup line. DELISH

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

5:56 pm ET: Around the World in 90 Seconds

As COVID-19 continues to ravage countries across the globe, Beijing halts flights as a new coronavirus outbreak emerges. Brazil prescribes controversial hydroxychloroquine to battle the virus, and U.S. troops prepare for Middle East deployment amid pandemic.

5:18 pm ET: Ava DuVernay's LEAP Initiative to Amplify Voices Against Police Brutality

As one of Hollywood's most talked-about filmmakers watched the video of George Floyd's killing at the hands of Minneapolis police and heard calls for social justice and police reform grow louder, she needed a way to get involved.

"For me, as an alpha personality, I had to do something," Ava DuVernay told Cheddar.

Her newest project is not a film, but a fund that will empower artists to create relevant works that keep alive the conversation about the over-policing of Black Americans, equality, and accountability for negligent officers. Read more...

— Lawrence Banton

5:18 pm ET: Massachusetts Cannabis Industry Had to Pivot Quickly Amid Pandemic

When Governor Charlie Baker greenlighted adult-use cannabis shops in the state of Massachusetts to reopen for business, it came with a caveat: curbside pickup only. With only a week's notice, shops around the state jumped to recall employees from furlough and dream up creative ways to protect the health of their customers and workers.

At its Great Barrington location, Theory Wellness set up tents where customers could pick-up and pay for orders placed online or over the phone -- without ever having to step foot inside.

"When you're in the cannabis industry, you're always prepared for the unexpected and I think you always have to be ready to react to the needs of the market," said Thomas Winstanley, director of marketing at Theory Wellness.

Massachusetts has since permitted some indoor retail to resume at significantly reduced capacity, but for now, Theory Wellness Great Barrington will keep its outdoor setup as it keeps an eye out on what's next in Massachusetts reopening.

— Chloe Aiello

5:11 pm ET: Wall Street Dips as Global Rally Eases Off the Accelerator

Stocks mostly fell in another day of wobbly trading on Wall Street Wednesday, as markets eased off the accelerator following their big rally. The S&P 500 dipped 0.4% after bouncing between small gains and losses for much of the day. Stocks in Asia and Europe made modest gains, while Treasury yields edged lower. Markets have been trending upward this week amid hopes that the worst of the recession may have already passed. But caution remains as rising levels of coronavirus infections around the world raise worries that all the improvements could ultimately get upended. Read more... 

— The Associated Press

3:41 pm ET: Atlanta Officer Who Fatally Shot Rayshard Brooks to Be Charged

Atlanta is awaiting a decision on whether the district attorney will pursue charges against two police officers in the shooting death of a black man, Rayshard Brooks. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard is expected to have a news conference at 3 p.m. Wednesday to announce whether he will pursue charges against Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan. Rolfe fatally shot Brooks on Friday night. Rolfe has been fired, and Brosnan placed on administrative duty after the shooting. The shooting sparked new demonstrations in Georgia’s capital against police brutality after occasionally turbulent protests in response to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis had largely simmered down. Read more... 

— The Associated Press

12:45 pm ET: Surge in Driving Could Cripple New York City Streets, Advocates Warn

New Yorkers may have a love-hate relationship with the troubled Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) public transit system, but since the onset of the pandemic, most won't go near it.

With ridership down some 85 percent — and a return to normal still a way off — data suggests New Yorkers are swapping their MetroCards for car keys and taking to the streets.

"We already had terrible traffic conditions prior to the epidemic, but what we are going to see is not only people who normally drive their cars, add people who rode transit before, and some people who used to carpool but decided they want to drive alone," said transportation consultant Sam Schwartz, who goes by Gridlock Sam. Read more...

— Chloe Aiello

12:00 pm ET: Aunt Jemima Brand Retired; Uncle Ben's Rice to 'Evolve'

Quaker Oats is retiring the 131-year-old Aunt Jemima brand, saying the company recognizes the character’s origins are “based on a racial stereotype.” Just hours later, the owner of the Uncle Ben’s brand of rice says the brand will “evolve” in response to concerns about racial stereotyping. Quaker, which is owned by PepsiCo, said it’s overhauled pancake mix and syrup will hit shelves by the fourth quarter of 2020. The company will announce the new name at a later date. The Aunt Jemima image has evolved over the years to meet socially acceptable standards of the times, but the brand could not shake its history of racial stereotypes and connections to slavery. Read more... 

— The Associated Press

11:52 am ET: Camden's Police Overhaul Offers a Complicated Precedent

For those seeking concrete examples of what defunding or disbanding a police department looks like on the ground, Camden, N.J. offers one of the few recent precedents.

The South Jersey city shut down its 141-year-old police force in 2013 and replaced it with a county-led department that supporters credit with a decline in violent crime and police abuse.

While not nearly the radical overhaul championed by Black Lives Matter protests, the media quickly latched onto the narrative. Outlets from CNN to Fox News have touted Camden as a case study in how starting fresh can improve community relations.

Even as Camden officials have courted the national media attention, they've also pushed back against the comparison. Read more...

— Alex Vuocolo

11:50 am ET: Wall Street Flip Flops, Global Markets Pause After Big Gains

Wall Street is flipping between small gains and losses Wednesday, as markets around the world take a pause following their big rally a day before.

The S&P 500 was up 0.1%, as of 11 a.m. Eastern time, after earlier pinging between a gain of 0.4% and a loss of 0.5%. Stocks elsewhere in the world made mostly modest gains, and Treasury yields were inching lower. Read more...

— The Associated Press

8:24 am ET: Need2Know: COVID Breakthrough, India-China Tensions & Everyone's Miserable

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

COVID-19: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: The coronavirus is continuing its march across the South: Florida, Arizona and Texas have each set new single-day coronavirus case records; infections have nearly doubled in Alabama and South Carolina week-over-week; Miami has put the next phase of its reopening on pause amid the rise in cases. Overseas, Beijing is closing schools again over a new outbreak, and New Zealand is no longer virus-free. WASH POST

TREATMENT BREAKTHROUGH: Researchers in the UK say they’ve discovered that an inexpensive, generic and widely available steroid is effective in treating patients who are seriously ill with COVID-19, reducing deaths by as much as a third. The steroid, dexamethasone, appears to help patients who have bad enough respiratory infections that they need oxygen support. The results of the trial have not yet been made available for peer review. NBC NEWS

POLICE REFORM: President Trump signed an executive order on police reform that encourages changes to departments, including a ban on chokeholds, but falls short of the reforms demanded by protesters. Because law enforcement happens at the state and local levels, the federal government can mostly just incentivize departments to do certain things if they want federal grant money. POLITICO

INDIA-CHINA CLASH: Chinese soldiers killed at least 20 Indian troops in an extremely rare clash along the disputed border in the Himalayas that is raising tensions between the world’s two most populous countries. The Indian troops were beaten to death with rocks and sticks in the skirmish. China and India both have nukes, though China’s military is significantly more powerful. CNN

RETAIL SALES SOAR: Retail sales rose 18 percent in May, the biggest-ever month-over-month increase, as more stores reopened. While still below pre-pandemic levels, the data showed that consumer activity is significantly up, though the big question remains whether that’s a blip or signs of a broader recovery ⁠— and what happens when government stimulus money runs out. MARKETWATCH

BRONCO IS BACK: Ford plans to unveil the all-new version of its iconic Bronco on July 9 ⁠— which happens to also be the birthday of the Bronco’s most famous passenger: O.J. Simpson. Ford says that’s just a coincidence and the event will go on as planned. The automaker is hoping nostalgia for the Bronco will make it popular in the red-hot SUV market. THE DRIVE

MLB UPDATE: Dr. Fauci is advising the MLB not to play baseball too deep into the fall over concerns that colder weather will make it easier for the virus to spread. When to end the season is one of the main points of contention between the league and players, but not the only one: talks between the two sides are still at a stalemate, with the commissioner refusing to set a schedule unless the player’s union waives its right to file a grievance. ESPN

EMMY HOST: Jimmy Kimmel has been announced as the host of the 72nd Emmy Awards, though even he says he has no idea where, how or even “why” the show is being produced this year. TV’s biggest night is on the schedule for Sept. 20 on ABC, with a decision TBD on whether it will be an in-person or virtual event. DEADLINE

SPOTTED...the original Ghostbusters cast, including Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver and Dan Akroyd, appearing via Zoom on Josh Gad’s Reunited Apart web series: WATCH

LEFTOVERS: UNITED STATES OF MISERY: More Americans are unhappy today than at any point since at least the early 1970s. That’s the consensus of a new study that draws on 50 years of social research into Americans’ attitudes and behaviors. The poll, conducted by the University of Chicago, finds that just 14 percent of U.S. adults say they are “very happy,” compared with 31 percent who said so last year. AP

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

5:45 pm ET: Trump Administration Sues to Block Release of Bolton Book

The Trump administration has sued former national security adviser John Bolton to block the publication of a book that the White House says contains classified information. The suit follows warnings from President Donald Trump that Bolton could face a “criminal problem” if he doesn’t halt plans to publish the book. The administration has also said the former adviser did not complete a pre-publication review to ensure that the manuscript did not contain classified material. Bolton’s attorney, Chuck Cooper, has said Bolton worked for months with classification specialists to avoid releasing classified material. He has accused the White House of using national security information as a pretext to censor Bolton. Read more...

— The Associated Press

5:11 pm ET: W. Va.'s First Openly Transgender Elected Official to Hit the Ground Running

Rosemary Ketchum has made LGBTQ HERstory: last week she won a seat on the Wheeling City Council, making her the first openly transgender elected official in West Virginia.

"We ran a really, really close campaign with our competitors, but we were able to run a grassroots campaign that, despite the obstacles of COVID, we were able to win," the councilwoman-elect told Cheddar on Tuesday. Read more...

— Samantha Errico

3:37 pm ET: John Bolton's Book on Trump Is 'Too Little Too Late,' Says Rep. Swalwell

Next week, another tell-all book about the Trump White House is due to hit the shelves. Donald Trump isn't happy about it, and perhaps surprisingly, some Democrats aren't that thrilled either.

That's because the book's author, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, declined to testify during the House impeachment of President Trump, choosing instead to save the juicy details of his White House days for his literary endeavors.

"I'd say it's too little, too late," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif. 15th District), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Cheddar in an interview on Tuesday. Read more...

— Jim Roberts

1:15 pm ET: Trump Signs Executive Order on Police Reform

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order on policing following weeks of national protests after the death of George Floyd. The order is aimed at encouraging best practices and tracking officers with excessive use of force complaints. In the Rose Garden, Trump stressed the need for higher standards and commiserated with mourning families, even as he hailed the vast majority of officers as selfless public servants and held his law-and-order line. The order comes as Senate Republicans prepare to unveil their own package of policing proposals after Democrats did the same. Read more...

— The Associated Press

12:58 pm ET: Quibi’s Problem Might Be Programming, Not the Pandemic

With its mobile-friendly format and high-quality content, Quibi was supposed to usher in a new era of short-form entertainment for audiences on the go. Led by Disney and Dreamworks Animation executive alum Jeffrey Katzenberg and former HP CEO Meg Whitman, the business had the media and technology star power to stand out from other startups. It also boasted Hollywood's hottest names, like Liam Hemsworth, Sophie Turner, Chrissy Teigen, and Jennifer Lopez, headlining its bite-sized shows and movies.

But recent data shows the service isn't gaining as much traction with viewers as one might expect, especially with the initial subscribers' three-month free trial period wrapping up in a few weeks. Read more...

— Michelle Castillo

12:40 pm ET: Researchers Say They Found Drug to Improve Survival From COVID-19

Researchers in England say they have the first evidence that a drug can improve COVID-19 survival: A cheap, widely available steroid called dexamethasone reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalized patients.

Results were announced Tuesday and researchers said they would publish them soon. The study is a large, strict test that randomly assigned 2,104 patients to get the drug and compared them with 4,321 patients getting only usual care. Read more...

— The Associated Press

10:22 am ET: Stocks Rally on Wall Street, Worldwide With Hope for Economy

Stocks are rallying worldwide on Tuesday, and Wall Street is heading for significant gains after U.S. retail sales rebounded last month by much more than economists were expecting. The S&P 500 was up 2.7% in the first few minutes of trading, following up on even stronger gains in European and Asian stock markets. Treasury yields moved solidly higher in another sign of improving optimism. Retail sales jumped 17.7% from April to May, more than double economists’ expectations, giving more credence to rising expectations that the economy can pull out of its recession relatively quickly. Read more...

— The Associated Press

10:19 am ET: Michelin-Starred Aquavit Pivots to Survive Coronavirus

When Emma Bengtsson, executive chef at Michelin two-star restaurant Aquavit, got the order in March that New York was banning all dine-in restaurant services, she thought it would a four-week maximum ordeal.

She asked her staff at the Nordic fine-dining staple to save everything they could and store it in the freezer. When a month passed by and there was no end in sight to the pandemic, Bengtsson knew she would have to find another way for her restaurant to survive.

"I thought we were going to open up again," she recalled. "I've never seen anything like this in my lifetime." Read more...

— Michelle Castillo

8:20 am ET: Need2Know: Landmark LGBTQ Win, Police Reforms & Oscars Postponed

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

LANDMARK CIVIL RIGHTS RULING: The Supreme Court has ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay and transgender employees from discrimination at work, a major victory for the gay rights movement. The majority opinion was written by one of the Court’s most conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch. He and Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal wing in the landmark 6-3 ruling. WASH POST

POLICE REFORM MOVEMENT: President Trump is expected to sign an executive order today on police reform, as many police departments are already making significant changes in response to the protest movement. The NYPD is disbanding its plainclothes anti-crime unit and reassigning about 600 officers to other duties. Albuquerque is creating an entirely new public safety department designed to relieve stress on the city’s police by using social workers to respond to non-violent 911 calls. NY TIMES

FDA DROPS CHLOROQUINE: The FDA has revoked emergency authorization of the anti-malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for use to treat COVID-19. Regulators say the drugs, which have been promoted by President Trump, are “unlikely to be effective” against coronavirus and come with too many risks to be used outside clinical trials. STAT

AMERICAN CONVICTED IN RUSSIA: A Russian court has convicted an American corporate executive of espionage, sentencing him to 16 years in prison.  Paul Whelan, a former Marine who worked at an auto-parts supplier, says he was set up and then tried in secret with no evidence. The U.S. has called the conviction a “mockery of justice.” AP

EBAY HARASSMENT SCHEME: Federal prosecutors have charged six former eBay employees, including two high-ranking executives, in a bizarre scheme in which they allegedly mailed spiders, pornography, and a bloody pig mask to try and intimidate the owners of an e-commerce blog that had been somewhat critical of their company. CBS NEWS

BEZOS TO THE HILL: Amazon says it will make CEO Jeff Bezos available for a Congressional hearing this summer, the first time Bezos has ever testified before Congress. Lawmakers have called the CEOs of the biggest tech companies to testify as part of a sweeping antitrust investigation. NPR

U.S. OPEN IS ON: The biggest question in tennis has been answered: the U.S. Open will go on as scheduled beginning on Aug. 31 in New York City, but without any spectators. The Open will involve special guidelines that No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic has called “extreme,” in a hint that he may sit out this year’s tourney. TENNIS NOW

SPOTTED...John Legend filming his new music video with a bare-bones crew in L.A. after the city reopened for film and TV production: SEE PICS

OSCARS POSTPONED: The Academy Awards have been rescheduled from Feb. 28 to April 25 of next year, the latest date it will have ever aired. The Academy is also extending the eligibility window for films by two months, from Dec. 31 to Feb. 28. DEADLINE

LEFTOVERS: JON STEWART'S REGRET: Five years after leaving The Daily Show, Jon Stewart says his biggest regret was setting up an “evisceration expectation,” in which he brought on guests with opposing views in the hope of creating a viral moment. Stewart made the remarks as part of a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times Magazine: READ IT

Monday, June 15, 2020

6:09 pm ET: Wall Street Closes Higher on Fed Plan to Buy Corporate Bonds

It took just a few hours for fear to turn back into greed on Wall Street Monday, and stocks erased a sharp, early slump to notch healthy gains after the Federal Reserve unveiled its latest push to prop up the economy.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.8% following the latest day of big swings in global markets, as a remarkable, weekslong rally shows some cracks. Worries are rising that additional waves of coronavirus infections could derail the swift economic recovery that Wall Street had seemed so sure was on the way just a week ago. Read more...

4:04 pm ET: GLAAD CEO Calls for Sustained Action After SCOTUS Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday that employers cannot discriminate in hiring  due to a candidate's sexual or gender preference was a surprising revelation for many Americans, including Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD.

"It was groundbreaking. It was historic today," she told Cheddar.

Still, Ellis said this is just a small part of the rights challenges members of the LGBTQ community face.  Read more...

— Lawrence Banton

2:22 pm ET: Urban League President Urges Senate to Pass HEROES Act

The African American community is dealing with two crises: the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and systemic racism that has been, once again, laid bare in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing.

But exacerbating both of those crises is a third, more insidious problem, according to Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League: persistent income inequality that means "when people even get back to work, that paycheck doesn't go far enough to help them make ends meet." Read more...

— Carlo Versano

12:33 pm ET: FDA Revokes Emergency Use of Malaria Drugs vs. Coronavirus

U.S. regulators are revoking emergency authorization for malaria drugs promoted by President Donald Trump for treating COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration said Monday that the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating the coronavirus. Citing reports of heart complications, the FDA said the drugs pose a greater risk to patients than any potential benefits. The decades-old drugs, also prescribed for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, can cause heart rhythm problems, severely low blood pressure, and muscle or nerve damage. Read more...

— Associated Press

11:27 am ET: Supreme Court Rules LGBT Workers Protected From Job Discrimination

In a 6-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that existing civil rights laws protect LGBTQ+ people from workplace discrimination. The ruling comes just days after the Trump administration rolled back Obama-era health care protections for transgender people.

10:09 am ET: Wall Street Opens Sharply Lower as Virus Fears Return

Stocks are sinking again Monday on fears that new waves of coronavirus infections could derail the economic recovery that Wall Street was sure was on the way. The S&P 500 sank 2% in the first few minutes of trading, following up on even sharper losses in Asia and milder ones in Europe. The S&P 500 is 12% below its record set in February after a furious rally had brought it back within 5.8% last week. China is reporting a new outbreak, and New York's governor is upset groups of people are packing together outside bars and restaurants without face masks, in violation of restrictions. Read more...

— Associated Press

8:18 am ET: Need2Know: Another Police Shooting, Quibi in Trouble & Movie Musical Chairs

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

COVID-19: NEW HOT SPOTS: About three months since the coronavirus pandemic effectively shut down the county, cases are climbing in at least 22 states that are reopening. Arizona, Texas and Florida are among the states seeing spikes in hospitalizations. Health officials attribute it in part to infections that were seeded over Memorial Day weekend. In New York, where infection rates are on the decline, Gov. Cuomo threatened to reverse reopening in parts of the state if people get lax on social distancing. REUTERS

ATLANTA POLICE SHOOTING: Protests have flared up in Atlanta over another police killing of a black man. Atlanta police shot and killed Rayshard Brooks in an altercation outside a Wendy’s on Friday night. After an initially calm encounter, officers attempted to arrest Brooks for drinking and driving. Brooks broke away and grabbed an officer’s Taser before he was shot in the back. Atlanta’s police chief has resigned over the incident and the officer has been fired. ATL MAG

TRUMP RALLY RESCHEDULED: The Trump campaign has reversed itself and moved the president’s upcoming reelection rally in Tulsa from Friday to Saturday, responding to anger over his decision to hold the event on Juneteenth in a city with a history of racial violence. Tulsa’s top health official says he is extremely worried about the risks of holding the indoor event, saying it’s “extraordinarily dangerous” and presents a serious health threat to both attendees and the president himself. TULSA WORLD

PRESIDENTIAL HEALTH: President Trump is also facing new concerns about his own health after he appeared to have trouble walking down a ramp at West Point over the weekend, where he was delivering the commencement address. He also appeared to have trouble taking a drink from a glass of water. The president turned 74 yesterday, the oldest a president has ever been in his first term. If 77-year-old Joe Biden were elected, he’d be the oldest president to take the oath of office. NY TIMES

LGA OPEN FOR BUSINESS: LaGuardia, the airport once described by Joe Biden as being out of “some third-world country” has opened a brand-new terminal to the public, the first and biggest milestone in the $8 billion rebuilding of the busy and decrepit NYC hub. The new Terminal B serves American and United. SEE PICS

QUIBI IN TROUBLE: The launch of the mobile streaming platform Quibi has gone so poorly that questions are being floated about how the company can survive. Quibi is burning through cash as its subscriber numbers keep dropping; the app isn’t even in the Top 200 free apps on Apple. It faces a patent lawsuit, has upset advertisers, features very little buzzy content and has forced executives to take pay cuts. CEO Meg Whitman was reportedly so fed up with her co-founder, Jeffrey Katzenberg, that she once threatened to quit. Whitman and Katzenberg have blamed coronavirus for their problems. WSJ

BASEBALL SEASON IN JEOPARDY: The labor strife between MLB owners and players over when and how to open the baseball season is getting worse, with players now saying the talks have broken down and issuing a demand that the league set a date for a return to play by the end of the day today. ESPN

HANK WILLIAMS, JR. TRAGEDY: The daughter of country music star Hank Williams, Jr. died in a car accident in Tennessee over the weekend. Katherine Williams-Dunning, 27, was killed when her Chevy Tahoe flipped on the highway. Williams has not issued a statement on his daughter’s death as of yet. She is survived by her husband, son and daughter. YAHOO

MOVIE MUSICAL CHAIRS: A number of big-budget movies have announced new delays as the studios try to analyze the pros and cons of opening a blockbuster amid a pandemic. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is being bumped from July 17 to July 30; Wonder Woman is moving, again, from August to October; The Matrix 4 is delayed a full year, to 2022; the Batman reboot is going from next summer to next fall; the new James Bond movie is actually moving up from Nov. 25 to Nov. 20.  FORBES

LEFTOVERS: DUCKLING MIRACLE: A British woman has successfully hatched three ducklings from eggs she bought at a supermarket. Named Beep, Meep and Peep, the ducklings overcame “remarkably slim odds,” according to the egg producer. SEE THEM

Friday, June 12, 2020

4:24 pm ET: U.S. Stocks Bounce Higher but Still End the Week With a Loss

Stocks closed another bumpy day with solid gains on Wall Street, but not enough to erase its worst weekly loss since late March. The S&P 500 rose 1.3% Friday, a day after dropping nearly 6%. The volatility interrupted what had been a dramatic rally for the market over the past three weeks. Read more...

— Associated Press

1:52 pm ET: New York Governor Cuomo Signs Police Accountability Legislation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a sweeping package of police accountability measures that received new backing following protests of George Floyd's killing. The laws signed Friday include one allowing the release of officers’ long-withheld disciplinary records. Read more... 

— Associated Press

12:39 pm ET: Store Safety Is Top of Mind for Customers Amid Pandemic, Says NEST CEO

As retail spaces begin to reopen following coronavirus-related closures, those that had been nimble enough to pivot to curbside pickup and e-commerce are poised to rebuild rapidly and when the physical doors swing open to welcome customers, retailers would be wise to make safety and cleanliness a top priority, said Rob Almond, CEO of integrated facilities management company NEST. Read more...

— Mike Nam

12:24 pm ET: Federal Reserve Says It Will Use 'Full Range of Tools' to Boost Economy

The Federal Reserve is promising to use its “full range of tools” to pull the country out of a deep recession caused by a global pandemic, signaling that it would keep interest rates low through 2022. In its semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress, the central bank said that the COVID-19 outbreak was causing “tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world.” The report said that the central bank was “committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time.” Read more...

— Associated Press

11:11 am ET: Researchers Ask if Survivor Plasma Could Prevent Coronavirus

Scientists are beginning a new study to tell if the blood plasma of COVID-19 survivors might help prevent infection in the first place. Doctors already are using survivor plasma as a treatment for many hospitalized patients, even as research still is underway to tell if it really works. The plasma harbors virus-fighting antibodies. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are testing if giving that immune system boost to people newly exposed but not yet sick — like health workers or nursing home residents — could help stave off illness. Read more...

— Associated Press

10:44 am ET: Stocks Bounce Higher on Wall Street a Day After Big Rout

Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street a day after major indexes fell more than 5% for their biggest drops since mid-March. The S&P 500 rose 2.2% in early trading Friday but is still on track for a weekly loss following three weeks of solid gains. Small-company stocks and bond yields rose, both signs that pessimism about the economy's future growth was easing. The steep drops Thursday came after weeks of market experts warning that a red-hot comeback for the market since late March has been overdone. European markets also rose, but Asian markets ended broadly lower. Read more...

— Associated Press

8:15 am ET: Need2Know: Alarming COVID Spikes, Market Bubble Bursts & PS5 Reveal

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

ALARMING VIRUS SPIKE: With more states and cities reopening their economies, there is now a considerable increase in new cases and hospitalizations in many states that did not see initial spikes. North Carolina, Arizona, Texas, Alabama and Arkansas are among the states with the most alarming upticks in both new cases and hospitalizations. An increase in testing is responsible for some of the new cases, but health officials are worried the lifting of stay-home orders are contributing, too. AP

NYC SCHOOL REOPENING PLAN: New York City public schools have a plan for the new school year that may become a blueprint for other school systems in places where there’s a significant number of virus cases come fall. The framework for reopening in NYC, the country’s largest public school system, includes rolling/phased starts, split schedules so the entire school is never all together at once, and a combination of in-person and online learning. Teachers are being told to plan to welcome students back on Sept. 10. WPIX

PENTAGON TOP BRASS APOLOGY: The top military official in the U.S. has apologized for being part of President Trump’s controversial photo op at St. John’s Church last week in which federal authorities cleared out peaceful protesters in front of the White House. Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a recorded message: “I should not have been there.” Milley reportedly considered resigning over the incident. NBC NEWS

WHO GOT BAILED OUT? The Trump administration is backtracking on its promise to disclose which businesses got a piece of the taxpayer-funded $551 billion bailout that’s been distributed as part of the Paycheck Protection Program. The Treasury Dept. now says the information is confidential and proprietary. Government watchdog groups have criticized the PPP for a lack of transparency in how the money is being spent, and by whom. WASH POST

STOCK SELLOFF: The stock market had its worst day since March over growing concerns that the reopening of the economy is not going to be as smooth as they hoped. The Dow lost 1,862 points, or nearly 7 percent. New data showed another 1.5 million American workers filed for unemployment benefits last week — significantly down from the peak in March but still extremely high. CHEDDAR

TECH STEPS UP: Three of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley have announced they'll put significant money toward efforts to fight racism. Apple will spend $100 million, with a focus on criminal justice and education reform. YouTube, part of Google, will also spend $100 million to elevate black creators, in some cases by paying them directly to make videos. PayPal’s initiative is among the biggest yet: $500 million for a long-term fund to support minority businesses. SILICON VALLEY BIZ JOURNAL

PS5 REVEAL: Sony lifted the curtain on its upcoming PlayStation 5 gaming console, set to hit shelves for Christmas. The futuristic-looking white-and-black console will come in two models, including a long-rumored “discless” digital version. Pricing is TBA. SEE IT


...Queen Elizabeth on her first Zoom call, speaking to the UK’s frontline care workers: SEE IT

....thousands of sea turtles nesting on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, captured via spectacular drone footage: SEE IT

HOLLYWOOD REOPENING: California will begin to allow film and TV production to resume in the state today. Movie theaters in California have also been given the green light to reopen as well, but must limit capacity to 25 percent or 100 attendees, whichever is lower. THR

LEFTOVERS: 'I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY': The celebs are once again getting called out for a PSA they collaborated on that is more cringeworthy than anything else. Kristen Bell, Aaron Paul, Stanley Tucci, Sarah Paulson and others are featured in a new anti-racism video titled I Take Responsibility, in which they look head-on at the camera and apologize for “every not-so-funny joke,” “every unfair stereotype” and other injustices: WATCH

Thursday, June 11, 2020

2:56 pm ET: Dow Sinks 1,500 as Virus Cases Rise, Deflating Optimism

Stocks are falling sharply on Wall Street as coronavirus cases increase again, deflating recent optimism that the economy could recover quickly as lockdowns ease. The Dow fell more than 1,500 points and the S&P 500 was on track for its worst day in nearly three months. Many market watchers have been saying that a scorching comeback in the market since late March was overdone and didn't reflect the dire state of the economy. A day earlier, the Federal Reserve said the road back to recovery would be long. Bond yields fell sharply, a sign of increasing caution among investors. Read more...

— Associated Press

1:32 pm ET: The Multiple Meanings of 'Defund the Police'

As Black Lives Matter protests continue across the country, activists have offered up any number of possible solutions to the kind of police violence that led to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, but none have spurred more national debate and discussion than the call to "defund the police."

Over the last week, the idea has grown from a social media slogan and protest chant to a fiercely debated political possibility.

What exactly "defund" means in practice varies depending on who you're asking, but the broader goal is simple: funnel money away from law enforcement into other public programs. Read more...

— Alex Vuocolo

12:13 pm ET: Gen. Milley Says He Was Wrong to Accompany Trump on Church Walk

The nation's top military officer says it was a mistake for him to have been in Lafayette Square with President Donald Trump last week. Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says his presence “created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.” He called it “a mistake” that he has learned from. Milley and Defense Secretary Mark Esper walked from the White House to Lafayette Square with Trump and others on June 1 amid street protests, and the president posed for photographers holding up a Bible in front of St. John's Episcopal Church. “I should not have been there,” Milley told a National Defense University commencement ceremony Thursday. Read more...

— Associated Press

11:00 am ET: Many Forces Behind Alarming Rise in Coronavirus Cases in 21 States

Coronavirus cases are rising in nearly half the U.S. states. And while many are chalked up to increased testing or to small, local outbreaks, others are more alarming. In Arizona, hospitals were notified over the weekend to prepare for the worst amid surges across the state. And the governor of North Carolina says recent jumps have caused him to rethink plans to reopen schools or businesses. Texas and Utah are among the states that have also been identified as worrisome hot spots. What’s tricky is sorting out exactly why different surges are happening. The answer may vary from state to state, and even from county to county, some experts say. Read more...

— Associated Press

10:25 am ET: Stocks Open Lower on Wall Street as Investors Turn Jittery

Stocks are opening sharply lower on Wall Street as investors turn jittery once again in the face of rising numbers of coronavirus infections in many U.S. states and countries. The S&P 500 was down 2.5% in early trading Thursday. Read more...

— Associated Press

8:15 am ET: Need2Know: New Hot Spots, Statues Toppled & Lemon-Fresh Subways

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

COVID-19: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: Coronavirus cases have surpassed 2 million in the U.S. There are now 21 states that are seeing cases rise, though that is partially due to testing increases. Arizona is hitting record daily highs, while Texas has seen a 42 percent increase in hospitalizations since Memorial Day. A new Cambridge study adds more fuel to the theory that widespread mask usage could significantly reduce the spread of the virus and prevent a second wave. REUTERS

STATUES TOPPLED: Statues and monuments around the world are being toppled, damaged or removed altogether in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing. In Boston, a Christopher Columbus statue was beheaded. In Richmond, people tore down a famous statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy. Antwerp, Belgium has removed a controversial monument to King Leopold II, also known as the ‘Butcher of Congo.’ Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now calling for 11 Confederate statues to be removed from the halls of the Capitol. BUZZFEED

SEATTLE AUTONOMOUS ZONE: President Trump called on authorities in Seattle to “take back your city” after demonstrators — whom he called “domestic terrorists” — set up camp around an abandoned police precinct. The area is being called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or ‘CHAZ’. Police have stopped patrolling the streets, and police barriers have been repurposed to set up the borders of the zone. Footage from inside shows protesters mostly watching movies and listening to music. MY NORTHWEST

FED EXPECTS SLOW RECOVERY: The Federal Reserve is predicting a slow economic recovery, with unemployment ending the year at 9.3 percent and falling to 6.5 percent next year. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said he expects millions of the people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic to become permanently unemployed. The central bank says it will continue to take measures to support the economy, like buying bonds and keeping interest rates near zero for a long time. CNN

RUSSIAN OIL SPILL: Russian officials and environmentalists are furiously working to contain a massive diesel oil spill that happened last week in Siberia and is being compared in scale to the Exxon Valdez. The spill sent 150,000 barrels of diesel into a river, and it's now spreading toward the Arctic Ocean, turning the water red. POPULAR MECHANICS

NASDAQ & TESLA SOARING: Tesla is now trading above $1,000 per share for the first time in its history. In addition to being a nice round number, the milestone also puts Tesla within striking distance of Toyota for the title of world's most valuable carmaker. Tesla is part of the NASDAQ Composite Index, which also hit a milestone of its own, closing above 10,000 for the first time ever. BLOOMBERG

NASCAR BANS STARS & BARS: NASCAR will ban Confederate flags at its racetracks, two days after Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s only black driver, called for the organization to do so. Wallace drove his No. 43 Chevy at last night’s race in Martinsville, finishing 11th. The car had a special #BlackLivesMatter paint scheme: SEE IT

ANNA WINTOUR'S MEA CULPA: Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour has apologized to her staff for not doing enough to elevate black employees and models and for overseeing spreads that may have been seen as “hurtful or intolerant” over her 32-year tenure at the glossy magazine. Meanwhile, Harper’s Bazaar has appointed Samira Nasr to be editor-in-chief ⁠— the first woman of color to hold the prestigious title at the 153-year-old publication. AP

SPOTTED...Prince Philip, celebrating his 99th birthday in isolation with the Queen at Windsor Castle: SEE PIC

LEFTOVERS: SPOTLESS SUBWAY: The NYC subway system is so clean that riders who are venturing back say they’re shocked to find stations devoid of rats, trash and unidentified liquids, and sparkling subway cars that smell like lemon. The country’s largest subway network has been shut down overnight for weeks so cars can be disinfected. NY TIMES

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

6:12 pm ET: The Lincoln Project Co-Founder: 'Our Goal Is to Defeat Trump and Trumpism'

The Lincoln Project, a political action committee made up of Republicans and former Republicans, was formed with the purpose of challenging President Donald Trump's reelection campaign. As Democrats naturally work to get one of their own into the White House this fall, the right-leaning organization is working toward the same goal and members believe dissent from within the party can be even more effective.

"I think there is no one better positioned, or better able to take the message to other Republicans, than we are," co-founder Jennifer Horn told Cheddar.

— Mike Nam

5:00 pm ET: Spotlight on Hollywood as Actors Calls for Diversity

Cheddar's Baker Machado and Nora Ali take a deep dive into the need for diversity in Hollywood amid nationwide uprisings focused on social justice. The two also take a look at changes sweeping the industry including the cancellation of shows and movies as well as the groundswell in the industry pushing for social change.

4:18 pm ET: Stocks End Mostly Lower, Even as Nasdaq Tops 10,000 Points

Stocks ended a bumpy day mostly lower Wednesday despite assurances from the Federal Reserve that it would keep interest rates low through 2022 and would continue buying bonds to help markets function smoothly. Read more... 

— Associated Press

4:00 pm ET: Vroom CEO Says Car Buying Is Due for 'Structural Change'

Vroom, an online used-car marketplace, got an enthusiastic reception from investors when it began trading on the Nasdaq Tuesday.

The stock $VRM soared 117 percent, doubling its IPO price of $22 a share.

Unlike businesses around the country that have struggled to make it through coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Vroom thrived. Read more...

— Taylor Craig

2:29 pm ET: Fed to Keep Buying Bonds and Sees No Rate Hike Through 2022

The Federal Reserve says it will keep buying bonds to maintain low borrowing rates and support the U.S. economy in the midst of a recession. And it says nearly all the Fed's policymakers foresee no rate hike through 2022.

The Fed has cut its benchmark short-term rate to near zero. Keeping its rate ultra-low for more than two more years could make it easier for consumers and businesses to borrow and spend enough to sustain an economy depressed by business shutdowns and high unemployment. Read more...

— The Associated Press

1:53 pm ET: MTA Chairman Says Subway Is Safe as Riders Return

As New York City enters its third day of Phase 1 reopening, many residents remain hesitant about using mass transit to commute amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, MTA Chairman Pat Foye told Cheddar that the agency is working hard to keep riders safe.

“The technology we’re using is innovative,” he said. “We are disinfecting, not cleaning. We’re disinfecting every subway car multiple times a day.” Read more...

— Lawrence Banton

11:00 am ET: Advertisers Eagerly Await Return of Live Sports

Without the ability to see the shows they're putting their dollars up against, or even what the TV guide will look like, advertisers have to decide which programming to invest in, sight unseen. That is a challenge, even when it comes to the biggest names in the business.

"Disney and NBCUniversal have a track record, but that track record also includes broadcast programming that hasn't quite hit the quality of cable and streaming platforms over the last couple of years," said Media Director Danny Weisman of media agency Noble People. "My biggest concern is not over a lack of trailers, though. It's if and when these new, or returning, shows, come back. With productions shut down, it's hard to justify a large upfront commitment to a rather unknown televised schedule."

Advertisers spent $20 billion during last year's upfront season, about $9 billion on prime time ads on the major broadcasters ABC, FOX, NBC, and CBS, and $11 billion on cable networks. 

While it's uncertain which shows will make it to air this year, one thing is clear: viewers want live sports, something that has been missing throughout the pandemic.  Read more...

— Michelle Castillo

10:25am ET: Nasdaq Opens at New High as Wall Street Gets Off to Mixed Start

Stocks are off to a mixed start on Wall Street as traders turn cautious ahead of a policy announcement on interest rates later Wednesday from the Federal Reserve.

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in the first few minutes of trading. The index has staged a huge comeback since its late March low and is now within just 5% of the all-time high it reached in February, before the coronavirus lockdowns started happening.

Global markets were also mixed after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said the coronavirus crisis has triggered the worst global recession in nearly a century. Bond yields fell. Read more...

— The Associated Press

8:12 am ET: Need2Know: Final Goodbye, WHO Backtracks & 'Cops' Canned

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

GEORGE FLOYD FUNERAL: George Floyd was laid to rest next to his mother after an emotional service in his hometown of Houston, in which his family implored the country to use his death as a rallying cry to end racial injustice. Rev. Al Sharpton called for more action against police brutality. Two rows of police officers saluted Floyd’s golden casket as it was brought into the church. Joe Biden delivered a video message to the family, saying he understood the weight of grieving in public. SEE PICS

COVID-19: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: WHO BACKTRACKS: The World Health Organization has walked back comments one of its top scientists made that asymptomatic coronavirus transmission was “very rare.” The WHO now says that it just isn’t known yet how common asymptomatic carriers are, but that it could be as high as 40 percent of cases. STAT

NJ LIFTS LOCKDOWN: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has lifted the state’s stay-at-home order, ending one of the earliest lockdowns in the country. Daily new cases in the Garden State have remained below 1,000 in June, down from a peak above 4,000 in April. There will still be limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings, but the number people allowed to attend will be raised. NJ.COM

TRUMP TWEETS CONSPIRACY THEORY: President Trump pushed a conspiracy theory that Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old man who is in critical condition in a Buffalo hospital after he was pushed by police, was actually an “ANTIFA provocateur.” The idea began with an anonymous Twitter thread, before it was picked up by a conspiracy blog. It then jumped to OANN, a far-right news network, where the president saw it and tweeted it to his 80 million followers. WASH POST

GEORGIA PRIMARY PROBLEMS: Voters and election officials across the state of Georgia reported hours-long lines at polling stations on primary day. The issues appeared to be with new voting machines either not working or poll workers not knowing how to use them, with the most significant waits in the metro Atlanta area. The front page of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today highlights the quote "Complete Meltdown." Georgia is expected to be a battleground state in November. AJC

DAY TRADERS FUELING RALLY: The millennial-focused stock trading app Robinhood has seen a surge in activity as the stock market has ripped higher in recent weeks, with users buying beaten down and bankrupt companies and riding them higher. One 26-year-old trader made $1,500 in less than a day buying American Airlines when everyone else was selling. Speculative day trading is nothing new, but commission-free apps like Robinhood are making it easier than ever to make risky short-term bets, which are paying off (for now, at least). CNBC

JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY: A small but growing list of tech and media firms are designating Juneteenth, the oldest national commemoration of the end of slavery, as a company holiday. Twitter, Square and Vox Media will begin the new policy this June 19th. FORBES

REALITY TV CULLING: Two original cast members of the Bravo reality series Vanderpump Rules, Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute, have been fired after it came out that they once called the police on a former castmate, who is black, for a crime she didn’t commit. Two Vanderpump newcomers, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni, have also been shown the door over racist tweets. Separately, MTV fired Dee Nguyen, a cast member of The Challenge, also over racially insensitive posts on social media. VARIETY

MOST EXCELLENT: The first trailer for the long-awaited new Bill & Ted movie has dropped. Bill & Ted Face the Music features Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves reprising their roles as the original time-traveling duo. It’s slated to hit theaters in August. WATCH

SPOTTED...Anderson Cooper on the cover of the new issue of People magazine, holding his brand new baby Wyatt and opening up about being a dad: SEE PICS

'COPS' CANCELLED: The long-running reality show Cops has been cancelled, a casualty of the nationwide uproar over harsh police tactics. The Paramount Network says it has removed the show from its schedule and has no plans to bring it back. Cops aired on Fox from 1989 until 2013, when it moved to Spike TV, which is now Paramount. DEADLINE

LEFTOVERS: FROM SEA TO STARS: The first American woman to walk in space is now the first woman to see the deepest point on Earth. Kathryn Sullivan, a former NASA astronaut and oceanographer, has returned from an expedition to the Challenger Deep ⁠— the deepest point of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, about 36,000 feet below sea level. While at the bottom of the ocean, Sullivan called the International Space Station to say hello. USA TODAY

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

5:53 pm ET: Michigan Gov. Whitmer Says Police Reform 'Can't Just Be a Moment in Time'

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has a lot on her plate. In the past two months, her state has seen both armed anti-lockdown demonstrations and a protest movement calling for sweeping changes to the criminal justice system, all while combating coronavirus. Handling these successive protests has required a careful balancing act for the Democratic governor.

"We've been known for a number of protests here in Michigan and they've come from very different angles, but the fact of the matter is I support people's First Amendment rights," Whitmer told Cheddar. Read more..

— Alex Vuocolo.

4:15 pm ET: Wall Street Hits the Brakes After Strong, Weekslong Rally

Stocks are closing lower on Wall Street as a weekslong rally hits the brakes. The S&P 500 fell 0.8% Tuesday, its largest loss in almost three weeks. A day earlier, it had turned positive for the year for the first time since February. Read more... 

— The Associated Press

2:40 pm ET: George Floyd, Whose Death Energized a Movement, to Be Buried

Hundreds of mourners packed a Houston church Tuesday for the funeral of George Floyd, the black man whose death has inspired a worldwide reckoning over racial injustice. His body will be carried in a horse-drawn carriage and will be laid to rest next to his mother. Floyd was 46 when he was killed May 25 as a white Minneapolis officer pressed a knee on Floyd’s neck as the dying man cried out for his mother. Floyd’s death sparked international protests and drew new attention to police treatment of African Americans in the U.S. Some 6,000 people attended a public memorial service Monday. Read more...

— The Associated Press

12:55 pm ET: Surge in Cars on New York City Streets Raises Concerns

As New York City enters Phase 1 of reopening, there is increased traffic on the roads, and mass transit ridership is down. Now there is a growing concern for pedestrian safety as the city comes off of 218 traffic-related deaths in 2019. Cheddar's Chloe Aiello reports from Manhattan's Holland Tunnel entrance.

12:54 pm ET: WHO Expert Clarifies 'Misunderstandings' About Remarks on Virus Spread

A top World Health Organization expert has tried to clear up “misunderstandings” about comments she made that were widely understood to suggest that people without COVID-19 symptoms rarely transmit the coronavirus. Read more...

— The Associated Press

12:00 pm ET: Small Biz Rapidly Embracing New Tech, Says Square E-Commerce Head

Contactless payments company Square has seen its clients' online sales jump since the coronavirus pandemic forced small businesses to adapt to social distancing and stay-at-home orders with new technology.

"Moving online became an absolute priority," said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at Square. Read more...

— Jeff Cohen

11:58 am ET: Need for Police Reform 'Bigger Than Minneapolis,' Says Former Chief

In the wake of George Floyd's death, there is a need for policing in the U.S. to be reformed, former police chief of Minneapolis, Janeé Harteau said.

"I spent 31 years, just about 31 years, with the Minneapolis police department and I see systemic inequities across the board," she told Cheddar.

Racism in policing, according to Harteau, is very real and will linger until departments are reformed. Read more...

— Lawrence Banton

10:18 am ET: Wall Street Hits the Brakes After Strong, Weekslong Rally

Stocks are falling on Wall Street as its weekslong rally hits the brakes. The S&P 500 was down 0.9% after the first 15 minutes of trading and on pace for its largest loss in three weeks. A day earlier, it had turned positive for the year for the first time since February. Skeptics have been saying for weeks that the rally, which reached 44.5% between late March and Monday, may have been overdone. The economy has given glimmers of hope that the recession could end relatively quickly, but stocks have soared much more quickly than the economy is expected to. Read more...

— The Associated Press

8:13 am ET: Need2Know: Pandemic Growing, Recession Official & Buried Treasure Found

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.


FLOYD FUNERAL: George Floyd will be laid to rest in Houston today in a service that will be closed to the public but broadcast on television and via livestream. The program starts at noon ET. Meanwhile, a judge has set bail for Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged with Floyd's murder, at $1 million with conditions. WASH POST

LEGISLATIVE RESPONSE: House Democrats took a knee for Floyd before they introduced a sweeping police reform bill. Called the Justice in Policing Act 2020, the bill would make it easier to prosecute police officers for misconduct in civil court and other measures to increase transparency and accountability at police departments. New York lawmakers passed an anti-chokehold bill that Gov. Cuomo says he’ll sign. NBC NEWS

ASYMPTOMATIC SPREAD: The World Health Organization says the coronavirus pandemic is growing globally, with particularly worrisome trends in South Asia and Latin America. There are now more than seven million confirmed cases worldwide. The WHO also said that asymptomatic spread — thought to be one of the major ways the virus exploded in its early days — now appears to be “very rare.” A new study out of UC Berkeley estimates that lockdowns and other emergency measures prevented 60 million new infections in the U.S. BUSINESS INSIDER

IRAN LANDMARK ABUSE LAW: It is now illegal in Iran to emotionally or physically abuse or abandon a child, the first child protection law ever passed in the country. The Iranian parliament moved to pass the law after protests erupted over the murder of a 14-year-old girl at the hands of her father. Romina Ashrafi was beheaded with a sickle by her father for the crime of running off with her boyfriend. The new protections are being dubbed “Romina’s law.” NY TIMES

VEEPSTAKES: Joe Biden now has the number of delegates needed to officially clinch the Democratic nomination. He’s up 14 points against President Trump in the latest CNN poll. So the question naturally turns to: who will he choose as his VP? Two longshots have reportedly floated to the top of his list amid the wide-scale protests: Keisha Lance Bottoms, the mayor of Atlanta, and Rep. Val Demings of Florida, who is the former police chief of Orlando. POLITICO

RECESSION MADE OFFICIAL: You wouldn’t know it by looking at the stock market, but the U.S. economy has now officially been in recession since February. Government economists made the ‘recession’ declaration by studying GDP and labor data for the last several months, determining that the longest expansion on record officially ended just before the pandemic forced it to essentially shut down. Meanwhile, the market is roaring: the S&P is now positive for the year, and the Nasdaq is about to cross the 10,000 milestone, propelled by stocks like Tesla, which just hit a record high. YAHOO FINANCE

HERTZ STOCK FLYING: If you had invested $10,000 in Hertz the day after it declared bankruptcy last month, your investment would now be worth about $125,000. Not a bad two-week return. Signifying how strange this stock market is acting, the company — which is still in bankruptcy — has seen its shares rally close to 900 percent since it went into Chapter 11. Many travel-related stocks have been on a tear, helped by optimism over the economy reopening, but Hertz is in a league of its own. MARKETWATCH

NFL RETURN: The NFL has released the first safety protocols for the upcoming season. They include remodeled locker rooms to encourage social distancing and  mandatory masks except when they interfere with “athletic activities.” The league has not yet said what its plans are for testing or travel, but says those guidelines are coming. Meanwhile, Adrian Peterson says he plans to take a knee during the national anthem this season, and expects others to join him. BLEACHER REPORT

SPOTTED...A-Rod and J-Lo, clad in masks, carrying homemade signs and marching with Black Lives Matter protesters in Los Angeles: SEE PICS


Kerry Anne and Michael Gordon, a couple from Philadelphia who had to postpone their wedding due to the pandemic, ended up tying the knot amidst the weekend’s Black Lives Matter protests in the city. The beautiful couple did their “first look” with protesters cheering them on, and the video will give you goosebumps: WATCH

LEFTOVERS: BURIED TREASURE: A decade after an eccentric millionaire from New Mexico filled a treasure chest with gold, coins and jewels worth $2 million and hid it in the Rocky Mountains, the chest has reportedly been found. Forrest Fenn, an art dealer, hid the chest when he thought he was dying of kidney cancer. He recovered, but kept the treasure hidden and provided clues via poem, urging people to “get off their couches” and find it. Now Fenn says a mystery explorer sent him a photo of the treasure, confirming that it had finally been discovered. SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN

Monday, June 8, 2020

2:34 pm ET: U.S. Recession Began in February in the Face of Coronavirus

The U.S. economy entered a recession in February, a group of economists declared Monday, ending more than a decade of steady if slow growth. The economists said employment peaked in February and fell sharply afterward, marking the beginning of the downturn. A committee within the National Bureau of Economic Research, a trade group, determines when recessions begin and end. It defines a recession as “a decline in economic activity that lasts more than a few months.” The committee acknowledged, however, that in this case the depth of the economic downturn so far also played a role in its decision. Read more...

— The Associated Press

2:22 pm ET: Virus 'Amplifies' Longstanding Health Inequities, Says Outgoing AMA Chief

The coronavirus pandemic, systemic racism, and police brutality all have to be erased to protect public health, particularly for the black community, said Dr. Patrice Harris, the outgoing president of the American Medical Association.

Harris, speaking to Cheddar the day after her tenure ended, leaves the nation’s largest association of physicians at a time of remarkable upheaval for the medical community as the pandemic has created an all-hands-on-deck moment for the healthcare industry. Read more...

— Carlo Versano

1:40 pm ET: The Future of Surveillance in a Post-Coronavirus Society

The coronavirus pandemic has led governments worldwide to improve their surveillance programs in order to track the spread of COVID-19. Now, those upgrades could be here to stay. Cheddar's Nora Ali and J.D. Durkin take a deep dive into U.S. surveillance programs and their constitutionality. 

1:23 pm ET: New Zealand Has Eradicated Coronavirus as Last Known Case Recovers

New Zealand appears to have eradicated the coronavirus for now after health officials said the last known infected person has recovered. The announcement was greeted with joy around the country and means the nation of 5 million will be among the first to welcome throngs of fans back into sports stadiums, allow large concerts and remove seating restrictions from flights. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was confident New Zealand had halted the spread of the virus, although she notes more cases were likely and her government was focusing on being prepared. Experts say some travelers will likely bring in infections. Border restrictions will be among the last lockdown measures still in place. Read more...

— The Associated Press

12:27 pm ET: Democrats Unveil Police Overhaul, Kneel at Capitol

Congressional Democrats unveiled legislation Monday to overhaul police accountability. House and Senate Democrats held a moment of silence at the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall — reading the names of George Floyd and others killed — and then knelt for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Their package is in response to mass protests nationwide over the death of Floyd and other black Americans during interactions with law enforcement. The Justice in Policing Act would overhaul legal protections for police, create a national database of excessive-force episodes and set new standards for police training. Read more...

— The Associated Press

11:05 am ET: 'All Eyes' on New York: Reopening Tests City Torn by Crises

After three months of a coronavirus crisis followed by protests and unrest, New York City is trying to turn a page when a limited range of industries reopen Monday. It’s an inflection point as the city tries to get back to business. Its first steps at recovery come as the virus continues to circulate and amid demonstrations over George Floyd’s death, racism, and police brutality. Construction, manufacturing, wholesalers, and previously “nonessential” stores can resume work Monday, with restrictions. Shops can reopen for delivery and pickup, though they can’t yet have customers browsing inside. Read more...

— The Associated Press

10:14 am ET: Wall Street Tilts Higher Again on Hopes for Economy

The S&P 500 was up 0.5% in the first few minutes of trading Monday, bringing it back within 5.2% of its record set in February. Optimism is strengthening that the worst of the coronavirus-induced recession may have already passed after a surprisingly encouraging report on the U.S. jobs market on Friday. States across the country and even New York City are beginning to gradually reopen their economies. Investors will be watching reports this week to see if Friday's jobs report was a true inflection point in the economy's long road back to a full recovery or just an aberration. Read more... 

— The Associated Press

8:15 am ET: 'Defund Police' Movement, NYC Reopening & Wabbit Hunting

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

PROTESTS SPREAD: For a second weekend, tens of thousands of people poured into cities large and small to protest against racial injustice and, specifically, the police. From Philly, to Portland, to D.C., to Boise, Idaho, rallies were largely peaceful even as many protesters defied curfews to remain on the streets. Overseas, marches in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement were held in Sydney, Rome, Hong Kong and Madrid, among other cities. In the British city of Bristol, people pulled down a statue of a former slave trader and pushed it into the river. CNN

'DEFUND THE POLICE': The protest movement has been coalescing around the rallying cry: “Defund the Police.” The general idea: America’s police departments have long received too much money from taxpayers, which have allowed them to militarize to an extent that threatens the public for whom they serve. In NYC, the mayor pledged for the first time to cut the NYPD’s budget. In L.A., the mayor said he’s tossing out his plans for an increase to the LAPD’s budget. In Minneapolis, the site of the George Floyd killing, the city council went a step further and said it would dismantle the entire police department as it currently exists. STAR TRIB

TRUMP LOSING R'S: With President Trump now significantly down against Joe Biden in most polls, a small but growing number of establishment Republicans are saying they won’t be voting for him. Colin Powell, George W. Bush and Mitt Romney have all indicated they won’t support the sitting president of their party in November. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska says she’s “struggling” with the decision. Several retired military leaders, led by Jim Mattis, have also voiced concerns about supporting Trump in November. NY TIMES

START SPREADING THE NEWS: Almost three months since New York City shut down, the original epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak is entering the first phase of reopening today. Manufacturing, construction and retail will be allowed to reopen across the city, with some restrictions. New COVID-19 infections in NYC are down to 500 or so a day, half the amount from a month ago. Almost 22,000 New Yorkers have died in the exactly 100 days since the city reported its first case. GOTHAMIST

JOB MARKET SURPRISE: Friday’s May jobs report shocked Wall St., showing that 2.5 million jobs were gained in the month when the expectation was for a loss of 8 million. The unemployment rate fell from 14.7 to 13.3 percent. The government later said the unemployment rate should have been about 16.3 percent but there was a “misclassification error” with the data. WASH POST

TOP EDITORS RESIGN: Two nationally recognized newspaper editors lost their jobs over the weekend over decisions to print articles related to the civil unrest that received widespread condemnation. Stan Wischnowski, the top editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, resigned over a story about property damage with the headline “Buildings Matter, Too.” And James Bennet, the editor of the New York Times editorial page, resigned after the paper ran a controversial op-ed from Sen. Tom Cotton. WCVB

DEAR CLASS OF 2020: YouTube’s Dear Class of 2020 virtual graduation special upped the ante in terms of special guest appearances on a livestream: the Obamas encouraged activism beyond social media, Katy Perry showed off her baby bump, Mariah Carey crashed the Schitts Creek reunion, Beyoncé and BTS delivered commencement speeches, and Bono introduced an all-star cover of the U2 song Beautiful Day: WATCH

J.K. ROWLING BACKLASH: Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is being slammed, once again, on social media after she mocked a news report with a headline that referred to “people who menstruate.” “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” she tweeted. Critics called her a TERF, or "trans-exclusionary radical feminist." Rowling has long been accused of being transphobic, though she argues she’s just defending the concept of biological sex. NBC NEWS

HUNTING WABBITS: Warner Bros. is working on a Looney Tunes reboot for HBO Max that will reportedly leave Elmer Fudd without his trademark rifle for hunting Bugs Bunny. The studio is said to have decided to leave firearms off the cartoon completely in response to the gun violence epidemic in the U.S.. Dynamite, booby traps and anvils to the head will still be featured. TELEGRAPH

LEFTOVERS: WHERE'S MUNDI? After a member of the Saudi royal family paid $450 million at auction for Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvadore Mundi three years ago, the world’s most expensive work of art immediately seemed to disappear — no one knew what happened to it, and the buyer has kept mum. Now, there are signs that Saudi Arabia is planning to unveil Mundi to the world as part of a major push to make the country a global art destination. The country is keeping the painting in storage until a new museum can be built for it. WSJ

Friday, June 5, 2020

3:13 pm ET: Minneapolis to Ban Police Chokeholds in Wake of Floyd Death

Negotiators for the city of Minneapolis have agreed with the state to ban the use of chokeholds by police and to require police to report and intervene anytime they see unauthorized use of force by another officer. The moves are part of a stipulation between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which launched a civil rights investigation this week in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody. The City Council is expected to approve the agreement Friday. Floyd, who was handcuffed and black, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin down Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd begged for air. Read more...

— The Associated Press

2:05 pm ET: U.S. Economy Has 'Turned a Corner,' Says Labor Secretary Scalia

The Labor Department's May jobs report stunned economists Friday morning with new data suggesting the coronavirus-wracked economy is recovering faster than anticipated.

The U.S. added 2.5 million jobs in May, and the unemployment rate decreased to 13.3 percent from April's 14.7 percent. These numbers are well below what many economists predicted, but is it too soon to call it a comeback?

"I don't think it's premature to believe we've turned a corner," Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia told Cheddar on Friday. Read more...

— Alex Vuocolo

12:42 pm ET: Players Send Video Message to NFL About Racial Inequality

Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes is among more than a dozen NFL stars who united to send a passionate video message to the league about racial inequality. The 70-second video was released on social media platforms Thursday night and includes Saquon Barkley, Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., Deshaun Watson, Ezekiel Elliott, Jamal Adams, Stephon Gilmore, and DeAndre Hopkins, among others. Read more...

— The Associated Press

10:15 am ET: Wall Street's Rally Accelerates After Stunning Jobs Report

Stocks are rushing higher in early trading Friday after a stunningly good report on the U.S. job market gave Wall Street’s recent rally another shot of adrenaline. The S&P 500 was up 2.2% after the government said that employers added 2.5 million workers to their payrolls last month. Economists were expecting them instead to slash another 8 million jobs. While economists cautioned that it’s just one month of data and could be giving false hope, the report gives credence to the building optimism among stock investors that the economy can recover relatively quickly from its current hole. Read more... 

— The Associated Press

10:12 am ET: Jersey Shore Looks to Rebound and Keep Residents Safe

For towns like Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, the summer season is the busiest time of the year. Citizens rely on this three to four-month stretch for the majority of their business, brought in mostly by visitors enjoying the Jersey Shore.

New Jersey banked $46.4 billion thanks to tourism last year, and about 48 million people stopped by the state's beaches in 2018. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy's mandates have kept amusement parks, aquariums, and many local businesses on the beach closed to protect the public health. Restaurants can't serve dine-in customers, meaning all options have to be available to go. Read more...

— Michelle Castillo

10:04 am ET: Unemployment Rate Falls to 13.3%, U.S. Adds 2.5 Million Jobs

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May from 14.7 percent, and 2.5 million jobs were added — a surprisingly positive reading in the midst of a recession that has paralyzed the economy in the wake of the viral pandemic.

The May job gain suggests that businesses have quickly been recalling workers as states have reopened their economies. Read more...

— The Associated Press

8:21 am ET: 10 Days of Protest, Tracking Cristobal & Strawberry Moon

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

10TH NIGHT OF PROTESTS: For the tenth straight night, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across the country, some in defiance of local curfews, but mostly all peaceful. Rev. Al Sharpton eulogized George Floyd at a memorial service in Minneapolis with the message: “Get your knee off our necks.” He also called for a major march on Washington in August. In the capital, the White House is now behind three layers of fencing and barricades as officials prepare for what is expected to be a major demonstration there tomorrow. WASH POST

TROPIC WATCH: Cristobal has weakened to a tropical depression but is expected to strengthen again when it starts moving northward today, with the chances of a U.S. landfall along the Gulf Coast as a tropical storm late Sunday night increasingly likely. The waters in the Gulf are warmer than usual right now, which could help the storm strengthen. New Orleans is currently in the cone: TRACK

DRUG STUDY RETRACTED: The highly respected medical journal The Lancet has retracted an influential study of hydroxychloroquine, which found that the controversial drug posed safety risks for treating COVID-19. The authors of the study requested that it be retracted over issues with the underlying data. Meanwhile, a separate clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine found no safety issues, but no signs that it worked, either. STAT

TIMES OP-ED UPROAR: The New York Times says an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton, in which he called for the military to be sent in to put down violent protests, did not meet its editorial standards. That essay opened up an all-out rebellion within the paper’s newsroom. Many Times journalists said Cotton’s essay put black colleagues in danger, and the paper’s top editors now say it shouldn't have been published. Some others say it’s the paper’s responsibility to print a wide range of opinions for debate. CJR (READ THE OP-ED: HERE)

UNEMPLOYMENT CRISIS: The May jobs report is expected to show the extent of the unemployment crisis in America: the estimates are for eight million more people to have lost their jobs in the month, bringing the three-month total to 30 million and the unemployment rate inching toward 20 percent, or nearly double the peak unemployment rate during the last recession. AP

SOFTBANK STEPS UP: Softbank, the Japanese conglomerate that was behind the WeWork IPO debacle, is launching a new fund aimed exclusively at backing entrepreneurs of color. The Opportunity Growth Fund will start with a $100 million investment, and Softbank says it won’t take a traditional fee to manage the money. TECHCRUNCH

DREW BREES APOLOGIZES: New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees has apologized twice now after comments he made, in response to a question about whether he supported the George Floyd protests, led to an avalanche of criticism on social media. Brees had said he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag,” which led to teammate Malcolm Jenkins calling those comments “extremely self-centered.” Brees says he “completely missed the mark” and didn’t intend to add to anyone’s pain. ESPN

LEA MICHELE BACKLASH: Two more former co-stars of the actress Lea Michele have publicly accused her of treating them poorly and being generally unpleasant to work with, following accusations from Samantha Ware, a former castmate on Glee, who posted that Michele made her life “a living hell” on set.  Michele has apologized, but she’s already been dropped from at least one endorsement deal. LA TIMES

SPOTTED...Kanye West marching with protesters on Chicago’s South Side. West announced that he’s creating a college fund for George Floyd’s six-year-old daughter, Gianna, and will also donate $2 million to charities associated with Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. SEE PICS

LEFTOVERS: STRAWBERRY MOON: The last full moon of the spring comes out tonight in North America. There’s a lunar eclipse, too, though we won’t see it. But the moon will appear bright and full for the whole weekend (the best way to see it is to look southeast). The June full moon is known as the Strawberry Moon, not for its color, but because Native Americans used it as a reminder to start picking strawberries. FARMER’S ALMANAC

Thursday, June 4, 2020

4:03 pm ET: George Floyd Mourned, Celebrated as Death Used as Call to Action

The mural of George Floyd projected above his golden coffin, where mourners knelt and cried, paused, and prayed at his memorial service had a simple message: “I can breathe now.” Celebrities, civil rights activists, politicians and family members of Floyd sang “Amazing Grace,” prayed and joined together in a rousing memorial Thursday that was both a celebration of his life and mourning of a man whose death at the hands of police has sparked protests nationwide and calls for an end to racial injustice. The memorial was the first service to be held in the next six days across three communities. Read more...

— The Associated Press

3:42 pm ET: NBA Owners Approve 22-Team Season Restart Plan

The NBA’s Board of Governors has approved a 22-team format for restarting the league season in late July at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida. The notion passed “overwhelmingly," said a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the vote results had not been released publicly. The format calls for each team playing eight games to determine playoff seeding plus the possible utilization of a play-in tournament for the final spot in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference postseason fields. Read more... 

— The Associated Press

1:36 pm ET: After Protests, Virginia Gov. Northam Orders Removal of Iconic Lee Statue

Virginia's governor says a towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee will be removed as soon as possible from Richmond’s Monument Avenue. Gov. Ralph Northam held a press conference Thursday morning to address plans for the monument. Northam said the statue that sits on state property will be moved to storage while his administration works “with the community to determine its future." Northam made the decision after days of angry protests in Richmond and across the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck while he pleaded for air. Read more...

— The Associated Press

11:15 am ET: Universal Takes First Steps Reviving Orlando Theme Park Biz

Harry Potter fans and roller coaster lovers are streaming back into Universal Orlando Resort this week. Universal Orlando reopened to passholders Wednesday and Thursday, and it will allow the general public back in Friday. The reopening marks one of the first major steps toward reviving Florida’s theme park industry after parks were closed in March to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. Visitors are required to wear face masks and get their temperature checks before entering. Crosstown rival SeaWorld Orlando is set to reopen next week, and Walt Disney World plans to welcome back visitors next month. Read more...

— The Associated Press

10:28 am ET: Wall Street's Rally Stalls; Stocks Mixed in Early Trading

Stocks are mixed in early trading on Wall Street Thursday as the market takes a pause following its longest winning streak in nearly four months. The S&P 500 was down 0.1%, putting its four-day winning streak under threat. The government reported that the number of U.S. workers filing for unemployment benefits eased for a ninth straight week, but economists saw pockets of disappointment after the total number of people getting benefits rose slightly. That number had dropped the prior week, which had raised hopes that some companies were rehiring workers. Read more...

— The Associated Press

10:17 am ET: 1.9 million Seek Jobless Aid Even as Reopenings Slow Layoffs

Nearly 1.9 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that many employers are still cutting jobs even as the gradual reopening of businesses has slowed the pace of layoffs. The total number of people who are receiving jobless aid rose slightly to 21.5 million, down from a peak of nearly 25 million two weeks ago but still at a historically high level. It shows that scattered rehiring is offsetting only some of the ongoing layoffs with the economy mired in a recession. The latest weekly number is still more than double the record high that prevailed before the viral outbreak. Read more...

— The Associated Press

8:12 am ET: Need2Know: New Charges in Floyd Case, Mattis Rips Trump & NBA Return

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

NEW CHARGES IN FLOYD KILLING: Three more former Minneapolis police officers have been charged in the George Floyd case, while the charges against Derek Chauvin were upgraded to second-degree murder. In another night of nationwide protests, people hailed the new charges but called for more change. A memorial for Floyd will be held in Minneapolis today. Meanwhile, the Virginia governor reportedly plans to remove the famous and controversial statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond. President Obama made his first on-camera remarks, giving support to protesters and calling for police reform. LIVE UPDATES


MATTIS: Former Defense Sec. Jim Mattis, who resigned from the administration more than a year ago, has issued an extraordinary condemnation of President Trump. Writing in The Atlantic, Mattis calls Trump a threat to American democracy. The retired general writes: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try.” READ IT

ESPER: Mattis’ statement came hours after current Defense Sec. Mark Esper broke with the president, saying that he opposed the use of military force on American streets to quell the protests. Trump had threatened to use the 200-year-old law called the Insurrection Act to put down protests, but Esper said the current situation does not call for it. BLOOMBERG

COVID-19 & CHINA: China reportedly sat on critical information about the coronavirus — including the fully sequenced genome and patient data — for weeks in January before handing it over to the W.H.O., time that could have been used to dramatically slow the initial spread of the virus. Unrelated, the U.S. is planning to ban Chinese passenger flights as of June 16 in retaliation for Beijing still not approving American airlines to fly to China. AP

UK EXTENDS HAND TO HK: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to admit three million people from Hong Kong to live and work in Britain if Beijing goes forward with a draconian new security law. China has said the UK doesn’t have the authority to make any kind of offer given that Hong Kong citizens are also Chinese nationals. Today is also the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Commemorations of that uprising are banned in mainland China but it is being marked — some worry for the last time — in Hong Kong. BBC

TROPIC WATCH: Tropical Storm Cristobal has been sitting over southern Mexico, dumping rain since it formed on Tuesday. Forecasters are expecting the system to move back out over the Gulf and potentially impact the U.S. Gulf Coast late Sunday into early Monday. Southern Louisiana parishes are telling residents to prepare, at the very least, for a major rain event this weekend and go over their hurricane preparedness plans. ACCUWEATHER

AMC ON THE BRINK: AMC Theaters, the largest movie theater chain in the world, says it has “substantial doubt” that it can remain in business due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. The company says it has enough cash on hand to begin reopening some theaters this summer, but its liquidity position after that remains an open question. CNBC

SNAP STOPS PROMOTING TRUMP: Snapchat will no longer promote President Trump’s account on its platform. The account is not being removed, but it will not be highlighted on the popular ‘Discover’ page. Snap says the company “will not amplify voices that incite racial violence and injustice.” The Trump campaign responded by accusing Snap of trying to “rig the 2020 election.” CNN

RETURN TO BASKETBALL: NBA officials are expected today to approve a plan to resume the season next month in an abbreviated format: 22 teams playing eight regular season games followed by  play-in tournament and playoffs. The plan is to play all the games at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando and test players and personnel for coronavirus daily. The eight lowest-seeded teams would not be invited. ESPN

CELEBS CALL FOR COP DEFUNDING: Lizzo, Common, Megan Rapinoe and John Legend are among the celebrities who’ve signed an open letter to local governments across the country, urging them to slash police budgets and increase funding for healthcare and social services. The letter connects the deaths of George Floyd and others at the hands of police to COVID-19, arguing that the lack of a national healthcare system and a militarized police force are “consequential to each other.” READ IT

LEFTOVERS: IN MEMORIAM: The last American citizen to receive a pension from the Civil War has died. Irene Triplett was 90 years old. Her father, Moses, started fighting for the Confederacy but defected to the North in 1863, which earned his future daughter a pension of $73 a month for life, paid out by the VA. Moses had Irene late in life with a woman 50 years his junior. She was among the last living direct descendants of Civil War soldiers. READ THE OBIT

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

6:02 pm ET: Virginia Governor to Announce Removal of Robert E. Lee Statue

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to announce plans Thursday for the removal of an iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond's prominent Monument Avenue, a senior administration official told The Associated Press.

The governor will direct the statue to be moved off its massive pedestal and put into storage while his administration seeks input on a new location, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak before the governor’s announcement.

The move comes amid turmoil across the nation and around the world over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes, even after he stopped moving. Read more...

— The Associated Press

5:59 pm ET: Creator of Petition 'Justice for Breonna Taylor': Power Is in Numbers

The killing of Breonna Taylor is among the cases now gaining new attention on the national stage. Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, was killed by police who conducted a no-knock raid at her home in Lexington, Kentucky in the middle of the night. Her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, a licensed gun owner, fired upon police, who he believed to be intruders, according to reports. Officers opened fire, striking Taylor at least eight times.

Following Taylor's death, HoJay started a petition on  calling for Kentucky officials to charge all officers involved in the shooting, pass legislative changes, and approve payments to her family. So far, that petition has garnered nearly 2.5 million signatures. But like many black Americans, HoJay feels her efforts to affect change are falling on deaf ears. Read more...

— Lawrence Banton

2:45 pm ET: Murder Charge Upgraded in Floyd Case, Three Other Cops Charged

 Prosecutors are charging a Minneapolis police officer accused of pressing his knee against George Floyd’s neck with second-degree murder, and for the first time are leveling charges against three other officers. Bystander video showing Floyd’s May 25 death has sparked violent protests nationwide and around the world. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired May 26 and initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers were also fired but weren’t immediately charged. The Star Tribune reports that Attorney General Keith Ellison will charge Thomas Lane J. Kueng, and Tou Thao with aiding and abetting murder. Read more...

— The Associated Press

12:36 pm ET: Trump Administration Moves to Block Chinese Airlines From U.S.

The Trump administration moved Wednesday to block Chinese airlines from flying to the U.S. in an escalation of trade and travel tensions between the two countries.

The Transportation Department said it would suspend passenger flights of four Chinese airlines to and from the United States starting June 16. Read more...

— The Associated Press

12:13 pm ET: Unexpectedly Unemployed: Ringmaster Kevin Vernardos

Kevin Venardos launched his own live show, Venardos Circus, in 2013. He had planned to travel across the country this year, holding dozens of shows in nearly 30 cities. That is until coronavirus grounded the troupe in Texas and put the dream on hold, leaving Venardos and his circus performers unemployed. Read more...

— Megan Pratz

12:10 pm ET: Defense Secretary Esper Breaks With Trump, Opposes Using Military

Breaking with President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday he opposes using military forces for law enforcement in containing current street protests.

Esper said the Insurrection Act, which would allow Trump to use active-duty military for law enforcement in containing street protests, should be invoked in the United States “only in the most urgent and dire of situations." He declared, “We are not in one of those situations now.” Read more...

— The Associated Press

11:43 am ET: Tourist Towns Balance Fear, Survival in Make-or-Break Summer

As the coronavirus raced across America, the quaint seaside town of Cannon Beach, Oregon, shooed away the tourists it depends on. The tiny vacation destination known for its iconic coastal rock formation made the “unprecedented" decision in March to try to keep the pandemic at bay. Now, with summer looming and coronavirus restrictions lifting, the choices facing Cannon Beach are emblematic of those confronting thousands of other small, tourist-dependent towns nationwide. They're struggling to balance their residents’ fears of contagion with economic survival. It’s a make-or-break summer in these vacation spots — and the future is still terrifyingly unclear. Read more...

— The Associated Press

10:13 am ET: Wall Street's Rally Rolls Into Day 4 on Reopening Hopes

Stocks are pushing higher in early trading Wednesday on Wall Street as the stock market’s rally carries into a fourth day. The S&P 500 added 0.7% to gains made in earlier days on optimism that lifting lockdowns around the world will allow the economy to recover from its current hole. Treasury yields also rose in a sign of improved confidence after a report suggested U.S. job losses weren’t as horrific last month as economists expected. Banks, small stocks, and other companies that would benefit the most from a growing economy were again leading the way. Asian and European stocks also rose. Read more...

— The Associated Press

8:15 am ET: Need2Know: Tensions Ease, Biden on Offense & 'Tiger King' Plot Twist

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

PROTESTS: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: The tense protests in cities across the country appeared to ease, even as demonstrators defied curfews imposed from L.A. to Philly to NYC. Thousands of peaceful protesters gathered near the White House, staying past the 7 p.m. curfew as dozens of military vehicles arrived on the streets of D.C. and soldiers guarded the Lincoln Memorial. New York City is under an 8 p.m. curfew through the weekend; Saks Fifth Avenue is behind razor wire, though there were significantly fewer reports of looting in the city. In Minnesota, the riots have ebbed after George Floyd’s brother called for calm. The state also filed a civil-rights charge against the Minneapolis PD. NY TIMES

COVID-19: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: Dr. Fauci says he is “cautiously optimistic” about Moderna’s vaccine candidate, but also warned there is a chance that any vaccine might not provide immunity for very long. Overseas, Iran — which was one of the first countries after China to get hit hard — is seeing signs of a second wave. In NYC, where officials are worried that protests are going to give way to a spike in new cases, testing is now free for anyone who wants one, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms. The RNC is now searching for an alternate site for President Trump to accept the party’s nomination, after the Democratic governor of North Carolina said he can’t guarantee the Charlotte convention could go on as planned. WASH POST

STEVE KING LOSES PRIMARY: The most controversial member of Congress is likely losing his job. Iowa Rep. Steve King lost his primary race to a Republican state senator. King, known for making racist statements and publicly promoting neo-Nazis and far-right figures, served for nearly two decades but had lost the support of the mainstream GOP in recent years. POLITICO

BIDEN ON OFFENSE: Joe Biden traveled outside of Delaware for the first time in months in order to deliver a speech at Philadelphia’s City Hall. The presumptive Democratic nominee forcefully attacked President Trump for fanning “the flames of hate” and pledged that he wouldn’t use the presidency to divide the country. Biden, who is now leading Trump in virtually all national polls, is also benefiting from a new influx of campaign donations since the protests began. POLITICO

SAT SCRAPPED: High school juniors can rejoice (or panic). The College Board is scrapping its plan to administer an at-home SAT exam, saying there’s just no way to guarantee every student has access to three hours of uninterrupted high-speed internet. The Board, which administers the test, is asking colleges to be flexible in their early deadlines. The next SAT is scheduled for August, and the rival ACT is still on for June 13. BLOOMBERG

ZUCK ON DEFENSE: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stood behind his decision to leave up inflammatory posts by President Trump in a virtual all-hands meeting with his staff. Zuckerberg called the decision tough but “pretty thorough” and in line with his previous statements that he doesn’t want Facebook to become the “arbiter of truth.” Following internal protests, at least one Facebook employee has publicly resigned from his job, saying that Facebook leaving up the president’s “bigoted messages aimed at radicalizing the American public” was a bridge too far. CNN

PELOTON ON APPLE TV: Peloton’s popular library of live and on-demand workouts is now available via a standalone app on Apple TV. Peloton members can access the workouts without the need for the TV that’s attached to the bikes. Many of the sessions are made with Peloton bikes or treadmills in mind, but there are plenty that require nothing more than a mat. 9TO5MAC

BLACKOUT TUESDAY: A viral social media protest that began as a call-to-action for the music industry to reflect on racism morphed into a broader trend of celebrities, influencers, and regular users posting blank black boxes to their feeds, as many wondered what, exactly, was being accomplished by the digital protest. Organizers and activists asked users not to tag their solidarity posts with #BlackLivesMatter, saying they were accidentally pushing down posts relevant to the movement. RECODE

BASKIN TAKES THE ZOO: Carole Baskin and her Big Cat Rescue animal sanctuary have been granted control of the Oklahoma zoo that was formerly operated by Joe Exotic, the latest twist in the ongoing saga popularized by Netflix’s Tiger King. Jeff Lowe, Joe's former business partner who has been living on and running the property, has 120 days to vacate along with his animals. PEOPLE

LEFTOVERS: CLEANEST AIR IN THE WORLD: Scientists say they’ve discovered the cleanest air in the world: it’s over the Southern Ocean, the body of water that surrounds Antarctica. According to a first-of-its-kind study, the atmosphere over the Southern Ocean has been almost completely untouched by human activity and is the only place in the world where there are no signs of the aerosols produced by fossil fuels or other forms of pollution. PHYS.ORG

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

6:25 pm ET: Worldwide Demonstrations Sparked by George Floyd Killing

After a week of unrest in the U.S., nations across the globe from Brazil to Russia expressed their views of the death of an unarmed, black man, George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police and the protests that have followed.

5:38 pm ET: Minnesota Files Civil Rights Charge Against Minneapolis PD in Floyd Death

The state of Minnesota filed a human rights complaint Tuesday against the Minneapolis Police Department in the death of George Floyd who died after an officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for minutes, even after he stopped moving.

Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced the filing at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. Read more...

— The Associated Press

5:34 pm ET: Stocks Extend Gains on Wall Street to a Third Straight Day

Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Tuesday, extending the market's winning streak to a third day.

The latest gains, which followed a rally in global stocks, were driven by optimism that the global economy will begin to recover as governments gradually allow businesses that were closed due to the coronavirus outbreak to reopen. Read more...

— The Associated Press

4:09 pm ET: Rep. Waters Says No Hope of Congressional Action to Address Protests

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif. 83rd District) on Tuesday joined Cheddar to express her support for the protest movement rocking the nation and to officially endorse Joe Biden for president after saying last week that she wasn't sure if he had what it takes to beat President Donald Trump. 

The congresswoman said she expects the protests and confrontations to continue until substantive changes are made to the criminal justice system, but those changes are not likely to come from Congress in its current form.  Read more...

— Alex Vuocolo

3:27 pm ET: LGBTQ-Friendly Businesses Bank on Pride to Survive Shutdown

The Brooklyn Pride Parade is normally big business for George Constantinou, who owns three sit-down restaurants in the borough, but this year, like so many other public events, the annual celebration is canceled due to coronavirus.

This leaves LGBTQ-friendly businesses like Constantinou's Bogota Latin Bistro in Park Slope or the newer Miti Miti Modern Mexican just across 5th Avenue with one less major revenue stream amid an already dire economic climate for restaurants and bars. Read more...

— Alex Vuocolo

3:00 pm ET: Nine States, DC Vote Amid Pandemic, Social Unrest, and Curfews

Voters are navigating curfews, health concerns, and a sharp increase in mail balloting on Tuesday as elections take place from Maryland to Montana.

Four states were originally scheduled to vote in April but delayed their contests because of the coronavirus outbreak. Pennsylvania offers the day's biggest trove of delegates and represents a high-profile test case for Republicans and Democrats working to strengthen their operations in one of the most important general election battlegrounds.

“We think we’re prepared,” Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Patton Mills said. “Thank goodness we have the opportunity of working this out in the primary because we don’t know where we’ll be with the pandemic in November.”  Read more...

— The Associated Press

1:13 pm ET: Former NAACP President Ben Jealous Calls for National Policing Standards

The United States needs a top-down, comprehensive set of national standards that determines how its police forces are trained, said former NAACP president Ben Jealous.

Speaking to Cheddar on Tuesday as cities across the country awoke from another night of civil unrest over the police killing of George Floyd, Jealous said that the anger that sparked the current wave of protests is as old as the country itself. Read more...

— Carlo Versano

11:50 am ET: NASA Astronauts Ring Opening Bell From ISS

Astronauts Bob Behnken, Dough Hurley, and Chris Cassidy ring the opening bell for the Nasdaq from space. Their SpaceX launch was the first time a privately built and owned spacecraft carried astronauts to the International Space Station in its more than 20 years of existence, and the first launch from U.S. soil in nine years. Read more...

— The Associated Press

11:32 am ET: Biden Says Trump 'Consumed' by Ego, Not Leading During Crisis

Joe Biden blistered President Donald Trump a day after police drove back peaceful protesters near the White House so Trump could pose with a Bible before a damaged church. Biden said Trump’s “narcissism has become more important than the nation that he leads.” The former vice president spoke in Philadelphia, addressing “the civil unrest facing communities across America” in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Biden is working to elevate his voice in the national debate after more than two months of the campaign for the White House being frozen during the coronavirus outbreak. Read more... 

— The Associated Press

10:48 am ET: Stocks Open Higher as Investors Hope for Economic Recovery

Stocks are trading higher on Wall Street, despite deepening unrest across the U.S., as investors hope that the gradual lifting of lockdown provisions will help economies recover from the damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The S&P 500 rose 0.4% in the first hour of trading Tuesday. The gains were led by stocks that would stand to benefit the most from a growing economy, including banks and industrial companies. The price of crude oil rose again, which helped energy companies. Markets in Europe and Asia also rose. Bond yields rose slightly, another sign that pessimism was ebbing among investors. Read more... 

— The Associated Press

8:12 am ET: Need2Know:  Protests Intensify, Floyd Autopsy & Facebook Internal Revolt

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

PROTESTERS TEAR-GASSED AT WHITE HOUSE: Military police used tear gas and flash grenades to disperse a peaceful protest that was taking place outside the White House Monday evening, clearing a path for President Trump to walk to a nearby church that had been set on fire. In an orchestrated photo-op that took the city's Episcopal bishop by surprise, the president held up a Bible in front of cameras before turning back. Across the country, curfews implemented in cities like Washington, Chicago and New York did little to stop the unrest that boiled over into violence, looting and violent clashes for another night. In New York, looters ransacked the iconic Macy’s flagship store even as the vast majority of protests elsewhere in the city were peaceful. LIVE UPDATES

GEORGE FLOYD AUTOPSY: A private autopsy ordered by George Floyd’s family has found that Floyd’s cause of death was “homicide caused by asphyxia” and that he had no underlying health conditions that would have contributed to his death. It also concluded that pressure applied to Floyd’s back by two other officers was a contributing factor in his death. The family’s autopsy report concludes that Floyd died at the scene. The Floyd family’s lawyer is calling for the charges against Derek Chauvin to be upgraded to first-degree murder, and that the other three officers at the scene be arrested. NYTIMES

STATE REOPENINGS: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has lifted the state’s stay-at-home order, allowing bars and restaurants to re-open statewide within the next week, with restrictions. In the New York tri-state area, new coronavirus case numbers have significantly dropped in recent days. New Jersey will reopen retail and restaurants for outdoor dining beginning June 15. NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he is concerned that the protests could spark a second wave of infections. CNBC

PUTIN POWER GRAB: President Vladimir Putin of Russia has set July 1 for a vote on a constitutional amendment that could lead to him staying in power until 2036. The announcement came as Russian health officials say the pandemic has passed its peak there, despite the country recording thousands of new infections a day. AL JAZEERA

BLACKOUT TUESDAY: Music industry leaders are closing normal business operations today, in a protest being called “Blackout Tuesday” and trending under the hashtag #theshowmustbepaused. Billie Eilish, Quincy Jones and The Rolling Stones are among the artists who say they will observe the protest. Meanwhile, the CEO of BET is calling for the government to spend $14 trillion on reparations to address racial inequality, saying: “Now is the time to go big.” CNBC

FACEBOOK INTERNAL REVOLT: Hundreds of Facebook employees virtually “walked off” the job in protest of the company’s decision to let controversial and inflammatory posts from President Trump stay on the platform. It was a rare show of dissent within the company, aimed exclusively at CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has essentially all the decision-making power at Facebook. He plans to address his employees over the walkout and other issues today. THE VERGE

MET CANCELS SEASON: New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the largest performing arts organization in the country, has cancelled its fall season due to the pandemic. Given The Met’s size and clout in the arts world, it could be the first of many organizations that rely on large in-person audiences to decide to throw in the towel on performances for the year. The Met’s many performers say they haven’t been paid since mid-March, when the last live production took place. OPERAWIRE

SPOTTED...Queen Elizabeth, back in the saddle (literally) as she rides a pony while self-isolating at Windsor Castle: SEE PIC

JENNER DRAMA: All is reportedly not well inside the Kardashian-Jenner empire. Days after Forbes published an explosive story that claimed Kylie Jenner had vastly overstated the size of her cosmetics business and submitted tax returns that were “likely forged,” the younger Jenner is said to be at odds with mother/manager Kris Jenner. Except for a series of tweets in which Kylie denied the claims in the Forbes piece, the family has been uncharacteristically quiet on social media. COSMOPOLITAN

LEFTOVERS: DON'T DO IT: In a viral new ad, Nike is flipping its famous tagline, telling the audience: “For once, don’t do it” and imploring people not to ignore issues of racism. The official Adidas Twitter account retweeted the ad, with the message: “Together is how we move forward. Together is how we make change.” WATCH IT

Monday, June 1, 2020

7:12 pm ET: Trump Threatens to Deploy U.S. Military to End Violent Protests

Trump said he was recommending that governors deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers to “dominate the streets.” Read more...

— The Associated Press

6:21 pm ET: Know Your Rights: Protecting Yourself While Protesting

More than 4,000 people have been arrested over the last six days during sweeping protests across the country in response to the police killing of black Minneapolis resident, George Floyd. Cheddar's Megan Pratz takes a deep dive into the rights of protesters and how to protect yourself while demonstrating.

5:36 pm ET: Color of Change President Decries Lack of White House Leadership

After nearly a week of protests set off by the police killing of an unarmed black man, the United States sits at a crossroads. George Floyd is the latest name added to a long list of black men slain by police but it is his death that has sparked the uprising of black communities across the country, according to the President of Color of Change Rashad Robinson.

“I don’t want people to think there’s just one single bullet issue. We live in a society that has targeted, attacked, and exploited black people for years and as a result, people are standing up and pushing back,” he told Cheddar. Read more...

— Lawrence Banton

4:39 pm ET: Family-Ordered Autopsy Finds George Floyd Died of Asphyxia

The family of George Floyd says an independent autopsy has found that he died of asphyxiation from sustained pressure on his back and neck. Floyd died a week ago after a white Minneapolis officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck until he stopped breathing. The officer ignored bystander shouts to get off him and Floyd’s cries that he couldn’t breathe. The family’s autopsy differs from the official autopsy as described in a criminal complaint that ruled out asphyxiation or strangulation. Attorney Ben Crump says Officer Derek Chauvin should be charged with first-degree murder. Read more...

— The Associated Press

3:39 pm ET: Facebook Employees Speak Out Against Company Over Trump

 Facebook employees are using Twitter to register their frustration over CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to leave up posts by President Donald Trump that suggested protesters in Minneapolis could be shot. While Twitter demoted and placed a warning on a tweet about the protests that read, in part, that “when the looting starts the shooting starts,” Facebook has let it stand, with Zuckerberg laying out his reasoning to do so in a Facebook post on Friday. Trump’s comment evoked the civil-rights era by borrowing a phrase used in 1967 by Miami’s police chief to warn of aggressive police response to unrest in black neighborhoods. Read more...

— The Associated Press

3:02 pm ET: Nearly 26,000 Nursing Home COVID-19 Deaths Reported to Feds

Federal health authorities have received reports of nearly 26,000 nursing home residents dying from COVID-19. That's according to materials prepared for the nation’s governors. That number is partial and likely to go higher. A letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 60,000 cases of coronavirus illness among nursing home residents. A copy of the letter and an accompanying chart were provided to The Associated Press. The letter said the data are based on reports received from about 80 percent of the nation’s 15,400 nursing homes. Read more... 

— The Associated Press

1:27 pm ET: Protesters 'Tired of System That Doesn't Work for Them,' Says La. Official

The wave of protests and riots that convulsed the U.S. over the weekend was the result of a simmering rage in the black community that has been building for a long time, said Leslie Ricard Chambers, deputy executive counsel for Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. Read more... 

— Carlo Versano

12:11 pm ET: Trump Slams Governors as 'Weak,' Urges Crackdown on Protests

President Donald Trump is deriding the nation’s governors as “weak” and demanding tougher crackdowns on protesters in the aftermath of more violent protests in dozens of American cities. Trump spoke Monday to governors on a video teleconference with law enforcement and national security officials, telling the local leaders they “have to get much tougher” amid nationwide protests and criticizing their responses. The days of protests were triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after he was pinned at the neck by a white Minneapolis police officer. They turned violent in several cities, with looting and mayhem, and fires ignited in the park across from the White House. Read more...

— The Associated Press

11:12 am ET: Trump Took Shelter in White House Bunker as Protests Raged

President Donald Trump spent time in a White House bunker during Friday night's protests outside the executive mansion. Secret Service agents rushed him there as some of the demonstrators were throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades. Trump spent nearly an hour in the underground shelter, which was designed for use in emergencies like terrorist attacks. That's according to a Republican close to the White House who was not authorized to publicly discuss private matters and requested anonymity. The account was confirmed by an administration official who also spoke on condition of anonymity. Read more... 

— The Associated Press

10:56 am ET: Stocks Move Higher on Wall Street After Wobbly Start

Stock indexes are edging higher in early trading on Wall Street Monday as investors balance cautious optimism about the reopening of businesses shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic against worries that the civil unrest across the U.S. over police brutality could disrupt the economic recovery and widen the outbreak. The S&P 500 index was up 0.1% after wavering between small gains and losses in the first half hour of trading. The index is coming off its second month of solid gains. Overseas, Hong Kong's market rose after President Donald Trump didn't pull out of a trade truce reached earlier with China. Read more...

— The Associated Press

9:16 am ET: U.S. Heads Into a New Week Shaken by Violence and Pandemic

With cities wounded by days of violent unrest, America headed into a new week with neighborhoods in shambles, urban streets on lockdown and shaken confidence about when leaders would find the answers to control the mayhem amid unrelenting raw emotion over police killings of black people.

All of it smashed into a nation already bludgeoned by a death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surging past 100,000 and unemployment that soared to levels not seen since the Great Depression.

Sunday capped a tumultuous weekend and month that saw city and state officials deploy thousands of National Guard soldiers, enact strict curfews and shut down mass transit systems. Even with those efforts, many demonstrations erupted into violence as protesters hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at police in Philadelphia, set a fire near the White House and were hit with tear gas and pepper spray in Austin and other cities. Seven Boston police officers were hospitalized.

In some cities, thieves smashed their way into stores and ran off with as much as they could carry, leaving shop owners, many of them just ramping up their business again after coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, to clean up their shattered storefronts.In others, police tried to calm tensions by kneeling in solidarity with demonstrators, while still maintaining a strong presence for security.The demonstrations were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who pleaded for air as an officer pressed a knee into his neck. Floyd's death in Minneapolis came after tensions had already flared after two white men were arrested in May for the February shooting death of black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, and the Louisville police shooting death of Breonna Taylor in her home in March. Read more...  

— The Associated Press

8:23 am ET: Need2Know: Protests Erupt Across U.S., COVID Spike Fears & SpaceX Makes History


THE LATEST: For a sixth straight night, demonstrations that began as peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent in cities across the U.S. The National Guard has been activated in 21 states, and several big-city mayors have imposed curfews. Police in riot gear confronted protesters as fires burned near the White House for a third night; in NYC, looters smashed the windows of upscale stores in SoHo as peaceful demonstrators marched across the Brooklyn Bridge. At least two dozen members of the media say they were specifically targeted by police firing rubber bullets and other projectiles in several cities, from Minneapolis to Louisville. LIVE UPDATES

GEORGE FLOYD CASE: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has been put in charge of the case against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder over the killing of George Floyd. Prosecutors sometimes add more serious charges after their initial indictments, and some legal scholars say it’s possible Chauvin’s charge could be upgraded from third-degree murder to second-degree, which would indicate they believe he purposely killed Floyd. CNN

TRUMP LABELS ANTIFA 'TERRORISTS': President Trump said the U.S. would officially label the far-left Antifa movement a terrorist group, though it’s unclear what authority the federal government has to do so. Police in several big cities, including NYC and Philly, say that anarchist and extremist groups have been using the protests as cover to spark mayhem for their own causes. NBC NEWS

PROTESTS COULD SPIKE COVID CASES: The weekend’s mass protests are leading to worries from many public health officials that the gatherings will help seed new coronavirus outbreaks, particularly within communities of color that are already hard-hit. The protests have also delayed the planned reopenings of some areas; Miami public beaches were scheduled to reopen today, but will remain closed for the time being, and chains like Target, Walmart and CVS have closed stores in some cities. CHICAGO TRIB

CREW DRAGON ARRIVES AT ISS: NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are safely aboard the International Space Station. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon arrived at the ISS on Sunday after an uneventful flight, following the historic launch from Cape Canaveral. SpaceX has now successfully completed one of its original goals of carrying humans safely to space. Next up: getting them home — and then it's on to Mars. WATCH THE MOMENT OF ARRIVAL

G7 DELAYED: President Trump said he’s willing to delay the G7 meeting of world leaders until the fall at the earliest, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel had declined the in-person invitation to the summit — which was supposed to be in the U.S. this month — because of coronavirus fears. The White House is also pushing for Russia to rejoin the G7, six years after it was kicked out for its annexation of Crimea. The president has said he wanted to expand its membership, possibly as a way to counter China. WASH POST

RETAIL THERAPY: The online retailer Zappos has long been known for its customer service, but the company has taken it to new levels during the pandemic. Zappos revamped its customer service line in April, telling customers they can call just if they need someone to talk to — about anything. Now representatives say they routinely field calls from teenagers asking for homework help to exasperated parents just looking for another adult to commiserate with. The company says it is considering adding to its 400-person customer service department, even after the pandemic subsides. NY TIMES

MLB 'NUCLEAR OPTION': Will baseball return in 2020? Time is running out for the players and owners to reach an agreement on salary and other issues for an abbreviated season to begin next month. Some MLB owners are reportedly “perfectly willing” to pull the so-called nuclear option: cancel the season altogether rather than agree to the players’ demands of a prorated salary structure. ESPN

CELEBS FUNDING BAIL: Several A-list celebrities have joined Colin Kaepernick in donating money to help protesters who were arrested in Minneapolis and other cities make bail. Steve Carell, Harry Styles and Chrissy Teigen are some of the celebs who’ve tweeted that they’d match donations to Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp, a legal defense fund. DEADLINE

'STREAMING OUTTA FENWAY': The punk band Dropkick Murphys performed a socially distanced benefit concert in Boston’s empty Fenway Park, spread out over the iconic infield with Bruce Springsteen giving a hand via the jumbotron. The show is being called “the first great gig of the pandemic era.” WATCH THE BOSS’ CAMEO

LEFTOVERS: #WALKWITHUS: The sheriff in Flint, Mich. put down his gun and joined protesters as they chanted “Walk with us!” Clips on social media show Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson getting between demonstrators and police in riot gear, saying to the crowd: “The only reason we’re here is to make sure that you’ve got a voice.” WATCH


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