5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • New U.S. coronavirus cases hit another daily record

  • Trump to start July 4th weekend at Mount Rushmore celebration

  • Government watchdog says unemployment won't recover until 2030

  • Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell arrested, linked to sex trafficking

  • Washington Redskins to 'review' team's name after pressure from sponsors

The United States confirmed 55,220 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, another single-day record. More than 10,000 of those cases were in Florida. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) became the latest to issue a statewide order requiring people in most counties to wear masks to bring surging coronavirus infections under control. Abbott ordered face coverings for anyone inside a business or other buildings open to the public, or in an outdoor public space where social distancing is impossible. The order takes effect Friday. Cases are rising in three dozen states and some, such as Tennessee, on Thursday joined a growing number that have rolled back reopening plans. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D), who issued a statewide mask order last week, vetoed a bill calling for letting gyms and amusement parks reopen.

Source: The Washington Post, The Texas Tribune

President Trump will start the three-day Independence Day weekend at Mount Rushmore, where 7,500 people are expected to attend a fireworks display Friday. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), a Trump ally, said masks will be optional and social distancing won't be required at the event. That prompted objections from local officials, including the Republican mayor of nearby Rapid City, Steve Allender. Leaders of several Native American tribes in the region also warned the event could result in a coronavirus spike among their members. "The president is putting our tribal members at risk to stage a photo op at one of our most sacred sites," said Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

Source: The Associated Press

America's unemployment rate won't reach its pre-pandemic low for at least a decade, the Congressional Budget Office predicted in a report released Thursday. Unemployment was at a 50-year low of 3.5 percent before the coronavirus hit, and the CBO projects a tough road for the U.S. to get back to that point. It's projecting a 7.6 percent unemployment rate at the end of 2021, 6.9 percent at the end of 2022, and a 4.4 percent unemployment rate by the end of 2030. Still, the CBO noted there's "an unusually high degree of uncertainty" when it comes to predicting America's economic future after an unprecedented shutdown. Thursday's jobs report saw the U.S. unemployment rate lower to 11.1 percent in June, but it could rise again as COVID-19 grows in more states.

Source: The Washington Post, CNN

Jeffrey Epstein's former associate Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested and will appear in federal court sometime Thursday, NBC News reports via law enforcement sources. Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire in connection to the Epstein investigation, which centered around the financier's alleged sex trafficking of children as young as 14. Maxwell is accused of helping Epstein recruit children for his alleged minor sex ring. An FBI spokesperson confirmed the arrest to The Associated Press. Epstein was arrested a year ago on charges of trafficking and abusing dozens of children. He hanged himself while awaiting trial in the case. Epstein had several high-profile friends who had frequently visited his properties; some of them, including Prince Andrew, are being questioned regarding their ties to Epstein.

Source: NBC News

The Washington Redskins franchise will "review" the team's name after FedEx, a major sponsor, requested it do so. FedEx, which owns the naming rights to the team's stadium in Maryland, made the request on Thursday after investors worth more than $620 billion in assets urged the company to cut ties with the team unless the name was changed. Nike, another sponsor, removed Redskins merchandise from its online store Thursday. The move suggests the battle over sports team names "has shifted from moral appeals to business and political tactics," The Washington Post says. "This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League, and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field," team owner Dan Snyder said in a statement.

Source: The Washington Post, Fox Business
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