India’s new rules, China’s delay, swirling siphonophores

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India softened its nationwide lockdown. One day after extending restrictions by three weeks, the government announced new rules to allow the opening of key sectors including farming, banking, and public works. Meanwhile, cybersecurity experts are raising concerns about India’s Modi-endorsed coronavirus app.

South Korea voted in the middle of a pandemic. 66% of eligible voters turned out for parliamentary elections in what appears to be a successful example of how to balance the twin obligations of public health and civil liberties. President Moon Jae-in’s ruling Democratic Party of Korea is expected to win a majority of the 300 seats up for grabs.

Chinese leaders held back key information. Top Chinese officials allowed Lunar New Year events and travel to continue for six days after determining that coronavirus was a serious pandemic—leading the country to its first recorded quarter of negative GDP growth. Beijing, however, is not wasting time when it comes to re-introducing so-called “national security” measures in Hong Kong.

The G20 paused debt payments from poor countries. As the global tally of recorded infections passed two million, the group of 20 rich nations decided to freeze debt-related transfers from the world’s poorest countries until at least the end of the year.

Apple finally launched its new budget iPhone. The rumors were true. Apple revived its cult-favorite iPhone SE with a 4.7” screen and a $399 starting price in the US—instantly becoming the most friendly model for both pocket and wallet.

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Charting banks’ backup plans

America’s banking giants are fortifying themselves for a potential tsunami of bad loans.

The five biggest US lenders have stashed away $24 billion of loan-loss provisions as of the first quarter, almost five times as much as in the previous period, according to FactSet data. Banks are preparing for a wave of soured loans and credit losses as businesses endure weeks of closures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

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Surprising discoveries

NASA is directing the Mars rover from home. The operation involves hundreds of people who used to rely on being in the same place at the same time.

Analysts make better forecasts when they share the CEO’s name. A Jeff may be inclined to give more information to another Jeff.

Guyana has the only economy that’s actually doing pretty okay. The rest of the world may be spiraling, but the South American country is seeing 53% growth.

The Big Bang produced something. And we’re finally starting to understand why it resulted in anything at all.

The ocean’s longest creature measures 150 feet. A siphonophore spotted off the coast of Australia puts blue whales to shame.

Schmidt Ocean Institute
Schmidt Ocean Institute
Image: Schmidt Ocean Institute

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