NHL’s return, NASA x SpaceX, private jets

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Latin America is now the center of the global pandemic, the WHO said. In particular, cases are surging in Brazil, which initially resisted strict lockdown measures. “Now is not the time for countries to ease restrictions,” said Carissa Etienne, WHO director for the Americas.

The NHL is the first major US sports league to announce its return. Assuming everyone passes medical tests, two cities would host a 24-team playoff tournament sometime after July 1, with the Stanley Cup presented to the champion in early fall.

The battle over emergency-loan transparency is growing in the US. But a full public record of who’s received what seems inevitable, John Detrixhe reports. Meanwhile, the UK refuses to name recipients of its programs, and how much they’re getting, citing “commercial interests” as a reason for secrecy.

The US is entering its third great bicycle revival in 150 years. Sales shot up in the first weeks of lockdown, and this modest, lo-tech form of transportation—in a country that used to have the world’s most powerful auto industry—is now set to reconfigure the layout of American cities.

Meanwhile, the current titans of the auto industry would like to keep it that way. Renault, Nissan  and Mitsubishi jointly published a strategic plan aimed at ensuring their survival. They’ll stop competing in certain markets, for one thing.

A banner day for US space travel (weather permitting)

Image: NASA

NASA will send humans to space from its Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the first time since 2011, using a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. If the weather fails to cooperate (a 40% chance), backup times for today’s 4:33 pm ET launch have been scheduled for later this weekend. You can watch the official NASA livestream right here.

No matter what happens—sign up for the Space Business newsletter (it’s free!) and let Quartz’s Tim Fernholz keep you posted.

Charting American mall tenants

Even before the pandemic, many US malls were in decline. Years of developers building too many shopping centers resulted in a bubble of retail space that ultimately burst. While high-end malls filled with activities and restaurants still draw visitors, the rest often struggle to lure shoppers as their stores lose relevance, and US consumers buy more online. Now Covid-19 is increasing the pain, Marc Bain reports.



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You asked about private jets

“Will private jet demand boom in a post-Covid world?” – James

It already has, says Natasha Frost. Demand for private flights from Hong Kong to Australia and North America jumped 214% in January, just as the pandemic was spreading beyond China. By February, however, that rush was over with flight volume normalizing. As the virus took hold in Europe, private jet flights originating from Italy rose by 11%, before plummeting by 46% at the start of March. And in the US, the wealthy are once again taking to the skies, though not yet at pre-crisis levels.

Surprising discoveries

Crayola acknowledged that “flesh” comes in different colors. The company developed 24 new crayon colors with a makeup artist to represent a range of skin tones.

Next stop: King’s Landing? Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin is part of a group buying the historic Santa Fe Southern Railroad.

The dinosaurs never had a chance. Researchers found the asteroid that wiped them out hit at the “deadliest possible angle.”

A new reason to go fur-free. Sickened workers at a Dutch mink farm may be the first example of animal-to-human transmission of Covid-19.

We (almost) have the technology. There is now a lickable screen that tricks you into tasting flavors, and built a bionic eye that’s more powerful than a real one.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, The Six Million Dollar Man, and real mallrats to hi@qz.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app on iOS or Android and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Hasit Shah, Liz Webber, and Max Lockie.