5 things to know for April 27: Coronavirus, census, police violence, abortion, China

Heartbreaking scenes in Delhi's crematorium and hospital amid brutal second wave

Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Coronavirus

2. Census

The US Census Bureau has released the results of the 2020 census, including new population totals used to reapportion and redistrict seats in the House of Representatives. There are 331 million people living in the US, according to the data. As far as representation goes, Texas is the only state to gain two House seats in the count. Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each gain one seat. California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will each lose a congressional seat. So will New York, which fell a mere 89 residents short of retaining its current number.

3. Police violence

The Justice Department will investigate the Louisville police department to assess whether the Kentucky agency “engages in a pattern or practice of using unreasonable force.” The decision comes a little more than a year after the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT who was killed by police in her home during a botched raid. In North Carolina, calls are mounting for the release of police bodycam video in last week’s police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. A family attorney said the footage she’s seen shows an “execution.” Peaceful protesters have gathered in Elizabeth City regularly since Brown’s death. Some civil rights advocates are worried about the future of such protests. More than 90 anti-protest bills, which critics say criminalize legal activity, have been introduced in at least 36 states over the last year.

4. Abortion

Oklahoma GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a near-total abortion ban and two other abortion restrictions into law, making the state the second this year to enact a so-called heartbeat ban. These laws bar most abortions at the onset of a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy and before many people know they are pregnant. Republican-controlled states have advanced a wave of anti-abortion bills this year consistent with the trend under the Trump presidency. The Oklahoma laws are due to go into effect on November 1 and will likely face immediate legal challenges based on federal precedents set by Roe v. Wade. However, the fact that Oklahoma and other states are pushing such bans shows that the state-level fight over abortion access is far from over.

5. China

China is ramping up its anti-espionage activities with a new set of regulations targeting foreign spies and “hostile forces.” Under the new rules, companies and institutions may be asked to keep a watch out for and prevent foreign espionage activity. This means the entities must vet and train personnel who’d then be debriefed on national security issues after foreign visits. Analysts say it’s another way the Chinese government is expanding control and keeping an eye on Western activity. There’s also concern about the Chinese government’s rather broad definition of spying. The new rules come as the Communist Party prepares to mark its 100th anniversary on July 1 and amid worsening relations with the US, which in recent years has charged some with spying for China

BREAKFAST BROWSE

A beginner’s guide to crypto definitions 

If you still don’t know what NFT or blockchain means and you’re too afraid to ask, here’s your chance

Domino’s is bringing back this 1980s mascot

We can avoid the Noid no longer!

What to know before you go to a sporting event, whether you’re vaccinated or not

If you’re going to go through the trouble of watching your baseball team lose this season, you might as well be safe about it

Dunkin’ is adding coconut milk to its menu

Lovers of fancy milk alternatives, rejoice! 

The oldest known whiskey, dating from around the Revolutionary War, will soon be up for auction

The bottle has to be haunted, right? We’d be disappointed if it wasn’t. 

TODAY’S NUMBER

$1 billion

That’s about how much in profit Tesla recorded last quarter, which marks its third record quarter in a row and the first time it’s cracked the $1 billion mark in adjusted earnings. After losing money in 2018 and early 2019, Tesla is now one of the most valuable US companies, with stock worth more than the combined value of the world’s seven largest automakers.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“This seems like such a farce.”

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, criticizing as a political stunt the ongoing Republican election audit of the 2020 ballots from Arizona’s largest county

TODAY’S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

All as one

Huge groups of starlings weave and swirl to create otherworldly, wraith-like shadows in the sky. How do they know when to move with each other? And how do they not all get tangled as they fly? (Click here to view.)

Source: CNN – US News

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