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The long Memorial Day weekend saw thousands of Americans flock to summer haunts -- often without regard for social distancing rules or other coronavirus safety precautions. Crowds packed beaches in Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and Indiana, among other places. Many ventured out without masks, and others failed to keep their distance, even as officials highlighted the continued importance of both to prevent another surge of infections. That surge is already happening in some places. Arkansas' governor said the state is experiencing a 'second peak' after a deep dip in cases. All in all, cases are trending upward in 18 states, and the nationwide death toll is slowly approaching 100,000. As of last evening, it was above 98,218 -- more than the number of US troops killed in the Korean and Vietnam wars combined.
The US Department of Health and Human Services has released a new coronavirus testing plan, and it contains some big promises. The Trump administration says it will buy 100 million testing swabs and vials by the end of the year and distribute them to states. The report also says the country as a whole should be able to perform at least 40 million tests per month by the time September rolls around. Still, the responsibility for how, exactly, all these tests will be carried out is left largely up to states. Each state is also expected to coordinate tests for contact tracing, monitor asymptomatic carriers, and prepare for future virus surges -- all while meeting federal reporting targets.
Tensions between the US and China are spilling over into the airline industry. Washington is accusing Beijing of making it difficult for US carriers to resume flights between the two countries as economies reopen. Delta and United airlines both want to resume the routes in June but have run into trouble getting their plans approved by China's Civil Aviation Administration. In response, the US says it wants more regulatory power over the US-China routes taken by Chinese carriers. Meanwhile, the situation between China and Hong Kong is pulling at more threads in the frayed US-China relationship. Beijing's attempts to impose a national security law on the semi-autonomous city have sparked a new round of protests and could pose a new diplomatic test for President Trump.
A new White House travel policy starts today that bars anyone who has been to Brazil within 14 days from arriving in the US. The travel ban is intended to stop the spread of Covid-19. The disease has surged in Brazil in recent weeks, with nearly 375,000 confirmed cases. That's the second-highest number of nationwide cases after the US. The rising infections have sparked serious political conflagrations in Brazil, especially since the country's President, Jair Bolsonaro, has been largely dismissive of the seriousness of the pandemic, calling it a 'little flu' and downplaying its risks. The mayor of Manaus, Brazil, put words to the growing anger by calling on Bolsonaro to resign and saying he should 'shut up and stay at home.'
5. Ahmaud Arbery
An attorney for the family of Ahmaud Arbery says the US Justice Department is investigating his shooting death as a hate crime. Arbery, who was black, was shot and killed while running in February near Brunswick, Georgia. The case has developed rapidly since two white men were arrested early this month and charged with Arbery's murder. Days later, the attorney general in Georgia -- one of a handful of states that has no hate crime statute -- requested the DOJ investigate the handling of the case. Last week, a third man, who filmed Arbery's death, was arrested in connection with the killing. None has been asked by a judge to plead, and attorneys for the men have said they committed no crimes.
The Washington Nationals put a 'Baby Shark' (like, from the song) on their World Series ring
Betty White wants you to know she's doing perfectly fine during the pandemic
A designer shows the future of pandemic runway fashion with 3D models
When humans can't be there, technology can pick up the slack.
Elon Musk and Grimes have changed their baby's name slightly
It doesn't have a number anymore, but good luck pronouncing it anyway.
Millions of 17-year cicadas are expected to emerge soon
They're going to get out here, take one look around, and burrow right back into the dirt.
That's how many coronavirus tests the city of Wuhan performed in just nine days, according to state media, as part of drastic measures to prevent a second wave of infections.
'I've learned something through this pandemic: We need sports, man. Are they the most important thing in the world? Not even close. But the one thing they do, they take your mind off of all the other stuff going on in the world.'
Charles Barkley, on the significance of the weekend golf match between PGA greats Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and their respective partners, NFL greats Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Woods and Manning won the charity match, which netted $20 million for coronavirus relief.
A joyful marimba noise
Come on, let's get some positive vibes going. Listening to this should help. (Click here to view.)