CORONAVIUS UPDATE… The number of coronavirus cases throughout the U.S. has topped 465,000 cases and at least 16,500 people have died, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. There were some 10,000 new cases in New York state yesterday, raising the state’s total to 159,937 and pushing it ahead of any other country outside the U.S. The virus has sickened more than 1.6 million people across the world, killing more than 95,700
SENATE FAILS TO PASS AID FUNDING BILL… The Senate yesterday failed to pass competing coronavirus aid funding that would primarily expand the Paycheck Protection Program in providing loans to small businesses. The program was passed as part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill last month and provides loans to small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky sought to add another $250 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program with a bill he hoped to be approved it by unanimous consent.
UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS SURGE… The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits surged for a third week, the Labor Department revealed yesterday. More than 6.6 million people filed jobless claims in the week ending April 4. Over the last three weeks, more than 16 million people have made unemployment claims.
TRUMPS LOSE BID FOR ARBITRATION OVER MARKETING SCAM… A federal judge in Manhattan has rejected an effort by President Trump and his adult children to send into arbitration a lawsuit accusing them of exploiting their family name to promote a marketing scam. U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield accused the Trumps of acting unfairly by seeking arbitration after first obtaining “the benefits of litigating in federal court,” including the dismissal of a racketeering claim. The judge ruled that unaired footage of Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” reality TV show should be turned over to entrepreneurs who claim they were ripped off after Trump and his kids used to show to endorse a doomed multilevel marketing company.
KANSAS GOVERNOR TO SUE OVER BLOCKED ORDER… Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vowed yesterday that she will sue the state lawmakers who blocked her executive order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. Republicans in the Kansas House and Senate on Wednesday voted to overturn Kelly’s order, claiming that it infringed on religious liberties. Kelly told the Wichita Eagle that she would seek a speedy resolution from the state’s Supreme Court.
‘SNL’ PLANS TO AIR… “Saturday Night Live” is planning to air tomorrow night with talent abiding by social distancing rules. NBC will produce the show’s material remotely. The network didn’t say whether anyone outside the show’s cast would perform.
MORT DRUCKER, MAD MAGAZINE CARTOONIST, DIES… Former Mad Magazine cartoonist Mort Drucker died yesterday after falling ill last week. He was 91. Drucker joined Mad in its early days, the mid-1950s, and remained well into the 21st century. Drucker’s cartoons spoofed politicians, celebrities and popular culture.
RAMS TRADE BRANDIN COOKS TO HOUSTON… The Los Angeles Rams have reportedly agreed to trade wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans in exchange for a 2020 second-round draft pick and a 2022 fourth-round pick. The Rams gave up a first-round pick for the 26-year-old Cooks in obtaining him and a fourth-round pick from New England before the 2018 draft. Cooks caught 122 passes for 1,787 yards and seven touchdowns in two seasons with the Rams.