Where does the U.S. stand in its battle against the coronavirus? And how will video of Ahmaud Arbery’s shooting be used in the murder trial?
It’s Ashley, and we’ll get to that and more news in today’s Short List.
But first, baaaah-d goats: Nearly 200 goats ran wild through the streets of San Jose, California, after escaping from their enclosure. 🐐
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The national curve finally appears to be flattening – for now
While the estimated U.S. coronavirus death toll is rising, there’s evidence that the curve may be flattening. The Johns Hopkins and Worldometer data dashboards show the rise of confirmed cases and daily deaths in the U.S. may be slowing, even as the national death total approaches 100,000. And the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation released projections this week that show a steady decline for daily deaths – falling to 100 or less by early August. The positive trends, however, come against another grim estimate released this week: The institute estimates a total death toll of 147,000 by August. As sometimes seemingly conflicting numbers roll out each week, it can be confusing to digest just where the U.S. stands in its battle against the virus. Is the worst over? What happens as states slowly reopen will tell the tale, experts say.
The importance of the video of Arbery’s fatal shooting
The video of Arbery’s shooting lasts less than a minute. It captures the deadly encounter between the jogger and two armed white men in Georgia that has sparked a nationwide outcry. The armed men now face murder and aggravated assault charges. To help readers understand what happens in the video without having to view it multiple times, USA TODAY worked with legal experts to take a closer look at how the video could be used in the murder trial and the key moments that may be used to explain the men’s actions.
What everyone’s talking about
Arthur may be on the way
The hurricane season could get an early start this weekend, forecasters say, as a tropical or subtropical storm is likely to form near Florida and the Bahamas. While the system should not have any direct impact on the southeast coast of the U.S., beach conditions in Florida may get dangerous before the system forms Thursday into Friday, weather.com said. If the system gets a name, it would be Tropical (or Subtropical) Storm Arthur.
Welcome home, Paul Manafort
Ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was released from prison and is in home confinement as coronavirus spreads through the corrections system. Remember Manafort? He’s serving a 7 ½-year sentence from two criminal cases stemming from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on Russia’s election meddling in 2016. Last month, Attorney General William Barr announced a plan to expedite the release of vulnerable prisoners to home confinement as infections and fatalities mounted. Manafort’s attorneys had requested for him to serve his sentence from home because his “age and preexisting health conditions” make him “high risk” from a COVID-19 infection.
Notice your grocery bill going up?
You’re not alone. With coronavirus driving Americans to hunker down and stock up, grocery store prices in April rose 2.6% – the highest month-to-month jump in more than 40 years, the Labor Department reported. Breakfast seems largely to blame: Eggs spiked 16.1%; cereal and bakery products rose 2.9%. Besides boosting grocery demand, COVID-19 has caused supply chain disruptions and factory shutdowns, which also helped push prices higher.
A break from the news
Employee of the day 🐾
Now that many of us are WFH, you may have found yourself with a purr-fect new colleague: YOUR PETS! Send me their picture at [email protected].
Meet Arnie. He thinks he’s become a local celebrity because everyone cheers when he joins video calls. The attention may be going to his head as he’s recently expressed an interest in quitting his job to become a TikTok influencer.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus deaths, Arbery, hurricane, Paul Manafort: Wednesday’s news