Stay-at-home protests held across the country

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Image: Protest To Reopen California Businesses, Beaches, And Parks Held In Huntington Beach
Protestors gather in a demonstration in Huntington Beach, California on May 1, 2020.Apu Gomes / Getty Images

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Protests against stay-at-home orders were held across the country Friday amid mounting frustration over the economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

Rallies were scheduled in at least 10 states. Outside the Capitol building in Albany, New York, protesters chanted "USA! USA!" as they flew American and "Don't Tread on Me" flags. Counterprotesters scheduled their own rallies in support of keeping non-essential businesses closed.

Some states started to slowly reopen Friday, including Texas, where retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls were allowed to open for business. In Louisiana, restaurants (except those in hard-hit New Orleans) are allowed to add outdoor tables.

The calls to reopen business come as meat processing plants struggle with widespread outbreaks that have slowed or halted production. At a Tyson Foods pork-processing plant in Indiana, nearly 900 employees, 40 percent of the workforce, tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Their loved ones died fighting coronavirus in Britain. They are left with grief, and questions

On March 29, Thomas  Harvey, a health care assistant at Goodmayes Hospital in London, died at home after having suffered from coronavirus-related symptoms for 18 days. 

Harvey’s family said they called the emergency services three times over the course of his worsening illness, but he was never taken to a hospital or officially tested despite being told by paramedics that he likely had the disease. 

Behind the news last month that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released from a London hospital where he was treated for coronavirus — and where, he says, his time in intensive care saved his life — are the stories of those who didn’t make it.

Read the full story here.

Beijing's Forbidden City and parks reopen to public

Visitors wearing face masks walk through the Forbidden City in Beijing, China on Friday, the first day it reopened after shutting to stop the spread of coronavirus.Mark Schiefelbein / AP

Beijing’s parks and museums, including the ancient Forbidden City, reopened to the public Friday after being closed for months during the pandemic.

The Forbidden City — the past home to China’s emperors — is allowing just 5,000 visitors daily, down from 80,000. And parks are allowing people to visit at 30 percent of the usual capacity. Beijing on Thursday downgraded its level of emergency response to the virus from first to second tier, but temperature checks and social distancing remain in force. The change comes at the start of the five-day May 1 holiday.

China reported 82,874 total coronavirus cases as of Friday, 77,642 of which have recovered. It also reported no new deaths on Friday for the fourth day in a row, for a total death toll of 4,633.

Broncos' star linebacker Von Miller says he's negative for COVID-19

Denver Broncos' star linebacker Von Miller tweeted Thursday that he is now "negative" for COVID-19,  after testing positive in mid-April. 

At the time of his diagnosis, Miller said that if he can get the illness anyone can, and that "I want people to really take it seriously," according to the team. The Broncos said at the time Miller's positive test was disclosed that he was under the care of team doctors and was doing well in self-isolation. 

Miller remains the only Broncos player to have been diagnosed with the illness, the team said Thursday.

California allows marriage licenses via videoconference amid pandemic

For better, for worse and hopefully the internet isn't out: Californians will now be able to obtain marriage licenses via videoconference, the governor announced Thursday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom's order also allows — at the discretion of the county clerk — for couples to be married this way, as long as at least one witness can join the videoconference. Previously both parties had to apply for licenses in person. The changes last for 60 days, according to Newsom's office.

The move comes amid social distancing and other restrictions designed to limit the gathering of people amid the coronavirus pandemic which has killed more than 60,000 people in the U.S. so far. 

California is not the first to announce such a move. New York's governor earlier this month signed an executive order also allowing residents to obtain a marriage license remotely and allowing clerks to perform ceremonies via videoconference, something that had been impermissible under the law.

On Wednesday, New York City announced "Project Cupid," designed to transition the marriage licensing process fully online.

Demonstrators against reopening economy to hit the streets

As demonstrators who want to get back to work planned a show of force in multiple U.S. cities Friday for International Workers Day, counterprotesters said they would hold their own rallies. 

The lunchtime counterprotests, in support of keeping non-essential businesses closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, are being held by the organization Refuse Fascism.

"We are nonviolent," said Chantelle Hershberger, an organizer of the Los Angeles rally. "We’re not there to literally go toe-to-toe."

Demonstrators in Los Angeles will wear masks and practice social distancing, she said.

Read the whole story here.

Huntington Beach, Calif., to ask court to overturn beach closure

The city council in Huntington Beach, California, voted Thursday to authorize the city attorney to take legal action against the state for closing down beaches in Orange County.

After the vote City Attorney Michael E. Gates said by email, "We are filing in State Court tonight hoping for relief for temporary injunction."

Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier in the day said a widely expected statewide beach closure wasn't happening, but one that focused on Orange County would go into effect Friday. This came after images captured throngs of people on the sand in Huntington Beach and nearby Newport Beach on a warm weekend.

The city council held an emergency meeting Thursday. Many residents who wrote to the council on the topic favored keeping the beaches open and suggested the traditionally Republican city was being punished for being of a different political persuasion than the Democratic governor.