Senators return to Washington, Supreme Court justices are streamed live

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: People wearing face masks arrive at the Cadorna railway station, as Italy begins a staged end to a nationwide lockdown due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Milan,
People wearing face masks arrive at the Cadorna railway station in Milan, Italy as the country begins a staged end to a nationwide coronavirus lockdown on Monday.Flavio Lo Scalzo / Reuters

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With new measures in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Senators returned to Washington on Monday. Soda machines were taped off, tables were spread out and basketball-size circles painted on the ground reminded visitors how far apart six feet is. Lawmakers were scheduled to take their first vote Monday night.

At the U.S. Supreme Court, justices conducted their first-ever oral argument by conference call. The audio was streamed live — also a first — on news sites and is available on CSPAN.

A report by the Department of Homeland Security's intelligence service details China's efforts to cover up the depth of its coronavirus outbreak while stockpiling medical supplies. The details come one day after one day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China must be held accountable for spreading the deadly virus.

More than 68,000 people have been sickened with the disease across the United States, according to an NBC News tally. New York state tops the list, with more than 25,117 deaths. More than 1 million Americans have contracted the virus.

Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments:

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Millions return to work as Italy eases eight-week coronavirus lockdown

People returning to work come out of Rome's San Giovanni metro station on Monday.Cecilia Fabiano / AP

Italy is turning “a new page” as it gradually eases out of Europe’s longest coronavirus lockdown, the country’s prime minister said, as some 4 million Italian workers went back to work Monday.

“The risks of having more infections are numerous, but we will be able to avoid them with responsibility,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told Italians in a video address on his Facebook page. “As never before, the future of the country is in your hands.” 

Relatives will also be allowed to meet up while parks, some industries and construction sites open for the first time in eight weeks.

Roche wins U.S. nod for COVID-19 antibody test, aims to boost output

Roche has won emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration for an antibody test to determine whether people have ever been infected with the coronavirus, the Swiss drugmaker said.

Thomas Schinecker, Roche's head of diagnostics, said the company aims to more than double production of tests from about 50 million a month to significantly more than 100 million a month by the end of the year. 

Governments, businesses and individuals are seeking such blood tests to learn who may have had the disease, who may have some immunity and to potentially craft strategies to help end national lockdowns.

Read the full story.

Japan extends coronavirus state of emergency to May 31

Japan extended its state of emergency until May 31, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Monday.

“Currently there are still significant number of new infections and the decrease in the number of cases is still not at adequate levels,” the prime minister said at a coronavirus task force meeting. “The view of experts is that we need to continue the current measures that are in place.”

Prime Minister Abe said the infection rates and impact on the healthcare system will be reassessed on May 14. He said if it seems possible he would lift the state of emergency in some areas before the end date. Japan has recorded 510 deaths from the virus and more than 15,000 infections.

NRA cutting staff and salaries

Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president and CEO, in February. AP

The National Rifle Association has laid off dozens of employees, canceled its national convention and scuttled fundraising, membership and shooting events that normally would be key to rallying its base in an election year.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended the gun-rights organization during what should be heady times for the group, in the middle of presidential election and with gun owners riled up over what they see as an effort by authorities to trample on their Second Amendment rights.

The NRA, which boasts about 5 million members, in recent weeks laid off or furloughed dozens of employees, imposed a four-day workweek for some employees and cut salaries across the board, including for CEO Wayne LaPierre. The financial issues, combined with the cancellation of fundraisers and the national convention, which would have surely drawn a visit from President Donald Trump, have complicated its ability to influence the 2020 election.

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Brazil's Bolsonaro headlines anti-democratic rally amid alarm over handling of virus

The Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro is lit up as if wearing a protective mask amid the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday. The message "Mask saves" is written in Portuguese.Leo Correa / AP

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attacked Congress and the courts in a speech to hundreds of supporters on Sunday as the number of coronavirus cases blew past 100,000 in his country, underlining the former army captain's increasing isolation as he downplays the impacts of the pandemic.

Right-wing Bolsonaro has drawn widespread criticism from across the political spectrum for dismissing the threat of the virus in Brazil, which has registered 101,147 confirmed cases and 7,025 deaths, according to the most recent data from the Health Ministry.

On Sunday, dozens of public figures signed an open letter to the Brazilian government calling on officials to protect the nation's indigenous people, who often live in remote locations with limited access to healthcare.