Brazil records big surge as global deaths approach 400,000

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Fears continue to grow over the growth of COVID-19 in Latin America, with the number of confirmed cases in Brazil passing that of Italy to make it the second worst-affected country, after the United States.

Brazil recorded 1,349 deaths in a single day Thursday — only the U.S. and the U.K. have declared more COVID-19 related deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of minimizing the effects of the crisis.

Elsewhere, more shops, businesses and places or worship are opening up. The Las Vegas strip was abuzz this week with tourists and revelers after some casinos reopened. Across the Muslim world, from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia, Friday prayers are starting again after weeks of mosques being off-limits.

Meanwhile authorities across the world are struggling to ensure that people attending protests sparked by the death of George Floyd practice social distancing.

More than 1.84 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S. along with more than 107,000 deaths.

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

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Michigan governor signs executive orders reopening additional parts of the state

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer put her signature on executive orders Friday to reopen more regions of the state, according to a news release from the governor's office.

The executive orders state that much of northern Michigan and all of the state's Upper Peninsula can reopen salons, movie theaters and gyms starting on Wednesday. The businesses in question will still be "subject to safety protocols and procedures designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19," the governor's office said.

The orders further state that businesses that provide personal services — including hair and nail salons, and massage parlors — can reopen on June 15.

“Today marks another milestone in the safe reopening of Michigan’s economy,” Whitmer said in the release. “As we continue to slowly reopen different parts of our state, it’s critical that we listen to the experts and follow the medical science to avoid a second wave of infections.

"The good news is that we are headed in the right direction, and if the current trajectory continues, I anticipate we'll be able to announce more sectors reopening in the coming weeks. We owe it to our front line workers to keep doing our part," Whitmer added.

Global coronavirus case numbers are spiking

The coronavirus pandemic is hitting new heights around the world.

Driven by surging case counts in Brazil and India, and a steady number of new cases in the United States and Russia, the number of daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases globally has crossed the 100,000 mark all but once this week.

More than 6.4 million coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide.

According to worldwide coronavirus case numbers from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center and NBC News' collection of U.S. case counts, new infections have totaled more than 100,000 14 times during the pandemic. Twelve of those 14 have occurred in the last two weeks.

Read a timeline of the spread of the coronavirus, or, see a map and chart of U.S. coronavirus cases per state and a map of coronavirus cases around the world.

Fact check: Trump touts job gains as 'tribute to equality.' Black, Asian unemployment went up.

Touting surprising job gains in May’s jobs report, President Donald Trump said the jobs report was “a tremendous tribute to equality.”

“This is a great tribute, what we’re announcing today, is a tremendous tribute to equality — we’re bringing our jobs back,” he told reporters on Friday.

This is not an accurate interpretation. White Americans saw much better numbers than minorities.

White unemployment dropped nearly two points to 12.4 percent in May, while Hispanic unemployment fell 1.2 percent, from 18.9 to 17.6 percent. Black unemployment ticked up from 16.7 percent in April to 16.8 percent in May. Asian unemployment ticked up half a point from 14.5 percent to 15 percent. 

"What's happened to our country... is the greatest thing that can happen for race relations, for the African American community, for the Asian American community, for the Hispanic community, for women, for everything," Trump said, when asked about a plan to address systemic racism. "That's what my plan is — were going to have the strongest economy in the world."

Pressed on black and Asian unemployment rising, Trump told PBS' Yamiche Alcindor, "You are something."

Tennesseans can vote by mail during the pandemic, judge rules

A Tennessee judge ruled Thursday that all eligible voters in the state could apply for a mail-in ballot because of dangers posed by the coronavirus.

Despite unsubstantiated claims from President Trump against the practice, the overwhelming majority of states either already offered voting by mail or have moved to increase the practice this year to avoid unnecessary exposure to the coronavirus.

Separately, Missouri signed legislation Thursday to allow voters with medical risk to mail in their ballot, though it has stopped short of offering that option to all eligible voters. 

Only Texas and Mississippi require voters to provide an excuse for them to vote absentee and haven't taken any steps to make it easier for voters to mail in their ballot this year.

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3 percent as economy gains surprise 2.5 million jobs despite coronavirus

The U.S. economy gained 2.5 million jobs in May and the unemployment rate dropped to 13.3 percent. That’s down from 14.7 percent in April, according to the monthly employment report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The surprising data comes amid the phased reopening of businesses across the country after months of economic pain from the coronavirus pandemic, which pushed up unemployment to Great Depression-era levels and obliterated all job gains since the Great Recession.

Dow futures soared after the numbers were released, rising by 600 points in premarket activity as investors train their focus on the nation's reopening and any positive signs of a recovery.

Read the full story here.

Is summer camp during the pandemic worth it?

In a year when children across the country have been stuck indoors for months, ripped from their normal routines and separated from their friends, the joys and freedoms of camp are more necessary than ever, many camp proponents say.

But with no reliable treatment or vaccine yet for the coronavirus, the arrival of summer has created a dilemma for the $18 billion summer camp industry, which serves 20 million children. Many camp directors and parents are wondering: Will camp be able to operate safely? And if so, will it still feel like camp?

Read the rest of the article here.

Paris police ban rallies at the U.S. Embassy over coronavirus concerns

The Paris police have banned two rallies meant to take place Saturday outside the U.S. Embassy, citing restrictions on large gatherings in place to stop the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier in the week, the Defense League for Black Africans in France had scheduled a demonstration to denounce racism and in solidarity with protesters in the U.S.

A June 2 demonstration against police violence and racism was also banned by police, but 20,000 people attended to protest near the Palais de Justice in central Paris.

People in Paris, France run from tear gas as they attend a banned demonstration on Tuesday held in memory of Adama Traore, a black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation, which some have linked to the death of George Floyd in the U.S.GONZALO FUENTES / Reuters

87 Israeli schools forced to close after reporting outbreaks

Israel has been forced to close 87 schools and kindergartens, shortly after reopening, after 300 staff and students tested positive for coronavirus. 

The outbreaks mean almost 13,700 individuals have been placed into quarantine due to fears they've been exposed to the virus. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ruled Wednesday that schools would have to be closed whenever staff or students tested positive for the virus. 

Israel has reported over 17,000 cases of the virus to date with almost 300 fatalities.

The coronavirus emptied movie theaters. But it's resurrecting the drive-in.

Patrons watch "The Greatest Showman" at the Bel Aire diner parking lot in Queens, N.Y., in May.Timothy Fadek

The coronavirus has been a pox upon nearly the entire entertainment industry. But there is one pocket of the business that is undergoing a revival, even a reincarnation: the drive-in. Fueled by the need to socially distance and the collective nostalgia for happier times, the comfort food of show business is providing a much-welcome way to consume live entertainment.

Indeed, these strange, socially isolated times have led us to look back to find a path forward. And while drive-in movies — and their new partner, concerts — seem like a clever but temporary solution to the dearth of live events at present, drive-in theaters should continue to be embraced in American life long after COVID-19 is behind us.

Read the full article here.

Brazil reports its highest daily death toll, surpasses Italy's count

Brazil reported 1,473 new deaths from COVID-19 Thursday — the highest daily number to date — as the country's death toll reached 34,000, surpassing Italy to become the third highest in the world. 

The rate of new infections continues to remain high in Latin America's worst impacted nation, with over 30,000 new cases being reported in a single day. 

Brazil's controversial president Jair Bolsonaro has previously played down the risk posed by the coronavirus, and joined President Trump in promoting the use of the drug hydroxychloroquine — recently shown to be ineffective — against the virus.