PRESIDENT TRUMP WARNS OF ‘PAINFUL TWO WEEKS’… President Trump issued a warning yesterday that Americans are facing a “very, very painful two weeks.” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci projected that 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die in the coming months. Dr. Deborah Birx, the top public health official coordinating the coronavirus task force, suggested extensive mitigation efforts could yield results by July. Meanwhile, the death toll from the pandemic topped 3,500 yesterday.
MASSIVE DRUG BUST AT CALIFORNIA-MEXICO BORDER… Authorities announced yesterday that more than two tons of drugs, including opioids, methamphetamine and cocaine, were seized following the March 19 discovery of a cross-border tunnel between Mexico and the U.S. The San Diego Tunnel Task Force said the tunnel extended about 2,000 feet and connected warehouses in Tijuana and San Diego. The tunnel had an average depth of 31 feet and a width of 3 feet. It was equipped with ventilation, lighting and an underground rail system.
LARGE QUAKE STRIKE IDAHO… A magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck about 45 miles west of Challis, Idaho, last night. The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake had a depth of 6.2 miles and about 16,000 people reported feeling the tremors. The Boise Police Department reported there were no immediate reports of damage.
DATA BREACH AT MARRIOTT… Marriott announced yesterday that the personal information of as many as 5.2 million of its hotel guests was compromised in a data breach in mid-January. Names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, loyal account information, business names, genders, birthdays, partnerships and room preferences were accessed, the hotel chain said. Marriott discovered the breach in late February after an unusually large of guest information was accessed using the login credentials of two employees at a franchised property. Marriott has created a website and a call center to help affected customers.
STOCKS TUMBLE… Stocks continued to tumble yesterday on the final day of the worst first quarter in American history. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 410.32 points, or 1.84 percent, while the S&P 500 fell 1.6 percent and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.95 percent. The decline followed the U.S. Federal Reserve’s announcement that it will begin lending money to foreign central banking systems.
LEADS IN ‘TIGER KING’ MISSING-MAN CASE… The Hillsborough County Sheriff in Florida says the popular Netflix docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” is producing new leads in the case of a man who has been missing since 1997. The missing man, millionaire Jack Donald “Don” Lewis, was married to Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin, who was the intended target of a murder-for-hire plot. The plot led to a 22-year prison sentence for former Oklahoma zookeeper Joseph Maldonado-Passage, who went by the name “Joe Exotic.”
CHRISTOPHER MELONI REPRISES ELLIOT STABLER ROLE… Christopher Meloni is reprising his “Law & Order: SVU” character, Elliot Stabler, for a spinoff of the show that will air on NBC. Meloni’s character will be the boss of the organized crime division of the NYPD, instead of a Special Victims Unit detective. NBC has ordered 13 episodes.
NFL HOPES TO RELEASE SCHEDULE MAY 9… The NFL announced yesterday that it hopes to release its 2020 schedule on May 9 and expects to play a full slate despite the coronavirus pandemic. NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash said his confidence stems from the flattening of the pandemic’s curve that has occurred in other countries. The regular season is set to begin on Thursday, September 10 with a game hosted by the defending Super Bowl-champion Chiefs.