Congress scrambles to rescue small business stimulus plan, New Yorkers must begin to cover their faces in public and more news to know Friday.
Congress scrambles to rescue small business stimulus plan
Congressional leaders appear set to work through Friday to salvage a stimulus program designed to help small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. One of them, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., hopes a deal can be made soon but, “I cant guarantee that we can get to an agreement that we can pass by Friday,” he said Wednesday. The program’s future is up in the air. About 90% of the $349 billion set aside for the Paycheck Protection Program, designed to help struggling businesses pay employees, had been allocated as of midweek.
Here are four ways consumers can help support small businesses who are struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic.
New Yorkers must wear masks or cover face in public
Starting Friday, New Yorkers who can’t maintain a social distance from others must wear a face mask, while Maryland residents must don a face covering before going into any retail store beginning Saturday. But a number of states, towns and cities have already been requiring masks for several days or weeks. New Jersey issued a similar rule last week. And Los Angeles has also mandated that shoppers and workers wear face coverings during essential shopping. Though there is no nationwide mandate to wear masks, President Donald Trump two weeks ago announced the CDC recommendation that people at least use a simple cloth face covering when they are in public spaces.
Anne Hernandez of Troy is responding to the shortage of face masks during the Novel Coronovirus threat by showing how she makes a mask.
Detroit Free Press
Need a hug? Facebook has a new reaction for that
A seventh Facebook reaction in addition to like, heart, LOL, wow, sad and angry was already being explored this year. Then the coronavirus pandemic happened, and social media became an even more vital way to connect during social distancing. In response, Facebook and its messaging app Messenger are rolling out new reactions to express caring and compassion, the company told USA TODAY exclusively. The new seventh reaction an emoji hugging a heart is intended as shorthand to show solidarity and support when commenting on a status update, message, photo or video during the coronavirus crisis, Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app, said. On Messenger, users will be able to toggle to a vibrating heart “for when a regular heart does not feel like enough,” Simo said. Facebook decided to dispense with the research it conducted when adding the other reactions and plans to roll out the new reaction Friday on Messenger and next week on Facebook, Simo said.
Jennifer Jolly tried out Facebook’s new Messenger for the past week and shares how it compares with Zoom.
WNBA draft takes center stage, and New York and Dallas are on the clock
On Friday, the WNBA has “the opportunity to own the sports landscape” with its annual draft. WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce the draft picks live on ESPN beginning at 7 p.m. ET Friday, with top prospects taking part remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York Liberty have the No. 1 overall pick for the first time and are expected to choose Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, who closed her college career as the NCAA’s only member of the 2,000-point, 1,000-assist and 1,000-rebound club. The Liberty also have two additional first-round selections No. 9 and No. 12. The Dallas Wings have three of the first seven selections picks No. 2, No. 5 and No. 7. Wings President and CEO Greg Bibb said Monday his team has been building toward the 2020 draft “for the better part of two years,” stockpiling selections with an eye on this class. Unfortunately, the WNBA season, which was set to start May 15, has been delayed because of the pandemic.
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Hello, home button: New iPhone available for pre-orders
A pocket-friendly successor to the iPhone SE Apple’s most affordable smartphone option is available for pre-order starting Friday on apple.com and the Apple Store app. The latest SE looks a lot like the iPhone 8 and original SE. It has a very visible notch, a single front-facing camera and a fingerprint scanner known as Touch ID rather than Face ID. That means: The beloved home button is back. The 4.7-inch smartphone also features a better camera and faster microchip. Prices start at $399. Authorized resellers and select carriers actually start selling it on April 24.
Remember when only a select few owned the elusive and expensive Apple Inc. iPhone?
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