Tennessee and Wisconsin begin easing social distancing, GDP report, Fed assessment to detail the virus’ damage and more things to start your Wednesday.

GDP report, Fed assessment to detail coronavirus’ damage
The government’s report Wednesday on the economy’s severe contraction during the first three months of the year will provide the first sweeping snapshot of damage wrought by the coronavirus. Even so, those ugly numbers a Bloomberg survey predicts a GDP plunge of 3.8%  will likely be dwarfed in the current, second quarter. Later Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is expected to fill out the grisly picture by downgrading its view of the economy and renewing its vow to help the nation weather the storm and bolster an expected recovery in the second half of the year. 
IMF: Global Economy May Not Recover By 2021
Southeast targeted by big storms, again
A major outbreak of severe weather is forecast across the southern Plains into early Wednesday, with portions of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas at the greatest risk for the fierce storms. Massive hail, hurricane-force winds and a few tornadoes are all possible, forecasters at the Storm Prediction Center said, warning that a “damaging squall line is expected.” This week’s outbreak of severe weather continues a stormy pattern that’s plagued the southern U.S. this year. According to AccuWeather, 2020 continues on a trend to be among the nation’s top years for tornadoes. So far this year, through April 26, 492 tornadoes have been reported across the nation, far above the to-date verage of 307.
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Tennessee, Wisconsin ease social distancing
A day after the United States marked 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases, Tennessee and Wisconsin are lifting some of their social distancing restrictions. Retail stores in Tennessee will be permitted to reopen Wednesday, with the number of customers limited to 50% regular capacity. The all-clear does not apply to Tennessee’s largest cities Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and others where local authorities are determining their own reopening plans. In Wisconsin, businesses that can offer services “free of contact with customers” like dog groomers, upholsterers and lawnmower repair shops can reopen Wednesday. Outdoor recreational vehicle rentals like those who deal with boats, golf carts, kayaks and ATVs can also reopen, as can automatic or self-service car washes.
Everyone wants to get back to normal. We’re going to have to see some changes in the spread of the disease first, the state says.
NCAA to discuss the issue of student-athletes making money
After meeting on Monday and Tuesday, the NCAA Board of Governors will conduct a conference call Wednesday morning to discuss the issue of student-athletes earning money from their names, images and likenesses. If adopted, the rules would, as early as next year, allow athletes to make sponsorship and endorsement deals with all kinds of companies and third parties, from car dealerships to concert promoters to pizza shops, the Associated Press reports. Joining NCAA president Mark Emmert on the conference call will be Big East commissioner Val Ackerman, and Ohio State president Michael Drake and athletic director Gene Smith. NCAA schools were to be presented with a “very robust set of proposals” concerning changes to rules governing athletes’ ability to make money. 
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A massive asteroid approaching Earth looks like it’s wearing a face mask
An asteroid is hurtling close to the Earth on Wednesday, and with it, a startling reminder of the coronavirus pandemic  it looks as if it’s wearing its own face mask. The space rock, known as 1998 OR2, will zoom by Earth at 5:59 a.m. ET. Despite the impossibility of it posing a threat to humans anytime soon, it’s classified as a “potentially hazardous” asteroid because it is more than 500 feet in diameter and closer than 4,650,000 miles to Earth. But don’t worry experts say it poses no threat to Earth. 
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