The House is expected to approve a measure aimed at keeping small businesses from shuttering, more severe weather is likely across the storm-weary South and more news to start your Thursday.

Rescue of small-business rescue plan heads to House 
The House is expected to approve a measure on Thursday reviving a program geared to keep small businesses from shuttering and their employees from going on unemployment because of the economic impact of the coronavirus. The nearly half-trillion-dollar measure, approved Tuesday by the Senate, would provide more funds to the Paycheck Protection Program, which was halted last week after it ran out of money. Along with $320 billion for small businesses, the legislation also includes $75 billion to help overwhelmed hospitals and $25 billion for a new coronavirus testing program. If approved by the House, it will head to President Donald Trump, who has signaled he’s ready to sign the agreement. 
EU mulls huge coronavirus aid deal
European Union leaders will meet in a special video summit on Thursday to a discuss a huge aid package to repair the continent’s economies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The leaders are expected to endorse a package worth 540 billion euros ($587 billion) that would help pay lost wages, keep companies afloat and fund health care systems, the Associated Press reported. The package is often compared to the U.S. Marshall Plan that sought to lift up a destitute Europe in the wake of World War II. But some nations say the aid fund needs to be much larger up to 1.5 trillion euros (1.63 trillion dollars) to help the blocs worst-hit countries.
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Surge of jobless claims expected to continue
More bad news seems all but inevitable when the Labor Department reports the latest jobless numbers Thursday, reflecting the economy’s continuing struggles amid the coronavirus pandemic. Economists estimate that the government will report that 4.5 million Americans filed initial applications for unemployment insurance last week, down from the roughly 5.2 million claims the week before and the all-time high of 6.86 million applications filed in late March. Jobless claims may continue to swell because the $2.2 trillion federal emergency stimulus package approved in March is expanding the number of people who are eligible for benefits.
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Severe storms, tornadoes likely across the South
Another outbreak of severe weather is likely across the storm-weary southern U.S. on Thursday, forecasters warned. Damaging storms are expected to fire up across Alabama, eastern Tennessee, northern Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas on Thursday, AccuWeather predicted, with the potential for a few isolated tornadoes. Atlanta is in the area at greatest risk for severe weather on Thursday, as are the Alabama cities of Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile. Severe storms have battered the South over the past few weeks, killing more than two-dozen people and destroying hundreds of homes. 
A person holds hail and a quarter to show scale during a storm in Tulsa, Okla. Wednesday, April 22, 2020.
NFL draft kicks off as scheduled, but virtually
In accordance with proper social distancing guidelines, representatives of the 32 NFL teams will be quarantined in separate locations to begin what more closely resembles a fantasy football draft than the leagues usual three-day extravaganza (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN, NFL Network). The Cincinnati Bengals have the first overall pick and are expected to select Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow of the national champion LSU Tigers. Much of the intrigue in the first round surrounds the fate of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who was expected to go first overall before a major knee injury cut his 2019 season short. Expect a few draft-day trades to shake things up as well as teams look to find players who can fill key spots on their rosters. 
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