Compiled by Mary Lou Masters
Carter Best opened the show with some breaking news. Countries around the world are tentatively easing restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
In the Czech Republic, some specific businesses like farmer’s markets and car dealerships were permitted to reopen this morning while other small shops will be back in business next Monday. Germany has reopened schools for its older students, who will take their final exams with six feet of separation between them as mandated by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Although Germany saw the world’s fifth highest caseload of COVID-19, fatalities remained proportionally low due to early and extensive testing. Other countries like Spain, Belgium and Brazil are reportedly seeing cases fall and have expressed desires to begin tentative reopenings in the very near future, some before the end of this week.
Michael Doti had a recap of UGA’s G-Day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone in the Athens community was forced to miss one of the most anticipated events on the spring calendar. That event, like most, had to be done virtually on Saturday. G-Day, the day where fans would have gathered into Sanford Stadium to watch the new look Dawgs run their first scrimmage of the year, occurred on April 19.
Instead of the event actually taking place, SEC Network did a broadcast on Facebook live replaying Georgia’s signature victory of the season last year: their 23-17 victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish back on September 21. Many guests got to join in on the call including Rodrigo Blankenship, and of course, Kirby Smart.
While rewatching the game, Smart highlighted on three points going into next season. The first point was the same portion of the team that made so many huge plays last year, the defense. Outside of J.R. Reed graduating, the Bulldog’s defense for the majority remains unchanged.
Three heroes from the game that Smart noticed will all return for next season. Those names include DJ Daniel, Azeez Ojulari, and Divaad Wilson, whose third quarter interception was without a doubt the turning point of the game.
Smart would agree, tweeting, “This interception changed the entire game. We’ve got to work on my man’s ball security though.”
The second big takeaway from the game was who is going to step up in the needed positions for next year. Coach Smart highlighted both the running back and the safety positions as a need for next year.
James Cook, Zamir White, and Kenny Mcintosh are the top three expected running backs on the depth chart for next year, and none of them made a particular impact in the Notre Dame game. At safety, coach Smart expects some big things from senior Richard Lecounte, as well as sophomore Lewis Cine who got his first ever start in the Sugar Bowl against Baylor.
The final take away from the game, and perhaps the most uncertain one going forward into next season, is the impact of the Sanford Stadium crowd. The Notre Dame game in particular showed what an impact 93,246 different pairs of lungs can do to an opposing team. That led to a record number of Notre Dame penalties under coach Brian Kelly.
Smart tweeted out, “ANOTHER penalty caused by our fans. Sanford Stadium is the ultimate weapon.”
It is still a mystery whether it will be safe enough to hold that many people in one confined space come September, October, or even beyond that, but once given the ok, fans should be back and louder than ever, continuing to do their special job for Kirby Smart.
Jamie Baker reported on more severe weather in the south. Last night, severe storms swept across the south, causing damage in Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Mississippi. Weather forecasts warned residents that tornadoes and flooding could occur over the night.
These tornadoes and floods were expected to continue through the night and into early hours this morning. According to the National Weather Service, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi had the highest storm threat levels, with the greatest chance of seeing tornadoes and flooding. Approximately five million citizens live in this high threat region.
According to Fox 5 Atlanta, an Upson county family experienced storms so severe that their home was pushed off its foundation and into the middle of highway 74. This is the second week in a row that the south has been hit by hard storms. Last Sunday more than 100 tornadoes struck the south, leaving 36 people dead.
Next, Michael gave a financial update. The ETF has fallen another 4.5% this morning, marking the sixth negative day in the past week. Occidental Petroleum was the leader this morning, falling 9%. Walmart however is doing much better. Their $133.38 share value is the highest of the year.
“Squawk on the Street’s” Jim Cramer is calling the closing on Friday “Phony”. Most of the Dow Jones’ 2.99% increase came within that final hour of trading. Today however, the Dow fell 200 points this morning, and the S&P 500 fell .5% as well. Nasdaq Composite is the only one to stay positive this morning.
Amazon’s stocks rose another 2%, while Facebook and AMD, which makes video game chips, rose .5% and 3.5% respectively. However, it is Netflix who remains on top of the stay-at-home stocks. Their stocks rose another 5%, and a total of 40% on the year according to CNBC.com.
Mary Lou Masters reported on the latest from New York City,,which has been hit hard with the coronavirus. According to the Associated Press, “…the daily COVID-19 death toll in New York state appeared to have reached a plateau, with Saturday’s 507 reported deaths down 271 since last Monday.”
Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all June events are cancelled or postponed, including three huge parades. These parades are the Pride Parade, the Celebrate Israel Parade and the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
This year marks the Pride Parade’s 50th anniversary. Outside of Israel, NYC has the greatest population of Jewish people, making the Celebrate Israel parade a staple. Since NYC also has the largest population of Puerto Ricans outside of the country itself, the National Puerto Rican Day parade has also become really important to the city.
Carter also had information about a shooting in Canada. Amidst continued shelter-in-place orders, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia endured the worst mass shooting in Canadian history on Saturday, leaving 16 dead.
The shooter has been identified as a 51-year-old male denture-maker who died after being arrested, the cause remains unreported. The shooter attacked victims and set fires to homes in the small town of Portapique.
While police speculate the shooter targeted his first victim, the remaining 15 have no known connection to him suggesting these victims were killed randomly. Among the victims was 23-year-old veteran of the police force Constable Heidi Stevenson.
Mass shootings remain relatively rare in Canada after the country enacted strict gun control laws following the 1989 mass shooting at the Montreal École Polytechnique where 14 were killed, according to the Associated Press. No connection has been found between the shooting and the coronavirus outbreak.
Jamie also reported on how Georgians are reacting to Kemp’s new policies. Yesterday, a group of protestors gathered in Canton, Georgia to protest Governor Kemp’s shelter-in-place order. Many protestors carried firearms and flags.
The protest was organized by Shane Hazel, who is running for the US senate this fall as a Libertarian. Hazel later stated that the government should not have the power to close businesses and tell residents to stay at home. The protest was streamed on Facebook live.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the protest was relatively peaceful and police intervention was not needed. Monroe county also expressed concern about the economy. One commissioner from the county called Governor Kemp’s shelter-in-place order an “extreme overreach of power.”
State Representative David Clark also called on Kemp to reopen the economy immediately, although public health officials disagree. Despite the state possibly reaching its peak on April 7, experts warn that opening the state too soon could increase COVID-19 deaths again. As of today there are approximately 19,000 COVID-19 cases in Georgia. The state death toll is 733.
Mary Lou came back with entertainment news suggesting that One Direction is reuniting. According to E! News, yesterday afternoon, Liam Payne, one of the band’s members, confirmed on an Instagram live that in lieu of the band’s 10 year anniversary, they are coming back together.
Many other recent things have sparked fans’ curiosity on this subject. For example, Zayn Malik’s plans have been greatly speculated since he’s the ex-bandmate who left One Direction in 2015.
Apparently last weekend, the Twitter accounts of Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and the band’s official account all followed Zayn again. Also, “…others pointed out that Zayn was no longer listed as an ‘ex-member’ of the band on Google and is now back to being listed as ‘vocals.’”
Also, not all of their music had been on Apple Music, but now, all five of their albums are available. For the first time since One Direction’s split in 2016, the band’s official website has been reactivated.
On the Instagram live, Liam said, “’most of us are in London, we’ve been trying to arrange the first group FaceTime with the boys at the moment.”
Next, Carter had the latest regarding protests across the nation. Yesterday, thousands of Americans across the country flocked to state capitals to protest social-distancing measures enacted by their governors. In Olympia, Washington, over 2,500 people gathered while in Denver, hundreds more took to the streets while Colorado healthcare workers donning protective masks stood at city intersections in counter protest.
These are not the first protests of this kind as citizens become increasingly frustrated by the economic toll of the coronavirus that resulted in over 22 million Americans filing for unemployment last month and uncertainty surrounding the reopening timeline. Donald Trump has called for states to begin reopening soon, assuring reporters that there are enough coronavirus tests to support such an action but many governors, including Republican governor of Maryland Larry Hogan, are fighting this assertion and remain cautious to lift restrictions.
Based on declining hospitalizations and deaths, it seems that New York City may have passed its peak while many other cities across the country continue to see rising cases and fatalities. Federal guidelines for reopening of states suggest 14 days of decline before lifting restrictions but President Trump seemed to encourage protestors who were fighting to “liberate” their states in a series of tweets.
Michael closed out the show with an odd yet dangerous trend among many US road systems. When there is not a lot of traffic on the street, many travelers are taking advantage of the opportunity to see how fast their cars go.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, New York City’s automated speed cameras issued nearly 25,000 speeding tickets on March 27, which is nearly double the amount on a daily average for the month of February. Many drivers in New York are clocking speeds of nearly 100 miles per hour.
City Councilman Justin Brannan tweeted, “Now that the streets are empty, the Fast & Furious Wannabes really think they’re living in a video game.”
Many policemen in Utah are “seeing an increase in lead feet.” Drivers within the Beehive state are consistently driving 20-30 miles over the speed limit. One lucky driver decided to take the opportunity in a 70 mile per hour zone to cruise along at a totally normal speed of 155 miles per hour. Another driver clocked 122 miles per hour in an 80 mile per hour zone just because he was in a hurry to get fuel. The same speeding occurrences are happening in Colorado Springs and in California according to the highway patrols.
Speeding is only part of the story. Fatal car crashes are on the rise in Massachusetts, while pedestrian deaths are increasing in both Rhode Island and Nevada. Crashes and fatality rates are currently double the amount in Minnesota than it has in previous years.
In response, GHSA’s Pam Shadel Fischer said, “We must maintain that same sense of urgency when it comes to the road. Drivers need to respect the law and look out for other road users, so that we can prevent the needless loss of life now and going forward.”