The New Paper
February 28, 2020
“It’s the perfect time for businesses, health care systems, universities and schools to look at their pandemic preparedness plans, dust them off, and make sure that they’re ready.” —CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat, on the ongoing coronavirus outbreak
1. Major US stock indices fell ~4.5% yesterday, entering “correction” territory (i.e. dropping over 10% from their most recent peak) and approaching their worst week since 2008 as fears over the widening coronavirus outbreak continue to shake global markets. The virus has now infected patients in 56 countries and territories outside of mainland China, accounting for over 5,000 cases and 92 deaths.
2. An airstrike in Syria killed at least 33 Turkish soldiers yesterday, prompting NATO to hold emergency talks amid concerns over escalation in the ongoing conflict in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib. The attack marks the latest development in a nine-year civil war between the Syrian government and Syrian rebel forces.
Extra: Nearly 1M people have been displaced (fleeing towards the Turkish border) in Idlib since the Syrian government (backed by Russia) intensified its offensive on the last remaining rebel stronghold in December.
3. The US and Taliban are expected to sign a peace deal tomorrow following a 7-day “reduction in violence” period. The long sought-after deal aims to end 18 years of conflict in Afghanistan (including a phased US troop withdrawal).
4. South Carolina primary elections kick off tomorrow with polls closing at 7pm ET. Joe Biden currently holds a double-digit lead in state polling averages in the final contest before “Super Tuesday” next week. See the latest polls here, and get live updates here.
- The FCC is set to propose $200M in fines on major US wireless carriers (e.g. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) over the improper disclosure of real-time consumer location data.
- Facebook canceled its annual F8 developer conference (scheduled for May in San Jose, CA) due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.
- Scientists detected evidence of the largest known explosion in the universe since the Big Bang. Researchers attributed the event to a supermassive black hole 390M light-years from Earth.
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See a live feed of the TNP team's weekend plans.
P.S. Tomorrow is Leap Day.