WEDNESDAY - 05/20/20
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"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream."
-Vincent van Gogh

Welcome to Bullet Points by News Bling where we give you a well-rounded dose of bias-free news in the fewest words possible so you can start your day smart. Here's what's blinging today... 🧐

US 🦅

Stimulus checks to be distributed in the form of a prepaid debit card 

  • The Treasury Department has announced that the approximately 4 million Americans set to receive stimulus checks under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act will instead receive the money in the form of prepaid debit cards
  • The cards are being mailed to individuals who have not provided their banking information to the IRS, which is the case for many low-income households. Unfortunately, around 10 million taxpayers are still waiting to receive stimulus funding


Florida data scientist fired for COVID-19 concerns

  • The architect of Florida’s COVID-19 interactive map, Rebekah Jones, was fired Tuesday after refusing to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen”
  • Jones had voiced concerns about the Department of Health’s commitment to “accessibility and transparency,” and was asked to resign after she objected to the removal of data on the website that showed where individuals had symptoms or positive test results before the cases were announced


Moderna didn’t produce data critical to assessing COVID-19 vaccine, according to experts 

  • There was much fanfare this week as Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate was reported to be generating an immune response, showing hope for an accelerated vaccine
  • However, vaccine experts expressed skepticism regarding the lack of data to back up the study’s success, stating that there is really no way to know if the vaccine candidate is as close as suggested based on the limited information released 


Cyclone evacuations in India and Bangladesh slowed by pandemic  

  • As super cyclone Amphan threatens East India and Bangladesh, authorities are scrambling to stage mass evacuations out of the path of the storm
  • Because COVID-19 infection rates in both countries remain high, the evacuation efforts have been slowed by the need to follow strict precautions to prevent to spread of the virus
  • Amphan is only the second ever “super cyclone” to form in the Bay of Bengal since records began


California starts supplying COVID-19 aid to undocumented immigrants 

  • A month ago, California made history by announcing “first of its kind” aid, which amounts to $125m in relief for undocumented workers
  • This week, the rollout got a shaky start as thousands of calls flooded phone lines causing huge delays and heavy internet traffic crashed the official website for several hours 


A contagious virus (not COVID!) is killing rabbits

  • North American rabbits are in danger as a virus is spreading across Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and now, California
  • The virus, which is a strain of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease, is threatening over a dozen species of rabbits and their ecosystems. Oftentimes the disease is difficult to diagnose until after a rabbit's death
  • The disease is unrelated to the coronavirus, and it appears to only impact domestic and wild rabbits (no other species)


  • Heartwarming 🥰. Abducted toddler reunited with parents 32 years later
  • Entertainment  😱. Anti-abortion crusader Norma McCorvey (aka “Jane Roe”) revealed to be an actress, motivated by money
  • Space 🚀. NASA head of human spaceflight suddenly resigns
  • Sports 🏈. NFL approves Rooney Rule changes 
  • Happy 😊. 100-year-old who raised $40 mil for healthcare workers to be knighted by the Queen

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