Measles quarantine, 28-vehicle crash in Colorado, and growth of the U.S. economy

A measles quarantine at two California universities, a deadly vehicle pileup in Colorado, the U.S. economy’s gains in the first quarter, and much, much more.


Good evening, it’s Friday, April 26th, here’s what you need to know…


1. Measles quarantine


A measles quarantine has been ordered for nearly 700 people at two universities in Los Angeles, California, out of fears that they may have been exposed to a confirmed case of measles. The order was announced by health officials on Thursday and applies to some students, faculty, and staff at UCLA and California State University, Los Angeles who may have been exposed to the virus or cannot provide proof of vaccination. The quarantine orders originally applied to 1,700 people, but health officials cleared about 1,000 after they provided documentation that they received the MMR vaccine. Two students, one at each campus, contracted the virus and attended classes at their respective schools sometime in the last few weeks, potentially exposing thousands of students. Currently,  nearly 700 students and faculty of UCLA and Cal State, Los Angeles remain under quarantine orders to stay home and could last up to 21 days. NEWSWEEK


2. A 28-vehicle crash in Colorado kills 4


A massive 28-vehicle pileup in Colorado has left at least four people dead and several injured. The crash occurred on Interstate 70 in Lakewood, Colorado, west of Denver Thursday after a semi-truck slammed into a group of cars that were stopped in traffic. The driver of the semi, Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23, of Texas, was either unable or didn’t care to stop his truck from plowing into cars that were backed up due to another crash on the highway. Aguilera-Mederos survived the crash with minor injuries and was immediately arrested and charged with four counts of vehicular homicide. There is no indication that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash. The deadly accident involved 24 cars and four semis that caused an intense fire that burned for several hours as debris was scattered along the roadway. Authorities are continuing the investigation into the crash and working to identify those killed.


3. U.S. economy grew 3.2% in Q1, exceeding expectations


The U.S. economy grew at 3.2% in the first three months of the year, beating expectations amid global decline, increasing trade tensions, and a partial government shutdown. The first quarter gains saw a rise in GDP that was up from 2.2% in the October–December period of 2018. The 3.2% growth was the best first quarter rate since 2015 and indicates that the U.S. economy is strong, a win for President Donald Trump, especially as he focuses on re-election in 2020. Trump referred to the economic performance on Twitter, tweeting that it was “far above expectations.” During a speech to the N.R.A. on Friday, Trump said “Our economy is doing great. Number One in the world,” as he boasted about the “incredible number.” AP NEWS



4. The 2019 NFL draft


The 2019 NFL Draft was underway in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday night to select the newly eligible former college players into the league. With the first overall pick of the night, the Arizona Cardinals selected Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray. The remaining top picks in the first round were as follows:


2. San Francisco 49ers – Nick Bosa (DE) of Ohio State

3. New York Jets – Quinnen Williams (DT) of Alabama

4. Oakland Raiders – Clelin Ferrell (DE) of Clemson

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devin White (LB) of LSU



5. Joe Biden’s impressive fundraising


In the first 24 hours after announcing his candidacy for president, former Vice President Joe Biden raked in an impressive $6.3 million in fundraising – the most of any 2020 candidate in the Democratic race. Biden’s fundraising total came from 96,926 donations in all 50 states, including 65,000 donations from individuals who were not already registered on existing email lists. According to the Biden campaign, the average donation was $41 with 97% of those online contributions under $200. Previously, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke had the largest first-day haul at $6.1 million, followed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders with $5.9 million raised.



6. Florida passes legislation to ban “sanctuary cities”


The Republican-controlled Florida Senate has passed a controversial bill to ban “sanctuary cities” in Florida. The legislation implements fines for these cities that don’t assist immigration authorities like ICE with arresting illegal immigrants. A similar bill previously passed the House, but the Senate’s version will be sent back to the lower chamber following amendments to it. Sanctuary cities have laws designed to protect undocumented immigrants from federal authorities tasked with immigration enforcement, such as deportation or prosecution. The Senate bill could fine local governments up to $5,000 a day for refusal to comply, if it passes. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has pledged his support for a ban on sanctuary cities. 


7. Maria Butina sentenced to 18 months in prison


Russian national Maria Butina, 30, who was accused of being a Russian spy, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison by a federal judge on Friday. Butina pleaded guilty to felony charges of conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia in December, after her arrest in July. She was a gun-rights activist who infiltrated conservative political groups, including the National Rifle Association, and worked to promote Russian interests leading up to and following the 2016 presidential election. Butina’s guilty plea included admission to being directed by the Russian government to “establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over American politics.” Her case is unrelated to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized Butina’s sentence, calling it “arbitrary.”


8. Uber gears up for IPO


Uber Technologies Inc. is set to officially go public in the next week and begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol ‘UBER.’ The world’s largest ride-hailing service said on Friday that it is seeking a valuation between $80 billion to $91 billion at a stock price of $44 to $50 a share. The valuation range is below initial expectations that calculated Uber’s market value up to $120 billion. The company plans to raise up to $9 billion in the offering. The IPO is expected to be the year’s biggest and one of the most notable for a silicon valley startup. Similar tech “unicorns” slated to go public this year include Airbnb and Slack, and follow Lyft and Pinterest’s listing in March and earlier April, respectively. BARRONS



9. Amazon announces one-day shipping for Prime members


Amazon has announced that it is planning to make one-day shipping standard for Prime members. Currently, Amazon Prime members are promised two-day delivery on most items, but the company wants to speed up shipping in a move designed to keep and attract new customers. There are more than 100 million Prime members in the U.S. and the number is growing, reaching an estimated 50% of households across the country. Amazon’s new promise to deliver orders within 24 hours has forced other retailers like Walmart and Target to evaluate similar shipment offerings. CNBC


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