The Wider World

Jobless claims now total 38.6 million

2.4 MILLION more people filed for unemployment benefits this week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (Shutterstock).

The ranks of the unemployed in the United States continued to swell, as more than 2.4 million people applied for jobless benefits this week, according to the Labor Department.

That brings the total number of people on that list to almost 39 million. That’s 10 times higher than the numbers before the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Associated Press. The weekly totals of new applications have been declining for several weeks, but the overall tally is still historically high.

The latest assessment of the national jobless rate – released in April – was at 14.7 percent. Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve Bank has estimated that unemployment is expected to peak in May or June at 20 to 25 percent, which would come close to the 24.9 percent rate at the depths of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Another arrest in Arbery slaying

A third white man has been arrested in the shooting death of a black jogger in an incident that took place on Feb. 23.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the GBI arrested William “Roddie” Bryan, Jr. 50, Thursday on charges of felony murder and a criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.

Bryan is the man who filmed the video that depicted – in part – the death of Arbery, 25, who was killed while jogging along a street in Santilla Shores. His assailants claim he matched the description of a man suspected of several break-ins in the area.

Stock markets dipped on Thursday

Major stock exchanges showed declines by the end of trading on Thursday. According to the New York Times, the Dow Jones Average fell by 0.41 percent, the S&P 500 by 0.78 percent and Nasdaq by 0.97 percent.

Coronavirus cases top 5 million worldwide

The total number of confirmed worldwide coronavirus cases is now past 5 million. According to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University, the tally is at 5,076,846.

The United States has the most with 1,575,064, followed by Russia with 317,554 and Brazil with 291,579.

Global deaths from COVID-19 now total 331,137, with the U.S. also in first with 94,591 fatalities. Next are the United Kingdom (36,124) and Italy (32,486).

Weather:  Sunny but a bit windy, too

Wear some sunscreen but maybe a hat, too, and hang on to it. The forecast for Friday for Orange County by the National Weather Service is for mostly sunny conditions, but with winds gusting as high as 20 miles an hour. The high should be near 75. Saturday should be cloudy early, then sunny with a high around 74 and more brisk winds. Sunday will be warmer with the high around 83.


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