The Wider World

States mull rollbacks on openings

SOCIAL DISTANCING, hand-washing and the wearing of masks are recommended by health officials (Flickr/Dmbosstone).

The threat of increased spread of the coronavirus is leading more states to consider backing off on earlier “re-opening” of parts of their business communities.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered a stop to indoor dining at restaurants and a complete shutdown of bars in 19 counties.

There’s been a 50 percent rise in confirmed cases in the state over the past two weeks, according to the Associated Press.

In Arizona, new highs have been hit in new infections, deaths, hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

In Florida, some beaches have been closed to head off the possibility of large crowds defying social distancing guidelines and risking new spikes in cases and deaths in the Sunshine State.

Louisiana, Colorado, Virginia and other states are reporting increased numbers of cases and deaths. New York and New Jersey, the original epicenters of the COVID-19 in the U.S. are now asking Californians (and those from 15 other states) to be quarantined for 14 days.

President Donald Trump, in an interview with Fox Business, said, “I think that we are going to be doing very well with the coronavirus. I think that, at some point, that’s just going to sort of just disappear, I hope.”

Minor league baseball scraps season

For the first time since minor league professional baseball was established in 1901, a season will be canceled. The 160 teams

MINOR LEAGUE baseball is called off for 2020 (Shutterstock).

in the various regional leagues will miss what could remain of the 2020 campaign, according to United Press International.

The announcement came on Tuesday from the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the umbrella organization for the teams below the top level of pro hardball. The tipping point was that – because of the coronavirus pandemic – Major League Baseball would not be supplying them with players.

The minor league season typically runs from April to August, when the best minor league players are promoted to the “big leagues” as rosters are expanded for the playoff drives and postseason play.

Also in the news ….

The recently-passed legislation for Hong Kong has already resulted in a crackdown on pro-democracy dissenters. Over 300 people have been arrested there for violating the new “security law.” • Police in Seattle cleared the “Capitol Hills Autonomous Zone” early Wednesday, a part of the city originally a key part of the protests over the death of George Floyd but which had declined into violence and two shooting deaths. •  The NFL announced Wednesday it would shorten the 2020 preseason schedule from four games to two.  The “Hall of Fame” game between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers set for Aug. 8 has already been cancelled.  The first pre-season games will be played Aug. 20-24 and the final ones Aug. 27-31. • Voters in Russia approved a constitutional amendment that would allow Vladimir Putin to run for two more terms as president. That means he could conceivably serve as head of state to 2036.

Markets mixed on Wednesday

Wall Street was modestly “up” today with two of the top stock exchanges showing gains but the most-watched dropping. The

MARKETS mixed on Wednesday (Flickr/Dan Nelson).

Dow Jones Industrials fell 77.91 points to 25,734.97, a decline of 0.30 percent.

However, the S&P 500 rose by 15.57 points to 3,115.86, an increase of 0.50 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was up 95.86 points to 10,554.30, a 0.95 percent climb.

The heaviest mover on the S&P 500 was FedEx, up 11.7 points, followed by Amgen at 8.2 and Netflix at 6.7 points.

Headed down the fastest were Lincoln National Group with -5.8 points, followed by Comerica (down 5.7) and Diamondback Energy (5.3).

Waiting … coolly …  for the weekend

Independence Day is just a few days away and it’s looking good … up to 87 degrees on Saturday and mostly sunny. However, between now and then, things will stay the same with cloudy mornings and clearing in the afternoon in the West Orange County area.

The high on Thursday should be 76, going up to 80 on Friday. Temps will be five to seven degrees cooler near the coast.

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