Former Harlem Globetrotters legend Fred "Curly" Neal died Thursday in Houston. He was 77. Neal, who played in more than 6,000 exhibition games from 1963 to 1985, was easy to spot on the court due to his shaved head and playful banter, but what really made him the face of the clowning basketball team was his ball handling ability. Neal dribbled circles around opponents, often sliding on his knees without losing control. "Oh my gosh, he revolutionized ball handling," said Nancy Lieberman, who played for the hapless Washington Generals against the Globetrotters in 1988. "Everything you see Kyrie Irving doing and Steph Curry doing now, all of it started with the Trotters. The Trotters made dribbling a show." [ESPN, The New York Times]
Nearly 3.3 million Americans filed new applications for jobless benefits last week as businesses nationwide shut down or limited their operations to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Department of Labor reported Thursday. The figure smashed the old record for weekly initial jobless claims of 695,000, which was set in 1982. Two weeks ago, only 282,000 Americans filed for their first week of unemployment benefits. In an interview Thursday morning shortly before the release of the Labor Department's report, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the United States "may well be in a recession" already but argued that "there's nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy," so there could be a "good rebound" when the COVID-19 coronavirus' spread is under control. [CNN, The Associated Press]
Senators unanimously approved a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill late Wednesday, despite a last-minute delay after Republicans made objections to jobless aid they said could encourage layoffs, or give workers incentives to collect unemployment benefits instead of returning to work. The House plans to vote on the legislation Friday, and President Trump has vowed to sign it. Under the bill, Americans earning up to $75,000 would get $1,200 in the form of checks or direct deposits to their banks. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said families should receive the money "within the next three weeks." New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said the aid for his state would be a "drop in the bucket" given the cost of confronting the outbreak in the hard-hit state. [The New York Times, CNBC]
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Certain numerology has a strong connection with occultism. Various numbers from time-to-time appear in news articles, and one has to wonder if there isn't some occult significance behind this story.