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In 2015, Queen Elizabeth accompanied Chinese President Xi Jinping in a gilded, horse-drawn carriage to Buckingham Palace, during a visit that was supposed to symbolize "a new golden era" of closer economic ties between this former empire and the ascendant power in the east.

"The relationship between China and the United Kingdom is now truly a global partnership," the queen declared during a state banquet.

The White House is looking at extending a tax break for investments in certain low-income neighborhoods as it tries to find ways to address the devastating impact of the coronavirus on communities of color in America.

A provision in the 2017 tax cut law allows investors to defer and lower their capital gains taxes through 2026 if they invest their profits into designated "opportunity zones" –- areas struggling with high unemployment and low wages.

The coronavirus has not spared the U.S. military court and prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where legal proceedings have come to a virtual standstill due to the pandemic. That has critics of Guantánamo, which has cost taxpayers more than $6 billion despite finalizing only one conviction in nearly two decades, saying this is a chance to shut it down for good.

The coronavirus test wasn't as bad as Celeste Torres imagined. Standing outside a dorm at the University of California, San Diego, Torres stuck a swab up a nostril, scanned a QR code, and went on with the day.

"The process itself was about five minutes," Torres says, "I did cry a little bit just because it's, I guess, a natural reaction."

Millions of newly impoverished people are turning to the charitable organizations known as food banks. Mile-long lines of cars, waiting for bags of free food, have become one of the most striking images of the current economic crisis. Donations are up, too, including from a new billion-dollar government effort called the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

On this broadcast of The National Conversation, we'll hear from educators on how the coronavirus has changed their work. We'll also answer your questions about the economy and health disparities, and we'll take a look at pandemic fashion.

Meat processing plants across the country are struggling with outbreaks of the coronavirus. That includes the Tyson Foods chicken processing facility in Wilkes County, N.C.

More than 2,200 workers were tested at the Wilkesboro plant, and 570 were positive for the coronavirus. Tyson said a majority of the workers who had the virus didn't show any symptoms.

President Trump on Thursday briefly wore a protective face mask during his visit to a Ford Motor Co. plant — away from reporters' view — after stoking concern about his resistance to wearing the expert-recommended gear.

The man who filmed video of the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in February has been arrested, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Thursday. William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. is charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Bryan, 50, recorded the video that ignited anger and protests in the Brunswick, Ga., area earlier this month. It shows Arbery, who is black, jogging down a residential street, two white men confronting him, and the ensuing struggle.

It appears theme parks will soon be welcoming guests in Florida. Local officials approved reopening plans for Legoland in Winter Haven and the Universal theme parks in Orlando.

Retailers across the apparel world are turning to the newest essential garment to further their brand recognition and boost sales: the nonmedical face mask.

Nordstrom announced Tuesday it would begin selling face masks for $4 each in packs of six. The move comes just weeks after the Seattle-based retailer announced it would permanently shutter 16 stores after the coronavirus pandemic forced all of its locations to close.

Since the pandemic started, 38.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment claims, according to new numbers announced Thursday.

That's more than one in five American workers using an unemployment insurance system first established decades ago to serve a very different population.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he expects half of the tech giant's 48,000 employees to be working remotely in the next five to 10 years as part of a major shift in how the company operates.

The company plans to begin "aggressively" hiring remote workers, and it will soon allow some current employees to apply to work remotely on a permanent basis, the CEO said in a livestreamed meeting with staff Thursday.

The Trump administration is asking local Planned Parenthood affiliates around the U.S. to return millions of dollars in loans received through the federal government's coronavirus relief package.

President Trump's administration will give official notice of the U.S.'s intent to exit the Open Skies treaty, officials announced Thursday. The 34-nation agreement allows the U.S., Russia and other countries to fly their aircraft over each other's territory – increasing transparency and reducing the chances for perilous miscalculations.

"Russia didn't adhere to the treaty, so until they adhere, we will pull out," Trump said, adding that there is "a very good chance" to reach a new deal. "We're going to pull out, and they're going to come back and want to make a deal."

When restaurants in France were forced to close on March 15 due to the coronavirus, many kitchens switched to takeout. That's manageable if you serve crêpes, burgers or sushi. But what if you're a three-Michelin-star chef?

Despite Democratic opposition, the Republican majority in the Senate on Thursday confirmed U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, as the new director of national intelligence, overseeing all 17 intelligence agencies.

With the 49-44 vote along party lines, Ratcliffe becomes the fourth person to hold the job in less than a year.

He takes over at a sensitive moment. U.S.-China tensions are rising over the coronavirus pandemic, and many in the national security community say they are certain that Russia again will attempt to interfere in the U.S. presidential election this fall.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has floated the idea of a four-day work week to encourage domestic travel in the wake of the country's coronavirus lockdown.

Ardern raised the potential of a shortened work week and more flexibility around leave in the workplace after meeting with local officials and tourism operators in the North Island-city of Rotorua.

North Carolina's health and human services secretary says the Republican National Committee should "hope for the best, but plan for the worst" when it comes to having its convention in Charlotte in August.

In an interview with WFAE, Dr. Mandy Cohen said mass gatherings will be a "very big challenge" if COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the state, as they are currently.

Congressional Democrats have accused U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of trying to reroute hundreds of millions of dollars in coronavirus aid money to K-12 private school students. The coronavirus rescue package, known as the CARES Act, included more than $13 billion to help public schools cover pandemic-related costs.

The Trump administration failed to turn over hundreds of emails and other internal documents before going to trial over the now-blocked census citizenship question — and a federal judge says it has to pay for it.

COVID-19 has transformed home life — turning kitchen tables into home offices and classrooms and putting a spotlight on the countless household tasks typically performed by women. Brigid Schulte says the pandemic has laid bare the "grotesque inequality" that exists within many families.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts 2020 will be an above-average hurricane season, with six to 10 hurricanes. NOAA expects three to six to be Category 3 or higher, with sustained wind speeds above 110 miles per hour.

The United States delivered 50 ventilators to Russia on Thursday, part of a humanitarian aid package worth $5.6 million to help Moscow fight the coronavirus, U.S. officials said.

Another batch of 150 American-made ventilators will head to Russia next week, according to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

In a statement, the U.S. Embassy called the delivery "rapid fulfillment" of a request Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on recent phone calls with President Trump.

Officials in New York City say they plan to deliver more than a million free meals a day beginning next week. The number of people going hungry in the five boroughs has risen sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're dealing with an unprecedented crisis," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday morning during his daily briefing. "Before the coronavirus, we thought somewhere around a million people were food insecure and needed food. Now we think that number is 2 million or more."

The NCAA is clearing the way for college football, men's basketball and women's basketball to resume on-campus activities on June 1, even as universities map out how they might return to a new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many schools are also facing a sharp drop in revenue that would be made far worse if the upcoming college football season is canceled.

Beijing has signaled it will push through sweeping national security legislation for Hong Kong, its most aggressive effort yet to exert its control over the semi-autonomous city since it was returned to Chinese control in 1997.

President Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, was released from a federal prison and into home confinement Thursday.

His release comes amid concerns he could be exposed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Macy's losses during the coronavirus pandemic might mount to $1.1 billion in its first quarter. The company's warning Thursday is the latest highlight of a widening gap in retail between big sales of "essential" stores that remained open during the health crisis versus clothing and other "nonessential stores" that had to close.

The preliminary earnings report from Macy's echoed the pain felt at many other department stores and retail chains revealed in the first wave of financial disclosures since the pandemic began.

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

The U.S. could have prevented roughly 36,000 deaths from COVID-19 if broad social distancing measures had been put in place just one week earlier in March, according to an analysis from Columbia University.

Underlining the importance of aggressively responding to the coronavirus, the study found the U.S. could have avoided at least 700,000 fewer infections if actions that began on March 15 had actually started on March 8.

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