Tuesday's Mini-Report, 3.24.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Encouraging: "The coronavirus is not mutating significantly as it circulates through the human population, according to scientists who are closely studying the novel pathogen's genetic code. That relative stability suggests the virus is less likely to become more or less dangerous as it spreads, and represents encouraging news for researchers hoping to create a long-lasting vaccine."

* It's not just seniors: "Another four people have died in Los Angeles County, including a minor, according to Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer. 'Tragically, one the people who died was a person under the age of 18,' Ferrer said. 'A devastating reminder that COVID-19 infects people of all ages.'"

* This was obviously a response to developments on Capitol Hill: "Wall Street roared back on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average surging by over 2,000 points for its biggest daily points gain ever."

* The games will be held in 2021: "The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Tuesday. Abe said Japan and the International Olympic Committee came to an agreement during a phone call with the head of the IOC, Thomas Bach, following growing calls for the games to be delayed or canceled because of the concerns around coronavirus pandemic."

* Even after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was tested for the coronavirus, he "continued working at the Capitol because he had no symptoms of the illness and believed it was 'highly unlikely' he was sick." He's since tested positive.

* On a related note: "Mr. Paul's diagnosis prompted fear and anger inside the Capitol. Aides in the Kentucky Republican's Washington office were anxious and outraged by the senator's decision to continue working after learning he had potentially been exposed, without telling staff members who could have become infected, according to a person familiar with the situation who insisted on anonymity to describe internal discussions."

* South Korea: "The country showed that it is possible to contain the coronavirus without shutting down the economy, but experts are unsure whether its lessons can work abroad."

* Afghanistan: "The Trump administration is slashing $1 billion in assistance to Afghanistan and threatening further reductions in all forms of cooperation after the country's rival leaders failed to agree on forming a new government."

* Insider-trading allegations, Part I: "Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is being sued after selling shares in a hotel company while possessing confidential information about the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic."

* Insider-trading allegations, Part II: "The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday issued a sharp warning against trading on nonpublic information related to the coronavirus -- a caution that came days after news of recent stock sales by the CEO of the owner of the New York Stock Exchange and his senator wife sparked widespread criticism and calls for investigations."

* A breakthrough in the Rocky Mountain State: "Colorado abolished the death penalty Monday, making it the 22nd state to do away with capital punishment since it was reinstated in 1976."

See you tomorrow.