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Morning Briefing: Looking Ahead To The Big Money Questions

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The immediate shock of the coronavirus pandemic is slowly fading, making way for another looming concern; the long-term economic effects, and what can be done to mitigate them.

L.A. city officials expect a gaping hole in revenues for this fiscal year and even more pain next year. Experts predict millions of Californians will need Medi-Cal at the same time that the crisis threatens to bankrupt local community clinics. The feds are giving out loans to small businesses, but many proprietors can’t access them or aren’t included – like L.A.’s beloved street vendors. Meanwhile, individual impact checks are supposed to be on their way, but it might be now, or it might be months from now.

There’s no easy way through this financial reality, and many Angelenos are simultaneously grieving profound loss. But L.A. has proved so far that we can come together and help one another – and that’s a decent place to start.


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Coming Up Today, April 16

Reports of child abuse are way down since the COVID-19 lockdown. Robert Garrova explains why that's troubling to experts.

The USNS Mercy has only treated a few dozen patients, and a number of its crew have caught COVID, reports Emily Elena Dugdale. She also covers the state corrections department's confiscation of CPAP machines from prisoners who have sleep apnea, out of fear they could spread COVID.

Christine N. Ziemba has 13 virtual events for the weekend, including KCRW's annual pie contest, local music at Couch LA and Giant Robot’s latest art show.

As farm workers risk their lives picking strawberries, Jacob Margolis reports that tens of millions of pounds of popular berry could end up in the trash in the coming weeks.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

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L.A., California, The World: There are now almost 10,500 cases of coronavirus in L.A. County. There are more than 26,600 cases in California, and over 2 million worldwide. Barbara Ferrer, director of L.A. County's Public Health Department, spoke to us about the local effort to slow the coronavirus’ spread.

Health Care: As unemployment balloons, some experts estimate that 1.5 million to 3 million Californians will sign up for Medi-Cal before the end of the month, even as the pandemic threatens to bankrupt California's vast system of community health clinics.

Higher Education: Programs that support black college students are strengthening their efforts to ensure that the fallout from COVID-19 won’t affect their members disproportionately.

Money In The Time Of...: Many of L.A.'s street vendors are left out of federal coronavirus stimulus funds. A revenue estimate forecasts a $231 million hole in L.A.’s 2019-20 budget and an even bigger gap next year. California, along with some philanthropists, will be offering $125 million in direct disaster assistance for undocumented workers. If you just realized it's April 15, don't panic — the IRS has automatically extended the deadline to July 15 for federal income tax filers.

COVID In The Courtroom: Two juvenile law advocacy organizations have asked for unprecedented action by the California Supreme Court, including the immediate release of some youth detainees, an expedited review and release of others, the suspension of new admissions into juvenile facilities and a stop to transfers between facilities.

Cannes Can’t: With The Cannes Film Festival postponed indefinitely and the prospects for other fall festivals uncertain, Hollywood sales agents are scrambling to find new ways to auction their films.


In Non-COVID-19 News

Two people, one a small child, were killed today when they were struck by a Metro train while trying to cross the tracks in Monrovia.


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Your Moment Of Zen

A strawberry field in Carlsbad photographed in 2018 — back when Chinese tariffs were the biggest threat to the crop.

5e97b9baf4671c00088b36e1-eight.jpg
(Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

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