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‘Tip of the iceberg’: Experts warn record 3.28 million jobless claims could signal coming depression

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“We are about to experience something we cannot really imagine.”

Jobless claims last week were a record 3.28 million, smashing the previous high mark of 695,000 in 1982 and deepening fears of a looming economic depression that could see millions more out of work.

“We are about to experience something we cannot really imagine,” tweeted HuffPost reporter Zach Carter in response to the numbers.

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While the Labor Department numbers are daunting, and catastrophic, they’re likely nowhere near the whole story, National Employment Law Project executive director Rebecca Dixon said Thursday.

“Absent from these unemployment claims are people with jobs in the informal economy, which is driven by workers who face structural barriers, such as formerly incarcerated people, undocumented immigrant workers, or the self-employed in dozens of industries, from street vendors to domestic workers and more,” said Dixon.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Working Economics Blog (EPI) labor economist Heidi Shierholz wrote Thursday.

Economists told the Washington Post that the “widespread carnage” of Thursday’s initial numbers were just the beginning of what could be an unprecedented 40 million Americans out of work by April.

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“It’s going to get worse,” University of Illinois at Chicago assistant economics professor Jacob Robbins told the Post.

The numbers were released Thursday morning by the Labor Department, hours after a late-night 96-0 vote in the Senate Wednesday approved the CARES Act, a record $2 trillion stimulus package. The package, which was criticized by progressives for its reliance on corporate giveaways and bailouts, nonetheless contains added benefits for the unemployed—benefits that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) fought for on the Senate floor after his Republican colleagues tried to strip the assistance from the bill.

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“The CARES Act passed by the Senate last night was a good and needed first step, and the House should approve the package by unanimous consent Friday morning,” Century Foundation senior fellow Andrew Stettner said in a statement.

“We project that enacting the $600 weekly supplement alone will benefit some 11 million workers, delivering up to $115 billion in additional money to affected workers,” Stettner continued. “But we must do more.”

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This Europe country is housing quarantined coronavirus patients in a five-star hotel

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An ambulance driver wearing a white protective gown enters a Barcelona hotel and announces the arrival of three new "customers" -- a trio of coronavirus patients discharged from hospital into luxury quarantine.

"Good morning! How are you? My name is Enrique Aranda and I am probably the first non health care worker you see in several days," says the director of the five-star Melia Sarria hotel, peering into the ambulance.

It took just three days to convert the hotel, which features contemporary decor and bathrooms with marble finishing, into a clinic.

"Some patients arrive thinking that they were taken out of hospital to be left to die, many people are frightened. I try to make them forget all that," said Aranda, wearing mask and gloves.

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UK Labour to unveil new leader to replace Jeremy Corbyn

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Britain's main opposition Labour party on Saturday unveils a new leader who will take the helm of a defeated and divided party in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

Keir Starmer, a former director of state prosecutions and Labour's Brexit spokesman, is the runaway favourite to win the ballot of around 500,000 party members and succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

The announcement will be a low-key affair, with a planned special conference cancelled due to restrictions on social gatherings imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Instead, the result will be put out in a press release mid-morning -- and candidates have been asked to pre-record their victory speeches.

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‘Trump fires people for telling the truth’: President blasted for ‘dead of night decision’ to fire intel watchdog

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President Donald Trump was harshly criticized on Friday for firing intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.

House Intel Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Senate Intel Ranking Member Mark Warner (D-VA) were among the lawmakers who took to Twitter to criticize Trump on his favorite social media platform.

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's decision:

Trump’s dead of night decision to fire ICIG Michael Atkinson is another blatant attempt to gut the independence of the Intelligence Community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing.

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