The rumors of Kim Jong Un’s “grave” illness, explained

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has become a visible global presence over the last few years. But in the last week, he’s completely disappeared from public view — and rumors have started to swirl that he may be seriously ill, or even dead.

On April 15, Kim didn’t appear at a celebration commemorating North Korea’s most important holiday, which honors the founder of the country, Kim’s late grandfather Kim Il Sung. State-run media oddly hasn’t published any photos of a recent weapons test, which typically show the leader watching in approval. And official statements from the country have …

The perfect virtual video store isn’t Netflix. It’s

Ruth Graham, a freelance writer in New Hampshire, decided to go retro last year and replace her streaming service subscription with a stream of red envelopes filled with DVDs, courtesy of Netflix-owned Shocked by the abundance of films the affordable DVD-by-mail service offered that she couldn’t also stream on Netflix, Graham “binged” — albeit on a schedule broken up by the post office and a limit to how many disks she could have out at any one time — on classics like 1931’s Frankenstein, Billy Wilder’s Oscar-winning The Apartment, and the work of German director Douglas …

“I did not sign up for the military. I signed up for Walmart.”

A few weeks ago, Evelyn Hall asked her manager at Walmart why the store wasn’t giving workers gloves and masks.

The manager’s response, according to Hall: “Wash your hands every 15 minutes, so you don’t need a glove or a mask.”

“She just walked away from me and started laughing, like it was funny,” Hall said.

The lack of protective equipment wasn’t the only reason Hall, a Walmart employee for 28 years, felt unsafe at her Maryland store. The store also wasn’t counting customers to maintain social distancing and prevent crowding, she said. And she’d also heard from other employees …

Amazon employees shared an event invite to discuss how the company treats its workers. Then it disappeared.

Several of Amazon’s corporate employees are urging thousands of their colleagues to defy their employer by taking this Friday off of work en masse to instead gather virtually and discuss how to push for more rights for the company’s warehouse workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, several Amazon employees have told Recode that invitations to the virtual event have mysteriously disappeared from their calendars and inboxes.

Workers told Recode that they believe Amazon’s management has deleted the event in an attempt to quash a growing collaboration between corporate and warehouse level employees over workers’ labor rights and environmental concerns.

Amazon …

Mitch McConnell hints he could block the next stimulus package

This week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested he might be ready to pump the breaks on any future coronavirus relief packages.

“We haven’t had much discussion about adding $2.7 trillion to the national debt, and the way that could indeed also threaten the future of the country,” McConnell recently said on The Hugh Hewitt Show.

Leaders of both parties have acknowledged that more aid is needed to address the overwhelming economic fallout that’s occurred during the pandemic, but McConnell appears increasingly reluctant to approve additional stimulus at the current scale.

With the likely passage of a $480 billion …

Why major food and hotel chains are getting stimulus money meant for small businesses

As the $349 billion for a federal small-business loan program has run out, an alarming pattern has emerged: Much of this money hasn’t been going to small businesses at all.

According to public filings, corporations including Ruth Chris’s Steak House, Potbelly, and Shake Shack have obtained millions in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, a new effort intended to help small businesses that are struggling to weather the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. (Shake Shack has received $10 million from the program, but it’s since returned it in the wake of the backlash.) Millions more have also gone …

Watch: Why you should wear a face mask to fight the coronavirus

In the first crucial weeks of the coronavirus spreading in the United States, Americans were instructed to wear a face mask only if they were sick. In the absence of widespread testing, that most likely meant you’d wear a face mask if you felt the symptoms of Covid-19.

But based on what we’ve learned since then about this novel coronavirus, being symptomatic shouldn’t be the sole indicator that a person is infected. Roughly 25 percent of people with coronavirus are thought to be asymptomatic, and people who catch Covid-19 usually don’t develop symptoms until four or five days after

How to apply for unemployment benefits if you’re a freelancer or self-employed

Millions of workers who self-employed, freelancers, or independent contractors are qualified for a new unemployment program, set up under the recently passed CARES Act. But many are still waiting to apply for those benefits.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) expanded who is eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. Freelancers and independent contractors, previously excluded from these programs, now qualify through the end of July — and possibly beyond if Congress extends the program.

But it has been a challenge for states to get this money out the door. Unlike simply throwing more money at their existing unemployment insurance programs, many states …

7 things we’ve learned about Earth since the last Earth Day

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 in the midst of a pandemic, with the world slowed and hobbled by Covid-19. Yet Earth Day reminds us the planet still turns, the global climate and biodiversity crises still cry for attention, and nature still reveals its shimmering resilience. Google is honoring the occasion with a Google Doodle dedicated specifically to bees.

This Earth Day, as humans have retreated indoors to slow down the spread of the virus, we’re finding out how ecosystems respond to our absence from public spaces. Meanwhile, our planet as a whole, and …

Trump just said the US has done more coronavirus testing than the rest of the world. Not even close.

President Donald Trump made a number of false and misleading claims on Tuesday to advance his case that the US is not only over the worst of the coronavirus outbreak, but nearing the point of being ready to reopen for business.

Most concerning was his insistence that the US has mastered what public health experts say must be step one to reopening: widespread testing. The US’s daily testing capacity has been flat for about a month, and experts say it needs to triple before it’ll be truly safe to reopen businesses.

To hear Trump tell it, however, the US …