Monday morning news – April 27, 2020

Dine-in restaurants reopen in Georgia » Most dine-in restaurants can reopen for business today in Georgia, under certain conditions. Republican Governor Brian Kemp’s executive order makes clear that it’s not back to business as usual. 

Among the rules: workers must wear masks, parties of more than six people are prohibited, and parties must be separated by 6 feet. 

Georgia reopened gyms, nail salons and other businesses on Friday. Those businesses have to follow similar rules. But Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat, says it’s still too early to reopen. 

BOTTOMS: To open up our state today is irresponsible. Simply because we have hospital beds and we aren’t at capacity, doesn’t mean that we need to work to fill them up. 

But Georgia resident and former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain told Fox News that business operators are largely acting responsibly, reopening only if they can do so safely. 

CAIN: Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. And people are showing that they’ve got enough common sense to figure out the right thing to do. 

Bowling alleys and movie theaters are also allowed to conditionally reopen. But most major theater chains say they have no plans to reopen right now. 

Multiple other states are taking steps toward reopening. Nebraska’s Republican Governor Pete Ricketts announced Friday night…

RICKETTS: I just announced some more restrictions we’re releasing today. For example, to allow for worship services, weddings and funerals, under certain circumstances, you know, doing that physical distancing, the 6-foot thing—do that statewide. We’re also, for about half of our public health districts, we’re going to be allowing restaurants to have dine-in customers.   

Those Nebraska restaurants will follow rules similar to those in Georgia. 

New Paycheck Protection Program money going fast » The Paycheck Protection Program is back online today. 

Yesterday banks started processing about 700,000 finished applications yesterday that were on hold since the program ran out of cash a week earlier. 

Lenders are set to start taking new applications today, but it’s not clear how much money will be left after processing the already-pending applications. 

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he’s not worried about the fast pace. 

MNUCHIN: So the first round impacted about 30-million workers. I think this round will be about the same. That’ll be close to about 50 percent of the private workforce. So I actually hope we run out of money quickly so we can get the money into the workers’ pockets. 

The latest aid package, which President Trump signed into law on Friday adds more than $300 billion to the program. It’s designed to help small businesses keep the lights on and keep workers on the payroll until the worst of the COVID-19 crisis passes. 

Navy’s top officer recommends reinstating Crozier » The top Navy officer has reportedly recommended the reinstating Captain Brett Crozier after an investigation into his firing. The Associated Press cites multiple officials in reporting that Adm. Mike Gilday wants Crozier back at the helm of the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier.

Crozier penned a letter stating concerns that the Navy had not done enough to protect the crew of his ship from the coronavirus. He was stripped of his command a short time later. Then Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who has since resigned, said Crozier violated the chain of command by distributing that letter too widely.

Hundreds of crewmen from the Roosevelt have contracted the virus, and one sailor died. 

Gilday’s recommendation is on the desk of Defense Secretary Mark Esper for final approval. 

Boris Johnson back on the job after coronavirus recovery » British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is back on the job today, two weeks after he left a London hospital following a bout with COVID-19.  

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been standing in for the prime minister. He said Sunday that Johnson was right to take time off to fully recover. 

RAAB: As you can imagine with the prime minister, he’s raring to go. And I spoke to him—I’ve spoken to him every day this week. We’ve made sure that he’s abreast of everything that’s going on. 

Johnson reclaims the reigns as his government faces growing criticism over the deaths and disruption the virus has caused.

Britain has recorded more than 20,000 deaths among people hospitalized with COVID-19. Thousands more are thought to have died in nursing homes.

Questions swirl around North Korea’s Kim Jong Un » A top South Korean official said Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “alive and well.”

That comes amid numerous reports that Kim is gravely ill following a recent heart surgery. A report over the weekend from a Japanese magazine claimed Kim is now in a vegetative state

North Korea’s state media have been silent about the speculation on Kim’s health, but Reuters reported that China has dispatched a high-level delegation to advise North Korea.

Some experts caution that rumors have abounded for years about Kim and his predecessors, and most turned out to be false.

If Kim is no longer able to lead, his influential sister Kim Yo Jong could become the country’s first female leader.

(John Spink/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) Barber and owner of Chris Edwards, left, wears a mask and cuts the hair of customer at Peachtree Battle Barber Shop in Atlanta on Friday, April 24, 2020. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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