Apr 11, 2020 - World

Coronavirus lockdown reveals long-unseen Indian skylines

The Dhauladhar range of mountains is visible from the city due to a drop in pollution levels, on day ten of the 21-day lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus. Photo: Hindustan Times / Contributor

People are able to see blue skies for the first time in years as India's three-week coronavirus lockdown has drastically cut air pollution across the country, The Washington Post writes.

Why it matters: India is notorious for its air pollution — among the worst in the world. The speedy drop in the level of particle pollution by nearly 60% in capital city New Delhi has surprised experts, but the clean air has come at a cost for the country.

What's next: Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to extend the country's lockdown, originally set to expire April 14.

The India Gate before:

Photo: Biplov Bhuyan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The India Gate after:

Photo: Pallava Bagla/Corbis via Getty Images

The Yamuna River before:

A man rows his boat surrounded by toxic foam and smog caused by pollution in November. Photo: Sahiba Chawdhary/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Yamuna River after:

A boy swims in the Yamuna River during the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Amarjeet Kumar Singh/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Taj Mahal before:

Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

The Taj Mahal after:

Photo: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Go deeper: The pandemic and pollution

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Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.

U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimated 4.8% contraction — according to revised figures released by the government on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the worst quarterly decline since 2008 and shows a huge hit as the economy was just beginning to shut down because of the coronavirus. Economists are bracing for the second quarter's figures to be the worst ever — with some projecting an annualized decline of around 40%.

2 hours ago - Economy & Business