Situational awareness: Another batch of below-average temperatures and snow — up to 10 inches in spots — is set to paste the Plains, Midwest and parts of the Northeast this weekend. Details.
1 big thing: Biden sets the pace
Joe Biden has pulled off the flex he needed vs. the huge Democratic field, but it's clear the major questions plaguing his campaign are going nowhere.
Why it matters: The Democratic field has multiple campaigns with track records of raising huge sums online, so Biden needed a hot start.
- The former VP raised $6.3 million during the first 24 hours of his campaign, narrowly besting Beto and Bernie.
- The campaign said that 97% of its online donations were under $200 — with an average online donation of $41.
- The campaign claimed nearly 97,000 donors, including 65,000 who weren't on his prior email list.
- Biden held a big-money fundraiser in Philadelphia last night, headed by Comcast executive David Cohen.
Biden also ventured to "The View" for his first big interview, as recapped by the NYT:
- On Anita Hill: “I’m sorry she was treated the way she was treated.”
- When asked to apologize for being handsy with women: "Sorry I invaded your space. And I am, I’m sorry this happened."
- On whether he'd commit to one term: "No."
The bottom line, per the Times' Alex Burns: "This was about as unchallenging an interview as Biden could expect and he could have prepared and delivered clear, definitive answers that didn’t involve litigating Senate procedure. And that’s just not what he did."
Bonus: Pic du jour
The bomb-damaged interior of St Anthony's Shrine in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- Six foreign police agencies and Interpol, including Scotland Yard from the UK and the FBI from the U.S., are currently assisting local police as the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks.
2. What you missed
- The U.S. economy grew at a 3.2% annualized rate in Q1 — faster than the previous quarter's 2.2% and significantly more than the 2.1% economists were expecting. Details.
- Slack and Uber IPO news: Slack plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol SK, and Uber disclosed that it plans to raise upwards of $9 billion in its IPO, at a market cap that could approach $84 billion.
- Trump spoke for the first time on the record about measles outbreaks that have taken place across 22 states so far this year, instructing parents to vaccinate their children against the virus. Go deeper.
- Mike Pence's former chief of staff has responded for the first time to speculation in conservative media outlets that FBI agents wanted to use him to infiltrate Trump's transition team in 2016. Go deeper.
- The toll from Cyclone Kenneth is beginning to emerge across northern Mozambique, one day after the Category 4 storm struck as an unprecedented event for this region. Go deeper.
3. 1 Avengers thing
“Avengers: Endgame” is a suitably epic sendoff for the last of 22 films in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)’s Infinity Saga, writes Flipboard's Mia Quagliarello.
The scene: In "Endgame," the surviving members of the Avengers get the band back together to battle Thanos and reverse his destruction from “Avengers: Infinity War,” when he killed half of the population of the universe.
- Enter the “time heist,” which gives the series its “craziest story yet” but is also rooted in scientific theory.
Between the lines: "What comes across most strongly, oddly enough for an effects-driven comic-book-derived film, is the character acting," writes The Hollywood Reporter.
- "But just when it might seem about to become too grim, Robert Downey Jr. rides to the rescue with an inspired serio-comic performance that reminds you how good he can be.”
What to watch:
- In a “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” moment, "Endgame" features the first openly gay character in a Marvel superhero film.
- The film's final hour has extended references to every single Marvel movie (even obscure ones) that has led up to this moment.
- There is a post-credits scene, but it's easy to miss—and out of the ordinary.
- Google “Thanos” for a fun Easter Egg.
- “Endgame” is already tracking to become the biggest movie of all time, including the biggest opening night ever.
What’s next: Definitely not goodbye for MCU. "Endgame" tees up a new era, including solo films for Black Panther and Valkyrie. Expect three movies for 2020, three for 2021 and three movies for 2022, says TIME.