African swine fever has devastated the vast pig farms in China and now threatens to spread elsewhere, various reports say.

Why it matters: The highly contagious virus — which has minimal risk of mutating to become harmful to humans — has spread so rapidly since August that officials are warning it could go global, the Wall Street Journal reports, possibly even reaching U.S. shores.

  • The pork industry, already impacted by trade tensions between China and the U.S., has led to China importing meat from the U.S. to help satisfy domestic demand, per WSJ. It adds that a Chinese government official last week predicted prices for pork — the country’s most widely consumed meat — could rise by more than 70% this year.
  • And, other industries could be affected. For instance, it could jeopardize the global availability of heparin, a blood thinner, science journal Nature reports.

What's next: The only current method of halting an outbreak is by culling herds, but the Chinese government is prioritizing research on the virus, setting aside about 100 million yuan (US$15 million) for projects such as developing a vaccine, George Gao, VP of the National Natural Science Foundation of China told Nature.

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Hollywood's international game of chicken

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

If all goes to plan, Christopher Nolan's thrice-delayed "Tenet" will be the first blockbuster to receive a proper worldwide theatrical release amid the coronavirus pandemic at the end of this month.

Why it matters: It'll be playing a $200 million game of chicken, hoping to prove that people across the globe are still willing to trek to theaters to see a splashy new movie.

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 18,160,139 — Total deaths: 690,724 — Total recoveries — 10,755,137Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 4,698,244 — Total deaths: 155,191 — Total recoveries: 1,468,689 — Total tests: 56,812,162Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Business: Virtual school is another setback for retail — The pandemic hasn't hampered health care.
  5. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
2 hours ago - Sports

13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive for coronavirus

Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Seven players and six staff members from the St. Louis Cardinals have tested positive for the coronavirus over the past week, prompting the MLB to postpone the team's upcoming four-game series against the Detroit Tigers.

Why it matters: Seven consecutive Cardinals games have now been canceled after St. Louis became the second team to report a significant coronavirus outbreak, just two weeks into the season.