Microsoft covets TikTok

Evening Briefing

Microsoft is exploring an acquisition of TikTok's operations in the U.S., a deal that would give the software company a popular social-media site and defuse tension between the Trump administration and the Chinese owner of the video-sharing app. TikTok owner ByteDance has repeatedly rejected accusations that it feeds user data to the Chinese government. If a deal happens, Microsoft would gain a popular consumer app that has won over young people with a steady diet of dance videos, lip-syncing clips and viral memes. Microsoft has dabbled in social-media investments in the past, but never developed a popular service of its own. —David E. Rovella

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New Jersey's coronavirus transmission rate jumped to 1.35, meaning the virus is spreading, and Governor Phil Murphy warned of rising cases due to a lack of compliance with mask and social distancing rules. The state, where cases first peaked months ago, is in "a very dangerous place," Murphy said. Florida just broke another daily record for deaths, and infections in Italy and Spain are rising again. Even worse, a new study says children under age 5 may host up to 100 times as much of the virus in their upper respiratory tract as adults. Here is the latest.

U.S. hospitals and medical offices are once again running short on masks and gowns in the midst of a raging pandemic, but the federal government is still drawing up plans to distribute its swelling stockpile.

A federal appeals court threw out Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's death sentence in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, saying the judge who oversaw the case did not adequately screen jurors for potential bias. The court ordered a new penalty phase.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Running out of ways to get meaningful investment returns, some are raiding their interest-earning cash savings to load up on assets like bitcoin, gold and stocks. Savers, in other words, are getting restless. So too is the U.S. government: Fitch just downgraded its outlook for America's debt rating to negative, citing the deterioration of public finances and the absence of a credible fiscal consolidation plan.

Remember that huge Twitter hack two weeks ago that ensnared 130 accounts, including those of former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Kanye West and Jeff Bezos? Prosecutors say the mastermind was this 17-year-old kid.

One of the worst parts of working from home: Feeling like your bosses don't think you're busy, since they can't see that you are in fact busy. How do you let them know you're toiling away, particularly when you don't have anything to show for it? Here are a few strategies.

What's Emily Barrett thinking about? The Bloomberg U.S. rates reporter argues that one takeaway from this week's understated Fed meeting is that the market has faith in Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Some subtle moves in rates on the day he announced the Fed was standing fast suggest traders were putting money on the central bank's ability to meet its mandate.

What you'll need to know tomorrow

What you'll want to read tonight in Bloomberg Sports

Baseball's Rotten Week Ends on a Rotten Note

The second week of Major League Baseball's attempt to play a season during a global pandemic couldn't have gone much worse. It started with a full-fledged Covid-19 outbreak in the Miami Marlins' clubhouse. News of the first results emerged during last weekend's series against the Philadelphia Phillies, forcing Sunday's projected starting pitcher Jose Urena from the lineup. Still, the team voted to play the final game of that opening series, which turns out to be the last game they've played.

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