Good morning and happy Friday. Enjoy the weekend. 😎🤙
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
–George Bernard Shaw
U.S. COVID-19 Stimulus Plans
Senate Republicans and the White House delayed the release of the party’s COVID-19 relief proposal yesterday after issues negotiating an opening offer with House Democrats.
A deeper dive… According to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Republicans have reached a “fundamental agreement” on the stimulus bill.
The bill is expected to replace 70% of unemployed workers’ former wages and involve another round of $1,200 stimulus checks.
It will also include $105B in new funding for schools and universities in line with House Speaker Pelosi’s proposed $100B for schools. According to Senator Blunt (R-MO), $70B of the funds will go to elementary and secondary schools.
President Trump’spayroll tax cut proposal – which would reduce the amount of Social Security and Medicare tax paid by employees and employers – is not included in this bill.
House Democrats want a more comprehensive aid bill, with House Speaker Pelosi arguing that “we cannot piecemeal this.” Democrats have also pushed to continue extra unemployment payments of $600/week and expand stimulus checks to college students, adult dependents, and others.
What’s next? Current federal unemployment benefits expire on July 31 (i.e., the extra payments of $600/week). Let’s look at other legislation in the works:
Democrats supported a $3.5T aid package passed in the House in May, which would grant direct aid to states, including grants and educational assistance in the wake of the pandemic.
Another initiative with bipartisan support would expand tax credits for employers who retain workers despite being forced to close or suffering revenue loss.
So… what are people saying?
Coronavirus unemployment relief shouldn’t include $600 weekly bonus payment
The FDAexpanded its recall of hand sanitizers containing methanol (wood alcohol) to at least 75 brands, some of which were being sold at Walmart and Costco.
Protests & Federal Agents
Portland policedeclared a riot outside the city’s Justice Center in the early hours Thursday morning. The city’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, met in person with activists for several hours, and was hit with tear gas from federal agents after protesters threw flaming bags of garbage over the courthouse fence.
The DOJ inspector generallaunched an investigation into the conduct of federal officers in both Portland and D.C.
Judge Orders Release Of Michael Cohen
A federal judge ordered the release of Michael Cohen from prison by midday Friday, saying that Cohen’s return to jail was “retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book and to discuss anything about the book or anything else he wants on social media and with others.” In May, Cohen was released to home confinement due to COVID-19 concerns roughly one year into his three-year sentence, but was taken back into custody earlier this month.
More: Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges in 2018, including campaign-finance violations.
Worth Noting: Washington’s NFL team will call itself the ‘Washington Football Team’ for the 2020-21 season.
Also worth noting: President Trump canceled all Republican National Convention activities in Jacksonville, FL on Thursday.
The Coronavirus Effect
Another 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, the first week-over-week increase in nearly four months.
Disneyannounced significant changes to its movie-release schedule, delaying Mulan indefinitely and pushing back future Star Wars and Avatar installments by one year.
Twitterannounced Q2 earnings, reporting a 23% year-over-year decrease in ad revenue despite 20 million new daily active users.
Tesla has filed a lawsuit accusing EV start-up Rivian of stealing trade secrets and poaching its employees. The suit also names four former Tesla employees for allegedly taking confidential information to Rivian. Tesla is claiming that 178 of Rivian’s ~2,300 employees formerly worked at Tesla. Rivian has denied the allegations.
Out Of This World
The U.S. and UK have accused Russia of testing a new anti-satellite weapon in space last week. The alleged weapon would violate a treaty signed by more than 100 nations (including the U.S., UK, Russia, & China) stipulating that outer space is for peaceful purposes only.
More: China launched its first mission to Mars on Thursday. If all goes to plan, the craft will reach the red planet in seven months, becoming the third country ever to do so (behind the U.S. & Russia).
Worth Noting: Twitter on Wednesday said last week’s hackers had access to the personal DMs of 36 high-profile accounts, and were able to view personal information on all 130 hijacked accounts.
Bonus: Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson announced an upcoming return to the ring to fight Roy Jones Jr. on Sept. 12 (with the undercard featuring Nate Robinson vs. Jake Paul).
Do The Wobble
At first glance, Stevie, a yellow Labrador from Indiana, seems like any other dog – he loves playing in puddles, carrying around stuffed animals, and meeting with his friends. However, when Stevie walks, his legs flail, and his body shakes as a result of cerebellar hypoplasia. This rare brain condition affects his motor function.
Nevertheless, these physical limitations do not cause Stevie any pain and certainly do not stop him from enjoying life. The carefree canine, known to his fans as “Stevie the Wonderdog,” has become an Internet sensation, with videos of his excited wiggles and wobbly wags delivering smiles to all who watch.
Bringing Up Baby
On June 14th, Dr. Mary Anitha, a clinical psychologist from Kerala, India, was approached by her community’s child welfare committee, who asked if she could take care of a six-month-old child. The infant’s parents were nurses at the local hospital and had both contracted COVID-19. Although the baby was healthy, no family members, friends, or medical workers wanted to care for the child for fear of spreading the virus.
Without hesitation, Dr. Mary – already a mother of three – agreed to look after the infant, renting an apartment separate from her own to quarantine with the baby away from her family safely. A month later, after the child’s parents finished recovering and self-isolating, the noble doctor returned the baby to his grateful family.
What Is An Inspiration?
When beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced in March 2019 that he had stage four pancreatic cancer, his fans were devastated. The Canadian-American game show host, who has won seven Emmy Awards during his 36-year tenure on the program, has become an essential feature of viewers’ lives, with his calm cadence and quick wit entertaining generations of audiences.
This summer, the 80-year-old American icon announced that he is staying strong in his battle with cancer and plans to return to Jeopardy! once lockdown restrictions are lifted. Alex, who received a flood of supportive letters and social media messages from viewers, taped his show’s most recent season while undergoing chemotherapy.
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President John Quincy Adams was a man of many firsts. Apart from being the first president to be photographed, Quincy Adams was also the first son of a president to be elected, and the first president to not be a founding father.