Sending 4th and 5th stimulus checks could
keep 12 million Americans out of poverty
the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Americans have received three stimulus
payments from the government, and a new report finds that sending more checks
would lift Americans out of poverty. The Economic Security Project released
a report on April 14 that found
stimulus checks have played a critical role in fighting poverty, boosting
small-business revenue, and increasing state and local revenues. It called for
the government to continue delivering stimulus checks to lift an
additional 12 million Americans out of poverty, on top
of the 16 million Americans from the most recent $1,400 stimulus payment, and
to close imbalances in poverty, income, and wealth between white Americans and
Americans of color.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom declares drought
emergency in two counties
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) declared an emergency executive
order for two counties Wednesday, in order to accelerate the response to
drought conditions affecting the northern part of the state. California is in
the second year of drought conditions, and the state is bracing for another
potentially devastating fire season.
emergency order applies to Mendocino and Sonoma counties, but could be expanded
to other parts of the state if conditions call for it, Newsom said at a press conference Wednesday.
The declaration allows the state to
move more quickly to regulate water usage in the state as well as to
“accelerate funding for water supply enhancement.” Newsom warned that
drought problems are not unique to California, adding that “drought
conditions persist across the West coast of the United States.”
‘This is our Selma moment’: Racial justice
activists hope Derek Chauvin verdict spurs larger systemic change (Source usatoday.com)
the country, as celebrations erupted Tuesday after Derek Chauvin was
found guilty of the murder of George
Floyd, those on the front lines of fighting for racial justice said the verdict
represents a likely boon for the movement, an impetus for systemic change
on par with major events of the 1960s.
is our Selma moment,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said,
citing the event in which Alabama marchers headed to the state Capitol in
Montgomery were attacked by state troopers with nightsticks and tear gas, an
incident that sparked passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Floyd’s death
last year, along with the killing of Breonna
led to a national reckoning on race that in Tuesday’s verdict marked a
moment of catharsis for a country wracked by division. A jury found Chauvin,
45, guilty of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin Celebrated
4/20 by Sending 15,000 Marijuana Convictions Up in Smoke (Source The Root)
Ala., Mayor Randall Woodfin gave residents a reason to celebrate when he
officially pardoned anyone convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession by the
city over the last three decades. On Tuesday 4/20, Woodfin announced a blanket
pardon for anyone with a closed marijuana conviction in the Birmingham
Municipal Courts between 1990 and 2020. The blanket pardon, issued in
conjunction with the city’s Pardons for Progress
more than 15,000 possession cases up in smoke. In an exclusive interview
with The Root, Woodfin explained that the move was a last-ditch
effort to blunt the devastating effects of the war on drugs.
China’s Xi calls for fairer world order as
rivalry with U.S. deepens (Source Reuters)
President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for a rejection of hegemonic power
structures in global governance, amid growing tensions between Washington and
Beijing over a widening range of issues including alleged human rights abuses.
Speaking at the annual BOAO Forum for Asia,
criticised efforts by some countries to “build barriers” and
“decouple”, which he said would harm others and benefit no one.
has long called for reforms of the global governance system to better reflect a
more diverse range of perspectives and values from the international community,
including its own, instead of those of a few major nations. It has also
repeatedly clashed with the biggest stakeholders in world governance,
particularly the United States, over a range of issues from human rights to
China’s economic influence over other countries. “The world wants justice,
not hegemony,” Xi said in remarks broadcast to the forum. “A big
country should look like a big country by showing that it is shouldering more
responsibility,” he said. While Xi did not identify any country in his
remarks, Chinese officials have in recent times referred to U.S.
“hegemony” in public criticisms of Washington’s global projection of
power in trade and geopolitics.
Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden held his first face-to-face White House summit
since taking office, in a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga
in which China topped the agenda.
Putin vows a ‘quick and tough’ Russian
response for its foes
(Source Associated Press)
Vladimir Putin on Wednesday sternly warned the West against encroaching further
on Russia’s security interests, saying Moscow’s response will be “quick and
tough” and make the culprits bitterly sorry for their action. The warning
during Putin’s annual state-of-the-nation address came amid a massive Russian
military buildup near Ukraine, where cease-fire violations in the seven-year
conflict between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces have escalated
in recent weeks. The United States and its allies have urged the Kremlin to
pull the troops back. “I hope that no one dares to cross the red line in
respect to Russia, and we will determine where it is in each specific case,”
Putin said. “Those who organize any provocations threatening our core security
interests will regret their deeds more than they regretted anything for a long
time.” Moscow has rejected Ukrainian and Western concerns about the troop
buildup, saying it doesn’t threaten anyone and that Russia is free to deploy
its forces on its territory. But the Kremlin also has warned Ukraine against
trying to use force to retake control of the rebel-held east, saying Russia
could be forced to intervene to protect civilians in the region. “We
really don’t want to burn the bridges,” Putin said. “But if some mistake our
good intentions for indifference or weakness and intend to burn or even blow up
those bridges themselves, Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, quick and
China Looks to Challenge U.S. Dollar with New
new digital yuan, controlled by its central bank, could pose a threat to the
U.S. dollar, the standard for intentional trade and the world’s reserve
currency. The central bank digital currency (CBDC) could be used for
international trade, and almost certainly won’t be linked to the global
financial system. Vital commodities such as oil and copper are priced in dollars.
The Bank for International Settlements says the greenback is now used to
complete about 88% of international foreign exchange trades, compared with
about 4% for the yuan. At home, the new digital yuan will allow China’s
authoritarian government to track financial transactions of its people in real
time, creating an efficient way to enforce the “social credit” system
Beijing uses to limit internal travel and other activity for those deemed
new digital currency looks like its paper money. A mobile phone app developed
for the People’s Bank of China allows users to spend it like cash.
being tested by about 100,000 people, and it’s not clear when it will be
generally available to China’s 1.4 billion citizens. Russia is reportedly
developing a digital version of the ruble. In 2018, the Financial Times
reported that Sergi Glazyev, one of Vladimir Putin‘s top advisors, said, “This instrument
(crypto-ruble) suits us very well for sensitive activity on behalf of the
state. We can settle accounts with our counterparties all over the world with
no regard for sanctions.”
A Year In, Here’s What We Know About Vitamin
D For Preventing COVID (Source npr.org)
should you take vitamin D to prevent or even treat COVID-19?
than a year into the pandemic, many of the studies that can offer high-quality
evidence are still in the works, but there’s now enough out there to offer
clues. It’s unrealistic to think any one supplement can be a cure-all, but
there are some compelling reasons to
study vitamin D in the context of COVID-19. Vitamin D plays a vital role in
bone health and, along with calcium, helps prevent people from developing osteoporosis. And
there’s growing evidence it helps keep the immune system running properly.
2017 review study that analyzed 25 randomized, controlled trials concluded vitamin
D helped prevent acute respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D may help boost
the innate immune system in a number of ways, said Dr. Adit Ginde, a professor of emergency medicine at the
University of Colorado School of Medicine and one of the study’s authors. One
mechanism, he said, is by increasing antimicrobial peptides, which function as natural antibiotic and antiviral
guards against pathogens.
April’s Pink Moon Is Also A Super Moon: How
To Catch It
next full moon on Monday, April 26 will be the first of just a few so-called super moons in
And because it’s April, this full moon is also nicknamed the “pink moon.” So
get ready for the opportunity to check out a super pink moon, or maybe a pink
super moon, later this month. Things like clouds, dust, haze, smoke or
pollution are what actually cause the moon to appear different colors by
scattering much of the blue light shining on our natural satellite, leaving it
with a more reddish tone.
St Vincent volcano: UN warns humanitarian
crisis will last months (Source BBC News)
humanitarian crisis caused by volcanic eruptions on the Caribbean island of St
Vincent will last for months, a UN official has warned.
Trebucq said nearby islands including Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda could also
be badly affected. He said the UN was setting up an international
About 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes since La Soufrière
volcano began erupting last Friday. It had not previously erupted since 1979.
Trebucq, the UN co-ordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, said
clouds of ash and smoke were continuing to pour from the volcano every day.