Below is a summary of briefs from US domestic news.
Local US COVID aid emerges as key social policy tool as Biden spending plans stagnate
Philadelphia is filling a huge budget hole opened by COVID-19, avoiding layoffs and pool closures. St. Louis distributes checks for $500 to 10,000 families in need. Denver has set aside $28 million for affordable housing amid rising rental costs. With revenues still constrained by COVID-19, these U.S. cities can fund these initiatives through a $350 billion coronavirus relief package for states and local governments signed into law a year ago on Friday.
A Texas judge will rule on investigations into parents of transgender children
A Texas judge will consider Friday a request to block state investigations into parents who receive gender transition care for their children, what Gov. Greg Abbott calls “child abuse.” The Austin hearing is part of a rejection of proposals in dozens of US states to criminalize the provision of gender-affirming treatment to trans youth.
98% of US population may ditch masks as COVID eases -CDC
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said late Thursday that about 98% of the U.S. population lives in places where levels of COVID-19 are low enough that people don’t need to wear masks indoors. On Feb. 25, the CDC significantly relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines for when Americans should wear masks indoors, saying they could drop them in counties experiencing what it described as levels of Low or medium COVID-19.
US Senate aims to pass government funding bill on Thursday-Schumer
On Thursday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pushed for swift passage of legislation providing emergency aid to Ukraine and new domestic funding that would prevent government agencies from shutting down at the end of the day. end of this week. “Once this bill gets to the Senate (from the House of Representatives), Republicans need to work with Democrats to pass a bill as soon as possible, hopefully tonight,” Schumer said in a speech at the Senate.
The US census undercounted Latinos, blacks and Native Americans
Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans were undercounted in the 2020 national census, according to new data from the US Census Bureau, potentially affecting political representation and federal funding for communities with large minority populations. The once-a-decade national population count is used to attract seats for the U.S. Congress and state legislatures in every state, as well as helping distribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds for everything from public housing to health insurance to the construction of highways.
Apple’s Tim Cook worries about LGBTQ laws in the US
Apple Inc chief executive Tim Cook expressed concern on Thursday about LGBTQ laws in the United States, primarily those focused on young people that opponents call “don’t say gay” legislation. Florida lawmakers recently passed a Republican-backed bill banning classroom discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity for many young college students.
U.S. Ethanol Industry Betting on Carbon Capture to Solve Emissions Problem
U.S. ethanol producers are betting heavily on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and ensure a place for corn-based fuel in a climate-friendly future, according to researchers. industry groups and executives. But the plan is risky: The nascent CCS industry has been plagued by high costs and poor performance, crucial federal incentives for carbon capture are stalled in Congress, and public opposition to CCS infrastructure pipelines needed to transport the captured gas intensifies.
US FDA directs Philips Respironics to notify patients of ventilator recall
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday asked Dutch medical equipment maker Philips Respironics to notify patients of the company’s recall of certain ventilators and other respiratory assistance devices in June. last year. The FDA said in a statement that it has determined the necessary order, citing the risk of harm posed by the recalled products.
US to miss deadline for release of 9/11 investigation documents, court filing says
The US Department of Justice acknowledged on Thursday that it would not meet the deadline set by President Joe Biden’s executive order to review and release documents from the FBI’s investigation into the September 11, 2001 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people. In a filing, he told Judge Sarah Netburn in New York that the FBI would have released most of the required documents by mid-March, but further releases would take place by mid-April.
Actor Jussie Smollett sentenced to probation and jail for masterminding hate crime
A Chicago court on Thursday sentenced actor Jussie Smollett, former star of the television series “Empire”, to 30 months probation and 150 days in prison for organizing a hate crime against himself. In December, a jury found Smollett, 39, guilty of five of the six disorderly conduct charges he faced, one for each time he was accused of lying to police.
(With agency contributions.)