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In Case You Missed It.

 

credit: reuters

๐Ÿฅถ Puxatawny Phil did see his shadow yesterday which hopefully means six more weeks of winter and not six more weeks of lockdown.

๐Ÿ‘€ The White House is considering stopping intelligence briefings that are commonly offered to former Presidents to former President Trump.

๐Ÿš€ The SpaceX Starship rocket exploded during a landing attempt in launch experiments in Texas.

๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ A woman accused of participating in the Capitol riots asked the judge in her case if she could take a vacation in Mexico and the judge granted her request.

๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Thousands of people in Japan are protesting the military coup in Myanmar.

๐Ÿ˜‚ Elon Musk says he is going off Twitter for a while. We love how people take to Twitter to say this rather than simply going off Twitter.

Coronavirus Update: ๐Ÿ˜ท Total confirmed U.S. cases as of 2 p.m. ET Tuesday: 26,349,627 โ€” Total deaths: 444,336 โ€” Total tests: 306,049,697

  • Captain Tom Moore, a World War II veteron who raised $45 million for the UKโ€™s National Health Service by walking laps around his garden last year, has died of Covid at the age of 100.
  • Kroger is shutting down two California supermarkets in order to avoid paying workers โ€œhazard pay,โ€ as required by local ordinance.
  • Approximately 15.3% of the population in England has had Covid.
  • Tyson Foods is being sued for allegedly defrauding shareholders about its Covid outbreak.
  • Research shows that people who have had Covid may have protective antibodies for up to six months.

INTEREST RATES

 
CONFORMING LOAN
Program Rate Change APR Change
30 year 2.70%  0.00% 2.75%  0.00%
15 year 2.09%  0.14% 2.16%  0.15%
 

The Lead: Stimulus Moves Ahead

 

senator chuck schumer credit: getty

Republicans better run for cover because a Democratic steamroller is coming for them. Senate Democrats took the first step Tuesday toward passing a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill without Republican support.


Democrats were toying with the idea of bipartisanship until Republicans floated a half-baked $600 billion package that reduced monies in just about every category.

Now that the kumbaya time has passed, Dems are trying to pass Biden’s first major legislative effort with a 50-50 Senate. With that tight of a margin, Democrats have no room for error, including Senator Joe Manchin, who opposes raising the minimum wage to $15.


“We must address the urgency of the Covid-19 crisis,” Manchin said in a statement. “But let me be clear โ€” and these are words I shared with President Biden โ€” our focus must be targeted on the Covid-19 crisis and Americans who have been most impacted by this pandemic.”


Despite his reservations on the minimum wage, Manchin did agree to move forward with the $1.9 trillion dollar Biden package.


Deadlines


With an impending impeachment trial and expiring unemployment benefits, Democrats are facing strong headwinds. The current unemployment benefits expire in mid-March and that means they need to pass a bill by March 7 to prevent a lapse in coverage.

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Bezos Looks To The Future


credit: getty

Jeff Bezos is stepping down as the CEO of Amazon. Andy Jassy, the current CEO of Amazon Web Services, will take his place.


Bezos says that his current role at Amazon is โ€œconsumingโ€ and he has found it โ€œhard to put attention on anything else.โ€ He will stay on as executive chair of the board so that he can focus on his environmental fund, his space exploration company Blue Origin, and The Washington Post, which he purchased in 2013.


Bezos will stay on until Q3 of this year and after that, weโ€™ll sure heโ€™ll be just fine without his day job. He has an estimated net worth of $180 billion.

Fish Populations Suffer Vitamin Deficiency


credit: zuma press

Fish have been found to be deficient in vitamin B and this is seriously threatening various species. A vitamin B deficiency is known to be dangerous to humans but researchers are finding it in wildlife too.


Scientists found that some fish populations were disoriented, miscolored, and unable to swim properly. Some were dying. This is happening in several species across the globe. Scientists are able to help by giving the fish vitamin B supplements but they are concerned about why this is needed. Fish should be able to get vitamin B from their diet but it seems to be missing from natural habitats. Scientists are pretty sure this is related to human behavior. Somehow we have sapped nutrients from the ecosystem, perhaps by contributing to rising ocean temperatures.


โ€œItโ€™s very eye-opening that the lack of a simple vitamin can cause complete collapse of populations in vast areas,โ€ Donald Tillitt, an environmental toxicologist with the U.S. Geological Survey told The Atlantic. He has studied thiamine deficiency in fish in the Great Lakes for over 20 years.

News By The Numbers


credit: national museum of wales

220 million years. That is the approximate age of a perfectly preserved dinosaur footprint that was discovered in Wales by a four year old girl.


$3.8 million. That is how much Google will pay in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor over claims that the company discriminated against female and Asian engineers by hiring them less often and paying them less.


11,000. That is how many people moved from Hong Kong to Taiwan in 2020, partially due to new security laws in Hong Kong. That is double the amount of people that made this move in 2019.


$13 million. That is how much Keith Gill lost when GameStop stock plummeted this week. He is the Reddit user who helped inspire the buy-up last week that caused hedge fund managers who were shorting the stock to lose the farm.

Charging Ahead


giphy.gifcredit: sky news

Electric vehicle charging stations need to be installed about five times quicker than the current rate if the world is really going to move to electric cars. This is the estimation of a research firm called Policy Exchange.


In the UK, sales of new gas-powered cars will be banned by 2030. This means that electric vehicles will be the standard in short order and the UK will need about 400,000 charging stations to support them. Currently, about 7,000 stations are built per year but that needs to jump to 35,000 per year. Already EV adoption was up to 17% of the market in 2020, up from 3% in 2019.

Russia Cracks Down on Dissent


giphy.gifcredit: cbs news

Protests continue over the arrest of Alexei Navalny in Russia. The opposition leader was sentenced to prison for two and a half years on Tuesday.


Over 10,000 people have been arrested in protests after Navalny was arrested upon his return to Russia in December. The pretense of his arrest is that he had violated his parole while he was in Germany. To be clear, he was in Germany because he was poisoned by the Russian state while on a flight and the plane was diverted to Berlin where he was hospitalized. The parole in question was for a charge that a European court has already found bogus and ordered Russia to pay him reparations. Now the Russian government will send him to a penal colony where they can keep him from opposing President Vladmir Putin.


What are the chances he is safe in that penal colony for two years? And can protests do anything to change this? Can they keep this steam up for two and a half years? Global leaders have condemned the Russian state for this but it doesnโ€™t seem to have made a difference.

Today’s Live Show


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Join us every day at 9 AM EST for our live show. Today we’re looking at some exciting stimulus news and the growing pressure on Joe Manchin. You can RSVP right here to join us live.

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