Spiro

Happy Monday. Today is February 1. That means January 2021 is gone for good.


abraham lincoln credit: magdalene visaggio

In Case You Missed It.


📸 This Twitter thread has gone viral because it shows what former U.S. Presidents would look like in their modern day headshots.


🍇 There is a shortage of Grape-Nuts.


🤖 Scientists have had some success predicting breast cancer using artificial intelligence.


🚔 New York City announced major reforms to its police department but it does not involve defunding. It does end immunity for officers and strips the commissioner of final authority in disciplinary measures.


💰 Former President Trump parted ways with his defense lawyers for his impeachment trial and has brand new ones. He also has $31 million in cash from his new Political Action Committee.


Coronavirus Update: Total confirmed U.S. cases as of 1 p.m. ET Sunday: 26,098,585 — Total deaths: 440,094 — Total tests: 302,791,552


INTEREST RATES

 
CONFORMING LOAN
Program Rate Change APR Change
30 year 2.80%  0.11% 2.85 %  0.11%
15 year 2.35%  0.13% 2.45%  0.14%
 

The Lead: Impeachment


credit: ap

President Biden has reversed all of the 73 spending cuts that were proposed by former President Trump in his final days in office. The cuts were for over $27 billion that the former President had taken out of the Covid spending bill.


President Trump was praised at the time for not wanting to send money to overseas governments but the spending cuts also affected domestic programs such as the Environmental Protection Agency. Putting them all back in place in a blanket move seems more anti-Trump than anything else. Sure, there were cuts to important organizations like GAVI, an organization that promotes vaccines in low-income countries. But there was also $500 million in foreign military assistance and $430 million in “cultural exchange programs.” Are those really needed right now?


The President must think we’ve got a big blank checkbook because he is also preparing to pass his own Covid relief package, with or without Republican support. Republicans have requested a meeting with the President this week and the President has agreed to it. The President’s plan stands at $1.9 trillion but Republicans will propose a slimmed-down version of about $600 billion. The Republican plan does still include money directly to the American people but based on targeted income levels. 

Covid Tongue


credit: giphy

If you feel like your tongue is coated in something that feels furry, that may be a sign of Covid. A British researcher has identified an early symptom that he calls “Covid tongue.”


This may only happen in a small number of Covid cases and could be an immune response similar to the herpes virus. In a study of over 600 Covid patients in Spain, roughly one tenth had unusual oral activity such as small bumps or inflammation on the tongue or mouth area.


Researchers are looking into whether or not this will have lasting effects. 

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I Am Your Captain, I Haven’t Flown in 2 Years


credit: san diego union tribune

Of all the people you do not want to get “rusty” at their jobs, a pilot would be top of the list. Yet pilots are reporting feeling this way because they are out of practice due to the pandemic.


A safety report system run by NASA recorded at least a dozen mistakes the pilots had made since May, many of them simple mistakes that experienced pilots don’t tend to make such as forgetting to turn on anti-icing features. Thankfully no one has been hurt by any of these oversights.


But how are pilots supposed to keep their skills sharp when they simply don’t fly as often? The number of takeoffs is still 43% lower than it was pre-pandemic. Might be time to put those pilots in simulators to keep them sharp! 

News By The Numbers


credit: noaa

42 feet. That is how big a new species of whale can grow that was recently identified in the Gulf of Mexico. It is a filter feeder whale and is critically endangered with only 100 remaining, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Oil spills, ocean noise, and marine traffic are amongst the biggest threats to this whale population.


70%. That is how much the shark population has declined since the 1970s, according to the Global Shark Trends Project. The reason? Overfishing of the oceans resulting in a decline of about 18% per decade.


11. That is how many soldiers were injured at a fort in Texas because they drank antifreeze, thinking it was an alcoholic beverage. They were trying to celebrate their final day of field training.


$9.9 million. That is how much a man in Montana was fined for making racist and harassing robocalls, some including recordings from Adolf Hitler. 

Military Takeover


giphy.gif credit: ap

There has been a military coup in Myanmar. The military announced today that it had detained the country’s senior leaders because it believes that the previous election was a fraud.


The military says that it will retain control of the government for at least one year. The current political leader, Aung San Suu Kyi is under arrest. She is the leader of the National League for Democracy. The party’s Facebook page expressed outrage at this move and encouraged her people to reject it. Suu Kyi led her party for years while under house arrest but most likely will not be able to lead from military detainment.


The United States and the United Nations have condemned the coup. 

Today’s Live Show



I hope you’ll join me on our live morning show today. We’ll be covering the new GOP stimulus plan and the push for $2,000 monthly stimulus checks. Be sure to click here to RSVP for our live show at 9 AM Eastern Time. See you there!

Stinging Lawsuits


credit: giphy

Environmental groups are suing the government in the UK over the use of a pesticide that kills bees. Neonicotinoid pesticides were banned in the European Union in 2018 but now that the UK is no longer a part of the EU, the government approved its use once again.


The Wildlife Trust is going to challenge the government to reinstate this ban because the pesticide can cause harm to bees and aquatic life. It has also been shown to contribute to the wider collapse in biodiversity.


The government approved this pesticide because it is concerned about threats to beet crops, spread by aphids. It says that it approved this pesticide on a “strictly limited” basis. However, some research shows that this pesticide can persist in the ecosystem for a long time, however limited its use. A spokesperson for the wildlife group calls this decision by the government a “double blow for nature.” 

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