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The Skinny on COVID
The latest in numbers: 80M total cases & 975K total deaths (+211K & +6K from last week) in the US.
First China and then Europe, so you know who got next: us. Experts are concerned about how soon we’ll respond to the next surge, driven by BA.2.
Now that BA.2, a subvariant of Omicron, accounts for 30% of all new cases nationwide & appears to be growing more, you might want to know what its symptoms are looking like. Here’s a hint: they’re a lot like the others.
As the government claims it's running out of money to continue vaccinating the population, the Biden administration seeks approval to give additional boosters to those 50 & up.
Keeping Up with Biden & Harris
Biden directed some unexpected bars at Putin while finishing up a trip in Poland & shocked the international community in the process.
Federal student loan payments likely won’t restart in May, but more people are calling on the POTUS to just cancel them altogether. Included in that chorus is the CEO of a bank that makes money off of student loans.
Hoping to lead the way for employers, the federal government will now give its employees paid time off to vote at any time polls are open for federal, state & local elections. Previously, federal employees could only take off to vote on Election Day.
Congress, What’s Good?
If you saw, read or heard anything about Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings, you know that Senate Republicans let their hypocrisy & racism hang all the way out, much to no one’s surprise.
What’s next for Jackson? The Senate is expected to hold a vote for her confirmation no later than April 8. To win, she’ll need a simple majority of 51 votes. Joe Manchin has confirmed his ‘Yes’ vote, but Krysten Sinema’s stance on Jackson remains TBD. If all 50 Senate Dems vote yay, VP Harris will cast the tiebreaker. Historic, much? There also are some GOP swing votes that may come in Jackson’s favor, but overall it is only time that will tell if she actually makes it to the highest court in the land.
In committee meetings this week:
Holding more folks in Criminal Contempt of Congress for hindering the January 6 investigation (are we the only ones who thought they’d abandoned this?)
Determining if universal health coverage is still worth talking about
Home appraisal bias & discrimination against Black folks and other people of color
The impact of supply chain delays on small businesses
Ensuring safe, accessible & affordable housing for the elderly
Social Justice Round Up
Looking for a tool to help track all the laws being passed in support of or against abortion rights? Look no further than here.
Speaking of abortion, California’s governor has just signed a law that eliminates out-of-pocket costs for abortion procedures.
You know you done went too far when you got the librarians speaking up. Librarians are protesting the right’s book bans aimed at literature focusing on racial & LGBTQ issues.
Around the Diaspora
Could there finally be peace in Ethiopia? It appears that the Ethiopian government & their opponents in the Tigray region have agreed to a truce for the sake of “saving lives & reducing suffering.”
African students fleeing Ukraine are being held in detention centers in Poland & Estonia.
Jamaica gave an unfriendly welcome to Prince William & his wife Kate as the couple stopped by on their tour of the Caribbean region. The nation also confirmed during the trip that they plan to drop ol’ Elizabeth as their head of state.
Belize may also be on its way to ditching the Queen.
Women entrepreneurs in the Caribbean & Latin America can get the support they need to grow their businesses with a new platform called WeXchange.
Getting to the Money
Do you consider yourself a creative? Check out Creatively, a job board where (aspiring) creatives can find work to keep them fulfilled & pay their bills.
Spring has sprung so it’s time to make sure your skin is looking right. Faithfully Au’Naturelle offers clean & cruelty-free body oils, body butters and more to make sure you’re not ashy out in these streets. Check them out today & make sure you don’t play yourself (or embarrass your momma) when you go outside.
Culture that Pops
Here are the winners from last night’s Oscars. Normally we can find a list featuring only Black winners, but many are probably still shocked about the punch (or slap??) heard ‘round the world.
‘Captain America’ star Anthony Mackie recently purchased 20 acres of land to build a production studio & create more opportunities for the local community in his hometown of New Orleans.
Black folks in Detroit are adding some flava to their city’s beer industry one step at a time.