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Congress Eyes More Spending as Virus Cases Surge and Economy Struggles

WASHINGTON — There is a growing recognition across party lines that Congress will need to spend more money, and soon, to continue to prop up the American economy during the coronavirus recession.But there is little consensus on what that next aid package will look like and how quickly it will arrive before the end of summer, and there is a sense among Republicans and Democrats that the next bill will spend far less to help people and businesses than the nearly $3 trillion that Congress approved in March in a series of…

Blocking middle seats on planes is a ‘PR strategy, not a safety strategy,’ United says

A passenger looks at his phone while waiting aboard a United Airlines plane before taking off from George Bush Intercontinental Airport on May 11, 2020 in Houston, Texas.Justin Sullivan | Getty ImagesUnited Airlines on Wednesday dismissed the notion that blocking some seats onboard would keep passengers safer from Covid-19, as policies among U.S. airlines diverge and carriers compete for far fewer travelers this summer.Delta, JetBlue and Southwest have said they are blocking some seats onboard, an effort to put…

Health impacts of coronavirus will ‘haunt us for a generation,’ says Baylor University doctor

Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. Peter Hotez warned Wednesday that the long-term health consequences of the coronavirus remain uncertain, even though medical professionals have a better grasp of treating a current infection. "We still have to address that long-term debilitating effects. The effects of this virus are going to haunt us for a generation, I'm afraid," Hotez said on CNBC's "Power Lunch." Hotez's comments come as states in the South and West such as Arizona, California and Texas experience a…

McDonald’s is halting its U.S. reopening plans as coronavirus cases spike

A worker cleans the floor in a McDonald's restaurant in the Chicago Loop on March 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.Scott Olson | Getty ImagesMcDonald's is pausing its U.S. reopening plans for 21 days as coronavirus cases spike across the country.States like Michigan, Colorado and Florida have been responding to the recent surge by delaying or rolling back efforts to reopen their economies. Tuesday marked the sixth day that the average number of new Covid-19 cases exceeded previous highs set in April, when some officials thought…

He Says a Union Fired Him Over His Push for Police Reform

When Gabriel Acevero, a Maryland state legislator employed by a union local, introduced a bill last year to roll back protections for police accused of misconduct, he was stepping on a potential fault line. His union, Local 1994 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, represents thousands of Black and Latino workers in food services and at a variety of government agencies. It also includes a small portion of workers in law enforcement.That fault line turned out to be a chasm that could swallow him up. In mid-June, Mr.…

Congress Extends Small Business Loan Program for 5 Weeks

WASHINGTON — The House agreed on Wednesday to extend for five weeks a popular pandemic relief loan program for small businesses, sending President Trump legislation to give companies more time to apply for federal help under an initiative created by the stimulus law.The move to extend the Paycheck Protection Program through Aug. 8, which allows small businesses to secure low-interest loans to help maintain their payrolls, came as Republicans and Democrats remained divided over how much additional federal assistance to…

Federal Reserve Minutes Show a Litany of Reasons to Worry About Economy

WASHINGTON — Some businesses will not make it through the pandemic-spurred economic crisis. Consumer spending will not fully bounce back even into next year. And there is a serious chance of a double-dip downturn that could permanently scar the American labor force.Those are some of the major points from the minutes released Wednesday of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting in which officials and central bank staff paint a bleak picture of what lies ahead for the American economy.In the time since that gathering, held June…

Kia unveils new K5 in attempt to halt skidding sedan sales

2021 Kia K5KiaKia Motors isn't giving up on the midsize sedan segment despite significant sales declines as U.S. consumers move away from passenger cars to crossovers.The South Korean automaker Tuesday unveiled a new midsize sedan called the K5, which will replace the outgoing Optima when it arrives in U.S. dealerships this summer."Nearly a decade after the 2011 Kia Optima paved the way for one of the auto industry's most significant growth and achievement stories, Kia Motors America is resetting expectations once again with…

TSA casts doubts on effectiveness of passenger temperature checks at airports

A traveler wearing a protective mask walks through Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, June 9, 2020.Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesChecking temperatures at airports might not be the best way to weed out travelers with Covid-19, the head of the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday.TSA and other industry officials urged all travelers to wear masks throughout the airport and onboard, but the federal government hasn't determined if it will perform temperature…

This is what top U.S. health officials say we should do differently for the next pandemic

Top federal health officials told lawmakers Tuesday the U.S. needs a more unified national response and funding for public health if the country faces another pandemic. The U.S. is now reporting nearly 40,000 new coronavirus cases every day — almost double from about 22,800 in mid-May — driven largely by outbreaks in a number of states across the South and West. Appearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of…