Harris, Yellen make a personal case for fixing child care
The U.S. Treasury Department issued a report Wednesday that detailed the high price and low wages for child care, a problem that makes it harder for parents to work and one that the Biden administration aims to fix with its budget proposal.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen presented the findings in remarks that drew on personal experiences. Harris recalled spending weekdays with Regina Shelton, who ran a childcare center from her home while the vice president’s mother was in the lab researching breast cancer.
“She became a second mother to my sister and me,” Harris said. “My mother often said that, but for Miss Shelton, she would not have been able to do the work that she did.”
Biden angers France, EU with new Australia, UK initiative
President Joe Biden’s decision to form a strategic Indo-Pacific alliance with Australia and Britain to counter China is angering France and the European Union. They’re feeling left out and seeing it as a return to the Trump era.
The security initiative, unveiled this week, appears to have brought Biden’s summer of love with Europe to an abrupt end. AUKUS, which notably excludes France and the European Union, is just the latest in a series of steps, from Afghanistan to east Asia, that have taken Europe aback.
After promising European leaders that “America is back” and that multilateral diplomacy would guide U.S. foreign policy, Biden has alienated numerous allies with a go-it-alone approach on key issues. France’s foreign minister expressed “total incomprehension” at the recent move, which he called a “stab in the back,” and the EU’s foreign policy chief complained that Europe had not been consulted.
Murdaugh surrenders to face charges in $10M insurance fraud
Lawyer Alex Murdaugh surrendered Thursday to face insurance fraud and other charges after state police said he arranged to have himself shot in the head so that his son would get a $10 million life insurance payout. The shooter only grazed him.
A defense attorney said Murdaugh was deeply depressed with a drug addiction worsened by his discovery of the bodies of his wife and son, who were shot multiple times at the family’s home on June 7. Those killings remain unsolved.
The three felony charges against Murdaugh, 53, include insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report. He arrived at the Hampton County jail about five hours before his bond hearing. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all charges, but there is no minimum sentence.
NYC’s Rikers Island jail spirals into chaos amid pandemic
A spate of inmate deaths. Cellblocks unguarded. Staggering staffing shortages caused by AWOL guards. Detainees deprived of food and medical care.
New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex, troubled by years of neglect, has spiraled into turmoil during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s not just inmates and advocates saying that. City officials, including the mayor, admit there are serious problems.
One jail watchdog called it “a complete breakdown in the operation of the jails.”
“In our office’s 50 years of monitoring the city jails, this is one of the most dangerous times we’ve seen,” said Mary Lynne Werlwas, a lawyer and the director of the Prisoners’ Rights Project at the Legal Aid Society.
Hezbollah brings Iran fuel to Lebanon despite US sanctions
Dozens of trucks carrying Iranian diesel arrived in Lebanon on Thursday, the first in a series of deliveries organized by the militant Hezbollah. The powerful group operates independently from Lebanese authorities, which are struggling to deal with a crippling energy crisis.
The overland delivery through neighboring Syria violates U.S. sanctions imposed on Tehran after former President Donald Trump pulled America out of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in 2018.
The shipment is being portrayed as a victory by Hezbollah, which stepped in to supply the fuel from its patron, Iran, while the cash-strapped Lebanese government grapples with months-long fuel shortages that have paralyzed the country.
Southwest China earthquake collapses homes, kills at least 3
An earthquake destroyed houses, killed at least three people and injured dozens Thursday in southwest China’s Sichuan province.
Rescue work was underway following the magnitude 6.0 earthquake.
It struck at 4:33 a.m. at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles) in Luxian, a county in the city of Luzhou, the official Xinhua News Agency said. State broadcaster CCTV said 88 people were injured, three seriously, and that 35 houses had collapsed.
The epicenter was about 200 kilometers (120 miles) southeast of Chengdu, the provincial capital.
Rep. Susan Wild faced trauma. It transformed her priorities in Congress.
When Rep. Susan Wild was elected in 2018 to represent her district in eastern Pennsylvania, she did not anticipate mental health care becoming the issue that would define her early years as a legislator.
Then Wild’s longtime partner died by suicide in May 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, and her constituents reported rising stress levels. During the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, Wild was in a group of about two dozen Democratic lawmakers who sheltered in place in the House gallery as shots were fired outside the chamber.
Each experience, traumatic in its own way, inspired Wild to focus on highlighting the importance of mental health care, whether by sponsoring legislation or sharing her own experiences.
Susan’s article is a long one, but worth the time to read.
Al Jazeera News
Protesters hauled away from Evergrande HQ as meltdown fears mount
Security personnel in the Chinese city of Shenzhen on Thursday took away protesters who gathered outside the headquarters of cash-strapped real estate developer China Evergrande Group.
The country’s second-biggest property developer is wrestling with a liquidity crisis, scrambling to raise funds as it teeters between a messy meltdown with far-reaching impacts, a managed collapse or a government bailout.
Disgruntled Evergrande investors, as well as vendors who say they are owed money, have gathered this week at company headquarters in the southern city and reportedly elsewhere in China.
France says leader of ISIL group in Sahel has been killed
France says that the leader of ISIL (ISIS)-affiliated Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS) group, known for its deadly attacks in the so-called tri-border region of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, has been killed by French forces.
“[Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi], leader of the terrorist group Islamic State in the Greater Sahara was neutralised by French forces,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in a tweet on Thursday.
“This is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,” Macron added, without providing details or location of the operation.
Lebanon judge seeks arrest of ex-minister charged in Beirut blast
The lead judge investigating Lebanon’s massive port explosion last year has issued an arrest warrant for a former government minister who failed to appear for questioning, state media has reported.
Youssef Fenianos, the former public works minister, is one of several former government officials who have declined to appear before investigating judge Tarek Bitar.
The whereabouts of Fenianos are unknown, but he is thought to be in Lebanon. The 57-year-old headed the ministry from 2016 to 2020.
A judicial source confirmed that the warrant was issued on Thursday, the AFP news agency reported.
UN ‘concerned’ over N Korea railway-borne missile test
Members of the UN Security Council have gathered behind closed doors for an emergency meeting about North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test, which member states consider a “major threat,” according to France’s ambassador to the UN, Nicolas de Riviere.
Riviere said there was consensus among the group to condemn the test, which North Korea said was launched using a “railway-borne missile system”.
Anti-masker abuse, subpar healthcare, and a 5 cent raise: CVS workers say enough is enough
Thousands of workers at CVS stores across California are demanding better pay, increased safety standards, healthcare improvements and more security for workers in new union contract negotiations.
The demands followed the drug chain’s report of record profits over the past 18 months, in part due to keeping stores open throughout the pandemic and offering Covid-19 testing and vaccines in stores. CVS reported a profit of more than $7bn in 2020 and posted a $2.8bn profit in the second quarter of 2021. CVS is ranked the eighth largest retailer in the US based on 2020 sales and its parent company, CVS Health, is the fourth largest corporation in the US by revenue.
CVS has offered a wage increase of just 5 cents an hour for most workers in the contract negotiations.
Biden vows to "deal everyone in" as Nobel laureates back economic plan
In East Room remarks Thursday afternoon on leveling the economic playing field, President Biden will argue that his Build Back Better plan will "deal everyone in."
What to watch: A White House official tells me that Biden will argue that the nation has reached an inflection point — whether or not to perpetuate an economy where the wealthiest taxpayers and biggest corporations play by a set of rules they’ve written for themselves.
- Biden will argue that we simply can't revert to how things were before the pandemic, the official said.
✉️ First look: 15 winners of the Nobel Prize in economics, including Joseph Stiglitz, write in an open letter that Biden's agenda will reduce long-term inflationary pressure, provide inclusive economic growth and make the tax system more equitable:
Detroit Free Press
Ford will double F-150 Lightning production— and needs a lot more workers to do it
A year after revealing plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the iconic Rouge Complex to build the all-electric F-150 Lightning, the automaker announced Thursday that its initial plan didn't go far enough.
Ford confirmed it will double production of the highly-anticipated 2022 Ford F-150 that will be built with a battery pack instead of a gas tank.
With 150,000 reservations for 2022 F-150 Lightning received online by mid-September, the company confirmed it will be adding another $250 million investment at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center and create 450 additional hourly direct jobs, with most of the workers building the Lightning.
In addition, workers at Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti will assemble the batteries and Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center in Sterling Heights will increase its capacity to supply electric motors and electric transaxles for the F-150 Lightning.
Fauci Critic, Hillsborough County GOP Official, Dies Of COVID-19
The sudden COVID-19 death of the Hillsborough County Republican Party's accountant and chairman of the committee for election integrity has left the organization in a financial tangle, and has friends of the victim leveling baseless accusations of poor medical care at a Tampa hospital.
Gregg Prentice, 61, of Riverview died Saturday at Tampa General Hospital after contracting the coronavirus.
In the meantime, fellow Hillsborough County GOP member and Prentice friend Jason Kimball is blaming Tampa General Hospital for Prentice's death.
Mom Reunited With Daughter Who Was Abducted In 2007: Police
A mother and daughter who hadn't seen each other in 14 years have been reunited. Law enforcement officials are crediting teamwork among multiple agencies in making it possible.
Angelica Vences-Salgado called the police department in Clermont, Florida, on Sept. 2, telling them she had just been contacted by someone on social media claiming to be her daughter, Jacqueline Hernandez, police said. Jacqueline went missing at age 6 in 2007 and was believed to have been abducted from her home by her father.
Jacqueline, now 19, told her mother she had been in Mexico and asked to meet her at a U.S.-Mexico point of entry at the border in Texas.
Good News Network
Premature Baby Born the Size of a Bag of Sugar and Kept Alive in a Sandwich Bag Has Defied the Odds to Start School
A premature baby born the size of a bag of sugar and kept alive in a sandwich bag has defied the odds to start elementary school.
Darcey Clegg, who is now four years old, weighed just 1lb 5oz when she was born in September 2016 via an emergency c-section—three months early.
The little girl had to fight for her life in the neonatal unit at Royal Oldham Hospital, Greater Manchester, until she miraculously came home on 30th December after 64 days in hospital.
Now despite everything, she is getting ready to start school in September, and mom, 50-year-old Gill Glegg, couldn’t be prouder.