Inspired by the racial justice protests of 2020, Jahm Najafi is ready to shed his normally low profile to make some headlines for his partnerships and philanthropy
Biden's First Budget Request to Congress, Prioritizes Domestic Spending. Biden is seeking congressional authorization for a $1.5 trillion spending plan to be implemented in 2022. Overall, the plan increases non-defense spending by 16 percent, . while holding steady on defense spending. The plan seeks a 41 percent increase in education funding, aimed primarily at Title I, high-poverty schools. The Department of Health and Human Services would see a 23 percent increase to its funding, . with a nearly $9 billion increase earmarked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public housing initiatives would be increased by 15 percent. and $14 billion would fund environmental protections. Together, America has a chance not simply to go back to the way things were before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn struck, but to begin building a better, stronger, more secure, more inclusive America, Shalanda Young, Acting White House Budget Chief, via 'The Washington Post'
Democrat Charles Booker says he’s forming an exploratory committee as he weighs a follow-up Senate race in 2022 against Republican incumbent Rand Paul in Kentucky
Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua have pulled production of their runaway slave drama “Emancipation” from Georgia over the state’s recently enacted law restricting voting access
Biden Announces Gun Control Executive Orders . On April 8, President Biden announced several new gun control measures in light of recent mass shootings. One of the issues targeted are "ghost guns," which are essentially kits that allow anyone to make a gun at home. When these firearms turn up at crime scenes, they often cannot be traced by law enforcement due to the lack of a serial number, White House, via statement. Another action orders the Justice Department to propose legislation on "red flag" laws. Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to petition for a court order... , White House, via statement. ... temporarily barring people in crisis from accessing firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others, White House, via statement. Biden also instructed the ATF to compile a report on the illegal firearms trade, which the agency hasn't done since 2000. Last month, 35 Senate Democrats introduced legislation to ban "assault weapons,". but it isn't expected to pass, as gun advocates continually cite the Second Amendment.
Rep. Matt Gaetz Reportedly Sought, Preemptive Pardon From Trump. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) made the request in the waning days of former President Donald Trump's term, sources reveal. CNN reports that the request from Gaetz was not seriously considered because the Trump administration had ruled out granting presumptive pardons. According to 'The New York Times,' Gaetz's request was made after the Justice Department had opened its investigation into the FL representative. The ongoing investigation centers on an alleged sexual relationship Gaetz had with a minor. and whether or not Gaetz paid for the 17-year-old girl to cross state lines so that he could continue the relationship, otherwise known as sex-trafficking. A statement released by Trump on Wednesday claims Gaetz did not ask him for a pardon. A spokesperson for Gaetz confirmed the request but stated it was unrelated to the Justice Department investigation
Italian police say they have recovered a 1st century Roman statue that was stolen from an archaeological site in 2011 and found in a Belgian antiques shop by two off-duty Italian art squad police officers
Georgia authorities say three officers were wounded when the passenger of a car shot them during a police chase that ended with one suspect killed and the other arrested
Biden Admin Unveils Corporate Tax Hikes, to Fund Infrastructure Plan. The plan seeks to raise $2.5 trillion over the course of 15 years. In order to achieve this, sweeping changes to the corporate tax code would be enacted. and the corporate tax rate would be raised from 21 percent to 28 percent. Part of the changes would be made in order to close loopholes in the tax code ... ... that have been exploited by major American companies, often allowing them to pay zero taxes in a given year. Prior to the Trump administration, the corporate tax rate was 35 percent. Corporate reaction to the plan has been mixed, with some business community members claiming that it "threatens to subject the U.S. to a major competitive disadvantage.". The co-founder of Lyft, John Zimmer, had a different opinion about the tax plan. I think it’s important to make investments again in the country and the economy, John Zimmer, Lyft Co-Founder, via 'The New York Times'
Biden Administration Launches $500,000 Mask Innovation Contest. On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced a $500,000 contest to bolster involvement in the United States’ ongoing fight against COVID-19. . Inventors are being encouraged to submit designs for effective everyday face masks. . The contest is looking for designs that are both “effective and comfortable” in order to encourage more people to wear masks. . We know that properly and consistently worn face masks help reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory infections, but many people are reluctant to wear them for a variety of reasons, Nikki Bratcher-Bowman, HHS acting Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, via Complex. The contest is in partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. It will be carried out in two phases: the first phase asks for designs that meet “specific criteria” and solve the “hurdles” of wearing a mask. . Up to 10 ideas will be selected to split a $100,000 prize. . Participants in phase two will be required to pitch prototypes that meet criteria on filtration, fit, comfort and large-scale manufacturing. . Up to five winners will be chosen to split that $400,000 prize. The winners will also receive access to Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority resources in order to finish their pitched prototypes
U.S. colleges hoping for a return to normalcy next fall are weighing how far they should go in urging students to get the COVID-19 vaccine, including whether they should — or legally can — require it
Biden Admin Considering Overhaul of , Asylum System at Southern Border. Under President Joe Biden, the administration could move a portion of asylum cases from the Department of Justice (DOJ) immigration courts... . to become the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We will shorten from years to months the time it takes to adjudicate an asylum claim while ensuring procedural safeguards and enhancing access to counsel, Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary, via NPR News. DHS is already responsible for processing thousands of asylum cases a year. Currently, immigration courts under the DOJ are responsible for more than 1.2 million cases in a backlogged system. The big flaw in the system right now is your family comes in, they're going to process you, you may end up with an ankle bracelet and an asylum hearing in three years, Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary, via NPR News. And so it's really hard to explain to the country that it's not just an open door, Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary, via NPR News
The police chief in a Minneapolis suburb where a Black man was fatally shot during a traffic stop says he believes the officer who fired intended to use a Taser, not a handgun
Biden Admin to Extend Pause on , Student Loan Interest and Collections. White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced the extension during Tuesday's press conference. The pause on collections will affect over a million borrowers who have loans in default through private lenders. This step particularly protects 800,000 borrowers who are at risk of having their tax refunds seized, Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, via CNN. Calls from prominent Democratic senators to forgive $50,000 of federal student debt for every borrower have been curbed by President Joe Biden. Top legal experts indicate that Biden does have the power to cancel student loan debt through executive order and the Department of Education. Biden has indicated his support for some form of student debt relief but prefers legislative changes rather than executive orders so that they last. There's a lot of steps we're looking at and we'll continue to review those and be in touch of course with Leader Schumer about our process, Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, via CNN
A Virginia town has announced that one of two police officers accused of pepper-spraying and pointing their guns at a Black Army officer during a traffic stop has since been fired
Federal prosecutors in Virginia are seeking a five-year prison sentence for a former neo-Nazi group leader who pleaded guilty to conspiring with other far-right extremists to threaten dozens of targets, including a predominantly African American church, a sitting U.S. Cabinet member and journalists
Biden Issues First-Ever Presidential Proclamation for Trans Day of Visibility. On March 31, President Biden issued a statement recognizing the internationally-celebrated day. He's the first sitting U.S. president to ever do so. Transgender Americans continue to face discrimination in employment, housing, health care, and public accommodations, President Joe Biden, via statement. The crisis of violence against transgender women, especially transgender women of color, is a stain on our nation's conscience, President Joe Biden, via statement. The president also took to Twitter to issue a statement. Biden also stressed his support of the Equality Act. He said that the bill must be passed in the Senate in order to provide federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ Americans
Court documents show the woman arrested on suspicion of killing her three young children at her Los Angeles apartment had been involved in a custody dispute with their father
A number of top executives and corporate leaders gathered online this weekend to discuss what to do in response to changes to some state voting laws, according to multiple news reports
Biden Says Most Americans Will Be Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine by Mid-April. On March 29, President Joe Biden said the government will increase the number of pharmacies receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from 17,000 to 40,000 by April 19. As a result, it's estimated that at least 90% of adults will be able to get vaccinated within five miles of their home. The president also asked governors to reinstate mask mandates and consider pausing reopening procedures. . We are still in a war with this deadly virus. We're bolstering our defenses, but this war is far from won, President Joe Biden, via NBC News. CDC director Rochelle Walensky issued a similar warning Monday, . saying the country is headed for "impending doom" if it doesn't continue to follow coronavirus safety guidelines amid the presence of COVID-19 variants. White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeffrey Zients said that over the past few days, about 3 million vaccinations have been administered daily.