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President Joe Biden is set to convene his Cabinet in person for the first time today at the White House. The 25-person group will discuss, among other things, the first part of the President’s brand-new infrastructure plan that he unveiled yesterday. According to Biden, the plan will focus on American-based companies and products to modernize 20,000 miles of roads and fix the country’s 10 “most economically significant bridges.” Environmental groups were mostly optimistic about the plan, but some said it doesn’t do enough to tackle the urgency of the climate crisis. It won’t be all infrastructure today, though. Biden’s cabinet will also discuss the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package and other top priorities.
3. Voter suppression
Major Georgia companies are beginning to balk at the state’s controversial new voting law, tangling with Gov. Brian Kemp over its impact. James Quincey, the CEO of Coca-Cola, called the law “unacceptable,” as did Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian. Kemp hit back against the corporate giants, saying they didn’t fully understand the law. However, these same companies are also the target of boycotts from critics of the law, who say the companies didn’t do enough with their massive regional influence to stop it. Virginia is now the latest state to go against the rising tide of restrictive voting laws across the country. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam just approved a bill that aims to eliminate voter suppression and intimidation in the state.
4. Russia & Ukraine
Top US national security officials have spoken with their Ukrainian or Russian counterparts amid concern over Russian military activity in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. The Pentagon had grown increasingly concerned after military intelligence reports assessed that some 4,000 heavily armed Russian forces had been observed moving in the disputed region of Crimea. Last week, four Ukrainian soldiers died in what the US is considering a ceasefire violation by Moscow. Russia has blamed Ukraine for the renewed violence in the region. The Biden administration is taking a tougher approach to Russia, and these rising tensions with Ukraine are just another diplomatic challenge on top of sanctions and mistrust brought on by accusations of cyberattacks and election meddling.
5. California shooting
Four people, including a child, were killed in a mass shooting at an office complex in Orange, California, yesterday. A suspect was apprehended by police and is in critical condition, but authorities have released very little about the suspect, victims or motive. A police official said it was the worst tragedy of its kind in the area since 1997. By CNN’s definition, this is at least the 20th mass shooting since the Atlanta-area spa attacks two weeks ago that left eight people dead.
Volkswagen could end up in hot water over its ‘Voltswagen’ marketing stunt
Hot take: April Fools’ pranks are never as clever as you think they are.
LeBron James officially becomes part owner of the Red Sox
Just in time for MLB Opening Day! (Which is TODAY, hooray!!!)
The days of empty middle seats are ending as Delta plans to sell the whole plane starting May 1
Goodbye, sweet socially-distanced elbow room.
Apple’s Siri will soon stop defaulting to a female-sounding voice
You’ll choose the specific tone and regional accent of your disembodied omnipresent phone assistant upon setup.
Stress can be good for you, and here’s why
You know, science, we’re gonna have to disagree with you on this one.
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That’s about how many acres were burned in New South Wales during Australia’s quietest fire season in a decade. For comparison, 13.6 million acres were burned during last season’s deadly Black Summer wildfires.
“I understand once you get in the car, you can’t win, you’re done. That’s the way I look at it.”
Charles McMillian, a bystander who testified that he watched officers detain George Floyd. During yesterday’s witness questioning in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, McMillian got emotional and said he encouraged Floyd to just get in the police car because he knew from experience it was just easier to comply.
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Just go with the flow
Chill out. Focus. Watch some soothing squid. No no, you’re not frantically getting ready for another day of Zoom calls and carpool lines. You’re at the aquarium! Ahh, isn’t that better? (Click here to view)