How Low Can Dems Go On Unemployment Benefits?

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WASHINGTON ― The extra $600 a week Congress added to unemployment benefits is set to expire in a matter of days, and Republicans and Democrats remain as far apart as ever on a deal to extend the money ― both between their parties and within them.

Senate Republicans have delayed unveiling their own legislation to extend the benefits all week, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) now saying Republicans in his chamber will release their bill on Monday. 

Democratic leaders won’t have much time to negotiate before benefits expire. In fact, even though the extra money was supposed to last until the end of July, many recipients will get their final $600 on Saturday or Sunday, because most states pay benefits on the weekend and July 31 is a Friday. (Regular state unemployment benefits, which are much lower, will continue.) 

And when lawmakers finally get around to hashing out final

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City Of Napa Receives $975K In Federal CARES Act Grant Funds

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NAPA, CA — The Napa City Council approved a spending plan Tuesday for $975,000 in grant funds the city received through the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security — CARES— Act.

Napa City Manager Steve Potter said the grant funds give the city “a much-needed opportunity to assist residents, local businesses and staff health concerns.”

The funds are part of the $2-trillion economic relief package passed March 27 by Congress that also included stimulus checks for American taxpayers. The city was restricted to spending the CARES Act funds on specific purposes related to the coronavirus pandemic, so it focused on providing assistance to local economically impacted community members and the business community. The money will also be spent on improvements to internal city operations and workspaces for city employees.

“While the funds will not make up for the revenues that have been lost due to coronavirus, they will

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Maryland election board told state faces ‘emergency,’ is short 14,000 judges due to pandemic

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With little more than 100 days to Nov. 3, Maryland’s counties and Baltimore City are short nearly 14,000 election judges and “it’s becoming impossible to fill all of these vacancies” during a pandemic, the state elections board was told Thursday.

“That’s 35% vacancies,” said David Garreis, president of the Maryland Association of Election Officials. “A 35% vacancy rate so close to Election Day … is an emergency for the local boards,” he said.

Garreis told the state board during an online meeting that local election boards are struggling to comply with Gov. Larry Hogan’s order that every polling place open Nov. 3 for a general election expected to attract substantial voter turnout because of a hotly contested presidential contest. A survey of local boards found that 1,386 polling places would be required, Garreis said.

“As everyone knows, without the election judges, it’s impossible for the local boards to open all

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private Zoom tutors spark controversy as virtual school year looms

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<span>Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

Elyssa Katz, a Santa Monica mother of three, is growing a matchmaking service to connect families with tutors, or “Zutors”, as she calls them – a word she’s in the process of trademarking.

“The role of a Zutor is a tutor, a nanny, and an angel for a parent,” Katz told the Guardian, someone who can take over parental demands, help children with online homework and take them outside when it’s time for “recess”.

Katz’s clients range from the rich and famous, to everyday people who need childcare because they can’t look after their children while they have to work. Katz said she had gotten calls from parents as far away as the Hamptons.

For a matchmaking fee that can range from $700 to $1,000 (£549 to £785), Katz and her team will interview tutor candidates, run background and reference checks, then match them to the

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Open schools for younger kids, top pediatrician says

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Kindergarten teacher Holly Rupprecht carries plexiglass panels to her room at Zion Lutheran School in Bethalto, Ill., on Monday. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Kindergarten teacher Holly Rupprecht carries plexiglass panels to her room at Zion Lutheran School in Bethalto, Ill., on Monday. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

WASHINGTON — Younger children pose a smaller risk of catching and transmitting the coronavirus, a top pediatrician told Congress on Thursday, providing a scientific argument for why elementary schools could potentially open in parts of the country next month.

“School systems may consider prioritizing the return of younger children and taking additional measures to ensure physical distancing and the wearing of face coverings among older children,” Dr. Sean O’Leary told the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education on Thursday morning. 

The hearing was titled “Underfunded & Unprepared,” a sign of how House Democrats, who control the chamber’s agenda, view the matter. 

O’Leary, a vice chair for infectious disease at the American Academy of Pediatrics, also cited a South Korean

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The bright spot in Trump’s coronavirus response

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Hello, everyone! Welcome to the new edition of Insider Today. Please sign up here.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Person, woman, man, camera, TV … if you get it in order you get extra points.” — President Donald Trump bragging about his performance on a test given to screen people for dementia.

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is tear gassed while visiting protesters demonstrating against the presence of federal agents on July 22, 2020.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is tear gassed while visiting protesters demonstrating against the presence of federal agents on July 22, 2020.

Twitter @ByMikeBaker

US weekly jobless claims rose to 1.4 million last week, more than economists expected and the first increase in months. It signals that the recovery has stalled as the virus surges in the South, West, and Midwest. More than 50 million Americans have filed for unemployment during the pandemic.  

Senate Republicans have ditched the payroll tax cut from their proposed relief bill. They’re proposing another round of stimulus checks instead. President Trump seems

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In Picking Up Work Here and There, Many Miss Out on Unemployment Check

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Annie Frodeman, who cobbled together work shifts registering emergency patients at a hospital, and as an airport ramp agent, in her airport safety vest near her home outside Burlington, Vt., July 21, 2020. (John Tully/The New York Times)
Annie Frodeman, who cobbled together work shifts registering emergency patients at a hospital, and as an airport ramp agent, in her airport safety vest near her home outside Burlington, Vt., July 21, 2020. (John Tully/The New York Times)

Annie Frodeman often worked 40 hours a week or more — full time by most lights. She just worked them at two jobs.

Four or five mornings a week before the coronavirus outbreak, she worked as an airport ramp agent for Piedmont Airlines in Burlington, Vermont — hoisting bags on and off planes, refilling the water tanks, and sometimes emptying aircraft lavatories — for less than $15 an hour. The rest of the time she signed up for shifts in the emergency room at University of Vermont Medical Center, registering patients for $20 an hour.

While Burlington is expensive, Frodeman said, the two jobs together provided the income and flexibility that she

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As the School Year Approaches, Education May Become the Pandemic’s Latest Casualty

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Children tumble off a yellow school bus, where every other seat is marked with caution tape. Wearing whimsical masks—one has whiskers, another rhinestones—they wait to get their temperatures checked before filing into the one-story school building. Inside Wesley Elementary in Middletown, Conn., plastic shields rise from desks, and cartoon posters exhort children to cover your cough. In the middle of a lesson, teacher Susan Velardi picks up her laptop and pans it so her students can see the screen. “Look,” she tells them, “I have a friend that’s joining us at home!”

There’s a new set of ground rules in Velardi’s classroom. “Your mask is on, and your mask stays like this. If we go outside if it’s nice, we have to sit apart,” she tells the students, who will enter third grade in the fall. When one tries to high-five her, she compromises with an “air high five.” Other

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Parents rush to hire tutors and create learning pods. But not everyone has options

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Luna Tringale, 6, sister Anaya Tringale, 5, father Rolando Tringale and mother Kamren Curiel are preparing for school to resume next month. <span class="copyright">(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Luna Tringale, 6, sister Anaya Tringale, 5, father Rolando Tringale and mother Kamren Curiel are preparing for school to resume next month. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The advertisements started popping up on social media almost immediately after Los Angeles Unified School District said campuses would remain closed for the start of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re looking for a TA/College student to help with LAUSD’s virtual learning for the new school year. Parents are WFH. Kids are 5th, 3rd and potentially K. We’re starting a learning pod with another family. Any TA’s on the westside … looking for work?”

“ISO: Teacher/Tutor for 2nd grader and a little Kinder if possible. Would be open to hosting a very small pod in our back yard.”

“I am looking for a TA or tutor to help facilitate remote learning with my twin 1st graders and my 5th

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It’s Good For More Than Helping You Poop

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Dietary fiber needs an image overhaul! The nutrient is mostly associated with prunes and bowel health. And yes, fiber helps us poop regularly and efficiently. As anyone who’s suffered from constipation can tell you, that’s no small perk.

But it does so much more than just that! It also “lowers your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even some types of cancer,” Mascha Davis, RDN, founder of NomadistaNutrition.com and author of Eat Your Vitamins, tells Refinery29.

What’s more, she adds, upping your intake doesn’t necessarily mean stirring a gloopy supplement into your glass of water each morning. “Selecting delicious foods that provide fiber isn’t difficult, especially today when there are plenty of fiber-rich products on the market,” Davis says.

Here, Davis gives us some of her top high-fiber picks you’ll want to add to your pantry ASAP.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world

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