A large number of people who attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last week have tested positive for Covid, turning comedian Trevor Noah’s “superspreader” jokes at the event into truth. Everyone who attended the event was both vaccinated and boosted.
If the U.S. doesn’t get its Covid-funding act together, Moderna is preparing to go private, charging insurance providers and consumers for boosters to fight against the expected surge of cases in the fall.
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President Joe Biden renewed a call for gun legislation on Thursday in a special address.
“We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” the President said. “And if we can’t ban assault weapons, then we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21. Strengthen background checks and safe storage laws and red flag laws. Repeal the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability. Address the mental health crisis.”
So what then? Whooooo knows? Republicans have started to show some compromise on the issue of gun legislation but it’s not major. The President said that if lawmakers will not join his efforts for gun legislation, Americans should vote them out in the upcoming Midterm elections.
In New York, a new law was passed to raise the age of buying a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 years old.
Just three minutes after the President spoke, another mass shooting took place in Iowa.
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A new report shows that Social Security will not be able to pay full benefits by the year 2035. This means that your retirement benefits will be 20% less than they should be in about 12 years.
Your retirement benefits are calculated based on your earnings and work history. If you go to SocialSecurity.gov right now, you can see what your estimated retirement benefits are based on what year you claim them. You get the maximum amount of benefits if you wait to claim them at age 70.
You have paid into this fund every time you made a paycheck or paid your taxes. This money is auto-deducted from your check with the promise that you will be able to draw from it when you retire. But you will not if the government mismanages the money, which it currently is!
So let’s say your current Social Security statement tells you that you are entitled to $1,000 per month when you retire. Based on this projection, you would only receive $800 per month, even though you did your part and paid into this fund for your entire working career. Medicare Part A benefits will face similar cuts. This is outrageous!
The world is running out of sand and this is a problem because sand is used to build walls, buildings, cement, concrete and glass. Uh oh.
A report from the UN Environmental Programme warns that sand is the “second most exploited natural resource in the world after water.”
Sand is literally the building block of cities but of course, cities don’t take it from their own land. They take it from other places and that sets off a chain of reactions and depletions. Nehal El-Hadi is a journalist who studies this and she says this:
“What is happening with this global construction boom and this growing rate of urbanization is that we need sand at a scale and at a speed which we have never done before…. Millions and millions and millions of tons of sand are used in cities each year. What starts happening is that sooner or later, places start to exhaust easily available sand. And what happens is that either extraction processes get more environmentally damaging, or sand has to be imported from other places, causing extraction damage in places where it hadn't been before because the demand wasn't there.”
She says that this disproportionately affects Black people because they live in areas hardest hit by climate change.
As governments attempt to regulate sand, a black market has resulted. Now there is what she calls a “sand mafia, sand thieves, [and] sand pirates.”
Beam me up Scotty! Scientists say that interstellar travel may be possible without a spaceship. How? By hopping from rogue planet to rogue planet!
Rogue planets are planets or masses that have been ejected from their solar systems. Not because they’re bad. Because of “gravitational events.” Scientists say that there may be more than 50 billion rogue planets out there and some may have things humans need like water and gravity.
In this paper, scientists say that extraterrestrials that have migrated planetary systems may have left “technosignatures” and we may be able to find them on rogue planets.
Another paper, however, should give us pause about doing this. A Spanish researcher says that there may be as many as four evil civilizations out there. Does that include humans or no? Just asking because it’s not clear to me these days.
Meghan Markle is trending because she and Prince Harry showed up at the Queen’s Jubilee, although not on the balcony in marquee positions. They were not scheduled to attend and people are mostly tickled that they did.