Also: That’s it for me! (You can find me here, here, and here if you miss me.) I’ve had fun filling in, but your regularly scheduled programming returns tomorrow. Welcome back, Natali!
In Case You Missed It.
🛑 The six-week abortion ban in Texas has been blocked. For now. A district judge issued the order Wednesday.
👅 A San Antonio man posted online in April 2020 that he paid a Covid-positive person to lick a bunch of stuff in the grocery store. He was lying. He now has 15 months in prison to think about how not-funny that was.
Coronavirus Update: 😷 Total confirmed U.S. cases as of 12:21 p.m. ET on Wednesday: 43,971,311 — Total deaths: 705,831
Sweden and Denmark have paused offering the Moderna vaccine to young people due to higher risk of a rare side effect.
Hospitalizations for Covid are declining, but no one told Texas, Idaho, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arkansas or North Carolina. Each state has 15% or less left of their ICU capacity.
LA is set to implement one of the strictest vaccine mandates across the country. Starting November 29th, proof of full vaccination will be required for entry into gyms, bars, theaters, spas, and more.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb sees light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. He thinks Merck’s Covid pill and vaccinations for children under 12 could mark the end of the ‘pandemic phase’ of Covid. Do we dare to dream?
*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00am ET.
Markets: After a big drop yesterday morning, stocks bounced back thanks to some progress on the debt ceiling debate. (See our top story) Bitcoin showed continued explosive movement. European natural gas prices surged yet again.
Economy: We'll have some very important jobs data on today's live show. Get your popcorn ready.
Sen. McConnell offered a stopgap deal to stop the coming default. It looks like Senate Democrats will accept, so we can all breathe easier… for a few months, at least.
Republicans do not want to authorize a full solution to the debt problem. They are willing to increase the limit through December as long as there is a specific number assigned to the limit. They will not agree to any measures that allow for more borrowing through December of 2022. This means that lawmakers will be right back here in about two months.
The debt at hand is for spending that was approved by both parties over the last few years. So why don’t Republicans want to approve means to pay for it? They are concerned about approving debt for current spending while Democrats sign on to more spending for President Biden’s $3.5 trillion infrastructure plan. The thinking is that if the debt problem still looms through the fall, the infrastructure spending won’t get very far.
It’s a high-stakes gamble. Yesterday Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the United States is “staring into catastrophe.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “This long-awaited malaria vaccine is a breakthrough for science. This is a vaccine developed in Africa by African scientists and we’re very proud.”
The vaccine is about 30% effective, so experts are considering this an imperfect tool to use in conjunction with other imperfect tools. Another vaccine from the University of Oxford has shown 77% efficacy, but it is still in trials.
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The Department of Education announced Wednesday that it is doing a major revamp on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
First enacted in 2007, PSLF was a way to encourage people to work in public service. If a person worked for ten years in a public job and made their (eligible) loan payments on time, they could qualify for forgiveness on the remaining debt.
Not as simple as it sounds, apparently.
There have been 1.3 million applicants for PSLF, but only 16,000 have been accepted. Some rejected applicants were blindsided when they were told the loan they were paying off wasn’t the “right” type of loan to qualify for the program.
The DOE says it is overhauling the program to “restore the promise of PSLF.” One of the biggest moves they’re making is to cut the red tape, allowing people to apply for a waiver that makes every loan type eligible. Applicants must apply by October 31, 2022.
If everyone can make that deadline, the Department estimates that 22,000 borrowers will suddenly have zero debt. Over 550,000 will be 23 payments closer to the 120 payments they need to get to zero.
The FBI raided the offices of the country’s fifth-largest police union, Sergeants Benevolent Association, on Tuesday. The SBA represents 13,000 members in New York City.
Hours after the raid, union president Ed Mullins resigned. The union’s executive board asked him to go. They don’t know the details of the investigation, but they’re pretty sure he’s the target. Mullins’ home was also raided.
In a letter to SBA members, the board highlighted that Mullins is innocent until proven guilty, but they don’t want the ongoing investigation to distract from union business.
News By The Numbers
3,750. That is how many nuclear warheads the U.S. has in its stockpile as of September 2020.
14%. That is how many coral reefs we lost across the world in a decade. There are a few reasons for this, but mostly the climate crisis.
1,400. That is how many Kellogg’s employees went on strike on Tuesday at all of the company’s U.S. cereal plants.
Impossible nuggets will now join the Impossible Whopper at Burger Kings in Miami, Boston, and Des Moines. Burger King is the first fast-food chain to test a chicken alternative, much like it was the first to sell a beef alternative.
Burger King’s rival McDonald’s has a similar partnership with Impossible Foods’ rival Beyond Meat. Will there be a veggie war? Not any time soon. McD’s is currently testing its fully vegan McPlant in the UK, but it has yet to try plant-based alternatives in the US.
Today's Live Show
SCARY! PENTAGON ISSUES DEBT WARNING TO CONGRESS
Join us on today's live morning show. We'll be analyzing the Pentagon's troubling warning to Congress about the debt ceiling debacle. We're also looking at Biden's move to end student loan debt. Be sure to join us for the best morning show on YouTube. Click here to RSVP and I'll see you at 9 AM Eastern.
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