Saturday, January 22

5 things you should know on Tuesday

Biden to Address Voting Rights in Georgia Amid Mounting Pressure

President Joe Biden will make an urgent call to protect the constitutional right to vote and safeguard the integrity of the nation’s elections while in Atlanta on Tuesday. Biden’s planned comments, on the heels of his hard-hitting autopsy on the January 6, 2021 mob attack on the US Capitol, will come as he prepares for a hard-hitting fight over voting rights legislation. that has stalled in the Senate. The choice of Biden of Georgia for a major speech on voting rights is no accident. The state has a rich history intertwined with the fight for civil rights, one that activists warn is under attack. After Biden beat Trump in Georgia by less than 12,000 votes in 2020, the state became one of the first to implement more restrictive election laws.

Students in Los Angeles go back to schools; Chicago is not far behind

Los Angeles students will return to in-person instruction on Tuesday, provided they test negative for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status. Meanwhile, students in Chicago, the third-largest school system in the country, they must return to school on Wednesday after the city and union leaders reached a tentative agreement Monday night about COVID-19 security protocols. Teachers were expected to return to work on Tuesday, but the union’s 25,000 members have yet to vote on the deal. With COVID infections fueled by the omicron variant on the rise after the holidays, about 5,400 public schools across the country closed or switched to remote instruction last week, reports Burbio, a monitoring site. Teacher unions in some large districts say that in-person instruction during the latest surge is dangerous because their districts are not providing the necessary resources, such as extensive COVID testing and higher-quality face masks. Education experts have increasingly warned that the time for district-wide closures has passed and that children must be in school.

Fauci and Walensky to testify before the Senate on COVID variants

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Rochelle Walensky and others will testify before a US Senate committee on Tuesday. on the federal response to COVID-19 variants. The US now averages more than 700,000 new coronavirus cases per day, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows, as the most transmissible omicron variant spreads across the country. President Joe Biden has faced recent criticism over a shortage of rapid tests at home and the administration is now working to make the tests more accessible. Later this month, the federal government will launch a website to begin making 500 million COVID-19 home tests available by mail. And starting Saturday, private health insurers will have to cover up to eight COVID-19 home tests per month for people on their plans.

USA, Russia still far away in Ukraine. Whats Next?

Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman will brief NATO allies and the European Union on Tuesday after an intense day of high-level talks in Geneva on Russia’s military build-up on its border with Ukraine. On Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said “no progress was made” on Moscow’s central demand: that Ukraine be permanently banned from joining NATO. But Sherman called that proposal a “no starter.” Although this week’s talks are not expected to produce any major progress, they may buy more time as the United States seeks to rally more allies behind possible economic sanctions should Russian President Vladimir Putin decide to escalate tensions. Sherman said that while Russian officials expressed their desire to act quickly, “we must give diplomacy and dialogue the time and space necessary to move forward on such complex issues.”

Before hearing, Fed’s Powell says high inflation ‘imposes a toll’ on families

High inflation is affecting American families, “particularly those less able to cover the highest costs of essential elements such as food, housing and transportation,” acknowledged Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in remarks that will be delivered in a congressional hearing on Tuesday. The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on Powell’s nomination for a second four-year term on Tuesday. President Joe Biden announced Powell’s reelection at the end of November. Inflation has soared to highest levels in four decadesand the government is expected to report on Wednesday that consumer prices rose 7.1% in the past 12 months, above the 6.8% annual increase in November. Powell’s nomination is likely to pass the Senate with bipartisan support, but members of Congress are sure to cross-examine Powell and ask him tough questions about whether the Fed can take action to control inflation without slowing the economy so much that it slips into recession. .

Contributing: The Associated Press

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