House expected to pass $1.9T COVID-19 relief package
The House is expected as early as Tuesday to approve President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, his chief legislative priority as he begins his presidency. The plan, which passed the Senate this weekend, includes $1,400 stimulus checks for those earning under $75,000, an extension of unemployment benefits and money for local and state governments, among other measures. Democrats, whose margin in the House is only slightly bigger than in the Senate, must hope their progressive members don’t bolt over modifications made to the legislation, particularly the removal of a federal minimum wage hike.
Derek Chauvin trial live: Judge says he will start jury selection Tuesday
Jury selection was scheduled to begin Tuesday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin after jurors were sent home Monday as the court grappled with an appeal over the possible reinstatement of a third-degree murder charge — an issue that still has not been resolved. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd last May. Prosecutors contend Floyd, 46, was killed by Chauvin’s knee, compressed against his neck for more than 9 minutes while he was handcuffed and pinned to the pavement. Legal experts say bystander video of the incident, as well as two autopsy reports, will play central roles in the trial.
Given salary cap uncertainty, NFL and players’ union consider delaying franchise tag deadline
NFL teams face a 4 p.m. ET deadline Tuesday for the designation of franchise and transition player tags. However, that deadline could get pushed back, as the league and NFL Players Association officials have had discussions about delaying that deadline because of the lingering uncertainty over the determination of the salary cap figures for 2021. The NFL announced that minimum team spending for 2021 will be $180 million, but a ceiling for the salary cap has yet to be determined. So far, Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons, New York Jets safety Marcus Maye and Washington Football Team guard Brandon Scherff are the only players to receive franchise tags. The Dallas Cowboys avoided that scenario with quarterback Dak Prescott, as the two sides agreed to a four-year, $160 million contract on Monday.
Got the COVID-19 vaccine? The CDC has new guidelines for vaccinated Americans
To those who have been vaccinated or are soon to be vaccinated: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidelines designed to ease restrictions for Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Fully vaccinated individuals may get together with other vaccinated individuals in small groups inside their homes without masks or physical distancing. They can visit with unvaccinated people from one other household who are at low risk for severe disease. The new guidelines say fully vaccinated people don’t need to quarantine or take a coronavirus test if they’ve been exposed, unless they’re symptomatic. Experts say the announcement may be the agency’s attempt to clear up confusion created by some states rolling back coronavirus safety measures despite public warnings from health officials. Whether the guidelines will actually clarify things is up for debate.
Will Buckingham Palace answer questions about what Harry and Meghan told Oprah?
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan spent hours answering questions from Oprah Winfrey in their often-disturbing CBS interview that aired Sunday, but now it’s Buckingham Palace’s turn to answer the couple’s allegations of racism, lying and cold indifference to Meghan’s suicidal pleas for help. So far, there’s been silence from the palace. Officials for the royal family were reported to be briefing Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, on what was said. Will the normally tight-lipped palace feel compelled to respond to some of the accusations they leveled to Winfrey? During the interview, Meghan said she and Harry were told during her first pregnancy that their son, Archie, could not get royal security without a title. She also said unnamed palace officials had expressed “concerns” about the color of the unborn baby’s skin.