PAINE IN THE MORNING: 9 things you need to know this Wednesday – March 3rd 2021 (LISTEN)

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Texas Gov. Abbott announces plan to fully reopen businesses, end state mask mandate –Texas’s Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday said he planned to open the state next week “100%,” roughly a year after the coronavirus pandemic broke out throughout the U.S.

Abbott issued an executive order that rescinds many of the state’s previous orders, allowing all businesses in the state to fully reopen and revoking the statewide mask mandate as of next Wednesday. – READ MORE


Mississippi Ends Mask Mandates, Allows Businesses To Return To Operating At Full Capacity Starting Tomorrow – Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, a Republican, announced on Tuesday that he was lifting the mask mandates in his state effective tomorrow and that businesses in the state would be able to return to operating at full capacity.

“Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules,” Reeves said on Twitter. “Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!” – READ MORE


California Reopening Plan ‘Propagates Racism,’ LA Teachers Union Says – The Los Angeles teachers union said Monday California’s school reopening plan is a “recipe” for propagating racism and will unfairly punish minority communities.

United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) representatives argued that teachers are being asked to make up for the leadership failings of elected officials “from Washington DC to Sacramento to LA” during a press conference Monday. Since California’s plan calls on schools in communities with low infection rates to reopen, the union said reopening funding will only go to white communities since they have less transmission. – READ MORE


LA Schools To Launch Microsoft COVID-Tracking App So Children Can Attend Classes –The Los Angeles school district is launching a Microsoft-developed a COVID-tracking app for children, which allows students to schedule and view the results of COVID tests, post the results of off-campus COVID tests, and schedule vaccinations.

According to a promotional video, however, “the real magic is your daily health check,” where students answer a questionnaire about whether they have any symptoms – after which the “Daily Pass” app will issue the child a scannable QR code to be scanned by a staff member, who will also take the child’s temperature. – READ MORE


Children Must Isolate Alone If Exposed To COVID-19, Health Guidance Says. Experts Call It ‘Cruel’ – A region in Southern Ontario, Canada, removed controversial coronavirus guidelines Monday that said children must isolate alone for 14 days if exposed to the coronavirus after experts and political leaders called it “cruel,” The Toronto Sun reported.

The Peel Region health department put forth guidelines recommending that children exposed to COVID-19 must remain in a room separated from family members for 14 days, including those who are asymptomatic. Experts called these guidelines “harmful and not supported by science,” Toronto Sun reported. – READ MORE


FBI Director Wray Refuses To Disclose Brian Sicknick’s Cause Of Death – FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday refused to disclose the cause of death of police officer Brian Sicknick during the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, citing an ongoing investigation.

“There is an ongoing investigation into his death. I have to be careful at this stage, because it’s ongoing, not to get out in front of it,” Wray said in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when asked about Sicknick’s death. – READ MORE


Democrats Consider Scheduling Vote On ‘Controversial’ Gun Control Bill In Next Two Weeks, Report Says – The Biden administration is reportedly considering scheduling a “controversial” vote on a gun control bill in the next couple of weeks, news which comes as Biden demanded last month that Congress take action on cracking down on American’s Second Amendment rights.

A report by Punchbowl News, which was founded by former Politico reporters, said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats were focused on turning their attention to other issues that the Biden administration has on its agenda, including gun control, after they passed Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” last week. – READ MORE


Fast-Food Menu Prices Have Soared During The Pandemic – In January, prices for food away from home—or menu prices—increased 3.9% year-over-year. That was the same rate as in December. That is also the highest rate for menu price inflation since late 2008, when the country was in a deep recession.

But these menu prices aren’t evenly spread. Much of that abnormality can be traced to a certain type of restaurant: One without wait staff. – READ MORE


‘Unwelcoming’ Food Inflation Outpaces Incomes With Destabilization Risks For Emerging Markets – Food prices are undeniably soaring faster than inflation and incomes around the world. As everyone’s favorite permabear, SocGen’s Albert Edwards, who, unlike Goldman, has already sounded the alarm on rising food inflation.

As a reminder, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index surged to a seventh consecutive month in December. – READ MORE

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