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Car bomb kills 26 troops at Afghan base - rt

Car bomb kills 26 troops at Afghan base

At least 26 security personnel were killed and over a dozen injured when a suicide car bomb hit a military base in Afghanistan early on Sunday in one of the deadliest attacks against the country’s forces in months.
rt - 15 minutes ago
Actor David Prowse, best known for his role as Darth Vader from the Star Wars trilogy, has died at age 85 - rt

Actor David Prowse, best known for his role as Darth Vader from the Star Wars trilogy, has died at age 85

rt - 1 hour ago
Paris protesters torch cars, set BANK on fire amid clashes over bill slammed as ‘ban on filming police brutality’ (VIDEOS) - rt

Paris protesters torch cars, set BANK on fire amid clashes over bill slammed as ‘ban on filming police brutality’ (VIDEOS)

Violent clashes and arson have erupted in Paris amid mass protests against police brutality and a draft law that would ban filming officers “in certain circumstances,” after a video emerged of cops beating a black music producer.
rt - 8 hours ago
Woman found dead in woodlands on London’s Hampstead Heath - metro

Woman found dead in woodlands on London’s Hampstead Heath

The body was found close to an 18th century Grade II-listed building.
metro - 9 hours ago
Syria condemns ‘Zionist terrorist attack on science’ as Israel says it has ‘no clue’ who was behind Iranian scientist’s murder - rt

Syria condemns ‘Zionist terrorist attack on science’ as Israel says it has ‘no clue’ who was behind Iranian scientist’s murder

Damascus has condemned the assassination of top Iranian nuclear physicist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, calling it a chilling “terrorist attack on science”, as Tel Aviv neither confirms nor denies speculations of its  involvement.
rt - 9 hours ago
Coin removed from man’s nose after being stuck for more than 50 years - metro

Coin removed from man’s nose after being stuck for more than 50 years

The 59-year-old Russian man was aged just six when he wedged the money into his right nostril.
metro - 11 hours ago
At least 3 dead in Italy’s Sardinia as island is hit by severe flooding (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - rt

At least 3 dead in Italy’s Sardinia as island is hit by severe flooding (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

At least three people have died and two more are missing as the Italian island of Sardinia has been battered by storms for two days in a row. The extreme weather has caused flooding and landslides in several areas.
rt - 11 hours ago
Close encounter: Russian, Indian satellites ‘dangerously approach’ each other in ‘crowded’ low orbit - rt

Close encounter: Russian, Indian satellites ‘dangerously approach’ each other in ‘crowded’ low orbit

An Indian remote sensing satellite flew “dangerously close” to a Russian one on Friday, according to Russian space agency Roscosmos. The Indian authorities, however, denied there was any risk of collision.
rt - 12 hours ago
Government appoints Nadhim Zahawi as vaccines minister - channel 4

Government appoints Nadhim Zahawi as vaccines minister

In the last 24 hours - a further 15,871 new cases have been confirmed in the UK.
channel 4 - 13 hours ago
UK and EU hold last minute Brexit talks days before deadline - channel 4

UK and EU hold last minute Brexit talks days before deadline

The same sticking points remain over issues like fishing rights and governance.
channel 4 - 13 hours ago
Giant Rats Are Sniffing Out Landmines and Tuberculosis - vice

Giant Rats Are Sniffing Out Landmines and Tuberculosis

With their "super-sniffer" noses, African giant-pouched rats are also being trained to lead search-and-rescue missions following earthquakes and other natural disasters.
vice - 13 hours ago
Thousands of protesters march in France against security law that bans filming police (PHOTOS, VIDEOS) - rt

Thousands of protesters march in France against security law that bans filming police (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Protesters throughout France have shown up for rallies against a controversial draft law on public safety, under which filming a police officer on duty may result in a hefty fine. Critics say it fosters impunity for misconduct.
rt - 16 hours ago
Bird flu fears grow as spate of UK swan deaths investigated - metro

Bird flu fears grow as spate of UK swan deaths investigated

Authorities are investigating a spate of swan deaths in Britain amid concerns of a connection to a wave of avian flu from Europe.
metro - 17 hours ago
‘Important to preserve scope for talks with Iran’: Germany warns against escalation after killing of top Iranian scientist - rt

‘Important to preserve scope for talks with Iran’: Germany warns against escalation after killing of top Iranian scientist

Berlin has urged “all parties” to avoid escalating tensions following the assassination of a senior Iranian scientist in what Tehran suspects to be an Israeli operation. Iran’s leader has pledged to go after those responsible.
rt - 18 hours ago
Iran’s supreme leader vows revenge on Israel after top scientist’s assassination - metro

Iran’s supreme leader vows revenge on Israel after top scientist’s assassination

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for the 'definitive punishment' of those responsible, accusing Israel of the killing.
metro - 19 hours ago
Beijing powers up first domestically-built nuclear reactor, construction of 6 more underway at home & abroad - rt

Beijing powers up first domestically-built nuclear reactor, construction of 6 more underway at home & abroad

China has plugged in its first domestically-built nuclear reactor with hopes to become more energy-independent and to export its design across the globe.
rt - 20 hours ago
Primark to open 11 stores for 24 hours when lockdown is lifted - metro

Primark to open 11 stores for 24 hours when lockdown is lifted

Shoppers will be welcomed back for all-day, all-night festive shopping.
metro - 22 hours ago
Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei pledges to ‘firmly prosecute’ those behind assassination of top military scientist - rt

Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei pledges to ‘firmly prosecute’ those behind assassination of top military scientist

Iran will have retribution for the death of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the scientist killed on Friday, the country’s supreme leader has pledged. Iranian officials accuse Israel of being behind the killing.
rt - 22 hours ago
Rally against French bill outlawing sharing images of police dispersed with tear gas in Nantes (VIDEOS) - rt

Rally against French bill outlawing sharing images of police dispersed with tear gas in Nantes (VIDEOS)

A protest rally in Nantes, which saw crowds denouncing a proposed national security law, has been dispersed by French police. More protests against the controversial piece of legislation are scheduled for Saturday.
rt - 23 hours ago
Masks on ‘busy streets’ & at work: Ireland issues stricter guidelines on face coverings ahead of holiday season - rt

Masks on ‘busy streets’ & at work: Ireland issues stricter guidelines on face coverings ahead of holiday season

The Irish prime minister asked people to stick to “common sense” and wear masks on crowded streets and at work in the weeks leading up to the Christmas celebrations.
rt - 1 day ago
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vice
3 GOP Senators Are Stalling the Coronavirus Bailout Because They Think the Unemployment Benefits Are Too Generous

3 GOP Senators Are Stalling the Coronavirus Bailout Because They Think the Unemployment Benefits Are Too Generous

vice - 8 months ago

WASHINGTON — The massive $2 trillion coronavirus bailout bill has hit a snag.

A trio of GOP senators, Sens. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.), are threatening to delay the bill unless an expansion to unemployment insurance was tweaked to guarantee no one would get paid more if they’re laid off than what they’d been making previously.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) responded by promising to push for more restrictions on corporate bailout funds if they don’t back off.

It’s common to see dramatic last-minute objections to massive bills constructed to respond to crises, and this is one of the biggest bills — and one of the largest crises — ever tackled by Congress. But it’s unclear at this moment whether these objections are a temporary hiccup or a sign that this rushed legislation may be beginning to unravel just hours after it was finalized and could need some major changes to pass Congress and get help to suffering Americans.

The trio of GOP senators called the language they objected to a “drafting error” — but the bill was intentionally written to give a $600 weekly increase to unemployment for people who were laid off, on top of whatever their state was already set to pay them. That would lead to weekly unemployment assistance of roughly $1,000 a week in many states.

These senators said that sum would provide a "strong incentive for employees to be laid off instead of going to work," and want to make sure no one would get more through the program than they'd be able to get elsewhere.

“Simple Fix: Cap unemployment benefits at full salary before the crisis,” Graham tweeted.

But things aren’t so simple. The change would make it difficult if not impossible for state unemployment agencies to quickly get money out to the millions of people who are suddenly out of work.

State insurance offices are already struggling — and sometimes failing — to keep up with the deluge of newly unemployed people trying to get help, and individually means-testing every person’s payout would add a huge logistical hurdle that would make it almost impossible to get that money out to people. It also would have been time consuming and politically fraught for Congress to design a specific program for every state.

As a spokesman for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) explained in a statement, the across-the-board boost was aimed at “deliver needed aid in a timely manner rather than burning time to create a different administrative regime for each state.”

Democrats were furious about the move.

“Republicans right now are holding up COVID relief package because the unemployment insurance is TOO GENEROUS. I’ve heard zero business leaders or workers ask me to not make too much money available,” Sen. Brain Schatz (D-Hawaii) tweeted.

The delay risks opening up a pandora’s box, as once the carefully negotiated compromise legislation is opened up to changes many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will fight to push it in their direction.

“Unless Republican Senators drop their objections to the coronavirus legislation, I am prepared to put a hold on this bill until stronger conditions are imposed on the $500 billion corporate welfare fund,” he said in a statement.

Even if the bill gets past these Senate objections, there’s no guarantee that it’ll sail through the House, which is currently out of session. House Democratic leaders still haven’t signaled they’re on board with the legislation, though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been involved in recent negotiations. And New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), is furious about what he sees as a lack of money to help his state patch a huge hole in its budget — and pushing House members from his state to improve the bill.

Senate leaders had said they hoped to pass this massive legislation on Wednesday. Right now, that looks more than a little optimistic.

Cover: Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC, speaks to reporters as he arrives for the Republican policy luncheon at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC on March 19, 2020. (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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