The US is one of only seven countries in the world without some form of universal paid family and medical leave – but two congresswomen are trying to change that. Both mothers with daughters, this bipartisan duo is collaborating across the aisle in hopes to make progress on the issue.
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A barrage of snow, rain and harsh winds is forecast from the West Coast to the Great Lakes today, following a similar string of severe weather last week. Approximately 284,000 homes and businesses were without power across the US as of this morning, about half of which were in Michigan, where the region is bracing for another round of ice and snow, forecasts show. More than 100 other storm reports were recorded in parts of the Central US as hurricane-force winds and thunderstorms tore through various states overnight. A gust of 114 mph was recorded in Texas – equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane. Meanwhile, the West is expecting a separate system of rain and high-elevation snow that will push from the Pacific Northwest down into California, where some rare blizzard warnings remain in effect.
The US Department of Energy has assessed that the Covid-19 pandemic most likely came from a laboratory leak in China. The new assessment further adds to the divide in the US government over whether the pandemic began in China in 2019 as the result of a lab leak or whether it emerged naturally. Various intelligence agencies have been split on the matter. “Right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday, noting that President Joe Biden has put resources into getting to the bottom of the origin question. The US began exploring the possibility that Covid-19 spread in a lab as early as April 2020, though intelligence officials have said a lack of cooperation from Beijing has made it difficult to attain answers.
Biden’s national security adviser responds to new report on Covid-19’s origin
President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan goes before the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Millions of student loan borrowers could see up to $20,000 of their debt canceled depending on the outcome of the hearing. It’s unclear exactly when the Supreme Court will issue its decision, but typically the justices release their rulings by the end of the current term, around late June or early July. The ruling will also determine when payments on federal student loans will resume after a pandemic-related pause that has been in place for nearly three years. The justices are expected to hear arguments in two cases Tuesday concerning the program, which is estimated to cost $400 billion.
Nearly 200 people have been arrested for alleged poor building construction following the catastrophic earthquake that struck Turkey earlier this month, Turkey’s Justice Ministry said. According to officials in the region, more than 5,700 buildings in Turkey collapsed in the magnitude 7.8 quake, which killed about 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria. The widespread destruction came after building codes were tightened in the wake of previous disasters – which should have ensured that modern builds would withstand large tremors. However, many buildings that were damaged or collapsed appeared to have been newly constructed. Residents and experts are now questioning if the government failed to take the necessary steps to enforce building regulations.
Turkey dealing with earthquake devastation
SpaceX and NASA called off an astronaut launch to the International Space Station this morning with about two minutes left on the countdown clock. Engineers put the mission on hold at 1:45 a.m. ET after an issue was detected with the rocket’s ignition fluid. Once the problem is resolved, the rocket will launch two NASA astronauts, a Russian cosmonaut, and an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates to the ISS, where they will spend up to six months carrying out science experiments and maintaining the two-decade-old space station. NASA said it will aim to launch on Thursday, “pending resolution of the technical issue preventing Monday’s launch.”
Ex-husband and relatives charged with murder of Hong Kong model
Four members of the same family have been charged in connection with the gruesome killing of Hong Kong model Abby Choi after police said they found what are believed to be parts of her dismembered body. Choi’s ex-husband, his brother and their father are charged with her murder, public broadcaster RTHK reported. The case garnered international attention over the weekend after grisly details of the investigation dominated headlines and thousands of people left condolences on Choi’s social media accounts.
2 million air fryers recalled due to fire hazard
Let’s hope this recall doesn’t extinguish your love for air fryers … See if your beloved kitchen gadget is on the recall list.
Brittney Griner receives a standing ovation at NAACP Image Awards
The WNBA star’s surprise appearance brought the audience to their feet. Watch the emotional video here.
23-year-old breaks pole vault world record
Swedish athlete Armand Duplantis cleared 6.22m (20.4 feet!) over the weekend, setting a new world record.
YouTuber Jake Paul suffers first defeat of boxing career
In a split decision, Tommy Fury – the British younger half-brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury – won the highly anticipated match.
Hundreds of newspapers drop ‘Dilbert’ comic strip
Companies are turning the page on this long-running comic after its creator went on a racist tirade online.
That’s how many gallons of contaminated waste have been removed from the toxic train derailment site in East Palestine, Ohio, according to the office of Gov. Mike DeWine. Concerns are now emerging about where the waste is going after officials said it would be processed at two EPA-certified sites in Ohio. Meanwhile, officials in Texas and Michigan recently complained they didn’t receive any warning that waste from the crash would be shipped into their jurisdictions for disposal.
“Please keep going, because the spotlight will one day find you.”
– Actor Ke Huy Quan, sharing words of encouragement in his acceptance speech at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. Quan became the first Asian male to win the award for outstanding supporting actor for his role in the 2022 hit movie “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” It was his first major film credit since the 90s after leaving show business for decades. Michelle Yeoh also made history for her role in the film, winning the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role – the first Asian woman to win in that category.
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Painting on water
Watch this painter use a mesmerizing technique called ebru, or marbling, to create stunning masterpieces on water. (Click here to view)