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5 Ways To Stop Summer Colds From Making The Rounds In Your Family

NPR Health Blog - 8 hours 14 min ago

Run-of-the-mill runny noses and coughs are back, after a break during the pandemic's height, when so many of us were circulating less and wearing masks. Here's how to keep household viruses at bay.

(Image credit: Joy Ho for NPR)

Categories: NPR Blogs

Has music made it back from last year’s COVID-19 blues?

WXXI US News - 8 hours 15 min ago
After more than a year of the twists and turns of life in the coronavirus pandemic, Danny Deutsch decided he had to lay down the law. In mid-May, he declared that no one would be allowed in Abilene Bar & Lounge unless they had proof that they had been vaccinated against COVID-19. He posted the new policy on the club’s website. And on Facebook. “The first day was an overwhelming amount of support,” Deutsch says. “I think there were over 200 responses, and I gotta believe 185 of them were, you know, ‘This is great, we’ll see you soon.’ ‘We haven’t been out, now we look forward to coming out.’ “I woke up the next day to a different sort of thing. There was a thread both on my personal Facebook page and Abilene’s Facebook page, saying, ‘We’re gonna boycott the place.’ Some that said they’ll never come for the chicken wings again.” The reference to chicken wings was a clear indication that something was afoul — or perhaps afowl — with these responses. “We’ve never served chicken wings,”

5 Ways To Stop Summer Colds From Making The Rounds In Your Family

WXXI US News - 8 hours 15 min ago
Perhaps the only respite pandemic closures brought to my family — which includes two kids under age 6 — was freedom from the constant misery of dripping noses, sneezes and coughs. And statistics suggest we weren't the only ones who had fewer colds last year: With daycares and in-person schools closed and widespread use of masks and hand sanitizer in most communities, cases of many seasonal respiratory infections went down , and flu cases dropped off a cliff . That reprieve might be ending. Social mixing has been starting up again in much of the U.S. and so have cases of garden-variety sniffles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just warned physicians that RSV, a unpleasant respiratory virus, is surging right now in southern states . And it's not just happening in the U.S. — researchers in the U.K. and Hong Kong found that rhinovirus outbreaks spiked there, too, when COVID-19 lockdowns ended. My family is at the vanguard of this trend. Right after Washington D.C. lifted its

For Toddlers, Pandemic Shapes Development During Formative Years

CASTLE POINT, Mo. — Lucretia Wilks, who runs a small day care out of her home in north St. Louis County, is used to watching young children embrace, hold hands and play together in close quarters.

But the covid-19 pandemic made such normal toddler behavior potentially unsafe.

“It’s weird that they now live in a time where they’re expected to not hug and touch,” said Wilks, founder of Their Future’s Bright Child Development Center, which cares for about a dozen children ranging from infants to 7 years old. “They’re making bonds, friendships, and that’s how they show affection.”

Day care and other child care providers said they are relieved to see covid cases drop as vaccines roll out across the United States. But even as the nation reopens, mental health and child development experts wonder about what, if any, long-term mental health and development consequences young children may face.

In the short term, medical and child development experts said the pandemic has harmed even young children’s mental health and caused them to miss important parts of typical social and emotional development. Besides not being able to get as close to other people as usual, many young children have seen their routines interrupted or experienced family stress when parents have lost jobs or gotten sick. The pandemic and its economic fallout have also forced many families to change caregiving arrangements.

“Coronavirus is impacting children and families in many ways mentally. The biggest and most obvious way is in the children’s structure and routine,” said Dr. Mini Tandon, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “Young kids thrive in structure and routine, so when you disrupt that, things go awry pretty quickly in their day-to-day lives.”

Tandon, who has spoken frequently with parents and caregivers since the pandemic began, said she and her peers have seen more severe anxiety and high levels of stress in young children than in the past.

Child behavior experts pointed to a number of problems exacerbated by the pandemic in a National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness webinar last year, including separation anxiety and clinginess, sleep issues and challenges learning new information. Children have also shown regressive behaviors — wetting the bed even though they’ve been potty-trained, for example.

For young children, changes in caregiving arrangements can be a huge source of stress. And the financial strain of the pandemic forced many families to rethink how they cared for their youngest children.

The average monthly child care cost in Missouri, for example, is $584 for 4-year-olds and $837 for infants, according to Procare Solutions, which works with over 30,000 programs for children. That has been too high for some parents who lost their jobs in the pandemic. President Joe Biden’s covid relief plan signed into law in March gives monthly payments of up to $300 per child this year and his latest proposal would help reduce child care costs and increase access to preschool, if approved.

But in the many months when day care has been out of reach, some parents have had to rearrange their work schedules to care for infants or toddlers while also helping school-age children with virtual learning. Others have relied on grandparents for help, although that option was potentially dangerous before vaccines were available. Keeping children apart from grandparents has been tough for both kids and seniors.

Even when parents could afford day care, fear of getting or spreading covid affected their choices about whether and when to send them. And some facilities closed temporarily during the pandemic.

Aimee Witzl, 34, of St. Louis, an accountant and new mom, said she and her husband were hesitant to send their daughter, Riley Witzl, to day care early in the pandemic. Riley was born prematurely in November 2019 and had to spend nine weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit before coming home. So, the couple waited until August to send her to day care part time, then until January to send her full time.

“We were already high-risk,” Witzl said. “Then covid happened, so we kept her home even longer than planned.”

Fortunately, she said, no one in her family has contracted the virus.

In March 2020, the Early Childhood Development Action Network, a global collection of agencies and institutions promoting child health and safety, put out a “call to action” shared by the World Health Organization saying they were concerned about the pandemic putting “children at great risk of not reaching their full potential” because the early years are a “critical window of rapid brain development that lays the foundation for health, wellbeing and productivity throughout life.”

Tandon, the Washington University psychiatrist, said she’s especially worried about young children who may have been isolated in unsafe homes where they were mistreated. Maltreatment is more likely to go unnoticed, she said, when children are outside of the day cares and schools where adults are required to report child abuse and neglect.

But Tandon said the stresses of the pandemic can affect the mental health of any child, which motivated her to write a children’s book about a girl dealing with anxiety during the pandemic.

Now, though covid vaccinations still remain months away for the youngest children, a shift is occurring that may cause a new round of disruptions for them. Nancy Rotter, a child psychologist and assistant professor at Harvard University, said young children may be experiencing separation anxiety as they fully transition back into their schools and day cares after being at home with their parents.

To help kids heal, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests families make sure kids stay connected to relatives and friends. The agency also advises that parents do their best to recognize and address fear and stress in themselves and their kids and seek professional help if needed. CDC experts suggest parents talk about emotions and provide opportunities for children to express their fears in a safe place.

Yet as children and toddlers return to a new normal, it may not be as strange to them as it is for adults. Though the pandemic has presented stressors, Rotter said, children can be very resilient.

“Supportive caregivers and supportive emotional environments help with resilience in the child,” she said. “Resilience is not just what’s in the child, but what’s within the child’s environment. It’s the home, religious community, school and day care environment that aid in the child’s development and how they cope with changes.”

And the pandemic may leave behind one benefit for children: the emphasis on washing hands. Child care experts said good hygiene habits are an important life lesson that will likely last beyond this health crisis.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.


This story can be republished for free (details).

Categories: National News Content

Collecting FEMA Funeral Money Takes Some Tenacity — And Help

As a funeral director at Ingold Funeral and Cremation in Fontana, California, Jessica Rodriguez helps families say goodbye to their loved ones. “We serve predominantly Latino families, most of them second- and third-generation” residents, said Rodriguez. “We do have quite a few that are first-generation, that don’t speak any English.”

Most are unaware of a federal program that offers up to $9,000, she said. And even when they know about the aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the process is daunting and the bureaucracy confusing. The lack of English skills hinders some families of people who died of covid from receiving reimbursement from FEMA for funeral expenses, so her office offers them help in Spanish.

Rodriguez herself is one of the applicants. “My father passed away from covid. That’s why I really wanted to push the program,” she said. “I know firsthand what it’s like to have to come up with that type of money without having planned to do so.”

Rodriguez said her funeral home, in a city where nearly 70% of its 215,000 residents are Latino, kept a running list since the start of the pandemic of all of the deceased they took care of who died of covid. “Originally, the reason we compiled a list was to see the impact,” she said. “But when FEMA first announced the funeral assistance program, we made it a point to call every family that was on that list and let them know about it.”

As of Monday, FEMA has approved more than $278 million for more than 41,000 eligible applicants, with the average amount per application standing at $6,756. FEMA said it does not consider ethnicity when determining eligibility, so the agency does not track that data.

Offering clients help to get some of that money is important because California’s Latinos suffered more covid deaths than any other race or ethnic group and the Latino population has faced a greater risk of exposure to covid-19 and undergone testing at a lower rate, according to a study by Stanford University researchers. Latinos are also far more likely than non-Hispanic whites to live in a household with an essential worker, who might not have had the luxury of protecting themselves at home during the ravaging months of the pandemic.

“In my career of 35 years, I’ve never been in this type of situation where I have seen so much death,” said Rafael Rodriguez, a funeral director in the city of Bell at Funeraria del Angel Bell, part of Dignity Memorial.

The cost of an average funeral can be as much as $15,000, he said, so the FEMA reimbursement program offers financial relief for many clients. But it isn’t easy to get the money.

Rodriguez and the funeral home’s office manager, Norma Huerta, said they have been receiving calls daily from people confused about how to apply. “These are humble people who don’t have access to the internet or know how to use a computer,” said Huerta. “They already trust me since I helped them with the funeral process. How could I say no?”

Even though the FEMA helpline offers instructions in Spanish, uploading, emailing or even faxing the necessary documents has been a challenge, said Huerta. “I can spend three to four hours a day helping families with their applications.” Just sending over a fax cover sheet is frustrating, she said. “I tell them it takes a while, but to have patience and I’ll help them get it done.”

Families call to request duplicate contracts and receipts and ask for clarification about death certificates. The hardest part for some has been proving their family member’s death was covid-related, said Huerta. If the death certificate doesn’t specifically state that, they won’t qualify. Death certificates can be amended to receive reimbursement, but that process is also complicated and time-consuming.

Manuela Galvez, a 61-year-old originally from Sinaloa, Mexico, is one of the applicants Huerta helped. She lost her son Luis Alberto Vasquez to covid on April 22, 2020. The 36-year-old managed a cleaning crew that disinfected assisted living facilities, which is where Galvez suspects her son got covid.

Galvez said she heard about the FEMA checks from family members but didn’t understand the process. “Norma did me a huge favor filling out that paperwork,” Galvez said in Spanish. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it myself because I’m completely lost when it comes to technology.”

Those who need help the most are the most disconnected, said Rafael Fernández de Castro Medina, director of University of California-San Diego’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies. “Many times they are people who not only don’t speak English, but at times, don’t even speak Spanish well,” said Medina. “Like people who come from Yucatán who speak Maya.”

Isaias Hernandez, executive director of Eastmont Community Center in East Los Angeles, said many of the people asking him for help feel overwhelmed by the process. “Most have never buried a loved one, so they’re emotional and still dealing with the trauma,” said Hernandez. “Just gathering the documents seems complicated to them.”

Undocumented immigrants and those who hold temporary visas are not eligible for FEMA’s funeral assistance, even though advocates like Hernandez say these are the people who kept the country afloat during the pandemic. “They work in the grocery stores, the day cares and schools,” he said. “They’re the essential workers.” Hernandez said his office has received only a few calls from people inquiring about legal-status qualifications.

He said it’s not just about having access to technology, but also access to people who can support them. “People in our community are extremely dependent on the younger generation who can help them navigate basic computer functions,” he said.

For Galvez, that person was her late son, Luis Alberto. “He was the one who was the most patient with me,” she said.

Galvez is waiting to hear back from FEMA on whether she qualifies to be reimbursed for the $5,400 she spent on her son’s funeral. “If they can’t give me any money, that’s OK,” said Galvez. “It’s help they’re offering that I wasn’t expecting to get anyway. It’s in God’s hands.”

This story was produced by KHN, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.


This story can be republished for free (details).

Categories: National News Content

Gay And Bisexual Men Are Now Allowed To Donate Blood In England, Scotland And Wales

WXXI US News - 10 hours 15 min ago
Gay and bisexual men in England, Scotland, and Wales can now donate blood, plasma and platelets under certain circumstances, the National Health Service announced this week in a momentous shift in policy for most of the U.K. Beginning Monday, gay men in sexually active, monogamous relationships for at least three months can donate for the first time. The move reverses a policy that limited donor eligibility on perceived risks of contracting HIV/AIDs and other sexually transmitted infections. The new rules come as the U.K. and other countries around the world report urgent, pandemic-induced blood supply issues. Donor eligibility will now be based on each person's individual circumstances surrounding health, travel and sexual behaviors regardless of gender, according to the NHS. Potential donors will no longer be asked if they are a man who has had sex with another man, but they will be asked about recent sexual activity. Anyone who has had the same sexual partner for the last three

A divided Rochester City Council passes $561 million budget

WXXI US News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 11:24pm
A divided Rochester City Council voted Tuesday by a margin of 5 to 4 to adopt a $561 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The spending plan, which would take effect July 1, reallocates funding from the Rochester Police Department, grants $5 million to Police Accountability Board, expands the citys new Person in Crisis (PIC) team, and earmarks $1 million for implementing recommendations from the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE), among other things. Councilmembers Mary Lupien, Mitch Gruber, Jose Peo, and Malik Evans, who is challenging Mayor Lovely Warren for her seat, voted against the spending plan. During the Council meeting, members found themselves torn. Lupien and Gruber said they believed the budget did not go far enough in reinvesting funds from the Police Department into other critical city resources. We continue to ask critical services to do more with less, and get less from those that have more to give, Gruber said. Gruber argued that the budget

China Sends A Record 28 Military Planes Into Airspace Controlled By Taiwan

WXXI US News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 7:44pm
China has flown 28 warplanes into Taiwan-controlled airspace, the biggest sortie of its kind since the Taiwanese government began publishing information about the frequent incursions last year. The flights are widely seen as part of an effort by Beijing to dial up pressure on Taiwan, a self-governed democracy of about 24 million people off the Chinese coast that the Chinese government considers a part of China. Taiwan's defense ministry said it scrambled planes, deployed missile defense systems and issued radio warnings as the Chinese planes entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone to the south of the island on Monday. China describes such flights as routine. Large sorties have often followed actions by Taiwan or the United States that Beijing disapproves of. Monday's incursion came a day after NATO leaders expressed concern about China as a growing security threat. A day earlier, leaders of the Group of Seven nations meeting in Europe pledged to work together against China's

Senate Unanimously Approves A Bill To Make Juneteenth A Public Holiday

WXXI US News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 6:42pm
The Senate unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that would make Juneteenth, the date commemorating the end of chattel slavery in the United States, a legal public holiday. The holiday is celebrated on June 19, and it began in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas learned they had been freed under the Emancipation Proclamation. President Abraham Lincoln had signed the proclamation outlawing slavery years earlier, but it was not until 1865 that those in bondage in Texas were freed. The measure is expected to be approved by the Democratic-led House of Representatives as well, but the timing is unclear. "Making Juneteenth a federal holiday is a major step forward to recognize the wrongs of the past," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement, "but we must continue to work to ensure equal justice and fulfill the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation and our Constitution." The recognition of Juneteenth as a legal holiday comes amid a broader national reckoning on race

NY AG: Kodak's CEO will have to publicly testify as part of insider trading probe

WXXI US News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 6:35pm
Eastman Kodak’s CEO will have to publicly testify on allegations of insider trading. That word came from New York State Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday. James said that Jim Continenza will have to testify on October 1, 2021 and Kodak General Counsel Roger Byrd will have to testify a week before that on September 24. James said a NY State Supreme Court judge also ordered the company to produce relevant documents to the Attorney General by June 30. The AG has raised questions about Continenza’s purchase of 46,000 shares of Kodak stock early last summer. She said that he made the purchase while he was leading “secret discussions” with the Trump White House and the federal government for a $655 million loan to enable Kodak to make pharmaceutical ingredients needed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed loan eventually grew to $765 million, but it never got final approval. Kodak released this statement on Tuesday night : "This ruling is strictly procedural and fully expected.

Biden Wants To End For-Profit Immigrant Detention. His Administration Isn't So Sure

WXXI US News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 5:58pm
When President Biden visited the battleground state of Georgia for a rally to celebrate his 100th day in office, immigrant advocates were there to protest, chanting, "End detention now!" as he stepped to the microphone. Normally the president would just ignore the hecklers until security could escort them out. Instead, Biden engaged with the protesters. "I agree with you. I'm working on it, man!" Biden said. "There should be no private prisons, period, none, period. That's what they're talking about — private detention centers. They should not exist. And we are working to close all of them." Biden has doubled down on his campaign promise to end privately-run detention centers, including those that detain immigrants, but immigrant rights advocates are getting impatient. They say that Biden's administration frequently appears to be at odds with the president's own position on detaining immigrants for profit. "President Biden made some strong promises about reforming detention that we

Texas Democrats Are Pressing Their Congressional Counterparts To Expand Voting Rights

WXXI US News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 5:58pm
A group of Democratic Texas state lawmakers is in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with congressional Democrats and Vice President Harris as part of a broader effort to pressure those in their party to pass far-reaching voting rights and election reform legislation. The Texas lawmakers met Tuesday with staff of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a key opponent of the bill, called the For the People Act. Manchin himself did not attend. "I think they heard us," Texas state Rep. Jasmine Crockett told reporters , referring to Manchin's staff. Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer called it an "extremely productive visit." The Texas legislators also had a private meeting with a group of Senate Democrats. "They must have gotten five or six standing ovations," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said. "We were really taken by their courage, their bravery and, most importantly, their mission." Last month, Democrats in the Texas statehouse walked out on the legislative session and deprived

Why Geneva Is Teeming With Spies As Biden And Putin Prepare To Meet

WXXI US News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 5:57pm
Geneva is crawling with spies right now, says a longtime CIA veteran. Intelligence agents from the U.S. and Russia are out in force as President Biden prepares to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, says Daniel Hoffman. Hoffman served as CIA station chief in Moscow for five years, and had assignments elsewhere in Europe, the Middle East and South Asia. Knowing what the other side wants and is willing to concede is crucial in any tough discussion. On the U.S. side, Hoffman says now is the time that the State Department, intelligence agencies and the Defense Department are in "high gear" to prepare Biden as much as possible for what Putin might say. And it's not just the U.S. and Russia, he says. "There are many countries watching very, very closely what might be happening in Geneva. China would be certainly high on that list as well, NATO members, our allies, our partners and our adversaries as well." Hoffman talked with All Things Considered about what agents are

An Olympic Hopeful Says Her Burrito Is To Blame For Her Positive Drug Test

WXXI US News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 5:40pm
Shelby Houlihan, the middle-distance runner who currently holds two U.S. records, says she's been banned from the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone. Houlihan says she's clean and is blaming the test result on a pork burrito she got from a food truck. Anti-doping officials don't agree with the runner. They've handed Houlihan a four-year ban, just before U.S. Olympic trials for the track and field team will begin in Eugene, Ore., this weekend. "I feel completely devastated, lost, broken, angry, confused and betrayed by the very sport that I've loved and poured myself into just to see how good I was," Houlihan said in an announcement on her Instagram feed . Houlihan, 28, is now banned from this year's Summer Olympics as well as the Paris Olympics in 2024. She pledged to fight the ban, which would sideline her during what could be the prime years of her career. "I'm going to continue to fight to prove my innocence," Houlihan said during an emotional virtual

City, state unveil $12 million of renovations at the Blue Cross Arena

WXXI Local Stories - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 5:20pm
The next time you visit the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial, things will look a little different. A $12 million, 4,500-square-foot expansion of the building, along with numerous renovations, were unveiled Tuesday. The renovations are part of the Roc the Riverway project, started in 2018, aimed to showcase waterfront property in Rochester. The arena renovations are the fourth project to be completed so far; dozens more are expected in the coming years, all backed by state funds. The improvements include a new roof and outdoor marquee, updated bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and a new bistro which is expected to open next year. Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said Tuesday that one of the goals for the improvements is to raise the visibility of the War Memorial’s eternal flame and river terrace. She says the arena is a crucial part of what the city has to offer its residents. “The War Memorial plays a major role in Rochester's economy and quality of life so we couldn’t let this

City, State unveil $12 million of renovations at the Blue Cross Arena

WXXI US News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 5:20pm
The next time you visit the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial, things will look a little different. A $12 million, 4,500-square-foot expansion of the building, along with numerous renovations, were unveiled Tuesday. The renovations are part of the Roc the Riverway project, started in 2018, aimed to showcase waterfront property in Rochester. The arena renovations are the fourth project to be completed so far; dozens more are expected in the coming years, all backed by state funds. The improvements include a new roof and outdoor marquee, updated bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and a new bistro which is expected to open next year. Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said Tuesday that one of the goals for the improvements is to raise the visibility of the War Memorial’s eternal flame and river terrace. She says the arena is a crucial part of what the city has to offer its residents. “The War Memorial plays a major role in Rochester's economy and quality of life so we couldn’t let this

The Limitations Of 'Latinidad': How Colorism Haunts 'In The Heights'

WXXI US News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 4:33pm
On the Monday after the release of In the Heights, its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda posted not a congratulatory note but an apology. Over the weekend, the conversation around colorism and In the Heights reached a fever pitch as more viewers began to wonder why there weren't any dark-skinned Afro-Latinos in any of the leading roles to represent a place as diverse as Washington Heights. "I'm trying to hold space for both the incredible pride in the movie we made and be accountable for our shortcomings," Miranda said in a statement posted on social media. "Thanks for your honest feedback. I promise to do better in my future projects, and I'm dedicated to the learning and evolving we all have to do to make sure we are honoring our diverse and vibrant community." A Landmark Cultural Moment, Interrupted Before its release, In the Heights was touted as the Latino movie of the season. It starred Latino talent, it featured dozens of Latino extras, was based on a play written by a Latino, Miranda

Lina Khan, Prominent Big Tech Critic, Will Lead The FTC

WXXI US News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 4:29pm
Updated June 15, 2021 at 4:55 PM ET President Joe Biden has named Lina Khan as the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, giving the regulatory authority's top spot to one of Silicon Valley's most prominent critics. The surprise move elevating Khan to one of the most powerful regulatory positions in Washington was announced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., at the start of a hearing on Tuesday. It came shortly after the Senate confirmed Khan as a commissioner in a 69-28 vote. Democrats will now have a majority on the five-member commission, which Khan likely will steer toward more aggressive examination of tech companies' alleged abuse of monopoly power. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said Khan leading the FTC is "tremendous news," saying in a statement that "giant tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon deserve the growing scrutiny they are facing and consolidation is choking off competition across American industries." Despite the bipartisan vote, Khan has drawn the ire

Former Russia Adviser On What 2018 Trump-Putin Summit Signaled For Biden-Putin Summit

WXXI US News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 4:29pm
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: Remember the last U.S.-Russia summit? (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Speaking Russian). KELLY: Helsinki - three years ago, when then-President Trump sided with Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence agencies. Well, tomorrow it is President Biden's turn to face Putin across the table here in Geneva. For a glimpse of what that encounter with Putin might be like, we're going to bring in someone who's been there. FIONA HILL: Well, it's not the first time we've met or the first time we've been at a table together. I've been captured on other occasions sitting near him, so, you know, we are fairly familiar with each other. KELLY: That is Fiona Hill. She was in Helsinki as Trump's top Russia adviser at the White House. The Biden team consulted her before this summit, too. When I checked in with her today, I asked about something she'd said in a different interview when asked for her thoughts on Helsinki

States Are Fighting Over How To Use The $195 Billion From The Federal Government

WXXI US News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 4:29pm
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: The Biden administration is doling out an unprecedented amount of money to states across the country. It's $195 billion, part of the COVID relief law that Democrats in Congress passed back in March. A big fight is already brewing between states and the federal government over how to use that money. NPR's Asma Khalid reports. ASMA KHALID, BYLINE: At the beginning of the pandemic, state officials were really nervous they would run out of money. But turns out many states never took as big of a financial hit as feared, and now they're actually getting an infusion of cash from the federal government. JOSH GOODMAN: This really is a historic opportunity for states. KHALID: Josh Goodman is a state fiscal health policy expert with the Pew Charitable Trusts. GOODMAN: States don't generally have this amount of flexible money to work with. KHALID: In many states, the funds from the American Rescue Plan are equal to about 10% of what
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