U.S. Capitol Police say they're aware of and preparing for a threat by an unidentified militia group to breach the Capitol complex on March 4.https://t.co/5m3wCA5vSZ— NPR (@NPR) March 3, 2021
➤HOUSE PASSES SWEEPING VOTING RIGHTS LEGISLATION: The Democratic-led House passed sweeping voting rights legislation last night on a near party-line vote, the action coming at the same time as Republican-controlled states are moving towards enacting tighter voting restrictions. Its prospects in the Senate are very uncertain, where it will have little chance to get the 60 votes that would be needed to break an expected Republican filibuster. The Democrats claim the legislation is needed to fight voter suppression efforts, while the GOP claims it would inject federal interference in states' authority to conduct their own elections. Among its provisions, the legislation would: require states to automatically register eligible voters; offer same-day voter registration; limit states’ ability to purge registered voters from their rolls; restore former felons’ voting rights; require states to offer 15 days of early voting; and allow no-excuse absentee voting. It would also mandate that nonpartisan commissions handle the redrawing of congressional districts to block partisan gerrymandering, and force the disclosure of donors to "dark money" political groups.
➤CUTOFF THRESHOLD LOWERED FOR DIRECT PAYMENTS IN $1.9 TRILLION COVID RELIEF BILL: President Biden and Senate Democrats agreed yesterday to lower the income cutoff threshold for the direct payments that will go to Americans under Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill, agreeing to what moderate Senate Democrats wanted. Under the legislation, individuals earning up to $75,000 will get $1,400 and couples earning up to $150,000, will get $2,800. The version approved by the House would gradually reduce that amount as salary increases until individuals making $100,000 and couples earning $200,000 get nothing. Under the compromise, the cutoff would be moved down to $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for couples. However, the moderates didn't win on weekly emergency unemployment benefits, which will remain at $400 weekly in the bill, and not be reduced to the $300 weekly they'd wanted.
The White House staff would never be given permission to cut President Trump’s video feed, which raises the question, who is running the White House? pic.twitter.com/RcG35kt8T2— Nick Adams (@NickAdamsinUSA) March 4, 2021
➤U-S WARNS OF POSSIBLE MILITARY RESPONSE TO ROCKET ATTACK ON IRAQ BASE: The U.S. warned of a possible military response to a rocket attack early Wednesday on an air base in Anbar province in Iraq where U.S. and coalition troops are housed. A U.S. contractor died, reportedly of a heart attack, after at least 10 rockets hit the base. No group claimed responsibility, but the attack came after the U.S. bombed Iran-backed militia targets along the Iraq-Syria border last week. Those U.S. strikes came in response to an attack on American forces in Iraq earlier in February.
Fox’s Hannity slams “swooning” mainstream media for failing to hold Andrew Cuomo accountable pic.twitter.com/rYwQdYYbu8— TV News HQ (@TVNewsHQ) March 4, 2021
➤SUV IN CALIFORNIA CRASH IN WHICH 13 KILLED CAME THROUGH CUT OUT PART OF BORDER FENCE: Immigration officials said yesterday (March 3rd) that an SUV that crashed in Southern California near the border with Mexico Tuesday, killing 13 of the 25 people who were packed inside, had driven through a section of border fence that had been cut away, apparently by smugglers. Surveillance video showed the vehicle carrying migrants trying to sneak into the U.S. illegally driving through the opening. The SUV was hit by a tractor-trailer shortly after going through the fence.
13 people killed in California SUV crash were among 44 who came through hole in border fence https://t.co/xvTreMzGAL— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 3, 2021
➤RESTAURANTS ARE REPORTEDLY BEING HURT BY REFUND REQUEST SCAMS: Restaurants across the U.S. are being hurt by people scamming them for refunds. Los Angeles-based restaurant Spoon By H wrote on February 22nd, “We are heartbroken to find ourselves sharing the very news we hoped we would never have to share… Spoon By H will be closing. Although we put up our very best fight, we could no longer hold out against the growing barrage of fraudulent disputed charges and the countless refunds issued.” Similarly, Bell’s BBQ, based in Henderson, Nevada, has reportedly been affected by this new “dine and dash” scam on third-party delivery apps. The restaurant’s owner says he and his team try to be thorough when they fulfill orders, but that items can be marked as incorrect, which usually results in a partial refund from most delivery services. GrubHub and DoorDash have released statements saying they do not tolerate misuse of their platforms, while Postmates and UberEats both have web pages that state there are policies in place to address potential fraud. As for Spoon By H, a GoFundMe campaign was started by a customer and raised over $71,700 for the 9-year-old restaurant.
🏀PACERS' MCCONNELL SETS NEW STEALS RECORD: The Indiana Pacers' T.J. McConnell broke the NBA record for steals in a half last night when he got nine steals in the first half of the Pacers' 114-111 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 28-year-old finished the game with 10 steals, part of a triple-double with 16 points and 13 assists, the second of his career.
➤EX-NFL PLAYER WINSLOW SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS IN PRISON FOR MULTIPLE RAPES: Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in prison for multiple rapes and other sexual offenses against five women in Southern California. The 37-year-old former Cleveland Browns star, who was once the highest-paid tight end in the NFL, where he played for 10 seasons, declined to comment before his sentencing, but said, "In the future, I do plan to tell my story." Among Winslow's victims were a homeless woman, a hitchhiker, and a passed-out teenager at a party.
➤REPORT...NO FANS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES TO BE ALLOWED AT TOKYO OLYMPICS: Plans are still on for the Tokyo Olympics to be held this summer, after being delayed from last year due to the pandemic, but no fans from other countries will be allowed to attend, according to report. The Japanese newspaper Mainichi reported yesterday (March 3rd) that the decision had been made to exclude foreign fans because of pandemic concerns. The new president of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, Seiko Hashimoto, hinted at that yesterday after online talks with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and others. She said a decision will be made by the end of the month.