By AMAYA HENRY Staff Writer
1. House Passes $1.9 Trillion Covid-19 Stimulus Bill
PHOTO: Doug Mills, The New York Times
After Democrats used their slim majority to ram the new economic stimulus package through Congress, the House narrowly passed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus-aid bill. This is President Biden’s first major legislative achievement of his presidency.
The relief bill offers a $1,400 check to qualifying Americans. It also makes the most significant changes to the Affordable Care Act since its passage in 2010, including funding for schools, vaccine distribution efforts, and provides support to struggling multiemployer pensions.
Consumers' checking accounts and mailboxes took days to months to receive the two prior rounds of stimulus tests. The second stimulus check, which was approved at the end of December, was issued more rapidly than the first, with some applicants getting their checks only days after the bill was signed into law.
The first round of direct deposit checks could arrive in Americans' bank accounts as early as this week, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki. For the next few weeks, payments will continue to be sent out.
2. Cuomo Lifts NY Quarantine Restrictions Starting April 1
PHOTO: Getty Images
Travelers coming to New York state from another U.S. state or territory are no longer required to quarantine starting April 1, 2021. Mandatory quarantine however is still required for international travelers.
Travelers must still fill out the state’s Traveler’s Health Form, and the NYS Department of Health still recommends quarantine after domestic travel as an added precaution.
However, Governor Andrew Cuomo wanted to make it clear that the fight against Covid-19 is far from over as he said, "This is great news, but it is not an all-clear for New Yorkers to let their guard down. To beat this virus once and for all we all must continue doing what we know works to stop the spread, including wearing masks, washing our hands and practicing social distancing."
The CDC guidelines still recommend that if you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms that you get tested and quarantine for 10 days.
3. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Statue Unveiled in Brooklyn
PHOTO: Michael M. Santiago/ Getty Images
Just three days before what would have been Supreme Court jurist Ruth Bader Ginsburg's 88th birthday, her statue was revealed at City Point Brooklyn on Friday, March 12.
It is no coincidence that this unveiling takes place during Women’s History Month as she was a trailblazer for women’s rights.
Her impact on society and culture can be seen throughout history. She was the first individual, male or female, to become elected to both the Harvard and Columbia Law Reviews, prestigious student-run legal journals.
In 1980, she was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by President Jimmy Carter. Then in 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated her to the Supreme Court. This made her the second female justice, after Sandra Day O’Connor, and the first female Jewish justice.
Her legal practice was dedicated to opposing laws and legislation that discriminated on the basis of sex, making her hailed as a feminist icon for breaking gender barriers.
According to City Point, the statue will be open for scheduled viewings seven days a week. With Covid-19 guidelines in place, up to six people can reserve 20-minute time slots, wearing a mask and social distancing are required.
4. Minneapolis to Pay George Floyd’s Family $27 Million
PHOTO: BBC News
The City of Minneapolis has arrived at a $27 million settlement with the family of George Floyd. Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, MN after a store clerk alleged he had passed a counterfeit $20 bill.
The civil suit was filed by the lawyers for the Floyd family in June 2020. The family argued that the city had failed to properly train their officers to use proper restraint methods. They also argued that even after multiple incidents involving officer Dereck Chauvin, the man who killed Floyd, he should be dismissed.
The jury selection for Chauvin is currently underway.
The other three officers that were involved in Floyd’s murder, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, have been charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. They are set to be tried later this year.
5. Georgetown Professor Fired After Racist Remarks
PHOTO: Georgetown University
The Dean of Georgetown University Law Center announced Thursday that Professor Sandra Sellers was fired for making ‘reprehensible remarks’ about Black students during a Zoom call.
The other professor who was seen nodding in agreement to Seller’s comments, David Batson, has been put on administrative leave while pending the investigation by Georgetown's Office of Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action.
Georgetown student Hassan Ahmad uploaded the video to Twitter. It has now been viewed over one million times as of Friday night.
In the video, Sellers said, “I hate to say this, I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks — happens almost every semester. And it’s like, ‘Oh, come on.’ You know? You get some really good ones. But there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy."
According to a university statement, the school will take steps ‘to ensure that all students in this class are equally graded without the input’ of Sellers or Batson.