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US case spike puts Texas in the eye of COVID hurricane

The U.S. marked a new grim milestone in the runaway coronavirus outbreak, setting a record single-day case count of 45,557 Wednesday that put pressure on hard-hit states like Texas to take action.

On Thursday, Texas, which was among the first wave of states to end lockdowns, announced it would pause the next phases of its reopening, only days after Gov. Greg Abbott vowed that ending the rollback of stay-at-home orders was a last resort. The Lone Star State saw a 4.6% rise in cases Wednesday totaling more than 5,500, along with more than 4,300 hospitalized patients.

Abbott also halted all essential surgeries in four of the hardest-hit counties — home to the state’s larges metros of Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin — in a sign that the state’s hospital capacity is becoming increasingly strained. The move mimics steps taken in New York-New Jersey during the early stages of the

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The case for higher wages during coronavirus recession

Raising the minimum wage during the coronavirus pandemic is smart policy, according to the Economic Policy Institute. 

Corporate America is getting slammed by the coronavirus recession. More than 45 million people were cut from their employers’ payrolls over the past three months. Business groups have turned their focus to planned minimum wage increases, pressuring city and state officials to postpone them. 

California’s Chamber of Commerce has asked Governor Gavin Newsom to roll back the planned $1 minimum wage hike planned to take effect in January 2021. The current minimum wage is $12 per hour for businesses with fewer than 26 employees, and $13 for those with more. 

Barring an intervention by officials, the minimum wage in several states is set to increase by $1 or less on July 1 – including Illinois, which will raise its minimum wage from $9.25 to $10, Nevada from $8.25 to $9, and Oregon from

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New case spikes whipsaw market; Fauci warns US may not be ready for football

A resurgence of coronavirus cases in key U.S. regions is nudging nationwide numbers higher, casting doubt on state efforts to relax lockdowns even as former epicenters in New York and New Jersey take the next steps in their recovery.

The economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis continues to be felt, with data on Thursday showing another 1.5 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims. While markets have been on a bull run based on rising optimism over a recovery, the rising case counts in western and southern states have doused the rally.

Declining hospitalizations and deaths have New York City poised to enter the next phase of its reawakening as early as next week. However, spikes in Arizona, Texas and Florida — whose 7-day average rose to nearly 4% from 3% Thursday, and its positivity rate is the highest since April — have officials and investors increasingly nervous.

Dr. Shira

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The case against more transparency for coronavirus relief loans

Transparency of the Paycheck Protection Program has been a steadily growing issue. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced legislation in May to mandate that the agency release the names of every company that got a loan.

Even Republicans were pushing for more information and were optimistic they would get it. “Bottom line is, we’re going to know one way or another who got this money,” Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) said in April.

That appears to no longer be the case.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin surprised Congress last week when he said that the names of borrowers wouldn’t be publicly released after all. He said it is “confidential information” in an appearance before the Senate Small Business Committee.

Jovita Carranza, who oversees the Paycheck Protection Program, testifies alongside Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, right, on June 10. (Kevin Dietsch – Pool/Getty Images)

Back in March, however, Mnuchin

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Trump’s drug czar makes case for border wall being ‘a force multiplier’

In February 2019, Trump declared a state of emergency to access billions of dollars for more construction. One year later, the White House extended it in order for the administration to continue using the funds taken from the budgets of various agencies.

Jim Carroll, the director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), explained why he is in favor of building more barriers.

“What a wall does is it’s a force multiplier,” Carroll told Yahoo Finance in an interview. “Because if you’re down there, you see these wide open stretches. As a result, Border Patrol has to be all along there. By building the wall, what we’re doing is following people to a certain area.”

In early 2016, then-candidate Trump asserted that his wall “is going to be a real wall, it’s going to be a high wall, it’s going to be a beautiful wall,” and it … Read More