The House reconciled its differences with the Senate, voting 220-211 yesterday to pass one of the nation’s largest ever aid packages with no Republican votes. President Joe Biden will sign the legislation tomorrow after addressing the nation tonight on the virus that’s killed nearly 530,000 Americans. Biden’s first big success, which includes anti-poverty programs and $1,400 direct payments to millions of Americans, promises to be a defining issue in the 2022 midterms. While Republicans called it wasteful spending and a “blue state bailout” one GOP senator tweeted its praises — without mentioning his vote against it.
A female aide has come forward saying New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo grabbed her in a sexually aggressive manner — the sixth woman to accuse him of inappropriate behavior and the most serious allegation to date. She claims he summoned her to his mansion and then reached under her blouse and fondled her. The Democrat denied the allegations, which he described as “gut-wrenching.” The state attorney general’s office is already investigating multiple claims of sexual harassment against Cuomo, who has come under pressure from lawmakers of both parties to resign, but he has so far resisted.
3. Japan Marks Decade Since Quake, Tsunami, Meltdown
At 2:46 p.m., Japan stopped. But today it was for a moment of silence, not the violent shaking of the devastating magnitude 9.0 earthquake exactly 10 years earlier. A tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people followed, along with disastrous meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Emperor Naruhito said his “heart aches” to think of such suffering. Japan still has much rebuilding to do, despite spending $280 billion, and recovery takes time: Even after 10 years, an 81-year-old man who lost a grandchild in the disaster said, “The wounds in the heart remain.”
That’s a lot of Robux. The company that created a platform that lets users both play and create games seems to have won Wall Street. After it went public in a direct listing yesterday, Roblox was valued at $45 billion, up from just $4 billion a year ago. Its stock jumped nearly 55 percent from the reference price set by the New York Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, the stimulus package’s passage sent the Dow to a record 32,000 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq continued to fall in a correction from February’s high — a juxtaposition not seen in two decades.
In its first response to an antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department and 46 states, Facebook yesterday asked a federal court to dismiss the case, arguing it hasn’t harmed consumers. Ivory Coast Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko, 56, has died in a hospital in Germany while undergoing cancer treatment. And Mexico’s lower house of Congress has approved legislation to decriminalize marijuana, potentially creating one of the world’s largest cannabis markets.
We Heard You! Responding to our query about the exile of Major the White House dog, Joye H. of Texas wrote that dogs sense the bad vibes that many visitors bring to their home, and that “Major was doing his job … protecting Mom & Dad.”
After suffering through bankruptcy and imprisonment in his early 20s, a young entrepreneur named Henry Heinz made his own version of a popular sauce known as ketchup. His tasty brand would change Americans’ food preferences for generations. Based on the HISTORY channel documentary series, OZY and HISTORY are proud to bring you your new podcast obsession: The Food That Built America. Hear about the bold visionaries behind some of the most recognizable brands on the planet. Listen now onApple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever else you get your podcasts.
Going to the store and blindly choosing a wine because you’re charmed by the label feels antiquated now, thanks to our friends at Bright Cellars. These MIT grads created a custom algorithm that finds the perfect wine for you. Take their palate quiz and you’ll get wine selected just for you delivered to your doorstep. Sign up now to get $45 off your first order of six wines.
Will he swear on it? An Israeli-American scholar has shaken biblical research circles with his assertion that 15 manuscript fragments denounced as fakes in 1885 were actually real. Furthermore, Idan Dershowitz of Germany’s University of Potsdam cites evidence that the paleo-Hebrew writings touted as the “original” Book of Deuteronomy by a shady Victorian antiquities dealer date back to the time of Solomon’s Temple 3,000 years ago. “It’s pretty incredible if he’s right,” said one expert. There’s only one problem: After the British Museum rejected the artifacts, they were sold off — and haven’t been seen since.
It’s for the children. That’s the reason Kremlin regulators gave yesterday for throttling back Twitter’s speed, claiming the platform ignored requests to remove content harmful for children. But a representative of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny said it was the start of a “large-scale offensive” to stifle dissent — and internet agency Roskomnadzor has already threatened social media companies with fines for “inciting” pro-Navalny rallies. Former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin writes for OZY that connecting on those platforms sets Navalny’s movement apart, making it more worrisome than ever to President Vladimir Putin.
Finally, some actual space laser action! Unlike cinematic space battles, though, the targets were rocks and the objective was knowledge. NASA’s newly mobile Perseverance Rover recently beamed back a recording of pops and clicks from its laser repeatedly zapping the Máaz (Navajo for Mars) rock formation. The laser technique has been used by other probes, but this was the first time anyone could hear it. While the sounds are cool, they also offer clues to the red planet’s composition, helping determine the hardness of its rocks and if they’re coated with another substance.
She doesn’t want that ol’ time religion. Bestselling Christian author and Bible teacher Beth Moore says she’s leaving the Southern Baptist Convention after it tried to silence her for criticizing former President Donald Trump over the #MeToo claims against him, and for calling out reports of sexual abuse within the denomination. Moore professed her love for Southern Baptist people and churches, but said, “I don’t identify with some of the things in our heritage that haven’t remained in the past.” Another Christian writer, Diana Butler Bass, called Moore’s move “unthinkable” and “equivalent to Prince Harry leaving the royal firm.”
A giant void in the tennis world has been filled. Roger Federer returned to competition after exiting the circuit in January 2020 for knee surgery. “It feels like I have been away for even longer,” he said after dispatching No. 28 Dan Evans 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 at the Qatar Open yesterday. Federer hopes to regain his place in the Big Three of men’s tennis, along with No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Rafael Nadal — which could mean more frustration for young up-and-comers. First he’ll need to defeat Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarterfinals Thursday.