Amazon has started removing QAnon and right-wing militia merchandise following employee complaints
- Following news reports and employee complaints, certain items with the names and logos of the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and QAnon are no longer for sale.
- Amazon said on Tuesday that it had begun taking down product listings for merchandise featuring the logos of two right-wing militia groups, after Recode reported on Monday that some corporate employees were pressuring the company to do just that.
- In the weeks leading up to the January 6 storming of the US Capitol, Amazon employees questioned the company about apparel featuring the logos of two groups — the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters — available for sale on Amazon.
- Following reports of its inaction, Amazon said on Monday it was in the process of removing some products related to the QAnon conspiracy theory group from its shopping site.
Medics go on hunger strike in Peru amid Covid-19 second wave
- The health workers began their hunger strike Tuesday in front of Peru's Ministry of Labor in capital city Lima.
- About a dozen medics from the national social security union have been taking part in protests there as the health system struggles to cope with a second wave of Covid-19.
- Quinones said the strike would last until Peru's Labor Minister removes the head of the country's Health Social Security, Fiorella Molinelli, who oversees government efforts to set up temporary health and isolation centers for Covid-19 patients.
- On Tuesday, Peru's interim President Francisco Sagasti approved a decree to finance the set-up of more than 16 temporary isolation centers across the country and to hire additional staff to expand health services, according to a Tuesday press note from the Ministry of Health.
The 4 measures in the Biden stimulus plan that could put extra cash in your wallet - Business Insider
- The Biden proposal includes a provision for a $400 federal supplement to state unemployment checks for several more months.
- An earlier pandemic aid package approved by Congress and former President Donald Trump included a $300 federal benefit until March 14.
- The Biden proposal also includes a measure to bolster child tax credits and make them fully refundable for a year, meaning people could receive them regardless of what they owe in taxes.
- The Biden plan also includes a provision to more than double the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
- In 2019, the Democratic-led House approved a plan to gradually lift the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.
- Yellen, a former Federal Reserve chair, said in her hearing that job losses were generally "very minimal" in states that raised worker pay.
This white hat hacker training can get you ready to defend any network, big or small
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900,000 Americans filed for unemployment in Trump's last full week as president
- New York (CNN Business) - The jobs crisis roared on during Donald Trump's last full week as president, with 900,000 Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits on a seasonally adjusted basis.
- Millions of Americans still need government help to make ends meet, and there haven't been any real improvements for months.
- Although While Wednesday's inauguration of President Joe Biden spurred hopes for more government stimulus, help can't come fast enough for the unemployed.
- On top of regular claims, 423,734 Americans applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provides benefits for workers such as the self-employed, the Department of Labor said.
- Added together, first-time claims totaled 1.4 million on an unadjusted basis last week.
- Continued jobless claims, which count workers who have applied for aid for at least two weeks in a row, fell to 5.1 million.
SolarWinds Hack Followed Years of Warnings of Weak Cybersecurity
- A more recent GAO report, in December, identified seven basic steps that agencies could take to manage risks specifically related to the digital supply chain -- such as developing a process for reviewing suppliers to avoid buying insecure software -- and found that these steps were barely practiced across 23 government agencies.
- In the recent attack, the suspected Russian hackers installed malicious code into software from Texas-based SolarWinds Corp., which is widely used by government agencies and private sector companies to manage computer networks.
- The same year, in response to a growing number of cyber-attacks, the Department of Homeland Security created the first iteration of a cybersecurity defense system known as Einstein to detect potential intrusions in government networks.
- But two years later, GAO concluded that DHS had “not taken sufficient actions to ensure that it successfully mitigates cybersecurity risks on federal and private-sector computer systems and networks.” In a December 2018 report, GAO found that eight of the recommendations hadn’t been fully implemented.
Europeans Clash With Pfizer, BioNTech Over Covid-19 Vaccine Deliveries
- and BioNTech SE after officials said the companies had unexpectedly cut their deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines and put their immunization schedules at risk.
- The Italian government asked the country’s attorney general to study whether it can take legal action after Pfizer cut deliveries of its vaccine for this week by 29% as it retools its Belgium factory, a government spokeswoman said Wednesday.
- Separately, the German state of Hamburg said Pfizer had delivered fewer vials of vaccine to the city than expected this week.
- The companies have said they were on schedule to deliver the number of doses they had promised.
- A Hamburg government spokeswoman said the state has struggled to extract the sixth dose as special syringes are required and authorities haven’t been able to purchase them in sufficient quantities.
House prices set for more than 10pc, GDP upgraded: UBS
- Rapid growth in new home sales under the Morrison government's HomeBuilder program and the proposed relaxation of responsible lending rules have economists lifting their forecasts on house prices, construction activity and GDP.
- The change to a more bullish forecast also has economists raising the prospect of the Reserve Bank not extending its $100 billion quantitative easing (QE) program in April.
- Separate to the responsible lending repeal, a key part of the economists' new assessment on the outlook for house prices is the boom in new home building and the rapid recovery in jobs.
- CoreLogic figures released earlier this month showed another 1 per cent gain in house prices December across the eight principal cities.
- But while house prices and jobs recover, some economists still expect an extension to the RBA's QE program, albeit with some "tweaks" likely.
Biden's economic stimulus plan will test vow to work with Republicans - Business Insider
- Biden campaigned on restoring bipartisanship and national unity after four years of a chaotic presidency under Donald Trump.
- Biden introduced a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan last week building on an earlier federal rescue package.
- The plan includes relief provisions like enhanced unemployment insurance through September, aid to state and local governments, vaccine funds, and new stimulus checks.
- It stands to form an early test of Biden's legislative prowess — whether he can quickly garner Republican support for another large government rescue plan or pass it with only Democratic votes through a special procedure called budget reconciliation.
- It foreshadows the resistance Biden will likely encounter among Republicans for many parts of his economic platform contingent on more spending.
- There are early signs Biden will move fast on pandemic-relief measures and reverse course from Trump.
Tight security at capitols across the country as Joe Biden is inaugurated
- After a pro-Trump mob attacked the US Capitol two weeks ago, the FBI warned of possible armed protests at the Capitol and all 50 state capitols in the days leading up to and including inauguration.
- Outside Oregon's capitol in Salem, five armed people dressed in camouflage said they were anti-government libertarians who supported neither Trump nor Biden.
- The heavy security and ongoing arrests of people who participated in the storming of the US Capitol may be playing a role in discouraging the protests.
- Law enforcement officials say there is a broad surveillance net focused on people in the groups who participated in the Capitol attack.
- One of the prominent themes emerging is that the very anti-government conspiracies that drive groups like the Oath Keepers and other militants has become a driver to avoid the protests, fearing that they were being set up for arrest.