Midday News To Use: 12.22.2020

About Time
Congress finally approved the long-awaited $900 billion Covid relief package after months of Mitch McConell’s roadblock. It now goes to President Donald Trump’s desk for signature. The package includes direct payments of up to $600 per adult, enhanced jobless benefits of $300 per week, Paycheck Protection Program loans, rental assistance, an extension of the eviction moratorium and $82 billion for schools and colleges.
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More Contagious
A new, mutated form of the coronavirus that originated in England is spreading across the globe — and it could potentially be more contagious than what we’ve seen. Aside from the United Kingdom, the variant has been detected in Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and Australia.
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Pinellas County
The Florida Department of Health reported 427 additional cases of Covid-19 in Pinellas County on Monday and two more deaths attributed to the virus. The county’s cumulative total of cases since March now stands at 40,987. A total of 999 deaths in the county are attributed to Covid-19.
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Apology in Black and White
The Kansas City Star has apologized for what it’s calling decades of “robb(ing) an entire community of opportunity, dignity, justice and recognition.” The Star, one of the most influential news sources in the region, says it has “disenfranchised, ignored and scorned generations of Black Kansas Citians” for the last 140 years. The Star has published the first part of a six-part package examining the Star’s coverage of Kansas City.
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Replacing a Racist
“We deserve to be represented by a figure who truly embodies Virginia’s values.” Those are the words of Virginia Rep. Jennifer Wexton, talking about a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee being removed from the US Capitol. Lee’s statue will be replaced by one of the late Barbara Johns, an African American woman who played a key role in the civil rights movement.
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