Climate Bill, Job Growth, Taiwan: Your Friday Night Briefing

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1. President Biden’s climate and tax bill will begin moving through the Senate this weekend.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, the only holdout Democrat on the package, said she would back the bill after Democratic leaders agreed to scrap a $14 billion tax hike on some wealthy managers of hedge funds and private equity executives she had opposed. They also changed the structure of a 15% minimum corporate tax and included drought relief funds to benefit Arizona.

The bill still has to clear hurdles before the Senate can pass it. With Republicans united in opposition, all Senate Democrats 50-50 must vote for it before it becomes law.

2. To everyone’s surprise, job growth in the United States took off in July.

U.S. employers added 528,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said, a surprisingly strong gain that showed the labor market was not slowing despite higher interest rates, at least so far.

This impressive performance – which brings total employment back to its February 2020 level, just before the pandemic shutdowns – provides further proof that the country has not entered a recession. But with the Federal Reserve pursuing an aggressive policy of raising interest rates, most forecasters expect the labor market to cool later in the year as companies slash payrolls to meet the decline in demand.

5. New York state health officials have urged unvaccinated residents to get the polio shot “right away.”

6. Relatives and friends of Parkland, Florida shooting victims described their anguish.

The testimony was part of the agonizing trial in which a jury will decide whether Nikolas Cruz – who pleaded guilty to the shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 – should be sentenced to death or life imprisonment.

One by one, relatives and friends have described the abyss of their despair since the loss of their loved ones four years ago. “Nighttime no longer brings privacy and comfort,” said Debra Hixon, wife of Chris Hixon, the school’s athletic director who was killed in the shooting. “Just the volume of silence.”

The defense is due to begin closing arguments later this month.

In other news from the courtroom, a jury has ruled that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should pay the parents of a child killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting $45.2 million in punitive damages.

7. Hiring in progress: “Head of Cardiac Service”.

With the rise of remote work, new careers and job titles have sprung up, such as “team leader anywhere” and “vice president of flexible working.” The sustainability of these new positions has not yet been tested.

“People are going to try a lot of titles,” said JT O’Donnell, a career coach. “Some will fail because they are too far. But in the end, you will see a lot of changes.

8. ‘The Sandman’ is coming to TV.

Since Neil Gaiman wrote the first issues of “The Sandman” in 1989, fans have been hoping for a screen adaptation. Now viewers can watch Morpheus, King of Dreams, and his supernatural siblings in Netflix’s genre-blending version of the award-winning comic.

Gaiman said in an interview with The New York Times Magazine that “The Sandman” has endured because new generations “find it, and it’s their comic. It’s their story.

In other August premieres news, Abbi Jacobson, the star and co-creator of the ‘A League of Their Own’ series, said she wanted to tell stories about insecure people, then “what if the most insecure and insecure person was the leader?”

9. Stockholm instead of Rome? Intense heat waves are changing European holidays.

After more than two years of postponing vacations, tourists are heading to Europe this summer, only to face record heat that will most likely worsen due to climate change.

But several industry people say a growing number of travelers are adjusting their plans to account for high temperatures by heading to coastal or northern destinations and booking trips during the cooler months of April, May, September and October.

In another climatic concern, glass Bottles may be perfect for aging wine, but making them requires an enormous amount of heat and energy.

10. And finally, a glimmer of hope for fans of the Loch Ness Monster.

A discovery by British and Moroccan researchers has bolstered the hypothesis that long-necked prehistoric reptiles known as plesiosaurs could have lived in lakes, rivers and oceans. The team found fossils of 12 plesiosaurs, proof that there was not just one plesiosaur that wandered into fresh water and then died there.

About Jessica J. Bass

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