SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Lawmakers are busy this week working with and often against each other. Well, that’s life on Capitol Hill. We’re joined by NPR senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving. Ron, thanks so much for being with us.
RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Scott.
SIMON: Let’s begin with the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Budget plan was passed by the House and Senate this week. Still quite a ways from actual money changing hands, aren’t we?
ELVING: Yeah, sadly. It’s a pity. We hear so much about $1,400 and speed because it depends on your definition of speed. What just happened in Congress this week was a crucial first step in the House and Senate, but there are many more steps ahead. And it’s going to be March sometime, at best, before those checks are actually in people’s bank accounts.
This is still a congressional process. It’s not finished. And when they talk about reconciliation – a word you’re going to hear a lot in the days ahead – they mean making a new set of spending laws work with the existing laws. That’s a continuing process of negotiation, and it takes some weeks to work out.
SIMON: So what does President Biden mean when he says he’s going to act fast?
ELVING: You know, there are objects that move at a speed too fast to be seen by the human eye, Scott, and then there’s Congress, which moves at a speed that is too slow to be detected by the human eye, oftentimes. When President Biden says fast, he means in contrast with either doing nothing at all or waiting until summer or fall to decide. And what they’re using – this somewhat cumbersome budget process, this reconciliation process – they use that because it rules out any use of the filibuster. That way the Democrats can win in the Senate with just their own votes. That’s why they put Obamacare on it a decade ago and why they’re going that route again.
SIMON: Let me ask you about the battle that seems to be going on in the Republican party in Congress right now. Secret ballot – Republicans voted to keep Representative Liz Cheney in her leadership position after voting to impeach President Trump and her forceful criticism of his role in the January 6 insurrection. But 11 Republicans joined the Democrats to remove Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene from the Labor and Education Committee. This was after the dangerous and false conspiracy theories and threats to lawmakers that she spread online. On the other hand, she’s still got her seat in Congress. What’s at the heart of this struggle within the party?
ELVING: There are some personal dynamics here, Scott, but in one word, it’s really reelection. They need to keep their November voters close and their primary season voters closer. They know how important their Trump loyalists are within their voter base, and they don’t want to face a primary challenger in 2022.
SIMON: Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial begins in just a few days. He apparently won’t testify. His legal team essentially just came together in the past few days. What do you foresee?
ELVING: The president can’t very well say that the trial is unconstitutional and then, in some sense or another, cooperate with it. But he does have lawyers presenting a case for him. And he has apparently pressured them to talk about the election. That is a dead letter for Senate Republicans. They do not want to re-adjudicate the election results. They do not want to talk about what happened on January 6. They’re ready to move on, and they’ll vote against conviction on the basis of the president – former president now being out of office, period. They don’t want to get into the rest of it.
SIMON: One last question – Tampa or Kansas City?
ELVING: I have some natural affinity for guys like Brady – Tom Brady – who are still in there well into their 40s or even, you know, later decades. But, look; I went to high school in Kansas City, rooted for the Chiefs in the very first Super Bowl ever in 1967, so I’ll be all-in for them tomorrow. Go Chiefs.
SIMON: Ron Elving, thanks so much.
ELVING: Thank you, Scott.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.
Politics, policing, business: How these Regina women are paving the way for the next generation – CTV News
Across a variety of industries in Regina, there has been a steady increase in female representation over the past several years, but some say there are still barriers to come down.
On International Women’s Day, local leaders in politics, policing and business are highlighting challenges of the past, the progress that has led to the present and the hurdles that are still in the way when looking to the future.
SLOWLY INCREASING REPRESENTATION
In November 2020, Sandra Masters became the first elected female mayor in Regina. She said when she announced that she was running, she was met with enthusiasm from both women and men.
“I believe it was time,” Masters said. “It’s not just women who feel it. There are a great number of male leaders who are looking for women to participate at the table.”
Masters believes that being a woman helped her in some aspects of her campaign.
“I met with a retired gentleman who you would classify as a leader in the community when I was discussing the potential of my running and he was very supportive,” Masters explained. “The words out of his mouth was ‘I think the fact that you’re a woman is to your advantage’ and I sort of cracked the joke back that never in my lifetime did I actually think that I would hear that relative to politics.”
Staff Sergeant Laurel Marshall of the Regina Police Service’s North District Community Services Division said she has noticed more women being welcomed into her line of work as well.
Marshall said the number of women in the profession has more than doubled in her 22 years on the force.
“There was less than 40 women when I started, and there’s 108 women now among our membership,” Marshall said. “When I first started, I realized how the woman that came before me actually forged the way, the path, to create opportunities for us.”
Staff Sergeant Laurel Marshall of the Regina Police Service’s North District Community Services Division. (Stefanie Davis / CTV News Regina)
She said back then, it was not common to see women in leadership roles.
“I do see those barriers slowly coming down,” she said. “We see these women in [leadership] roles and I’d say ten to 20 years ago, you didn’t see that representation there.”
The increase in female representation is also being witnessed in Regina’s business community.
“We’re getting there, honestly every single day, and we’re very fortunate to work with a lot of female-owned and operated businesses,” Morgan Mayer, the owner of Sweet Pea & Noelle Bridal Boutique, said. “But they’re honestly all under the five year mark and we’re all still very new.”
All three women agree that there are still challenges they face today, but feel the progress that has been made so far is promising.
“I think there’s always challenges. [Policing] was, and still is, a predominantly male profession,” Marshall said. “You feel that you have to maybe work harder or better to feel accepted in that same role.”
In Regina’s business sector, Mayer said there are still hurdles that up and coming entrepreneurs are facing.
“There are still some boys’ club mentalities, however we’re making the steps and I believe the female entrepreneur is only getting stronger in our community,” Mayer said.
Mayer’s bridal boutique offers dresses that are all created by independent Canadian designs. She said in her experience, tasks like applying for loans is often easier when it’s a woman on the other side.
Morgan Mayer, left, is the owner of Sweet Pea & Noelle Bridal Boutique. (Stefanie Davis / CTV News Regina)
“Men, and I understand, didn’t quite get the vision or why it was important or why it needed to be brought here. I was very fortunate that I did find female advisors that were 100 per cent in my corner,” she said.
Mayer said she is fortunate because the challenges she has faced haven’t been as blatant as what some of her peers experience.
“I do know quite a few females that do face these hurdles, whether that depends on their class, their race, all of these things can make it absolutely more difficult. In that way, we have an even longer way to go,” Mayer said. “There will always be challenges but we’re here to fight every step of the way.”
Within the city, Mayor Masters said she’s beginning to see how many people are supporting the idea that when women are successful in society, society as a whole becomes more successful.
Sandra Masters is Regina’s first elected woman Mayor. (Stefanie Davis / CTV News Regina)
“The barriers exist, they’re built into the system,” Masters said. “But I’m really encouraged by the number of men who are in positions of power who are looking for women to join their board tables, their senior levels of management in terms of their organization, or promoting and supporting female entrepreneurs.”
INSPIRING FUTURE GENERATIONS
On International Women’s Day, Masters said it’s important to highlight the various roles that women play to inspire the young girls who might hold similar titles in ten or 20 years.
“It’s not lost on me that being a woman politician and being the mayor of the city of Regina, that representation is important,” Masters said. “For young women and girls to see a woman in the role and being granted that role of leadership by the election cycle means something significant to them in terms of the opportunities that lay before them.”
Owning a bridal store, Mayer is able to uplift women every day as they plan for one of the biggest days of their lives. She said that, along with inspiring youth, is what her entire business is all about.
“You want to make sure that everyone sees themselves through kind eyes instead of judgmental eyes,” Mayer said. “I want to be able to show the younger generation that we are here for you, we are helping to pave the way and we hope that you find the courage and the community that we are trying to build.”
At the Regina Police Service, Marshall said interacting with younger girls in the community can often opens their eyes to a whole new line of work.
“To see that representation there, I think [girls] feel that it is really realistic and it’s something they might not have considered before,” Marshall said.
She said being able to mentor and inspire young women as they come up through the force is often just as fulfilling and she’s now getting ready to do that on a more permanent basis.
Marshall and a board of female police officers across the province are creating a non-profit organization called SWIP (Saskatchewan Women in Policing) to help create more leadership representation in women in the province. They will work to build relationships, connections and mentorship to advance more women within the profession in the future.
Is Sourav Ganguly joining politics? This is what he had to say – Yahoo Movies Canada
The Canadian Press
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand has opened its first large vaccination clinic as it scales up efforts to protect people from the coronavirus. The clinic in south Auckland will initially target household members of border workers. New Zealand has stamped out community spread of the virus and considers border workers and their families the most vulnerable to catching the disease from infectious travellers. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said that initially about 150 people a day will get vaccinated at the clinic, although the numbers will be rapidly increased. Health officials plan to open two more clinics in Auckland over the next few weeks. “I know a lot of our old people are probably scared of getting the vaccine but getting it today, it doesn’t hurt, and it is important for everybody to get it,” said Denise Fogasavaii, the sister of an Air New Zealand employee who has already been vaccinated. New Zealand this week announced it plans to use the Pfizer vaccine for all inoculations, and it hopes to complete its vaccination program by the end of the year. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: CDC: Fully-vaccinated people can gather without masks. The federal COVID bill will deliver big health insurance savings for many. Dutch prime minister extends country’s pandemic lockdown. — Vaccine rollout offers hope but also prompts envy, judgement and distrust. The long game: Coronavirus changed the way we play, watch, cheer. ___ — Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico is clearing the way for schools to reopen next month as vaccine eligibility is expanding to include shots for all teachers and other educators. State education officials announced Monday that five-day a week in-class programs would be open to those who want them. Districts also will be required to provide virtual learning options for students who opt out. As part of the vaccination effort, the state plans to get teachers their first shots by the end of March. The state is making the move as part of a directive by the Biden administration. State officials have acknowledged that meeting the goal depends on the federal government increasing vaccine shipments. ___ OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma health officials plan to start offering coronavirus vaccines Tuesday to workers in a wide range of essential industries, immediately making a vast majority of Oklahomans eligible to receive a vaccine. Those eligible include child-care workers and students and employees at colleges, universities and vocational schools. “This is a big step,” said Oklahoma’s Deputy Health Commissioner Keith Reed. “By the time we roll this group in, we’ve practically covered everyone in the state.” He said the expansion should include all but about 500,000 Oklahomans. Oklahoma’s list of essential industries includes manufacturing, construction, communications, energy, finance, state and federal government, transportation and retail. Oklahoma currently ranks 10th in the nation with 20.9% of its population having received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The national average is 18.1%. Meanwhile, state health officials on Tuesday reported 165 confirmed new cases of coronavirus and no new deaths. That brings the total number of confirmed infections to nearly 430,000, while the state’s death count remains at 7,219. ___ CHEYANNE, Wyo. — Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon says the state will join a handful of others that have lifted mask-wearing mandates to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The changes take effect March 16. Also being lifted are requirements for bars, restaurants, theatres and gyms, where employees must wear masks and customers not seated in small groups have to keep 6 feet apart. Gordon cites Wyoming’s declining number of COVID-19 cases and its success in distributing vaccines as reasons to lift the restrictions. The statewide order in place since December was set to expire next week. States including Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota and Texas also have lifted mask mandates. ___ HELSINKI — Estonia’s government has decided on further coronavirus restrictions due to a rapid rise in cases, especially the variant first detected in Britain, and the Baltic country will effectively enter lockdown as of Thursday. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas unveiled the new measures in an interview with the Estonian public broadcaster ERR late Monday saying “the situation with COVID-19 in Estonia is extremely critical.” Kallas said Estonia’s pandemic situation needs to be addressed quickly to avoid further escalation and hence “we have decided to lock the country in as much as possible.” With exception of grocery and other essential stores such as pharmacies, all stores and restaurants throughout Estonia are required to remain closed and all indoor sport activities cease as of Thursday. Restaurants will, however, be able to serve food for take-away and drive-in customers. Kallas said the new restrictions would be in place for a minimum of one month. The nation of 1.3 million has seen a rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases n the past few weeks. The country on Monday reported 1,181 new confirmed cases putting total tally to over 76,183 cases with 667 deaths. ___ HONOLULU — Hawaii has detected a new COVID-19 variant in the islands, one that first emerged in South Africa. The state Department of Health said Monday the virus, which has technical name B.1.351 was found in an Oahu resident with no travel history. Some tests suggest the variant may be less susceptible to antibody drugs or antibody-rich blood from COVID-19 survivors. Acting State Epidemiologist Sarah Kemble said in a statement that a study conducted in South Africa, where the variant was predominant, showed that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was effective in preventing serious disease requiring hospitalization and in preventing death. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Sunday, 81 cases of the South African variant have been detected in 19 states and Washington, D.C. Hawaii has already detected eight cases of the U.K. or B.1.1.7 variant, including two more announced Monday in an Oahu resident who travelled to the U.S. mainland and a household contact of that person. ___ HARTFORD, Conn. — The first Connecticut resident to be diagnosed with COVID-19 says he is still coping with health problems one year later, but the experience has brought a new optimism to his life. Chris Tillett, a former Wilton, Connecticut, resident, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 8, 2020, and spent three weeks at Danbury Hospital, including 10 days in a coma and on a ventilator. Doctors used experimental treatments, including anti-malaria and anti-HIV drugs, in efforts to save his life. Tillett, who was 45 at the time, a husband and father of 4-month-old twin boys, got sick after returning from a professional conference in California. “This has been a tough year,” Tillett, who now lives in Virginia, told WVIT-TV. “I’m enjoying little aspects of life. Even when things go bad, I just choose to laugh at it now instead of letting it get me angry and upset, and like what is that gonna do for me, right? So I’ve just found, yes, definitely a new lease on life.” Tillett told Connecticut Public Radio he continues to experience muscle pain, stiffness and swelling in his legs. He also had to begin taking blood pressure medication, and may have to for the rest of his life. He said red spots still cover his feet, a common lingering symptom of the virus. Exactly one year after Tillett tested positive, more than 285,000 Connecticut residents have contracted the virus and more than 7,700 have died. ___ ATHENS, Greece – Greek authorities have registered the country’s youngest COVID-19 victim so far, a 37-day-old baby that had been in the hospital with the virus for the past three weeks. Athens hospital officials said the baby boy died just before midnight Sunday. He had been brought to the hospital on Feb. 13 with a nose infection and a high temperature and tested positive for the coronavirus. He was taken to an intensive care unit for COVID-19 on Feb. 18 and intubated a day later. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted his condolences to the baby’s family Monday. “Today, unfortunately, we had the youngest victim to the pandemic in our country,” he wrote. “The virus makes no distinctions, but today the sorrow is very hard to bear.” ___ GENEVA — A senior World Health Organization official said that so-called “vaccine passports” for COVID-19 should not be used for international travel because of numerous concerns, including ethical considerations that coronavirus vaccines are not easily available globally. At a press briefing on Monday, WHO emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan said there are “real practical and ethical considerations” for countries considering using vaccine certification as a condition for travel, adding the U.N. health agency advises against it for now. “Vaccination is just not available enough around the world and is not available certainly on an equitable basis,” Ryan said. WHO has previously noted that it’s still unknown how long immunity lasts from the numerous licensed COVID-19 vaccines and that data are still being collected. Ryan also noted the strategy might be unfair to people who cannot be vaccinated for certain reasons and that requiring vaccine passports might allow “inequity and unfairness (to) be further branded into the system.” ___ CARSON CITY, Nev. — One year into the pandemic, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is still attempting to strike the right balance between keeping the state’s tourism industry afloat while also containing the coronavirus. Sisolak said in an interview with the Associated Press he plans to use Nevada’s safety protocols as a selling point to bring tourists, conventions and trade shows back to Las Vegas. About one in 10 Nevada residents, including the governor, have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past year. More than 5,000 people have died, 63% of whom have been 70 or older. Sisolak hopes vaccines will prevent future deaths, contain the virus and buoy the economy to pre-pandemic levels. ___ GENEVA — One of the Oxford University scientists who helped develop AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine disputed that simply making intellectual property rights freely available would significantly widen access to vaccines. Agencies, including the World Health Organization, have called for pharmaceuticals to waive patent rights. At a press briefing on Monday, Sarah Gilbert of Oxford University said freely available IP rights would not get the world “anywhere close to solving this problem” of limited vaccines, saying that “it’s not just the rights to the technology that’s needed.” Gilbert said other essential technical goods were needed, including cell banks and testing reagents. Last year, WHO began a patent pool that asked companies to share their COVID-19 technology and know how for vaccines, treatments and diagnostics. Not a single company has yet joined and Gilbert said she had never heard of the initiative, despite Oxford University’s pledge to make its vaccine available to countries globally. ___ MILAN — Italy surpassed 100,000 dead in the pandemic, a year after it became the first country in Europe to go on lockdown in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19. The Italian Health Ministry on Monday said 318 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 100,103, the second highest in Europe after Britain. Italy recorded its first virus death on Feb. 21, 2020, when 78-year-old retired roofer Antonio Trevisan from a winemaking town west of Venice who had been hospitalized with heart issues died. Italy’s total virus cases surpassed 3 million last week, with a new surge powered by the highly contagious variant that was first identified in Britain. Nearly 14,000 new positives were recorded Monday as the number of people in ICUs rose to 2,700 — 95 more than a day earlier. Italy imposed a draconian nationwide lockdown last March 9, which continued for seven weeks and included a shutdown of all non-essential manufacturing. ___ WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will deliver his first primetime address to speak to the nation on Thursday to mark the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that Biden would note the sacrifices and losses suffered by Americans during the last 12 months. More than 525,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus. It was March 11, 2020 when the pandemic hit home for many Americans and lockdowns began. That was the night the NBA suspended play, actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson announced they had tested positive and then-President Donald Trump addressed the nation. The anniversary comes as the administration has bolstered vaccine supply, and some states have begun reopening even as worries remain about virus variants. ___ ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico on Monday expanded eligibility for vaccinations to all school teachers, early childhood educators and other staff with the goal of getting the group its first shots by the end of March. The state is making the move as part of a directive by the Biden administration to get more schools reopened as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins said last week that the ability of New Mexico to meet the timeline will depend on the federal government increasing vaccine supplies. Collins said the state was in discussions with the White House last week about how the directive would affect vaccinations for other groups in the state. Under the plan, the state will start with educators outside of the Albuquerque area this week. The second week will involve those in the metro area, likely at a mass vaccination site. The state already has vaccinated more than 15,000 educators as some were eligible as part of New Mexico’s first phases of the vaccine rollout. ___ PHOENIX — Arizona is reporting a daily number of new COVID-19 cases below 1,000 for the first time in months along with no new deaths. State health officials on Monday said there are 783 new confirmed cases of the virus. With that latest figure, the state’s pandemic total number of cases is now at 827,237. The death toll remains 16,328. The number of vaccine doses administered around Arizona was up to 2.1 million with more than 1.3 million people having received at least one shot. That’s more than 19% of the state’s population. The number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide dipped to 919, the fewest since Nov. 1. The number of ICU beds used by COVID-19 patients fell to 256, the fewest since Nov. 6. The Associated Press
Politics Podcast: Cuomo’s Political Future Is Unclear – FiveThirtyEight
New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign on Sunday after multiple women accused the governor of workplace sexual harassment. But Cuomo has said there is “no way” he resigns.
In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew discusses what Cuomo’s political future might hold and how New Yorkers are reacting to the allegations. Plus, they discuss moderate Senate Democrats’ push to amend some of the provisions in the American Rescue plan and exclude an increase of the federal minimum wage to $15. And the team looks at the politics and science behind the push to loosen covid-19 restrictions in states.
You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.
The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recorded Mondays and Thursdays. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.
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Politics, policing, business: How these Regina women are paving the way for the next generation – CTV News
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