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3 Stories You Should Read 3/12/2020: Democrats, New Rochelle, Iraq

3 Stories You Should Read 3/12/2020:  Democrats, New Rochelle, Iraq
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In the category of:  Party lines

Democrats have a new coronavirus relief package. Here’s what’s in it.

Democrats have unveiled their new coronavirus plan, addressing sick leave and free testing.

House Democrats released their coronavirus economic relief bill late Wednesday night, as layoffs related to the outbreak were reported.

The new multibillion-dollar bill contains a number of emergency economic measures designed to assist working people and families dealing with the virus — including free coronavirus testing, paid sick leave, and expanded unemployment benefits for those laid off related to the virus. Provisions in the bill expanding food assistance alone would cost $1 billion; a Congressional Budget Office score is expected later in the day. (This piece will be updated throughout the day as negotiations on House Democrats’ bill continue.)

“It will be in the billions, and I won’t go beyond that, but it will be costly,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters of the bill. “But I will tell you this: It will be much more costly if we don’t provide relief.”

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In the category of:  Containment zone USA

What life is like inside the coronavirus containment zone in New Rochelle, New York

Besides a few landscapers bagging up the remnants of pruned trees, hardly anyone was outside in this part of New Rochelle, New York, on a balmy Wednesday as residents prepared for life to change dramatically.

“It’s a mixture of boredom and anxiety,” said Eli Epstein, 66. “We’re cut off from our lives, our friends, our extended families. We’re stuck at home.”
 
Like his neighbors, Epstein was bracing for the next two weeks, when officials will implement a 1-mile containment zone in this suburb outside New York City in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
 
Beginning Thursday, schools, houses of worship and other places used for large gatherings will be closed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week. The National Guard will be deployed to clean public areas within the containment area and deliver food to homes. And a satellite testing facility will be set up in partnership with Northwell Health.
 
 
 
 

In the category of:  It case you’re bored with the virus

 

Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah armed group has been known to wage such attacks on US interests in the past.

United States military leaders on Thursday threatened a retaliatory strike against Iranian-backed Shia militia in Iraq, saying they know who launched the rockets in Iraq that killed and wounded US and coalition troops. 

US President Donald Trump gave the Pentagon the authority to respond after a rocket barrage killed two US troops and a British soldier, again raising tensions with Iran after the two countries came to the brink of war earlier this year. 

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