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Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 12:36 PM
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Americans overwhelmingly approve of Chauvin guilty verdict, USA TODAY/Ipsos snap poll finds

n the hours after a guilty verdict was announced in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, an exclusive USA TODAY/Ipsos snap poll found Americans overwhelmingly approved of the jury's finding.

The survey found 71% of Americans agreed Chauvin was guilty, and most Americans surveyed followed at least some coverage of the three-week trial. When participants were identified by political affiliation, Democrats strongly concurred, at 85%, with Republicans at 55% and independents at 71%.

The results were based on an online survey of 1,000 American adults from all states.

Chauvin, who is 45 and white, was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man.

At: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/04/21/chauvin-verdict-poll-majority-approve-guilty-finding/7316788002/

LeVar Burton scores 'Jeopardy!' guest host spot after fan campaign

LeVar Burton is going to guest host Jeopardy! after all.

The former Reading Rainbow host and Star Trek: The Next Generation actor, 64, was included in the final batch of Jeopardy! guest hosts for the season.

The decision comes after hundreds of thousands of fans lobbied online for Burton to get a shot to potentially replace the late Alex Trebek. A Change.org petition supporting Burton guest hosting the show racked up 246,000 signatures.

“THANK YOU… to all y’all for your passionate support!” Burton tweeted Wednesday.

“I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!, and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith you in me. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time.”

At: https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/levar-burton-scores-jeopardy-guest-host-spot-after-fan-campaign/ar-BB1fUfU6

Actor and host Le Var Burton.

Argentina reduces number of people who pay income tax

Argentine President Alberto Fernández signed legislation on Tuesday raising standard deductions for federal income taxes, providing economic stimulus after a 10% fall in GDP last year.

The bill, introduced by House Speaker Sergio Massa and passed in the Senate on April 8th, will double the standard deduction to 150,000 pesos ($1,527) monthly for a single earner with no dependents.

The tax cut is projected to cost up to 50 billion pesos ($509 million) this year - a small share of the 7 trillion pesos ($71 billion) in projected federal revenues.

"With this bill we would return to the historical situation where only 7% of workers would pay income tax," House Budget Committee Chair Carlos Heller explained before its House passage in March 28th.

"We are talking about 1,267,000 workers and retirees who would stop paying it."

Currently, some 2.3 million earners pay income tax (19% of all registered workers) - in brackets ranging from 5% to 35% (most pay around 10%).

Most Argentines, whose income in January averaged 57,846 pesos ($632), pay no income tax - but face high social security and federal sales taxes.

The number paying income tax had risen by 91.7% during Mauricio Macri's 2015-19 administration - mainly by way of bracket creep, as prices quadrupled in four years.

Taxes on corporations, exporters, and the wealthy were meanwhile cut.

Macri had been narrowly elected in 2015 on promises that "no worker would pay income tax in our administration." An additional 1.1 million did so by 2019.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=es&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.valoraanalitik.com%2F2021%2F04%2F21%2Fargentina-reduce-numero-personas-pagan-impuesto-ganancias%2F

Argentine President Alberto Fernández speaks after signing legislation raising the federal income tax floor.

The bill, representing a tax cut of up to $500 million this year, benefits nearly 1.3 million middle-class earners - most of whom had been pushed above the standard deduction by bracket creep during the right-wing Macri administration (2015-19).

Local firm produces first batch of Covid vaccine in Argentina

An Argentine pharmaceutical firm says it has produced the first local batch of the Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus and will be dispatching it to Moscow for quality control checks imminently.

The first batch consisted of 21,176 doses. Laboratorios Richmond confirmed that mass production of the vaccine would begin in June, with an estimated initial capacity of one million doses monthly - and eventually up to 5 million monthly.

The announcement means that Argentina has now become the first country in Latin America to start production of Sputnik V, originally developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Centre.

According to a press release, the doses produced in Argentina “could be exported to countries in Latin America at a later stage.”

Gamaleya's Sputnik V accounts for 62% of the 6.5 million doses applied thus far in Argentina - mainly to senior citizens and health, education and security staff.

A recent poll shows that while 79% of Argentine adults are willing to be vaccinated, 62% believe the campaign is going “slowly.”

Daily COVID-19 cases there have skyrocketed from 7,000 a month ago, to 29,145 on Monday; nearly 60,000 deaths have been recorded since the pandemic began.

Some 63% of those surveyed backed crowding restrictions enacted by President Alberto Fernández on April 9th, effective for three weeks.

“Since classes returned (on March 1st), the contagion curve has grown exponentially,” Fernández explained on Friday.

Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta - whose right-wing JxC coalition staunchly opposes Fernández - has defied the in-person schooling suspension however, despite a federal court ruling today.

At: https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/pharmaceutical-firm-produces-first-batch-of-sputnik-v-vaccine-in-argentina.phtml

Argentine Presidential Advisor Cecilia Nicolini, Health Minister Carla Vizzotti, and Richmond Laboratories President Marcelo Figueiras pose with vials of locally-made Sputnik V vaccine - which Richmond plans to mass-produce by June, pending approval from Russia's Gamaleya.

This would make Argentina, currently struggling with one of the world's highest rates of new daily COVID-19 cases, one of around a dozen countries producing a vaccine.

So far just 1 in 8 Argentines have received at least one dose, compared to 40% in the U.S.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signs two laws increasing firearm regulations

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a pair of bills increasing regulations surrounding the tracking and storage of firearms.

Polis on Monday signed Senate Bill 78, which requires a gun owner to report their lost or stolen firearm within five days or face fines.

And House Bill 1106, which requires gun owners to "responsibly and securely" store their firearms when not in use to prevent access from unauthorized users and requires a licensed gun dealer to provide a locking device during a firearm sale or transfer.

At: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2021/04/20/Colorado-Jared-Polis-sings-two-gun-regulation-laws/4911618951828/

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signing into law on Monday a bill from the State Senate to tighten gun regulations.

Matthew McConaughey for Texas governor? Actor leads incumbent Greg Abbott in new poll

Matthew McConaughey did more than alright, alright, alright in a new poll surveying support for Texas' next governor.

The actor, 51, who hasn't announced his candidacy yet but has teased interest in running, beat incumbent Greg Abbott by double digits.

Some 45% of Texas registered voters said they would vote for McConaughey compared to 33% who would vote for Abbott and 22% who would select someone else.

The poll, released Sunday by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, surveyed 1,126 registered voters.

At: https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/matthew-mcconaughey-for-texas-governor-actor-leads-incumbent-greg-abbott-in-new-poll/ar-BB1fN5BE

Leading man Matthew McConaughey: Leading Texas polls.

Florida woman threatened to kill Kamala Harris in videos, agents say

A longtime nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital has been charged in Miami federal court with making threats to kill Vice President Kamala Harris, which she recorded in a series of videos she sent to her husband in prison.

Federal authorities say the threats from Niviane Petit Phelps, a 39-year-old mother of three who lives in Miami Gardens, were serious enough that she practiced at a gun range and applied for a concealed weapons permit.

In the five videos, according to a Secret Service complaint, Phelps expressed rage over the victory of President Joe Biden and Harris. But political anger wasn’t the only motivation, according to the complaint.

At: https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida/2021/04/17/florida-woman-made-videos-threatening-to-kill-kamala-harris-agents-say/

Niviane Petit Phelps, holding a sign for Miami GOP mayoral candidate Esteban “Steve” Bovo last year.

Man charged with hate crimes in burning of Black church

A man was charged with hate crime offenses Thursday after federal prosecutors said he intentionally set fire to a predominantly Black church in Massachusetts last year.

Dushko Vulchev, 44, of Houlton, ME, is in state custody on four counts of damage to religious property involving fire and one count of use of fire to commit a federal felony in connection with a Dec. 28 blaze at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Presbyterian Church in Springfield, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts said in a statement.

He will make an initial appearance in federal court at a later date.

Vulchev was accused of setting the church ablaze on four separate occasions and slashing the tires of several cars parked near it.

Ultimately, the FBI said, it was the fourth fire set just after 5 a.m. on Dec. 28 that “essentially destroyed” the church.

At: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/man-charged-hate-crimes-burning-black-church-n1264202

Suspect Dushko Vulchev caught in security footage stealing tires in Springfield, MA, last year.

Vulchec has been arrested on charges of arson against a historically Black church in Maine in December.

First lady Jill Biden undergoes 'common' medical procedure in D.C.

Source: UPI

First lady Jill Biden is set to return to her normal schedule on Wednesday after undergoing a routine medical procedure in Washington, D.C.

Biden underwent what the White House called a "common" procedure at an outpatient medical center.

President Joe Biden accompanied his wife to the outpatient center on Wednesday morning.

The White House did not specify the first lady's procedure.

Jill Biden, 69, "tolerated the procedure well," a White House spokeswoman said in a statement to People magazine.

The Bidens spent about two hours at the outpatient clinic.

Read more: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2021/04/14/jill-biden-medical-procedure/2851618414149/

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrive back at the White House after the first lady underwent a medical procedure at an outpatient center in Washington earlier today.

Mrs. Biden is reportedly feeling well; she plans a trip to Illinois on Monday.

'Predatory elite' also bear the blame for migrant crisis, NSC's Juan Gonzalez says

Many migrants who come to the U.S. border from Central America are doing so because of "a predatory elite" who are tied to a host of problems in their home countries — not because of President Biden's easing of Trump-era immigration policies, according to Juan González, a top aide to Biden on immigration.

"You have, frankly, a predatory elite that benefits from the status quo, which is to not pay any taxes or invest in social programs," said González, the National Security Council's Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere and a special assistant to Biden.

"Migration is essentially a social release valve for migrants," he said, adding that remittances from their earnings in the U.S. drive more consumption in their home countries.

At: https://www.npr.org/2021/03/26/981284187/predatory-elite-also-bear-the-blame-for-migrant-crisis-juan-gonzalez-says

White House National Security Council Western Hemisphere Senior Director Juan González.

He and Vice President Kamala Harris will be planning a regional anti-corruption task force – a move that would fulfill a Biden campaign promise - with the power to "freeze assets of individuals involved in money laundering."
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