Millions to receive coronavirus stimulus checks, US Treasury says
More than 80 million Americans are expected to receive coronavirus stimulus checks of up to $1,200 in their bank accounts on Wednesday, according to the Treasury Department. The one-time payments are part of a $2 trillion recovery package designed to help Americans – and the economy – bounce back from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The first checks were delivered via direct deposit on Friday to some who have alreadyprovided the Internal Revenue Service with bank account information. But many Americans won’t get a check at all. Many students aren’t eligible for a stimulus check. Neither are some elderly and disabled people. And if you earn more than $99,000 a year, sorry, you’re out of luck.
New saliva test could revolutionize COVID-19 testing
A new coronavirus saliva test developed at Rutgers University that could dramatically alter the way the coronavirus is detected – potentially accelerating the rate of collections and limiting exposure to health care workers – could be rolled out as soon as Wednesday. The test, which can be self-administered, will allow for broader population screening than the current nose and throat swabs used at testing facilities, Rutgers officials said. The saliva test also lessens the need for valuable personal protective equipment during the testing process. Saliva tests, which typically require patients to spit into a tube, are far less invasive than the current swab methods used to detect coronavirus – which have been described as painful and uncomfortable.
Michigan protesters to ‘gridlock’ streets to protest stay-home order
Critics of Michigan’s expanded stay-home order are planning an in-vehicle protest Wednesday to tell Gov. Gretchen Whitmer they believe she has gone too far. The Michigan Conservative Coalition and Michigan Freedom Fund asked for protesters to surround the state Capitol in their vehicles in opposition of Whitmer’s “erratic, unilateral orders that threaten Michiganders’ economic existence,” according to a news release. The protest would come several days after Whitmer extended her order through April 30 and took the requirements of staying home a step further, banning crossing the street to visit with neighbors or driving to see friends, among other things.
One year after the Notre Dame fire, challenges have stunted rebuild
It’s been one year since the fire that partly destroyed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and its precious artworks visited by millions each year. The fire on April 15 2019, burned for hours virtually unabated despite the efforts of hundreds of firefighters. French President Emmanuel Macron has promised Notre Dame will reopen to the public by 2024 but some experts previously said the cathedral may never recover. The rehabilitation effort has been stunted by one challenge after another, The Guardian reports. The builders who were part of the operation were sent home March 17, a day after Macron issued a nationwide stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Still, army general Jean-Louis Georgelin, who is in charge of the rebuild, hasn’t lost faith. “If everyone rolls up their sleeves and the work is well planned, it is conceivable that returning the cathedral to a place of worship within five years will not be an impossible feat,” he told The Guardian.
Blanchett, Byrne rule FX on Hulu’s powerful ERA drama ‘Mrs. America’
“Mrs. America,” a mini-series about the fight over the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, premieres Wednesday night on FX on Hulu. In her first TV series, Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett stars as conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, a figure who was instrumental in the downfall of the amendment’s ratification. On the other side of the issue, “America” has a talented cast portraying leaders of the women’s liberation movement, including Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem, Tracy Ullman as Betty Friedan, Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm, Elizabeth Banks as Jill Ruckelshaus and Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug. “Equal parts entertainment and education, “America” (weekly episodes Wednesdays, ★★★½ out of four) meticulously brings to life the fight for (and against) the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s,” USA TODAY TV critic Kelly Lawler writes in her review.