president joe – Grantstation Trendtrack Tue, 29 Mar 2022 01:18:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 president joe – Grantstation Trendtrack 32 32 US gives Ukraine $1 billion in military aid Thu, 17 Mar 2022 16:50:00 +0000

kyiv—The Ukrainian leader has secured $1 billion in new US military aid, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles used against Soviet forces in Afghanistan.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has said Russia is building a new Cold War wall across Europe “between freedom and servitude”, after his government accused invading forces of bombing a theater housing many civilians and marked with the word “children”.

US President Joe Biden has called Russian President Vladimir Putin a ‘war criminal’, sparking Kremlin fury, as the Russian leader also lashed out at ‘traitors’ at home who he says were undermining the war effort.

NATO members have so far resisted Zelensky’s calls for direct involvement through a no-fly zone over Ukraine, warning it could lead to a third world war against Russia. of nuclear weapons.

They have instead stepped up their military aid, with Biden announcing that the United States will also help Ukraine acquire longer-range anti-aircraft weapons.

Zelensky addressed the German parliament a day after a speech before the US Congress.

He returned to this Cold War era and was inspired by a speech given in Berlin in 1987 by US President Ronald Reagan: “Dear Mr. Scholz, tear down this wall”, as he implored the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

“It’s not a Berlin Wall, it’s a wall in Central Europe between freedom and servitude and this wall is getting bigger with every bomb.”

In an overnight video message, Zelensky also urged Russians to lay down their arms, three weeks after the start of an invasion that saw the West impose harsh sanctions on Putin’s regime.

“If your war, the war against the Ukrainian people, continues, Russian mothers will lose more children than in the Afghan and Chechen wars combined,” he said, referring to the thousands killed in those conflicts.

In Manila, President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated on Thursday that the Philippines would remain neutral in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

“We have to maintain this neutrality. This is not our fight. Let’s not interfere,” he said.

Duterte reiterated his fear that the Russian invasion could escalate into nuclear war.

“If it goes nuclear, it’s the end of the world. It really is the end of everything,” the president said.

The Foreign Ministry said some 329 Filipinos from Ukraine had been repatriated to the Philippines, while 41 nationals in various safe borders were awaiting repatriation as of March 17.

The FDFA said the latest group of returnees are the 19 sailors from the ship Chariana L who arrived in the country on March 16. Currently, a total of 370 Filipinos have been evacuated from Ukraine since the war began in February.

The agency ordered Alert Level 4 or mandatory evacuation of Filipinos from all parts of Ukraine on March 7 due to the “rapidly deteriorating security situation” in the Eastern European country. .

Britain’s diplomatic mission to the UN tweeted that Russia was committing “war crimes and targeting civilians” in Ukraine, after the UK called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

“Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine is a threat to all of us,” he said, saying the request was made with the United States, France, Albania, Norway and the United States. ‘Ireland.

But Putin, in a televised government meeting on Wednesday, insisted the invasion was “going along successfully”, adding “we will not allow Ukraine to serve as a springboard for aggressive actions against Russia”. .

He also condemned Western sanctions as an “economic blitzkrieg”, after Russia was locked out of much of the Western financial system.

The Kremlin also rejected an order from the UN’s highest court to end its invasion of Ukraine.

Canadian judge issues order to stop protesters from blocking US border bridge Fri, 11 Feb 2022 23:29:00 +0000
Reuters / 07:29 Feb 12, 2022

People erect a tent as truck drivers and supporters continue to block access to the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit and Windsor, to protest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination mandates, in Windsor , Ontario, Canada February 10, 2022. REUTERS/ Carlos Osori

WINDSOR, Ontario – A judge on Friday ordered an end to the four-day blockade of a Canada-U.S. trade corridor by anti-coronavirus mandate protesters and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised President Joe Biden swift action to end to the crisis.

The order could lead police in the city of Windsor, Ont., to clear truckers who piled up dozens of vehicles near the Ambassador Bridge, North America’s busiest land border crossing and a choke point for Detroit automakers.

Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Morawetz said his order would go into effect Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern Time (0000 GMT) to give people time to clean up the area. Trudeau told reporters earlier that no action was on the table.

Authorities have diverted shipments to stem losses amid production cuts by companies such as Ford. Ontario declared a state of emergency on Friday and the judge approved the request by Windsor authorities in hopes of forcing a halt to the protests.

Occupying the access roads leading to the bridge on Friday, protesters expressed defiance and there were few signs they were backing down.

“Canada is supposed to be a free country,” said Liz Valley, a protester from Chatham, Ont. “When that freedom is threatened, we must stand up.”

“The Prime Minister promised quick action to enforce the law, and the President thanked him for the steps he and other Canadian authorities are taking to restore open passage of bridges to the United States,” said- he added.

Trudeau told reporters he agreed with Biden that the blockades cannot continue. “Everything is on the table because this illegal activity must stop and it will end,” Trudeau said.

The Biden administration had previously urged Canada to use federal powers to ease the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge, a step Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government failed to take. Trudeau said Friday that his government was not seriously considering using the military during the protests.

The leader of Ontario, where police have avoided using force to disperse protesters, sought pressure on Friday by threatening fines of C$100,000 and up to a year in prison for non-compliance .

Announcing the penalties as part of the emergency measures, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said they were necessary to “make it clear that it is illegal and punishable to block and obstruct the movement of goods, people and services along critical infrastructure”.

Windsor police issued a statement warning of the arrests, but it was unclear if and when authorities would start issuing fines or seeking jail time.

Economic losses

As car production cuts mount, Ford, the second-largest U.S. automaker, said on Friday it had temporarily halted work at its Ohio assembly plant. General Motors and Toyota also announced further production cuts.

Shares of Canadian auto parts maker Magna International fell 4.4% on Friday after saying it suffered a first blow following the bridge closure.

Beyond auto sector losses, the three obstructed U.S.-Canada crossings account for 33% of Canada’s trade with the U.S., valued at $616 million a day, Export Development & Development said. Canada.

Closing the bridge could worsen the limited supply of new vehicles in the United States and contribute to the already rapid rise in the price of new vehicles, IHS Markit said in a report on Friday.

Even if the blockade ends, a return to normal will take several weeks as shortages ripple through the supply chain, IHS Markit said.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, home to nearly a fifth of all US auto production, told CNN: “The Canadian government must do whatever it takes to address this issue safely and quickly.”

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States get green light to build electric car charging stations, Auto News, ET Auto Fri, 11 Feb 2022 02:19:00 +0000

Biden has also set a goal of 50% electric vehicle sales by 2030, as part of a broader effort to achieve a zero-emissions economy by 2050.

WASHINGTON: States get green light to build nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations that would place new or upgraded ones every 80 kilometers (50 miles) along interstate highways under Biden administration’s plan aimed at boosting the widespread adoption of zero-emission cars.

The administration on Thursday announced the availability of $5 billion in federal money to states over five years under President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Act, outlining a vision for climate-friendly road travel a coast to coast.

Under Department of Transportation requirements, states must submit plans to the federal government and can begin construction by this fall if they focus on highway roads first, rather than neighborhoods and malls. that can allow people to travel long distances with their electric vehicles. Each station should have at least four fast-charging ports, which allow drivers to fully charge their vehicles in about an hour.

Many technical details remain to be worked out and the administration recognizes that it will take work to convince drivers accustomed to petrol cars, especially in rural areas. The money is far less than the $15 billion Biden had envisioned to deliver on a campaign promise of 500,000 charging stations by 2030, and it may take substantial private investment to make the plan work.

“A century ago America ushered in the age of the modern automobile; now America must lead the electric vehicle revolution,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who will have final approval. on most aspects of financing.

Buttigieg made the announcement outside the Transportation Department with White House officials flanked by a pair of black Ford Mustang Mach-E SUVs in the federal government‘s growing electric fleet that he and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm drive. The retail price of the vehicle starts around $44,000 and climbs to $60,000+ including options, and they are currently manufactured in Mexico.

Buttigieg made a particular appeal to rural drivers, suggesting that America’s wide open spaces no longer need to be a “valley of death” for electric vehicle drivers.

“Many might consider them a luxury item,” he said. “The reality is that no one benefits from electric vehicles in principle more than those who travel the longest distances, often our rural Americans.”

The law provides an additional $2.5 billion for local grants, due later this year, to fill remaining gaps in the charging network in rural areas and in disadvantaged communities, which are currently less likely to own the vehicles. more expensive electricity. States that do not meet all federal requirements risk delaying approval from the Federal Highway Administration or not receiving any money at all.

Biden has also set a goal of 50% electric vehicle sales by 2030, as part of a broader effort to achieve a zero-emissions economy by 2050.

Electric vehicles accounted for less than 3% of new auto sales in the United States last year, but forecasters expect big increases over the next decade. Consumers purchased around 400,000 all-electric vehicles. According to a Consumer Reports survey, anxiety over limited range and the availability of charging stations were among consumers’ top concerns about owning an electric vehicle.

Biden hopes to do even more to promote electric vehicles, including a provision in his stalled social and environmental bill for a $7,500 tax credit for people who buy electric vehicles.

“It will help make America the world leader in electric vehicles,” Biden said this week of American companies developing electric vehicle infrastructure.

“China has led the race so far, but that is about to change,” he said. “Because America is building convenient, reliable, and fair nationwide public charging networks. So wherever you live, charging an electric vehicle will be quick and easy.”

Granholm described the initial $5 billion investment as creating “the backbone” of the national network. Alluding to soaring gas prices, said the goal of the new stations is to build “the infrastructure needed for drivers across America to save money and go the distance.”

Environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council praised the administration’s quick start, but said there was still a lot of work to do. He said states, utilities and private companies will need to step up and fill funding gaps to ensure a comprehensive public charging system by 2035, which is estimated to cost $39 billion.

“We have no time to waste,” the band said in a statement.

Currently, EV owners charge their vehicles at home 80% of the time, making the need for EV charging stations in colleges, apartment building parking lots, or even public streets less urgent. But that is likely to change as more and more people who don’t have a garage to house a charging station are buying electric vehicles.

Under the Department of Transportation’s plan, states would be eligible to build EV stations in neighborhoods and cities once FHWA and Buttigieg certify that they’ve done their part to fulfill their commitments to the network. freeway EV charging, known as alternative fuel corridors.

DC fast chargers, which can charge a car to 80% of its battery capacity in 20-45 minutes, are quite expensive, costing between $40,000 and $100,000, limiting the number that can be built, but they allow drivers to quickly return to a road such as a highway.

Jessika Trancik, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who studies electric vehicle charging, called the administration’s approach a good first step. She said a successful strategy to spur wider use of electric vehicles will require charging stations in a host of different locations, including faster charging along highways and slower charging near homes and businesses. work places.

Even with limited resources, she said, federal money could be doled out to accelerate private investment, with greater government incentives for areas that might otherwise be underserved by the private sector.

“It’s not about the government installing each of these chargers themselves,” she said. “It’s also about stimulating private sector investment.”

Read also :

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the funding “will help us win the race for electric vehicles by working with states, unions and the private sector to deploy a historic charging network nationwide.”

Biden welcomed the Tritium announcement in remarks at the White House, saying charging stations produced in Tennessee will mirror the bipartisan infrastructure deal, which provides $7.5 billion in federal grants for build a network of charging stations.

]]> US House China competition bill to pass this week Wed, 02 Feb 2022 19:49:00 +0000

The Chinese and American flags are printed on paper in this illustration taken January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday introduced a multibillion-dollar bill aimed at increasing U.S. competitiveness with China and boosting U.S. semiconductor manufacturing , preparing the legislation for full approval by the House this week.

Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration has been scrambling to persuade Congress to approve the bill, which includes $52 billion to subsidize semiconductor manufacturing and research, as shortages of key components used in automobiles and computers have been exacerbated by supply chain bottlenecks.

The Democratic-controlled House approved the America Competes Act rule by 219 to 203, largely along party lines. House aides said they expected a vote to pass the full measure on Friday, after considering a number of amendments.

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The bill contains several trade provisions and would also authorize $8 billion in U.S. contributions to the Green Climate Fund, created by the Paris Agreement to fight climate change, to help developing countries cope. .

Republicans have proposed an amendment to remove that funding. Three Democrats want to increase it by $3 billion.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week that the 2,900-page bill would “increase” investment in chips, boost US manufacturing and research, and advance US leadership in the face of a rising China.

House Republicans have complained that Democrats did not include them in the drafting of the legislation. They harshly criticized the weather provisions and said they could be used to help Beijing.

“Republicans are a strong ‘no’,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush filed an amendment last week barring semiconductor companies receiving government grants from paying dividends or buying back company stock.

The Senate passed its own bill – the US Innovation and Competition Act – by a vote of 68 to 32 in June. This legislation includes $52 billion to increase domestic semiconductor production and authorizes $190 billion for American technology and research to compete with China.

The House bill authorizes $45 billion to strengthen supply chains and manufacturing of essential goods for health, communications and other sectors.

If the full House measure passes, the Senate and House will have to reconcile the differences between their bills. The final version would come back to both houses for full approval and then, if that legislation passes, to Biden for his signature.

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Reporting by David Shepardson and Patricia Zengerle; edited by Jonathan Oatis and Mark Porter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Race and finance: the student loan trap Tue, 21 Dec 2021 05:00:35 +0000

This is the second in a series of articles on race and the financial system.

When American civil rights activists of the last century took to the streets, they dreamed of a day when black Americans had the same educational opportunities as everyone else in the country. Sabrina Cannon lived that dream – and it put her in heavy debt.

Cannon, 33, was the first African-American family member in Buffalo, New York, to attend college, using $ 100,000 in federal student loans to earn a marketing degree in 2010 from Niagara University , a neighboring private institution. But she struggled to find work in her field during the difficult times following the financial crisis and only won enough other jobs to make minimum payments on her loans, leaving the capital intact.

So Cannon shifted gears. She decided her future was in healthcare – in particular, mastering the alphanumeric code doctors use to track patients – and returned to school part-time to earn a second degree in 2017 from the New York State University Polytechnic. Resuming her studies allowed her to withhold payments on her first student loan while in school, but it also forced her to take on more debt to get new degrees.

FT series: racing and finance

Features of this series include:

Part 1 – The segregated banking system

Part 2 – The student debt trap

Part 3 – Fund managers fail to walk

Today, she makes more money as a medical coder, but she owes $ 120,000 in student debt, more than when she started college a decade and a half ago. Her credit history is so bad that she was recently turned down for a mortgage and only last year accepted a second temporary job as a grocery delivery driver to help pay off her mortgage. university loans.

“I did what we were all told we were supposed to do, go to college so you could find a good job and earn enough money to change your situation,” Cannon said. “I would have done better not to go to college. “

Cannon is far from alone in her disappointment. For a disproportionate number of black Americans, the pursuit of a college degree has led to a new kind of poverty rather than prosperity – dashing decades of hope that increased access to higher education would narrow the wealth gap racialism in the United States.

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The underlying problem is that black college enrollment has grown over the past few decades, just as the use of debt to fund U.S. higher education has exploded – and costs have skyrocketed along with everything. money poured into the sector. Student debt, largely funded by the federal government, hit $ 1.75 billion this year, according to the Federal Reserve, as state budget cuts resulted in higher costs at public universities and private institutions, making increase annual undergraduate student fees to over $ 80,000 per year in some cases.

Black students are more likely to take out loans to finance their education and to borrow more when they do – many are taking on debt, as Cannon did, to improve their employment prospects after the Great Recession. Thirty percent of black households have student debt, compared with 20 percent of whites and 14 percent of Hispanic households, the Fed said in 2019. The median black borrower owes $ 30,000, compared to the borrower’s $ 23,000. median white.

Paying off those debts turns into a decades-long struggle for many black borrowers. Twenty years after starting college, the median black borrower owed 95% of his student debt, while the comparable white student had repaid 94%, according to a 2019 study by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy. ‘Brandeis University. Three-quarters of black borrowers owed more on their student loans in 2019 than when they took them out, reflecting the accumulation of interest, Brookings found.

Some researchers compare the impact of school debt in the black community to the ravages of subprime mortgages during the financial crisis. In both cases, credit products meant to help borrowers increase their wealth have had the opposite effect, draining the resources of the underprivileged – a process sociologists call “predatory inclusion.”

According to a study published this year in the journal Social Currents, the median American black household with student debt held only 5 cents of wealth in 2019 for every dollar of wealth in the median white household with student debt – a greater disparity than that which exists in the country as a whole. In 2019, the median white household had $ 188,200 in wealth, nearly eight times more than the median black household’s $ 24,100, Brookings found.

“We are seeing student debt go up and up and the reason is that people can’t get out of it – they can’t access the principal (of the loan),” said sociologist Louise Seamster of the University of London. ‘Iowa, one of the authors of the social currents study. “If you were to try to set up a system that produced one result for one group of people and another result for another group of people, I don’t think you could do better than that. “

Black Americans fall behind in many cases because they started with so little in the first place. Like other students from disadvantaged communities, they are more likely to work long hours at outside jobs while studying and to leave school without a degree. They are also more likely to be recruited by for-profit schools that have been accused by critics of preying on students receiving federal educational benefits by charging excessive prices and providing inferior education.

The needs of the family can make things even more difficult for black students. Based on nearly a quarter of a century of data, the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis found in a 2017 study that white college graduates were more likely to receive financial assistance from their parents to pay for their education or purchase. a home, while black college graduates were more likely to provide money for their parents.

“It’s very difficult for black students to get the same higher education benefits as white students, because of student loans, family wealth and more,” said Julia Barnard of the Center for Responsible Lending, a financial policy group.

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Although most student loans are made by the federal government, the resulting debt can prevent borrowers from obtaining private sector credit to buy a car or house or start a business. For black Americans, catching up on student debt after graduation is complicated by persisting racial inequalities in the labor market; government statistics show that black Americans earn less than whites with similar degrees.

“You have to go into debt to get the degree, and when you graduate you end up in jobs that pay (less),” said Bernel Hall, managing director of New Jersey Community Capital, a lender that funds minority entrepreneurs. “You are in trouble the moment you leave school. You just don’t know it yet.

Black borrowers like Sabrina Elliot of Charlotte, NC are finding out how long it can take to get off student debt. She says she owed $ 72,000 upon graduation and that after more than two decades of employment her debt reached $ 166,000. Her minimum monthly student loan payment reached $ 1,393.29, more than the median monthly mortgage payment of $ 1,122 in her hometown.

Elliot fell behind when she entered public service after graduating from the University of Virginia and Central University of North Carolina Law School. She accepted a position as a lawyer for the city of Charlotte and, because the salary was low, requested several deferrals of her student loans.

However, that did not stop his interest from growing stronger. By the time she joined private sector employers, including Walmart, and started earning enough wages to make her minimum payments, her loan balance had swelled. While acknowledging that her student loans are “my responsibility”, she said that all of this accumulated interest “makes it very difficult for someone to get out of their student loan debt.”

“I’m part of that 50+ age group that is still paying off student loans,” she said. “So based on my current payment that I’m making, I shouldn’t have paid off this loan until 2035. By then, I will have reached what many would consider retirement age. Who wants to enter retirement age with student loans? “

The question of what to do with American student borrowers is about to become a hot topic in Washington. The student loan relief measures introduced at the start of the pandemic, which temporarily suspended interest and payments for borrowers such as Cannon and Elliot, expire on January 31, 2022. Congress and the Biden administration are under pressure to provide additional help.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, President Joe Biden pledged to write off $ 10,000 in student debt for every borrower, but he has yet to do so and many progressives in his Democratic Party want him to. go further. Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts, said this year that the cancellation of $ 50,000 in student debt per borrower would be “the most effective executive measure available to jump-start our economy and move towards closing the wealth gap.” racial ”.

For her part, Cannon, the medical coder from Buffalo, New York, said she was earning enough wages to make minimum student loan payments and hopes “to be able to pay if she does eventually pass away.” But she said she would advise young black Americans to think twice before taking out federal loans to attend four-year college.

“Now I’m just a big advocate so that the next generation doesn’t fall into the trap like we did,” she said. “Go to community college or work first, and see what you’re good at and where you can get in, and go from there. “

Additional reporting by Obey Manayiti in New York

Antony Blinken Warns China Against “Aggressive Actions” in Asia-Pacific | American foreign policy Tue, 14 Dec 2021 04:54:00 +0000

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken used a visit to the Indo-Pacific to urge China to stop its “aggressive actions” in the region, as Washington seeks to strengthen its alliances against Beijing.

President Joe Biden’s administration is trying to restore relations and reaffirm its influence in Asia after the turmoil and unpredictability of the Donald Trump era.

Blinken’s comments came from Indonesia, the first stop on a tour of Southeast Asia, the last visit to the region by a senior US official in recent months.

In a speech describing the US approach to the Indo-Pacific, Blinken said Washington would work with its allies and partners to “defend the rules-based order” and that countries should have the right to “choose their own.” way “.

“This is why Beijing’s aggressive actions are causing so much concern – from Northeast Asia to Southeast Asia and from the Mekong River to the Pacific Islands.

“Claiming open seas as theirs. Distortion of open markets by subsidies to its state-owned enterprises. Deny exports or revoke agreements for countries whose policies it disagrees with.

“The countries of the region want this behavior to change – so do we,” he said during the speech at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta.

He added that Washington was “determined to guarantee freedom of navigation in the South China Sea,” and said Beijing’s actions there threatened the movement of more than $ 3 billion in trade each year.

But Blinken also pointed out that “this is not a conflict between a US-centric region or a China-centric region – the Indo-Pacific is its own region,” and said that Washington wanted to avoid conflicts there.

China claims almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea, with competing claims from four Southeast Asian states as well as Taiwan.

Beijing has been accused of deploying a range of military hardware there, including anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles, and has ignored a 2016 international tribunal ruling that declared its historic claim to most waters baseless.

Blinken also said that Washington wanted to ensure “peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”.

Tensions between the United States and China have skyrocketed over a democratic and self-sufficient Taiwan, which China claims as its territory and has pledged to recapture one day, by force if necessary.

Blinken seeks to highlight the growing importance of Southeast Asia to US foreign policy on this trip, even as his administration grapples with a myriad of other crises, from Iran to Russia.

Countries in the region face an increasingly difficult task of trying to maintain good relations with Beijing – a key trading partner – and Washington, vital to maintaining the security of the region.

Russia is also trying to assert its influence in the region.

After speaking with Blinken on Monday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo met with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. After Indonesia, Blinken is heading for Malaysia and Thailand.

Relations between the United States and China have deteriorated on a range of issues ranging from cybersecurity and technological supremacy to human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

Biden broadly pursued Trump’s hawkish stance on China, describing the Asian power as the preeminent challenge for the United States.

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for COVID-19 contractor, grants AG request Tue, 30 Nov 2021 20:42:38 +0000

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron

A Kentucky federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday effectively blocking the implementation of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal government contractors and subcontractors.

U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove, who serves the Eastern District of Kentucky, issued the notice and order Tuesday afternoon. It came in response to a challenge from Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who joined many other state attorneys general in challenging the warrant.

“It’s not about whether the vaccines are working. They are, ”Van Tatenhove wrote. “It’s also not about whether the government, at some level and under certain circumstances, can require citizens to get vaccines. It can.”

He said the question put to him was a narrow one: whether or not Biden had the power to impose vaccines on employees of federal contractors and subcontractors.

“In all likelihood, the answer to this question is no,” Van Tatenhove wrote.

The scope of the injunction applies to Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, according to the ordinance.

The mandate – which, along with that for employers of over 100 and some healthcare workers, has been challenged in several states – is expected to take effect on January 4.

Austin Horn is a political reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. He previously worked for the Frankfort State Journal and National Public Radio. Horn has roots in Woodford and Martin counties.

Federal Electric Car Tax Credits In 2021 Can Save You Thousands Mon, 22 Nov 2021 21:00:00 +0000

to play

Car buying is going downhill right now.

Chip shortages have led to a reduction in the supply of new vehicles, which has pushed up prices for new and used cars.

When it comes to buying a car, knowledge is power. What started out as a 2021 Toyota Prius Prime LE with an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of $ 28,220 ended up costing me $ 18,539 after factoring in discounts and credits. The Prius Prime is a semi-electric vehicle that runs on battery power before the gas goes off.

Here is what I found from my research and how I was able to save money when buying my car:

State’s clean car programs lost $ 4,500

National clean car programs require that a certain percentage of cars sold by a manufacturer be electric or zero emission vehicles.

These states have clean car programs in place:

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • new York
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington

If you live in one of these states, you’re in luck.

As a result of these programs, electric car makers struggling to meet their quota for the year have cut some cars. If they are not able to sell their target amount of cars, they have to buy these credits from other companies. The dealership I went to was discounting the Priuses at about $ 4,500.

Even if you don’t live in one of these states, you just need to be able to travel to one of them. For example, I live in Washington, DC, but hitchhiked to Maryland to buy my car. Totally worth the cost of the Uber.

“I had a lot of out-of-state customers traveling to take advantage of the savings,” said Sam Rhee, dealer at Heritage Toyota in Catonsville where I ended up buying my Prius.

â–ºToyota’s investment in electric vehicles: Toyota to build US $ 1.3 billion battery plant for electric and hybrid vehicles

Additional tax credits for electric cars vary from state to state, and has a list of ways to save money on electric vehicles organized by state along with links to each legislation. . For example, Massachusetts offers discounts of up to $ 2,500 to customers who buy or lease a plug-in electric vehicle, and Maryland offers individuals $ 700 for the cost of acquiring and installing charging equipment. qualified.

The US Department of Energy has also created an interactive map to help car buyers identify state laws and incentives related to alternative fuels and advanced vehicles.

Federal Electric Vehicle Tax Credits Give You Back Up To $ 7,500

For the past ten years or so, the federal government has been trying to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles, thereby granting subsidies in the form of tax credits, up to a maximum of $ 7,500.

At, you can search for your car and see how much you can save for a particular model and make.

For my car, a 2021 Toyota Prius Prime, I’ll save $ 4,502 in tax refunds at the end of the year.

The subsidy applies to electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, and it only counts for new cars, not used or leased cars.

Choosing the right time to visit the dealership can save thousands of dollars

The best time to walk into a store is when they are trying to empty inventory. Often times, it’s the end of the month when they’re trying to empty inventory or when automakers are pressuring dealerships to clean up the lots and make way for the new models coming out.

“As these technologies evolve, they [car manufacturers] want to bring these new features and, in many cases, longer runtime batteries to customers, ”says Stacy Noblet, senior director of transportation electrification at ICF, a global consulting agency.

â–ºCar buying is done online: Pandemic disrupts dealer visits for new cars, trucks and SUVs

â–ºThe shortage of electronic chips explained: How it affects car prices and the tech industry

Toyota is not alone in offering discounts.

“Nissan actually did a big program a few years ago with the Leaf, where they partnered with utilities and other specific organizations to drastically reduce the Leaf from the previous year so they could move them around a lot. “said Noblet.

At the dealership I went to, there was a $ 1,500 rebate on top of the incentives.

TLDR: the grand total

All discounts can be difficult to follow. To sum up, the calculations looked like this for the final price of the car I got.

Starting MSRP: $ 28,220

– Dealer discount: $ 1,500

– Toyota rebate: $ 4,500

= Sale price: $ 22,220

– Federal tax credit: $ 4,502 (applied when filing your income tax return)

= Net cost: $ 17,718

On top of that, if you finance with Toyota, you can get $ 500 on your car loan. Depending on how quickly you pay it back, the loan can actually save you money.

Overall, even if you sold the car in a few years, you would probably recoup most of the cost of the car since you paid a fraction of the total cost.

â–ºEV buying tips: Tired of paying for gasoline? Here’s what to look for when buying your first electric car

â–ºThe aspirations of the electric vehicle in public and private industry: What You Need To Know About Electric Vehicles As President Biden, Automakers Announce Electric Vehicle Goals

Michelle Shen is Money & Tech digital reporter for USA TODAY. You can reach her @ michelle_shen10 on Twitter.

to play

Biden hails 2030 target of 50% electric vehicles

Declaring the United States must act quickly to win the future of auto manufacturing, President Joe Biden touts the auto industry’s commitment to making electric vehicles for up to half of U.S. sales of here the end of the decade. (5 August)


Arkansas group recommends $ 124.7 million in rural broadband grants Thu, 11 Nov 2021 09:33:14 +0000

A state panel on Wednesday approved the state Department of Commerce’s request for an additional $ 124.7 million in US bailout federal funds to provide broadband subsidies to rural communities.

With a few audible dissenting voices, the 15-member Arkansas US bailout steering committee voted to recommend approval of the request.

In May, Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed the steering committee, made up of nine officials from the Hutchinson administration and six state lawmakers, to recommend the best uses of $ 1.57 billion in federal stimulus funds and $ 157 billion. million dollars in federal capital project funds as part of the US bailout. In March, President Joe Biden signed the $ 1.9 trillion law designed to help the United States recover from the economic and health effects of the covid-19 pandemic.

So far, the Arkansas Rural Connect program has awarded $ 279 million in broadband grants to provide broadband broadband service in rural areas. The 132 projects were funded with $ 157.5 million in federal funds from the US Rescue Plan; $ 118.1 million in federal funds from the Coronavirus Help, Relief and Economic Security Act; and $ 4 million in public funds, according to state records.

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Jim Hudson, director of strategy and operations for the Department of Commerce, told the steering committee that two months ago, Hutchinson set a target for the Arkansas Rural Connect program to provide an additional $ 250 million in funded grants. by federal funds from the US bailout by the end of this year.

The Arkansas Rural Connect program has received more than $ 400 million in additional grant applications, although not all grant applications qualified for the program, he said.

Hudson said the $ 124.7 million requested by the Commerce Department would fund 32 “ready-to-go” broadband projects across the state.

The largest proposed grants include $ 11.3 million to Ritter Communications to provide service in northwest Jefferson County, $ 8.9 million to Hillbilly Wireless to provide service in southern Sharp County and $ 7 million to Ritter Communications to provide services in southwestern Pope County, according to the Commerce Department.

But committee member Senator Bill Sample, R-Hot Springs, objected to approval of the agency’s request.

He said lawmakers in the states he consulted are uncomfortable approving additional grants until “we get” the statewide broadband master plan that lawmakers want.

Hudson countered that “we can do both at the same time.”

There is no doubt that the 32 proposed broadband grants are needed, he said, and the master plan may not be available until May.

Hutchinson administration officials have awarded a $ 2.2 million contract to assess Arkansas’ broadband needs and develop a master plan to expand broadband service to Broadband Development Group in Little Rock, though the company made the highest financial offer and obtained the lowest score on a technical basis compared to with its two competitors.

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Several senators preferred what they called the company’s “grassroots grassroots” approach of holding town halls to gather public input and determine service needs.

Sample said “we want to see the master plan and fund the projects” based on this master plan.

“We have several years to do it,” he said. (Funding for the US bailout must be committed by Dec.31, 2024 and spent by Dec.31, 2026, Finance and Administration spokesperson Scott Hardin later said.)

Sen. Keith Ingram, D-West Memphis, who sits on the Legislative Council’s Performance Assessment and Expenditure Review subcommittee, said he wanted more information to see how many broadband projects awarded Arkansas Rural Connect grants have been completed and how many are still in the works.

Hudson said the subcommittee will receive a thicker information package than that received by the steering committee with detailed information about the territory covered by the proposed grants in addition to demographic information.

Subsequently, Ingram said he joined with Sample in voting against the recommendation to approve the $ 124.7 million request.

In the remaining cases, the steering committee recommended approval of a total of $ 16.6 million in federal bailout funds to four nonprofit groups who requested a total of $ 28.1 million. dollars.

In the absence of audible dissenting votes, the panel voted to recommend providing the following amounts of federal funds to the following groups:

• $ 8.28 million of the $ 12 million requested by the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence to help 29 domestic violence shelters across the state.

• $ 6.29 million of the $ 13.8 million requested by the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault to help 18 rape relief centers across the state.

• $ 1.75 million requested by Women & Children First in Little Rock to help cover the cost of furniture, fixtures and equipment for a relocated shelter and the Family Peace Center.

• $ 374,896 of the $ 543,328 requested by Ozark Rape Crisis Inc. in Clarksville which provides sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and intervention programs in eight counties.

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US, Japan, Taiwan Semiconductor Cooperation Accelerates: DONG-A ILBO Tue, 09 Nov 2021 22:31:01 +0000

Japan has passed a bill providing for subsidies for the construction of semiconductor factories in an attempt to position itself as a semiconductor hub by hosting global companies.

Previously, TSMC of Taiwan, the world’s No.1 foundry, and Micron Technology of the United States had decided to build new factories and research facilities in Japan. It appears that the Japanese government has discussed this with the two companies under the table. As the United States, Japan and Taiwan step up cooperation, South Korea rejects the industry’s request for support, delaying construction of a domestic firm’s plant.

The restructuring of the semiconductor supply chain is focusing on locations rather than business bases. US President Joe Biden is offering grants while pushing to attract more local investment. Japan is expected to pass a bill this month to provide around five trillion won in subsidies for the construction of TSMC’s plant in Kumamoto. The country is also likely to provide grants for Micron Technology’s plant in Japan. Japan is nationally building a global production system and expanding technological cooperation.

Additionally, Micron Technology plans to build a D-RAM plant in Taiwan. Western Digital, based in the United States, is working on the acquisition of Kioxia, a Japanese manufacturer of NAND flash. The three countries invest in each other with triangular cooperation and build a new semiconductor cooperation network. This raises fears that South Korean companies will be excluded and faced with competition.

In the process of legislating a special semiconductor law, the ruling Democratic Party of Korea has rejected industry demand to increase the number of students accepted by semiconductor departments at Seoul universities and neighboring regions while adding a series of conditions to be supported, including tax exemption. An exception to the 52-hour work week rule for research and development, which requires intensive work over a short period of time, was also rejected. We do not know when the bill will finally be adopted. All of this will make it difficult for South Korean semiconductor companies to survive.

Japan has a competitiveness of world leader in materials and equipment. Once global companies join the country, South Korea’s semiconductor industry will be threatened. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has forecast South Korea’s growth potential to be the lowest among its member countries while the International Monetary Fund is worried about the country’s national debt. Now is not the time to leave the semiconductor industry, which is one of the important pillars of South Korea’s economy, in the hands of corporations. The government should work with them to strengthen global cooperation and supplement the special law to have practical impact.

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