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Democrats must contend with plunging optimism and frustration with new rules on masking and vaccinations, while Republicans risk being blamed for the large number of vaccine holdouts in their party. LA Times
VOA VIEW: Dems will lose big if voters are wise.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a narrower majority after swearing in newly-elected Rep. Jake Ellzey, a Texas Republican on Friday, leaving her little room to keep her caucus unified on key legislative items. New York Post
President Biden on Friday urged states to spend $46.5 billion in federal rental relief to prevent mass evictions as Democrats on Capitol Hill struggle to find enough votes to extend a national moratorium amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. New York Post
VOA VIEW: Biden likes to give away money to losers.


President Joe Biden’s not exactly the Great Communicator, but his team’s messaging on COVID has been a complete disaster. And that’s bad news for the nation, since all the dubious advice and whiplash reversals will only undermine trust — in Biden, the vaccination and America’s recovery. Fact is, the top priority of Biden and his... New York Post
VOA VIEW: The messages have been confusing.
Publicly available mortality data shows an increasingly huge gap between Russia's official coronavirus death toll and likely real toll of the pandemic in the country. ABC
VOA VIEW: Russia is a proven deceptive nation.
The highest ranking Republican in the Wisconsin Assembly says he is expanding a probe into the 2020 presidential election, saying it will take more investigators and time than originally planned ABC
The DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel has determined the Treasury Department must hand over former President Trump's tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. ABC
VOA VIEW: This is a political Dem move.
A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 195 million people worldwide and killed over 4.1 million of them. ABC
VOA VIEW: It seems to get worse.
Walmart is also requiring some employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 4. CBS


New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are slightly higher than they were a year ago, in the summer of 2020. And about 35,000 vaccinated people per week are coming down with what's called breakthrough infections, the CDC says. Charlie De Mar has the details. CBS
VOA VIEW: No major announcement.
Newly released documents show that former President Trump pressured his acting attorney general late last year to call the 2020 election results corrupt. Kris Van Cleave has the story. CBS
VOA VIEW: And the real truth is ...
The Cuban regime is cracking down on protesters exercising speech in Cuba. CBS
VOA VIEW: Biden is only giving lip service.
"CBS This Morning" lead national correspondent David Begnaud visited New Orleans, a COVID-19 hotspot where kids are making up a large number of cases. Dr. Ron Elfenbein, the medical director and owner of First Call Medical Center, joined CBSN to discuss the importance of wearing masks and getting vaccinated as the Delta variant spreads. CBS
VOA VIEW: No one really knows all the facts.

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The Treasury should have enough cash to pay the country's obligations into the fall, experts estimate. CBS
"I think I am the most famous artist in the MAGA world," the president's 51-year-old son said on a podcast. CBS
VOA VIEW: Hunter is a sick freak.
Walmart's corporate staff as well as management-level employees must be vaccinated against Covid by Oct. 4, according to a memo obtained by CNBC. CNBC
VOA VIEW: So be it.


Amazon's disappointing results on Thursday pushed down shares of top U.S. e-commerce companies. CNBC
Amazon urges drivers not to "operate any unsafe vehicles" but drivers say managers encourage them to ignore safety hazards during daily inspections. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Whoever advanced the policy should be jailed.
The procedural vote on the infrastructure bill continued Democrats' push to pass a sweeping economic agenda. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Republicans should do something to stop the deal.
The DOJ sued Texas and Gov. Greg Abbott to block a state order aimed at restricting the travel of undocumented migrants who could potentially transmit Covid.  CNBC
VOA VIEW: A waste of time and money.
Renters will no longer be protected from eviction come August. But there's still time to apply for federal rental assistance. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Taxpayers should not have to pay rental payments.

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The economy has improved and lawmakers are unlikely to offer another tax break to those who collected unemployment benefits this year, experts said. CNBC
The CDC data published Friday was based on 469 cases of Covid associated with multiple summer events and large public gatherings in July in Massachusetts. CNBC
President Joe Biden said Friday the US will, "in all probability," see more guidelines and restrictions amid rising coronavirus cases and the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. CNN
VOA VIEW: Biden is not doing to well reducing the COID cases.

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Republican lawmakers in Georgia are requesting that the state undertake a performance review of local election officials in Fulton County -- a move that could result in a GOP takeover of election operations in a heavily Democratic region of this battleground state. CNN
A children's hospital in Louisiana is experiencing a wave of Covid-19 hospitalizations as the Delta variant pervades the region. CNN
A 16-year-old Chicago teenager has been charged with two carjackings as the number of carjackings has increased by more than half over last year. FOX News
VOA VIEW: Lawlessness is growing.
Vice President Kamala Harris plans to travel to Singapore and Vietnam in August to speak with the countries' leaders about regional security and COVID-19, among other issues, the White House announced Friday. UPI
VOA VIEW: A foolish trip.
The Senate voted Friday to advance a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, virtually guaranteeing it will pass the chamber and be sent to the House. UPI
VOA VIEW: Hopefully, it will fail.

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July 31, 2021

     One liberal judge should not be able to stop the action of a governor elected by many.  A judge in Arkansas ruled against Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s decision to halt pandemic unemployment benefits, ordering the state to resume them despite business owners saying they make it very hard to hire back staff. On Wednesday, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herbert Wright issued a preliminary injunction for the state to get federal approval to resume the benefits. Wright argued that the decision to end the payments was to be made by the Arkansas Legislature, not the governor.

     “The court has serious doubts that the Governor and the Director of Workforce Services were acting within the scope of their duties, as these decisions would normally be the subject of legislation from the General Assembly,” he wrote.  Wright also ordered the state to provide written proof if the federal government denies its request to resume the payments.

     The decision comes two months after Hutchinson ordered the state to end its participation in the additional benefits after June 26, while they were scheduled to run through September.  Arkansas, like many other states, saw many complaints from employers who claimed to have a hard time getting people to come back to work due to the benefits. A recent poll by Morning Consult found that more than 1.8 million unemployed Americans have turned down jobs throughout the pandemic due to the generosity of the unemployment benefits. Of the 5,000 surveyed who were actively collecting the benefits, 29 percent said they turned down job offers, according to the poll.