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Bill Nelson: Former astronaut and senator nominated as Nasa chief

Bill Nelson: Former astronaut and senator nominated as Nasa chief

Science
JEFF MITCHELLBill Nelson, a US senator and one-time astronaut, has been nominated to be the next head of Nasa.The 78-year-old is seen as a moderate Democrat, and his nomination by President Joe Biden on Friday drew bipartisan praise.He will need to be confirmed in the Senate before he can take up the role.Mr Nelson said he was "honoured" to be picked to lead the US space agency, adding that he would "help lead Nasa into an exciting future".In a statement, the White House said he was "known as the go-to senator for our nation's space programme" for many years. "Almost every piece of space and science law has had his imprint," it said.The Republican Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, said: "I cannot think of anyone better to lead Nasa."Test success for world's most powerful rocketArtemis: To...

Covid relief bill may trigger $36 billion cut to Medicare, higher student loan fees

Finance
Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty ImagesA Covid relief bill backed by Democrats could trigger billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare and other federal programs, like ones that support unemployed workers and student-loan borrowers, if it's ultimately passed.The funding cuts would take effect in 2022 and last for several years.Republicans are using the specter of pullbacks to argue against issuing more pandemic aid, which includes $ 1,400 stimulus checks and more jobless benefits.More from Personal Finance:Stimulus bill would make health insurance more affordable for millionsThe $ 15 minimum wage is in trouble. Here's what to knowTexas judge finds national eviction ban unconstitutionalIt's unclear lawmakers would allow them to occur. Even if they survive, the exact impact of cuts on...
House passes $1.9T pandemic bill on near party-line vote

House passes $1.9T pandemic bill on near party-line vote

Technology
WASHINGTON -- The House approved a $ 1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill in a win for President Joe Biden, even as top Democrats tried assuring agitated progressives that they’d revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage.The new president’s vision for flushing cash to individuals, businesses, states and cities battered by COVID-19 passed on a near party-line 219-212 vote early Saturday. That ships the massive measure to the Senate, where Democrats seem bent on resuscitating their minimum wage push and fights could erupt over state aid and other issues.Democrats said the still-faltering economy and the half-million American lives lost demanded quick, decisive action. GOP lawmakers, they said, were out of step with a public that polling shows largely views the bill ...
Coronavirus: Biden’s $1.9tn Covid relief bill passes House vote

Coronavirus: Biden’s $1.9tn Covid relief bill passes House vote

World
Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden's $ 1.9tn (£1.4tn) relief plan to help Americans during the Covid pandemic has been approved in the House of Representatives.The vote was along partisan lines. Two Democrats joined Republicans - who see it as too expensive - in opposing it.The bill must now go to the evenly-divided Senate, which has already blocked a key element - doubling the US minimum wage to $ 15 an hour.The package seeks to boost vaccinations and testing, and stabilise the economy.Biden's Covid stimulus plan: It costs $ 1.9tn but what's in it?Can Biden succeed in economic rescue mission?How the pandemic has changed the world economyThe cash would be extended as emergency financial aid to households, small businesses and state governments. Unemployment is close to 10%, with some 10 milli...
Dems near relief bill OK by House, ponder wage plan rescue

Dems near relief bill OK by House, ponder wage plan rescue

Technology
WASHINGTON -- A $ 1.9 trillion package aimed at helping the country rebuild from the pandemic seemed headed toward House passage Friday, even as Democrats searched for a way to revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage.A virtual party-line House vote was expected on the COVID-19 relief measure, which embodies President Joe Biden's push to flush cash to individuals, businesses, states and cities. The White House issued a statement reinforcing its support for the new president's paramount initial goal.“The bill would allow the administration to execute its plan to change the course of the COVID-19 pandemic," it said. “And it would provide Americans and their communities an economic bridge through the crisis."Republicans have lined up against the plan, calling it an overpr...