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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...
Bill Gates: Bitcoin not for me, says ex-Microsoft chief

Bill Gates: Bitcoin not for me, says ex-Microsoft chief

Technology
Getty ImagesMicrosoft founder Bill Gates has not invested in Bitcoin, he said in a live chat on the social network Clubhouse.Mr Gates told host Andrew Sorkin that he preferred to invest in companies "that make products", citing malaria and measles vaccines as examples. The billionaire said he did not choose his investments on the basis of whether they would be worth more to others. In an earlier interview he had discussed Tesla founder Elon Musk's enthusiasm for the virtual currency."My general thought would be that if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out," he told Bloomberg. "Elon has tonnes of money and he's very sophisticated, so I don't worry that his Bitcoin will sort of randomly go up or down."Bitcoin's value jumped nearly 50% after Tesla revealed it had purch...
Bill Gates: Solving Covid easy compared with climate

Bill Gates: Solving Covid easy compared with climate

Science
Fifty-one billion and zero - the two numbers Bill Gates says you need to know about climate.Solving climate change would be "the most amazing thing humanity has ever done", says the billionaire founder of Microsoft.By comparison, ending the pandemic is "very, very easy", he claims.Mr Gates's new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, is a guide to tackling global warming.Don't underestimate the scale of the challenge, he told me when we spoke last week. "We've never made a transition like we're talking about doing in the next 30 years. There is no precedent for this."Fifty-one billion is how many tonnes of greenhouse gases the world typically adds to the atmosphere each year.Net zero is where we need to get to. This means cutting emissions to a level where any remaining greenhouse gas rele...
Famous birthdays for Feb. 12: Josh Brolin, Bill Russell

Famous birthdays for Feb. 12: Josh Brolin, Bill Russell

Entertainment
Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include: Advertisement -- Puritan Cotton Mather in 1663 -- French architect Etienne-Louis Boullee in 1728 -- Former first lady Louisa Adams in 1775 -- Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, in 1809 -- Biologist Charles Darwin in 1809 -- Labor leader John L. Lewis in 1880 -- German painter Max Beckmann in 1884 -- Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova in 1881 -- U.S. Gen. Omar Bradley in 1893 -- Actor Lorne Greene in 1915 -- Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli in 1923 -- Baseball player/sports commentator Joe Garagiola in 1926 -- Charles Van Doren, subject of U.S. TV quiz scandals, in 1926 -- Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., in 1930 -- Basketball Hall of Fame member Bill Russell in 1934 (age 87) ...

How being unemployed in 2020 could lead to a surprise tax bill

Finance
Alistair Berg | DigitalVision | Getty ImagesMany jobless workers are about to find out they could owe federal and state taxes on their 2020 unemployment income.The news might be particularly unexpected for independent contractors and self-employed people who normally aren't eligible for state benefits, but may have received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through the CARES Act."People who didn't have any taxes withheld from those unemployment payments are going to be in for a surprise," said Nayo Carter-Gray, enrolled agent and founder of 1st Step Accounting in Towson, Maryland.Failure to withhold enough taxes could result in smaller refunds or taxes owed this spring.Differences in state and federal treatmentUnemployment income is subject to taxes and needs to be reported on your 2020 in...