The Wider World

Teachers, etc.: “jabs” or tests

A NEW MANDATE from Sacramento requires that teachers and school staff be vaccinated for coronavirus or be tested weekly (Shutterstock).

In response to the very contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, all teachers and school staff in California must get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing for COVID-19.

That’s the new policy announced today (Wednesday) by Gov. Gavin Newsom at a press conference, reports the Associated Press. California is the first state with such a mandate for schools.

“We think this is the right thing to do and we think this is a sustainable way to keeping our schools open and address the number one anxiety that parents like myself have for young children,” he said.

There is already a state policy requiring that – when indoors – pupils, teachers and school staff – wear face coverings.  This new requirement comes as most Orange County schools and colleges are about to open for the fall term.

Is $3.5 trillion package just too much?

A NEW plan costing $3.5 trillion is before Congress (Shutterstock).

Democrats were united and 19 Republicans in the U.S. Senate cooperative in approving a $1 trillion infrastructure bill this week, but a couple of key members of President Joe Biden’s party are digging in their heels about the price tag of a proposed $3.5 trillion package.

Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona – typically “red” states – have expressed concern that the proposal might be too expensive.

According to The New York Times, the package takes aim at climate change, health care and education, all of which have Manchin’s support. He and Sinema cast the deciding votes on Wednesday that allowed the budget plan proposal to advance, but their eventual support may depend on putting the package on a diaet.

“I firmly believe that continuing to spend at irresponsible levels puts at risk our nation’s ability to respond to unforeseen crisis’s our country could face,” said Manchin.

Taliban rebels “could take Kabul soon”

AMERICA’s role in this Afghan war is ending (DOD photo).

Reuters news service is reporting that Taliban fighters may be able to isolate and conquer Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, within three months.

Quoting an unnamed official in the Department of Defense, the report indicated that at the rate of advance of the Taliban – a fanatical Muslim group who has controlled the country until expelled by the U.S. and allies – the overthrow of the existing Afghan regime could happen by the end of 2021. So far, the rebels have captured eight provincial capitals.

“But this a not a foregone conclusion,” said the official, provided that more resistance was offered by government troops. U.S. and other allied forces are leaving the nation after a war that’s lasted 20 years.


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