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The AP-NORC poll of 1, 117 adults was conducted Dec. 3-7 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U. S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3. 9 percentage points. “There’s a lot that can be done by competent bureaucrats in the federal government, ” Henry said. The economy was named in some way by 68% of Americans, an uptick from 59% who named it a top problem the year before. And more specifically mentioned unemployment and jobs as a focus for 2021 than said so for 2020, 26% vs. 15%.

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Kamala Harris will make history on Wednesday when she becomes the nation’s first female vice president — and the first Black woman and the first woman of South Asian descent to hold that office. Symone Sanders, Harris’ chief spokeswoman, said that while the vice president-elect’s portfolio hasn’t been fully defined yet, she has a hand in all aspects of Biden’s agenda.

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Now, we want Americans to return to work, and the only way to do that is to accelerate the pace of vaccination. The Biden plan gives only a cursory nod to public-health measures, throwing a few billion at hospitals and testing centers and hoping the problem goes away. But public-health efforts should be the central focus for Biden’s economic team. Policies such as enhanced unemployment insurance and direct checks could be construed as stimulus measures insofar as they augmented GDP growth, but they were also deliberately contractionary.

The spokesman for Republican U. S. Rep. Lauren Boebert has quit less than two weeks after she was sworn into office, saying he felt like he need to due to the insurrection at the nation’s Capitol. Armenia has returned all Azeri prisoners who were captured during last year’s conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, but the process with Armenian prisoners has been held up, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday. The six-week conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh was brought to a halt in November by a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement under which Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces were expected to exchange all captives. Armenia has said that many of its prisoners of war remain in Azerbaijan, a problem it has raised with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group.

When you want to shrink the labor supply, it makes sense to beef up unemployment insurance and send money to households. A $400 weekly unemployment-insurance top up, extended until September, past the current March deadline.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday he would not stop Filipinos from getting shots of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech, despite reports in Norway of deaths among frail elderly people after being inoculated. Norway said on Monday it was not changing its policy on the use of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine following reports of deaths among very frail recipients after the inoculation was given. In his address, Duterte also reiterated his defense of the government’s supply deals involving CoronaVac, the vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech. A candidate COVID-19 vaccine known as EpiVacCorona, Russia’s second to be registered, proved “100% effective” in early-stage trials, Russian consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has told local media. The data, based on Phase I and II trials, were released before the start of a larger Phase III trial which would normally involve thousands of participants and a placebo group as a comparison. “The effectiveness of the vaccine is made up of its immunological effectiveness and preventative effectiveness, ” the TASS news agency reported, citing Rospotrebnadzor.

We ran an editorial this morning on Biden’s stimulus plan, which looks more like a structural economic-reform package than an emergency-spending bill. The number of people seeking unemployment aid soared last week to 965, 000, the most since late August and evidence that the resurgent virus has caused a spike in layoffs. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell sought Thursday to tamp down any concerns that the Fed might soon withdraw some of its support for the U. S. economy and stressed that any such pullback would be signaled far in advance. Meanwhile, key lawmakers and the head of the nation’s largest union of flight attendants are asking that anyone arrested in connection with the riot be put on the government’s no-fly list.