Virtual Reality

New program brings virtual reality gaming to teacher development in Aurora Public Schools

The Week

Biden’s team is reportedly surprised Republicans don’t see the political upsides of backing a big COVID-19 bill

The politics of COVID-19 spending legislation is complicated. President Biden and former President Donald Trump, who don’t agree on much, both pushed to get $2,000 direct payments to most Americans this winter, and the Republican governor of West Virginia is backing Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package while his state’s Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, favors a smaller package. The White House is privately meeting with a group of Senate Republicans who proposed a $618 billion alternative package, The Associated Press reports, even as Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reject that amount as insufficient and urge Democrats to go big and go quickly. Biden and his advisers “publicly tout the virtues of bipartisan collaboration,” but “they aren’t pollyannaish about it,” Sam Stein reports at Politico. “They know there is no recent history to suggest any such collaboration is coming.,” but “inside the White House there is still some surprise that Republicans currently aren’t more interested in working with them on COVID relief. Not because they believe Republicans philosophically support the bill, but because there are clear political incentives for them to do so.” Biden and his aides have noted repeatedly that just because the budget reconciliation process would allow Democrats to pass much of the $1.9 trillion package without Republican support, Republicans can still vote for the package. If Democrats go the budget reconciliation route, the 10 Senate Republicans can either “oppose the measure without being able to stop it or work to shape it, pledge to vote for it, and get credit for the goodies inside it,” Stein reports. “Put another way: Republicans could vote for a bill that includes billions of dollars of help for states, massive amounts of cash for vaccine distribution, and $1,400 stimulus check for most Americans. Or they could oppose it on grounds that the price tag is too steep, or the minimum wage hike is too high, or the process too rushed.” And if they do that, a senior administration official told Stein, “they’ll get no credit” for those $1,400 checks. Democrats only have the party-line option because they unexpectedly won both Senate seats in a Georgia runoff election, Stein notes, and one political “lesson from that episode is, quite bluntly: It’s better to be on the side of giving people money.” Trump understood that. Time will tell what Senate Republicans will decide. More stories from theweek.comRise of the Barstool conservativesStephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Trevor Noah dissect the GOP civil war on Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘loony lies’Meatballs, f-bombs, vote fraud conspiracies: A Trump Oval Office meeting so insane, Giuliani was ‘the voice of reason’

The Week

Divided House approves $5,000-$10,000 fines for lawmakers who bypass security screenings

The House voted 216 to 210 Tuesday night to fine lawmakers $5,000 the first time they bypass new security measures and $10,000 for each subsequent violation. Capitol Police installed metal detectors outside the House chamber after the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, but some Republican lawmakers have just walked around the magnetometers or refused to stop after setting them off. House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) criticized the “elitist mentality” of such lawmakers in a floor speech Tuesday. Lawmakers are not allowed to bring firearms into the House chamber. “The rules apply to us, too — and it’s time all of us acted like it,” McGovern said. Some of his “friends on the other side,” he added, “are acting as though by being elected to Congress, they have been anointed to some sort of special club — one that gets to pick and choose what rules to follow.” No Republicans voted for the new rule. In an email to House Republicans sent Tuesday night, Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Colo.) office urged other members to vote against the “unconstitutional metal detector fines.” Other Republicans point out that they are allowed to step around metal detectors when they enter the Capitol and its office buildings. Lawmakers will now have 90 days to pay any fines incurred before the money is taken directly from their paychecks. It is “an unprecedented step,” Politico reports, but it “speaks to the new reality: lawmakers are afraid of being injured, or worse, by colleagues trying to sneak weapons on to the House floor.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has instituted new security measures for House members and their staff both inside and outside of the Capitol, and a full review of congressional security she ordered will be finished in March. She is also calling for a “9/11-style commission” to investigate the Jan. 6 siege. Pelosi said Tuesday that the security fines are “sad” but necessary after “many House Republicans began disrespecting our heroes by refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our congressional community safe — including by dodging metal detectors, physically pushing past police, and even attempting to bring firearms into the chamber.” More stories from theweek.comBiden’s team is reportedly surprised Republicans don’t see the political upsides of backing a big COVID-19 billRise of the Barstool conservativesStephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Trevor Noah dissect the GOP civil war on Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘loony lies’

Associated Press

Ex-Nebraska clerk praised for tornado work gets prison term

A former northeastern Nebraska village clerk who was praised for her work in helping rebuild her community following a 2014 tornado strike has been sentenced to prison for stealing from the village. Kimberly Neiman, 58, was sentenced Monday in Stanton County District Court to three years in prison, the Norfolk Daily News reported. Neiman was arrested last year on multiple felony theft and other counts.

AFP

Sri Lanka scraps Japan-India port deal

Sri Lanka said Tuesday it had pulled out of an agreement with Japan and India to develop a deep-sea container terminal viewed as an effort to counter China’s growing influence in the region.

Axios

SpaceX launches explosive test of prototype Starship

SpaceX’s Starship prototype dubbed SN9 took flight from Texas on Tuesday for a test that ended in a fiery explosion after a successful launch.Why it matters: The rocket is part of SpaceX’s test program to build a space system that can transport people and payloads to deep space destinations like Mars. Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.Details: SN9 managed to make it up to its target altitude of about 10 kilometers after launch before flipping around and flying through the air sideways. * The prototype then flipped back in an attempt to land upright before exploding. The company’s SN8 flight in December also ended in a fiery crash. * “We’ve just got to work on that landing a little bit,” SpaceX’s John Insprucker said during a webcast.The intrigue: Space watchers have been waiting for this test for about a week, but it took until Monday night for the FAA to approve this most recent flight. * SpaceX violated its launch license during the SN8 test flight by exceeding the risk to the public allowed for the launch, leading leading to the FAA requiring SpaceX to conduct an investigation. * The results of that investigation were incorporated into the most recent test’s launch license.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.

Reuters

AstraZeneca’s China partner expects to be able to make 400 million COVID-19 vaccine doses a year

China’s Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products said on Tuesday it had completed a facility designed to be able to produce 400 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine per year, doubling a capacity target promised in 2020. “Kangtai is actively pushing forward procedures for the vaccine’s clinical trial and registration in China, and has completed a manufacturing plant and started trial production,” the Shenzhen-based firm said in a press release. The firm obtained rights to supply the AZD1222 vaccine, developed by the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker and Oxford University, in mainland China last year in return for having capacity to produce at least 200 million doses by the end of 2021.

The Telegraph

Archaeologists unearth 2,000-year-old mummies with golden tongues in northern Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed more than a dozen 2,000-year-old mummies, including some with gold tongues in their mouths, according to the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The Egyptian-Dominican team from the University of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic was working at the Taposiris Magna Temple in western Alexandria when it discovered the remains of 16 ancient Egyptians buried in rock tombs. The mummies were poorly preserved and in a state of significant decomposition, but photographs released by the ministry showed a human skeleton with a clearly visible, tongue-shaped piece of gold placed in its jaw. According to officials, the amulets “were placed in the mouth of the mummy in a special ritual to ensure their ability to speak in the afterlife before the Osirian court.” In Egyptian mythology, Osiris was the god of the afterlife, as well as fertility and agriculture. Dr Kathleen Martinez, who headed the team, explained that of the 16 mummies, the two most important had preserved alongside them the remains of scrolls and parts of their cartonnage – a kind papyrus or linen-based papier-mache used to construct the intricate “face masks” that envelop the mummified bodies inside their sarcophagi.

Reuters

Over 300 million Indians may have COVID-19 – source citing government study

About one in four of India’s 1.35 billion people may have been infected with the coronavirus, said a source with direct knowledge of a government serological survey, suggesting the country’s real caseload was many times higher than reported. India has confirmed 10.8 million COVID-19 infections, the most anywhere outside the United States. The state-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which conducted the survey, said it would only share the findings at a news conference on Thursday.

Time

Why China Stands to Gain from the Coup in Myanmar

A military armoured vehicle is seen along a street in Myitkyina, Kachin State on February 2, 2021, as Myanmar’s generals appeared in firm control a day after a surgical coup that saw democracy heroine Suu Kyi detained. On February 1, Myanmar’s military arrested leaders of the country’s civilian-led government and declared a one-year state of emergency. After a decade-long experiment with limited direct democracy, the junta is firmly in charge, and a small nation that once seemed to offer a roadmap for transition out of armed dictatorship is now once again under lockdown.

The politics of COVID-19 spending legislation is complicated. President Biden and former President Donald Trump, who don’t agree on much, both pushed to get $2,000 direct payments to most Americans this winter, and the Republican governor of West Virginia is backing Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package while his state’s Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, favors a smaller package. The White House is privately meeting with a group of Senate Republicans who proposed a $618 billion alternative package, The Associated Press reports, even as Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reject that amount as insufficient and urge Democrats to go big and go quickly. Biden and his advisers “publicly tout the virtues of bipartisan collaboration,” but “they aren’t pollyannaish about it,” Sam Stein reports at Politico. “They know there is no recent history to suggest any such collaboration is coming.,” but “inside the White House there is still some surprise that Republicans currently aren’t more interested in working with them on COVID relief. Not because they believe Republicans philosophically support the bill, but because there are clear political incentives for them to do so.” Biden and his aides have noted repeatedly that just because the budget reconciliation process would allow Democrats to pass much of the $1.9 trillion package without Republican support, Republicans can still vote for the package. If Democrats go the budget reconciliation route, the 10 Senate Republicans can either “oppose the measure without being able to stop it or work to shape it, pledge to vote for it, and get credit for the goodies inside it,” Stein reports. “Put another way: Republicans could vote for a bill that includes billions of dollars of help for states, massive amounts of cash for vaccine distribution, and $1,400 stimulus check for most Americans. Or they could oppose it on grounds that the price tag is too steep, or the minimum wage hike is too high, or the process too rushed.” And if they do that, a senior administration official told Stein, “they’ll get no credit” for those $1,400 checks. Democrats only have the party-line option because they unexpectedly won both Senate seats in a Georgia runoff election, Stein notes, and one political “lesson from that episode is, quite bluntly: It’s better to be on the side of giving people money.” Trump understood that. Time will tell what Senate Republicans will decide. More stories from theweek.comRise of the Barstool conservativesStephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Trevor Noah dissect the GOP civil war on Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘loony lies’Meatballs, f-bombs, vote fraud conspiracies: A Trump Oval Office meeting so insane, Giuliani was ‘the voice of reason’

Source: https://news.yahoo.com/program-brings-virtual-reality-gaming-142222707.html

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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