Biden Calls for $1.9 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package

President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who was inaugurated last week, proposed a $1.9 trillion relief package to both help Americans get through the pandemic and to provide extra funding for COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution across a United States that has been crushed by the virus. His plan calls for $1,400 checks for each person in most households, $400 per week for the unemployed through to December, expanded paid leave, and increases in child tax credit.. This package along with the smaller one released in December would mean that most Americans will be receiving a combined total of $2,000 each. Unlike past packages, all dependent adults, such as college students, will be eligible for payments since Biden has emphasized that he believes that these people, whether they have kept their jobs or not, are in need of help. This portion of the package that directly supports households makes up about half of the plan’s total cost, with much of the other half of it going to vaccine distribution and testing in local and state governments throughout the US. In addition to expanding eligibility, this package will also raise child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000 for this year as with $600 additional dollars for children under 6 years old. The plan will also provide the poorest households with the full benefits of this. The child tax credit currently provides parents with a credit of up to $2,000 per child under 17 years old on their taxes. Simply put, it means that if you are a parent of two children under 17, you would pay up to $4,000 dollars less in taxes when it is time to pay them. The package will also focus on extending student loan forbearance, which will pause loan payments, provide $350 billion for state and local governments, and dedicate $50 billion to increasing testing and vaccine distribution. Overall this enormous plan covers a lot of issues in the United States that this pandemic has either created or exacerbated. However, this enormous plan is still the starting point for the new president and his attempts to fight a pandemic and an economic recession simultaneously. Mr. Biden has said that he plans to outline another proposal dedicated to economic recovery and combating climate change in February.

Weekly Summaries

14th of December – 20th of December

Climate pledge from China

China is the largest contributor to CO2 emissions worldwide. Now, however, China’s leader Xi Jinping has taken a step against climate change by announcing — on the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement — that China would reduce its carbon intensity over 65% by 2030.

New laws in Hungary threaten civil liberties

This past Tuesday the Hungarian government passed new laws which severely restrict the rights of gay people. For example, one of the constitutional amendments that was made defines a family as including a man as the father and a woman as the mother, effectively preventing gay couples from adopting children. Other measures which were introduced make it more difficult for opposition parties to challenge the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, in future elections and also make an overview of public spending more difficult.

Boko Haram kidnaps young boys

This week gunmen raided a secondary boarding school in the northern Nigerian province of Katsina and took more than 300 young boys captive. The leader of the Boko Haram has now claimed responsibility. However, late Thursday night the state governor announced that all boys would be released and reunited with their parents.

Other news:

  • Britain and the European Union have agreed to extend their trade negotiations. The initial deadline was this past Sunday (the 13th of December).
  • On the 13th of December the White House announced that hackers from a foreign country had broken into multiple key government systems. 
  • The Electoral College confirmed Biden as the next US president on Monday
  • Somalia cuts diplomatic ties with Kenya
  • President Macron of France tested positive for the coronavirus
Weekly Summaries

2nd of November – 8th of November

Joe Biden named President-Elect

After multiple days of anticipation, the result was finally announced. Biden was named President-Elect, receiving 290 electoral votes. Our writer Liam wrote about the US elections in more detail on our updates section. You can read his post here:

Terror attack in Vienna

On Monday night, four people were killed and at least 22 other people were wounded in the capital city of Austria: Vienna. Multiple gunmen shot people at 6 different locations in central Vienna. Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s chancellor, announced that the police killed one of the gunmen. Austrian officials later described the shooting as a “terror attack.”

Kabul University stormed

On Monday, gunmen in Afghanistan stormed Kabul University, killing at least 19 people and wounding many more. An Afghan branch of the Islamic State later claimed responsibility. 


The US Election Of 2020

After a nail-biting election, Joe Biden has been named President-Elect. Today, his lead continued to increase in the state of Pennsylvania, giving him 20 additional electoral points and making him surpass the needed 270. President Trump has called for re-counts which have little to no merit as Biden carries states with margins of thousands that won’t be affected by a recount. Pennsylvania is vital in re-establishing the Blue Wall which the Democrats lost in 2016. All trends continue to show a clear Biden lead in the states of Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania. If Biden manages to win all those states, he will have the same electoral number as Trump did when he beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections. Major news outlets such as CNN and the BBC have called Biden the new incoming president. This election marks a key turning point in history as Kamala Harris will be the first female and first colored Vice-President, while Joe Biden will be the oldest President of the USA. Traditionally, the sitting President calls the newly elected one, but as of today Trump has not called Biden. The Biden-Harris team will have its first public speech at 8 PM EST on the 8th of November. The following months will be crucial for them as they have the task of somehow uniting a split America. Biden might have won the popular vote by approximately four million, yet around 70 million Americans still voted for Trump. After the winning announcement, celebrations of joy erupted throughout America. However, these celebrations are being overshadowed by the coronavirus outbreak; America had its highest increase in the number of cases reported in 24 hours (132,797) on the 6th of November. As the election draws to a close, it will be interesting to see how the world reacts, specifically looking at the markets.

To read more about the election press the following links:

NBC News