Friday, May 7, 2021
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1/ The U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs in April – short of the one million that economists had forecast and a sharp drop-off from the 770,000 jobs added in March. The April unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.1%. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce blamed the weaker-than-expected jobs report on the $300-per-week federal jobless benefit. Biden, however, argued that the disappointing employment numbers are evidence that Congress should pass his $4 trillion infrastructure and jobs package, saying: “Today’s report just underscores, in my view, how vital the actions we’re taking are – checks to people who are hurting, support for small businesses, for child care and school reopening, support to help families put food on the table.” Biden added: “Today there is more evidence our economy is moving in the right direction, but it is clear we have a long way to go.” (Wall Street Journal / New York Times / CNBC / ABC News / Axios / Washington Post / Politico / NBC News)
2/ Texas legislators approved new, more restrictive state election rules. The bill would make it a felony to provide voters with an application to vote by mail if they hadn’t requested one, empower partisan poll workers, and limit extended early voting hours. The House version of the bill differs significantly from the state Senate version and will go to a conference committee to resolve the differences. The vote in the Texas House came after Florida enacted its own restrictive voting laws. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the legislation live on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” which restricts voting by mail and at drop boxes. (NPR / NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN)
3/ The Justice Department filed federal criminal charges against Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers in connection with the death of George Floyd. The federal indictment accuses Chauvin – who was recently convicted on state charges of murder and manslaughter, and is now asking for a new trial – of depriving Floyd of his rights to be protected from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer when Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. The other three ex-officers are accused of letting Floyd die by “willfully” failing to stop Chauvin when they saw Floyd “lying on the ground in clear need of medical care.” Separately, Chauvin ...
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