The following is the WeekenderNJ (WNJ) weekly news roundup, highlighting some vital stories from around the state and nation.
Happy Sunday Weekend Readres, and thanks for reading WeekenderNJ!!
Governor Murphy may have issued the last COVID19 public health emergency extension this week.
The Governor wants Legislature to pass a bill to keep "necessary tools to manage the ongoing threat to public health, as well as recovery and vaccination efforts." Then the Governor will allow the emergency to expire.
NEW JERSEY COVID19 UPDATE
According to Andy Slavitt, White House Senior Advisor, COVID Response, “NJ becomes the 7th state to cross the 70% 1st shot vaccination rate for adults."
The state joins VT, HI, MA, NH, CT, ME.”
AS OF SATURDAY:
847 new positive PCR tests
882,750 total positive PCR tests
140 new positive antigen tests
127,740 total positive antigen tests
21 new confirmed deaths
23,304 total confirmed deaths
2,648 probable deaths
NJ VACCINE UPDATE
7,945,827 total doses have been administered in New Jersey as of Saturday morning.
3,825,422 New Jerseyans are now fully vaccinated
Click here to learn more.
OTHER COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATES
A new dashboard launched this week showing the percentage of adults in each municipality who have received their first doses & percentage of adults in each municipality who are now fully vaccinated.
You can learn more here.
HOSPITALS FALL INTO THE GREEN CATEGORY
All hospitals across all regions of New Jersey are allowing up to two guests at one time. Masks and symptom screening guidelines remain in place.
This week was a historic day in the COVID-19 chronicles: America announced that it’s winning over the pandemic. New cases are at an eight-month low, and deaths are at a 10-month low. CDC announced that fully vaccinated individuals can forgo masks, but
the loosened guidelines do not apply to your indoor workplace, trains and buses, airports, airplanes, where the federal rule is still in place.
Go ahead and celebrate this news!!
We can also announce that America and some New Jerseyans gave up on face coverings a long time ago, or never worn one.
FOOD COST INCREASE
Inflation continues to accelerate at its fastest pace in more than 12 years, with food-at-home prices expected to increase between 1.0 and 2.0 percent, and food-away-from-home prices are now expected to increase between 2.5 and 3.5 percent.
NJ LABOR DEPARTMENT
The state received 2,165,073 applications for unemployment benefits, including more than 266K claims that have been reopened within a year. The average benefit per claimant now tops $18,400.
We also must keep in mind the number of NJ UI claimants that have been kicked off unemployment and have not been able to resolve this issue in weeks, if not months, along with the number of unemployed New Jerseyans who no longer qualify for benefits and are not included in the reporting.
Should we modernize how we report the NJ State unemployment number, in order to count all New Jersyans still in need of employment, who are otherwise left behind and forgotten?
New Jersey and New York
The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for kids 12-15 years old.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Transportation gave the green light on a crucial next step in the plan to bring congestion pricing to New York City. Meanwhile NJ lawmakers Threaten to Strike Back Against Congestion Pricing Plan.
NY GUBERNATORIAL RACE
Ex-Westchester County Executive and Republican Rob Astorino launched his campaign for NY Governor this week.
Congressman Lee Zeldin is considered to be the front runner by the GOP, but Astorino says he plans to take this all the way to the primary.
The Biden admin. urged Americans not to hoard gas Tuesday as the Colonial Pipeline, a major supplier of fuel to the Southeast, remained largely shut down due to last week’s ransomware cyberattack.
From Texas to New Jersey people have been panic-buying petrol, which is itself leading to shortages and increasing price at the pump.
Toilet paper, flour and yeast hoarders took to gas stations to create yet another selfish and unnecessary shortage this week!!
Colonial Pipeline announced on Wednesday evening that they returned back to service, after paying an almost $5 million extortion fee in untraceable cryptocurrency almost immediately following the attack, ‘contradicting reports’ the company never intended to pay.
Health care workers across Connecticut state threatened to walk out Friday unless the governor agrees to increase state funding to the nursing homes where they work. In response Democratic Governor Ned Lamont requested the National Guard, instead of giving the people he was elected to serve a living wage.
BROOKLYN CENTER, (MN)
Brooklyn Center, (Mn) passes sweeping public safety resolution that includes:
Creating unarmed response to mental health calls
Creating unarmed enforcement of non-moving traffic violations
More regulation of use of force
Citations for low level offenses, no arrests
Hawaii reported 105 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, and one additional fatality on Oahu, bringing the death toll from the virus in Hawaii to 491.
INFLATION – The US inflation rate jumps to its highest since 2008, soaring to 4.2% in April of 2021 from 2.6% in March, well above market forecasts of 3.6%.
THE HOUSE voted to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act on Friday.
The rest of Washington continues to be a shitshow, with the Republican Party continuing to go on an assault on Democrats –– and our democracy –– with fascist bills and voting laws to make fascims a reality.
On Friday the Republican representatives continued on their brand, electing New York lawmaker Elise Stefanik to a party leadership role. Stefanik defended Trump during the first impeachment trial.
The Biden administration declared that federal law protects LGBTQ people from health care discrimination. Restoring these protections from the previous administration is vital and with the 21st century in mind.
Vice President Harris and second gentleman Dough Emhoff travel to New York City Friday afternoon to attend their daughter’s graduation.
Former President Trump – is planning to move to his golf club in Bedminster, NJ this Summer.
India’s COVID-19 infections crossed 24 million on Friday as the outbreak stretched into neighboring Nepal
Iran’s judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi declares candidacy for presidential election
Iran cancels Austria meeting over Israeli flags
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called off a visit to Austria originally planned for Saturday after Israeli flags were raised on government buildings in Vienna.
ISRAEL – Israeli soldiers have been engaging in ethnic cleaning that has been going on for decades; forcefully evicting Palestinians from their homes, and even throwing grenades in a mosque. A mosque. Followed by launching rockets that killed children...in the name of a ‘god.’
Meanwhile the US media and US government was more concerned with uncritical support for Israel vs. looking at this from a human rights perspective, while funding Israel who’s currently engaging in genocite with President’s Biden’s blessing.
The Secretary of State Blinken and Ned Price looked more like they were part of the Trump administration this week with their comments and actions, than a new democratic administration.
How about we stop giving billions of dollars to Israel and start investing those billions of dollars in America and American's future?
This bat shit crazy billions of dollars support to Israel is exactly as evil as it sounds!!
ANTHONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE
The Secretary of State announced this week the designation of Yu Hui, former Office Director of the so-called “Central Leading Group on Preventing and Dealing with Heretical Religions” for his involvement in gross violations of human rights, namely the arbitrary detention of Falun Gong practitioners for their spiritual beliefs. Yu Hui and his immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.
Blinken added “We will continue to consider all appropriate tools to promote accountability for those responsible for human rights violations and abuses in China and elsewhere.”
Are US public servants blind to the human rights violations happening in Palestine (as well as America)? Or are they “financial aiders and abettors”?!
How can America lecture anyone on ‘human rights violations’ at this point?
Where is Secretary Blinken 'gross human rights violations acts' when it comes to Palestine?
THIS IS NOT SELF DEFENSE!!
Israeli air strikes destroy buildings housing more than a dozen media outlets in Gaza, on Saturday.
Rallies held globally in solidarity with Palestine.
The acts of genocide and war crimes by Israelis must be condemned by every Media Outlet, and every Ameican –
Dr. Maya Angelou will be one of the first women on the US quarter coin!
Her priceless work & courageous contributions as a poet and civil rights activist landed her this honor, proving herself to be an admirable influence even after her death.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Jackson kicked off its 2021 season yesterday, May 15 with a two-week spring preview!!
Rally to Defend Palestine – Today, Sunday, May 16, 21, 985 Main Street, Paterson, at 1pm.
McDonald's workers in several states are going on strike on May 19 to call for $15/hr for all the company's workers.
McDonalds net worth in 2021 is $170 billion!!
Governor Murphy announced that on May 19th he will be taking aggressive steps to reopen – lifting and replacing many of the capacity and gathering restrictions that have been in place with requirements for social distancing.
If you are going to be a lawyer and just practice your profession, well, you have a skill so you are very much like a plumber, but if you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself, something to repair tears in your community, something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice
Thank you for spending part of your morning with WeekenderNJ. See you next Weekend. – WNJ team.
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