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Democrats unveil $3 trillion Covid relief package and plan to vote this week

(CNN)House Democrats announced a sweeping new Covid-19 stimulus bill on Tuesday with a price tag expected to be more than $3 trillion — an amount that would stand as the largest relief package in history.The legislation, which allocates more funding for state and local governments, coronavirus testing, and a new round of direct payments to…

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Democrats unveil $3 trillion Covid relief package and plan to vote this week

(CNN)House Democrats announced a sweeping new Covid-19 stimulus bill on Tuesday with a price tag expected to be more than $3 trillion — an amount that would stand as the largest relief package in history.The legislation, which allocates more funding for state and local governments, coronavirus testing, and a new round of direct payments to Americans, sets up an immediate clash with the Republican-controlled Senate, where leaders have said another round of emergency funding is not yet needed.Democrats released the 1,815-page legislative text of the bill Tuesday afternoon and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke from the US Capitol after its introduction.Pelosi took aim at congressional Republicans who have argued that it would be better to first evaluate how already-enacted aid is implemented before moving ahead with another relief bill. “For the families who are suffering though, hunger doesn’t take a pause, rent doesn’t take a pause, bills don’t take a pause, the hardship of losing a job or tragically losing a loved one doesn’t take a pause,” Pelosi said, describing the crisis as “a historic challenge” and “momentous opportunity for us to meet the needs of the American people, to save their lives, their livelihoods and our democracy.”But Senate Republican leaders warned Pelosi that the new bill is dead on arrival even before it was formally unveiled.”That will not pass. It’s not going to be supported,” said Sen. John Barrasso, a member of Republican leadership in the chamber.House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said in a notice to members Tuesday afternoon that the House is expected to meet Friday morning to vote on the legislation.The package is expected to cost more than $3 trillion, according to a senior House Democratic aide. Three other aides also told CNN the price tag would be in the $3 trillion range. That would dwarf the stimulus measure enacted in March, which was more than $2 trillion and at the time amounted to the largest emergency aid package in American history. The bill, which Democrats are calling the Heroes Act, would provide nearly $1 trillion for state and local governments, a $200 billion fund for essential worker hazard pay, an additional $75 billion for Covid-19 testing, tracing and isolation efforts, and a new round of direct payments to Americans of up to $6,000 per household, according to a fact sheet released by the House Appropriations Committee. House Democrats have pressed ahead with a new stimulus package amid stiff resistance from Republican lawmakers and the White House, who say they want to wait to see the impact of previously enacted relief measures before moving forward with any new package.Without some Republican support, the House bill cannot pass in the Senate. But unveiling legislation now gives Democrats an opportunity to showcase their priorities and outline their legislative vision for how to help a country in dire straits as a result of the devastating pandemic. Republican Sen. John Cornyn reiterated Tuesday that he believes there is no “urgency” on passing another coronavirus relief bill when asked if the Senate will likely wait until after Memorial Day recess to take up phase four legislation.”I don’t think there’s a sense of urgency to do it now because a lot of the money we’ve already appropriated hasn’t been even gone out the door yet,” the Texas Republican told reporters. “So, we’re taking one day at a time.” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said the bill is “dead on arrival” in the Senate.On phase four, Graham also said “Oh, God, no, no way” about whether the Senate will pass another coronavirus relief bill before the Memorial Day recess. But he added he’s “sympathetic” to the idea that the economy will need additional help to recover.Democrats and Republicans along with the Trump administration have so far come together on a bipartisan basis to negotiate and pass three relief packages as well as a measure that lawmakers referred to as an interim aid package passed after a program to help keep small businesses afloat during the crisis ran out of money. But there are a number of potential significant sticking points to any bipartisan agreement on another round of emergency funding.Senate Republicans have argued that liability reforms to protect employers from a rash of lawsuits would need to be included in any upcoming legislation, a demand Democrats have balked at. Asked about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s priority to include liability protections for businesses in any new coronavirus relief bill, Hoyer pushed back on the idea.”Our focus has been on protecting people, not protecting people from hurting them and having no liability for hurting them,” he said.Democratic leaders are also planning move forward with a remote voting and remote committee work plan on Friday, Hoyer said. He said he is disappointed Democrats and Republicans have not reached an agreement on proxy voting, although party leaders continue to work for a deal. “I am hopeful that we will get there, but we absolutely need to get there and we need to get there quickly,” he said. He reiterated that if there is no agreement, Democrats will proceed with their own plan. This story has been updated to include additional information and reaction.CNN’s Ali Zaslav, Lauren Fox and Ted Barrett contributed to this report.
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PrettyLittleThing features its first model to wear a hijab

Written by Alaa Elassar, CNNWant more inspiring, positive news? Sign up for The Good Stuff, a newsletter for the good in life. It will brighten your inbox every Saturday morningA Black, Muslim plus-size model is breaking barriers in the fashion industry after being chosen by PrettyLittleThing to model its new line of modest clothing.Billy Marsal,…

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PrettyLittleThing features its first model to wear a hijab

Written by Alaa Elassar, CNN

Want more inspiring, positive news? Sign up for The Good Stuff, a newsletter for the good in life. It will brighten your inbox every Saturday morning

A Black, Muslim plus-size model is breaking barriers in the fashion industry after being chosen by PrettyLittleThing to model its new line of modest clothing.

Billy Marsal, 21, is a London-based influencer who regularly posts photos of herself wearing trendy and modest outfits on Instagram. The online retail giant scouted her on social media shortly after entering the Middle East market.

Marsal’s work with PrettyLittleThing marks the first time the brand has featured a model wearing a hijab or headscarf, the UK-based company confirmed.

“I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was until I started getting replies and messages from people who were so excited about it, then I realized, wow, this is amazing,” Marsal told CNN.

“It’s an insane feeling, Yes, I am Black, I am Muslim, I am plus size, but I never thought it would be me to make people feel like this.”

Marsal is new to the world of professional modeling, but is excited to represent young Muslim women and help them find fashionable clothes that uphold their religious values.

“As girls who wear the hijab, we grew up buying clothes and having to alter things to make them modest so for them now to tell Muslim girls, ‘Guys, we’re catering to you, too’ is a very big deal,” she said.

Marsal announced her work with PrettyLittleThing in a tweet on Monday that has since garnered more than 500,000 likes and 60,000 retweets. “Soooo… that’s me. THE FIRST HIJABI ON PLT!!! Still so wild to me,” she said.

PrettyLittleThing, which has collaborated with celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Hailey Baldwin, sells fashion “inspired from the catwalk and the coolest muses of the moment” at affordable prices.

The retailer aims to “inspire confidence” in customers with a message of equality and body positivity, according to its website.

“Following our successful launch into the Middle East we are delighted to be launching our ‘Modest clothing’ collection on site,” PrettyLittleThing said in a news release. “Our ethos of ‘EveryBODYinPLT is extremely important to us, so it’s been amazing seeing such positive customer feedback and working with models who represent all of our customer base.”

In recent years, models wearing a hijab have been featured in New York Fashion Week and Sports Illustrated magazine. But it’s still not common.

Marsal said she’s happy to see the industry change to include more Muslim women, and looks forward to the day when it’s no longer surprising to see a model wearing a hijab.

“I think what’s going to happen is this will one day be so normal it’s not surprising anymore, because competitors are noticing what brands like PrettyLittleThing are doing and it’s going to become the norm,” she said.

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Nebraska man hits jackpot twice in one year

Michael Christiansen of Norfolk, Nebraska, hit the jackpot for a second time this year. Earlier this month, Christiansen won $100,000 after purchasing a 20X The Money Scratch ticket. He collected his winnings on October 15 at the Nebraska Lottery’s office in Lincoln. It was his second trip to the office this year because he won…

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Nebraska man hits jackpot twice in one year

Michael Christiansen of Norfolk, Nebraska, hit the jackpot for a second time this year.

Earlier this month, Christiansen won $100,000 after purchasing a 20X The Money Scratch ticket. He collected his winnings on October 15 at the Nebraska Lottery’s office in Lincoln. It was his second trip to the office this year because he won $50,000 from a Money Clip Scratch ticket in March.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “What are the odds? I didn’t think it was real,” Christiansen said in a press release.

He purchased both winning tickets from Louie’s Liquor in Norfolk.

When asked what he plans to do with the money, Christiansen gave a few ideas. He said he wants to build a new garage and put some of the money away for his retirement.

Christiansen said his daughter recently passed away, and he’s going to try purchase the house she lived in.

The 20X The Money game offers players a chance to win prizes from a free $10 ticket to $100,000. The chances of winning $100,000 are 1 in 80,000, according to the Nebraska Lottery.

In the Money Clip game, the odds of winning the top prize of $50,000 are also 1 in 80,000, according to the lottery.

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World reduced to ‘friends,’ ‘thugs’ and ‘filthy’ countries in Trump-Biden foreign policy debate

That was how Democratic candidate Joe Biden attempted to sum up President Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy in Thursday’s debate, arguing that Trump cozies up to “thugs” in North Korea, China and Russia, while he “pokes his finger at all our allies.” It was a line that might play well among Biden’s base, but,…

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World reduced to ‘friends,’ ‘thugs’ and ‘filthy’ countries in Trump-Biden foreign policy debate
That was how Democratic candidate Joe Biden attempted to sum up President Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy in Thursday’s debate, arguing that Trump cozies up to “thugs” in North Korea, China and Russia, while he “pokes his finger at all our allies.”
It was a line that might play well among Biden’s base, but, with its vague allusions to appeasement in the run up to World War II, it was indicative of a debate that had little genuine substance when it came to current foreign policy challenges, with both leaders choosing to use other countries as attack lines more than anything else.

Biden did promise to “get China to play by international laws,” an area where Beijing has arguably benefited from Trump’s America First strategy and suspicion of multilateral organizations. However, he offered little insight into how he would actually go about doing that, especially as China is far stronger both internationally and domestically than it was the last time Biden was in office, beyond working with allies to try and rein Beijing in.

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