Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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Monday, November 29, 2021

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Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2021 at 6:59 AM

click to enlarge U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
U.S. Department of Energy

WASHINGTON – In the second holiday season of the pandemic era, goods may cost more, but Americans have more money to spend – and they appear to be eager to spend it.

That’s true in Arizona, where retailers say the holiday shopping season is already in full swing and residents are expected to spend anywhere from $590 to $1,558 on their shopping, according to one recent estimate.

And while Black Friday remains popular, experts say many shoppers started opening their wallets months ago. Katherine Cullen of the National Retail Federation said the Thanksgiving weekend rush is “not the kickoff to the season that it used to be.”

“We consider it more of the halfway point,” said Cullen, the NRF’s senior director of industry and consumer insights. “But it’s something that consumers really enjoy as part of their Thanksgiving tradition.”

Hitendra Chaturvedi said it’s an acceleration of a trend that was seen in previous holidays.

“That same trend that was happening even before COVID – where people are going online and a lot more Black Fridays are happening in September – just accelerated,” said Chaturvedi, a professor in supply chain management at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2021 at 1:00 AM

Friday, November 26, 2021

Posted By on Fri, Nov 26, 2021 at 1:00 AM

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Posted By on Thu, Nov 25, 2021 at 6:45 AM

Glenn Fawcett/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

WASHINGTON – Health officials said this week that it should be OK for families to gather over the holidays, as long as people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and take other precautions against the spread of the disease.

The tentative greenlight to gatherings comes despite a recent surge in new cases both nationally and in Arizona, where more than 3,000 new cases were reported Tuesday.

But with the growing use of vaccines and booster shots, and the increasing availability of at-home testing kits, state and federal officials said they are “really enthusiastic for people to be able to gather again for this holiday season,” as long as they take appropriate precautions.

“If you have a group of people who’ve all been vaccinated, I would have no concern about getting people together,” said Dr. Joshua LaBaer, executive director of Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute. “That should be fine.”

It’s a sharp change from holidays a year ago, when health officials were warning against holiday travel and all but the most limited family gatherings.

“We are really enthusiastic for people to be able to gather again for this holiday season,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a White House briefing Monday. “We would just encourage that people do so safely.”

Posted By on Thu, Nov 25, 2021 at 1:00 AM

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Posted By on Wed, Nov 24, 2021 at 1:00 PM

Posted By on Wed, Nov 24, 2021 at 6:45 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY KARINA RUIZ
Courtesy Karina Ruiz

While a pathway to citizenship was nixed in the most recent version of the Build Back Better Act, a flagship legislation part of President Joe Biden’s agenda, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and immigration advocates still welcome the protections from deportation expected to impact about 6.5 million undocumented immigrants.  

Under the House version of the spending bill, Democrats included the third iteration of an immigration plan in the Build Back Better Act. A previous version of the legislation included a pathway to citizenship for certain undocumented immigrants, such as people brought to the country as children, essential workers, farmworkers and those with Temporary Protected Status. That provision was removed from the bill following a ruling by the Senate’s parliamentarian.

During a press conference on Monday, Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., who chairs the 38-member caucus, explained that legislators instead proposed a parole program that would provide temporary protections of deportation, a five-year work permit and driver’s license to eligible undocumented immigrants who pass a background check. 

The driver’s license would be available in states like Arizona that currently don’t issue them to undocumented residents. The driver’s licenses will be required to meet federal requirements for identification in domestic airports, allowing immigrants to travel by air without fear of encountering federal immigration enforcement.  

The version of the immigration plan in the budget legislation that passed the House applies to people living in the U.S. with no immigration status who arrived in the country before Jan. 1, 2011. They must also meet certain criteria related to criminal record, similar to the current requirements for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, said attorney Ray Ybarra Maldonado in an explainer video posted on Facebook

For months, immigration advocates have pushed federal lawmakers to pass citizenship for millions within the budget reconciliation process this year. 

Posted By on Wed, Nov 24, 2021 at 1:00 AM