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Views expressed in this geopolitical news summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Content supplied by National Public Radio (NPR).

Accessed on 09 March 2021, 1952 UTC, Post 1503.

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Thanks for joining us today.

Russ Roberts

https://www.hawaiigeopoliticalnews.com

by Korva Coleman and Rachel Treisman

First Up

A Joe Biden supporter with a Venezuelan flag cheers during a Biden campaign event at Camping World Stadium on October 27, 2020 in Orlando, Florida.
Octavio Jones/Getty Images
Here's what we're following today.
The Biden administration is giving temporary protected status to undocumented Venezuelans living in the U.S. The major shift in policy will affect about 320,000 Venezuelans who have fled life-threatening economic and humanitarian crises in their native country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fully vaccinated people can ease up on certain precautions when it comes to indoor gatherings, but urges everyone to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing in public. It calls the new guidance a “first step” toward Americans getting back to everyday activities. 

The House soon will vote on a revised version of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which allocates money for stimulus checks, vaccines, schools, small businesses and anti-poverty programs. The Senate made several changes to the bill — some to satisfy Senate budget rules and others to ensure the support of moderate Democrats. 

Jury selection could restart today in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer charged with murder in the 2020 killing of George Floyd. The story of how Floyd’s death spurred protests for racial justice around the world is well known. But friends and family say it’s important to remember him as the person he was before he became a catalyst for change. 

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Today's Listens

NPR spoke with Antonia Gonzalez-Caro, Christina Holley and Shewona Ford about what the new child credit would mean for their families.
LA Johnson/NPR
The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package — which some experts say could cut child poverty in half — includes a child benefit, the first of its kind in the U.S. How much would an extra $250 or $300 per month help struggling families? NPR spoke with three mothers about what it would mean for them. Take a listen or read more here.

At least 43 states are considering legislation that would increase barriers to voting. One of them is Georgia, where at least six bills related to voting rights advanced in the state Senate yesterday. Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling told NPR that many of the proposals could help elections administrators, but that some of the measures backed by state GOP lawmakers go too far. Listen here or read the interview excerpts

Johnson & Johnson is in the spotlight these days for its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, but it’s also one of the four health care companies negotiating a settlement for their role in the country’s opioid crisis, with tens of billions of dollars at stake. Lawmakers are blasting the companies for planning to use corporate tax breaks — including one created during the pandemic — to offset the payouts. Listen to the story.

The new animated feature film Raya And The Last Dragon has been praised for celebrating Southeast Asian culture, with its lead character billed as Disney’s first Southeast Asian princess. But some critics, pointing out that Asians are not a monolith, are criticizing Disney for casting East Asian actors in most of the prominent roles. Hear the details.

The Picture Show

Untitled by Tara Wray
Tara Wray/Too Tired Press
Tara Wray says photography helps her process fear and uncertainty — two defining characteristics of 2020 for her and countless others. The Vermont-based photographer captured her family, home and moments of joy throughout the year, and is publishing those images in a book called Year of the Beast that she says highlights “the drama of everyday life amidst a global pandemic.” It’s being published by Too Tired Press, a company Wray started with her partner Kelly Burgess with the goal of helping artists get their work into the world without having to shell out thousands of dollars. She says she hopes readers will see themselves or their own loved ones in the photographs. 

Before You Go

From a sampling of Girl Scout Cookies, Los Angeles Times food columnist Lucas Kwan Peterson says that Samoas (also known as Caramel deLites) are the superior cookie.
Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • It’s Girl Scout cookie season, and a Los Angeles Times food columnist is getting praise as well as pushback for his “official Girl Scout cookie power rankings.” Scandalously, Thin Mints are only fourth on his list.
  • Edgar McGregor spent 589 straight days (and counting) picking up litter in Los Angeles County’s Eaton Canyon. The 20-year-old climate activist says the park is now free of municipal waste, but his work is not yet finished. 
  • Champ and Major, President Joe Biden’s two German shepherds, have been moved from the White House to their family home in Delaware after Major was involved in an alleged “biting incident.” (CNN
  • Scientists in Colorado have cloned the first endangered species native to North America: She's a black-footed ferret, and her name is Elizabeth Ann. They hope their new technology can help keep other species from going extinct. 
  • Burger King is facing criticism over its controversial attempt to draw attention to the male-dominated culinary world on International Women’s Day. In a tweet and in a full-page ad in The New York Times, the company wrote that “women belong in the kitchen.” (NBC News)

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