5 things to know for December 29: Stimulus, coronavirus, military bill, Andre Hill, billionaire death

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1. Stimulus

2. Coronavirus

The US reported a record number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 on Monday: 121,235 in all. With hospitalization rates this high, doctors warn hospitals will soon have to begin rationing care, essentially making life or death decisions about who gets the opportunity for treatment and who doesn’t. Some hospitals are already employing battlefield-level triage techniques to keep pace with the number of patients pouring in. As we close in on the one-year mark in the pandemic, new figures released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention reveal the infection rate in Wuhan, where the virus first started, could have been 10 times higher than the official figure. Meanwhile, cases of the Covid-19 variant discovered in the UK have been cropping up in other countries like South Korea and India.

3. Military bill

The House has voted to override President Donald Trump’s veto of the wide-ranging defense bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act. This has implications far outside of defense policy since the vote forced Republican lawmakers to choose between loyalty to a President that all but demands it, and a bill that previously passed both chambers with veto-proof majorities. In the end, more than 100 House Republicans voted for the override. Now, the Senate will have its own vote, setting up a new test for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The $740 billion bill includes pay raises for America’s soldiers, modernization for equipment and provisions to require more scrutiny before troops are withdrawn from Germany or Afghanistan.

4. Andre Hill

A Columbus, Ohio, police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Black man during a non-emergency call last week has been fired. Adam Coy shot Andre Hill within seconds of their encounter, as Hill walked toward Coy holding an illuminated cell phone in his left hand. Police Chief Thomas Quinlan recommended Coy’s firing because he said Coy shot Hill, didn’t activate his body-worn camera when he responded to the call, and failed to render aid. Coy turned his camera on after the shooting, and the camera’s look-back feature captured the 60 seconds prior to him turning it on. Hill’s family and their attorney have called for transparency as the investigation unfolds. The incident is even more painful because it comes on the heels of another fatal police shooting of a Black man in the Columbus area earlier this month. Casey Goodson Jr. was shot and killed by a Franklin County Sheriff’s Office deputy as he entered his apartment on December 4. That investigation is ongoing.

5.Billionaire death

Lin Qi, a 39-year-old billionaire Chinese gaming tycoon, passed away on Christmas Day, and now police are investigating whether he was poisoned. Lin’s company, Yoozoo, is one of China’s leading mobile game publishers, and is valued at about 6.8 billion yuan, or roughly $1 billion. Two days before his death, Yoozoo said in a statement that Lin had been admitted to the hospital due to “physical discomfort,” but was improving. A colleague of Lin’s has now been detained in Shanghai, with authorities saying in a statement that they were first alerted to a suspected poisoning on December 17. Police said the colleague was “suspected of committing a major crime.”

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Nick Cannon and partner Brittany Bell announce the arrival of baby Powerful Queen

190,000 ceiling fans recalled because the blades detach and fly off

Jennifer Aniston shared an “Our First Pandemic” ornament, and some people called it insensitive

Here are some key health stories you may have missed because of Covid-19

This tiny lemur’s hibernation habits could unlock the key to cryogenic sleep for deep space missions

This just in

Kamala Harris will receive the Covid-19 vaccine today

The VP-elect is scheduled to get the first of two doses of the vaccine, according to the Biden transition team. A transition official says the vaccine will be administered on-camera from Washington, DC.

TODAY’S NUMBER

$540 million

That’s how much Democrats and Republicans have spent on ads for the upcoming Georgia Senate runoff election. Dems are catching up to GOP spending numbers.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“The vandals wanted to intimidate and silence the Black Lives Matter movement, and this is a demonstration that they are few and we are thousands.”

Leo Carson, an artist who created a bust of Breonna Taylor in Oakland. The sculpture was smashed in an apparent act of vandalism, but Carson says the support he and the sculpture have gotten in the wake of the incident shows where the real energy lies.

TODAY’S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

A breathtaking ‘Waltz of the Snowflakes’

No stage. Masks. In one performance, proof that art thrives even in the most challenging of times. (Click here to view)



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