Biden’s choice for interior secretary faces confirmation hurdle
Democratic New Mexico congresswoman Deb Haaland, who hopes to become the first Native American Cabinet secretary in US history, faces confirmation hearings Tuesday before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Many Native Americans are hopeful Haaland, 60, can improve the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs and help fix inadequate healthcare, poor education and crumbling infrastructure. But she must also weigh the needs of other factions, including energy companies looking to extract mineral rights and conservation groups hoping to preserve the national parks.
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Historic gains are likely in 2021’s economy, even as COVID-19 damage lingers
It was supposed to be a dark winter for the economy. But buoyed by government stimulus checks, falling COVID-19 cases and the vaccine rollout, growth is expanding briskly and the economy is projected to boom this year as pandemic-related restrictions ease. Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Oxford all forecast about 6.5% growth this year, which would be the best since 1984, while Goldman Sachs is looking for a 7% advance. Other economists aren’t quite so bullish, but still expect significantly stronger growth than previously anticipated. Some even predict that by late 2021 and throughout 2022, the nation’s gross domestic output will be larger than it would have been if the health crisis hadn’t occurred. That doesn’t mean the crisis will avoid the long-lasting scars experts have feared, and some experts say the faster growth poses the risk of a run-up in inflation that could ultimately trigger a recession, but the more robust recovery should limit the damage.
Capitol law enforcement officials to testify before Senate panel
Top Capitol law enforcement officials are set to testify Tuesday before key Senate panels, according to a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee aide not authorized to speak on the record. Lawmakers are set to ask questions about failures in preparation by law enforcement as they probe the buildup to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and the subsequent response. Officers were overwhelmed by rioters despite intelligence suggesting protests could turn violent, and the Capitol Police Union has faulted their leadership for insufficient preparation and equipment for officers.
El Chapo’s wife, arrested on drug trafficking charge, due in court
The wife of convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday after being arrested in Washington, D.C. for her alleged role in the distribution of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana. Emma Coronel Aispuro, 31, a dual U.S.-Mexican citizen, is charged in a conspiracy to distribute drugs in the U.S. and is alleged to have assisted in her husband’s elaborate 2015 escape from a Mexican prison. She also is suspected of plotting another escape before Guzman’s 2017 extradition to the U.S. Guzmán, a leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa narcotics cartel, was sentenced to life in prison following his 2019 trial in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Bobby Shmurda will get a ride home from prison from Migos’ Quavo
Bobby Shmurda is gearing up to be released from New York prison on Tuesday, according to New York’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. The 26-year-old rapper, whose career was once on the rise thanks to a viral 2014 music video that popularized the “Shmoney dance,” was sentenced in 2016 to seven years in prison after pleading guilty on charges he conspired with a violent drug gang (a plea he claimed he was railroaded into taking). And thanks to fellow rapper Quavo, he’s already secured a ride home from the big house. The Migos member revealed in an interview with Billboard that he’ll be picking up Shmurda, whose birth name is Ackquille Pollard, from prison after his release.