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Daily News Digest – July 27, 2021

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Head’s up: A new edition of Inside Alabama Politics is out tomorrow, so make sure your subscription is up to date and send me your bits of potpourri!

Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, July 27.

1. Alabama COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to surge

  • The number of COVID-19 patients in Alabama hospitals Monday climbed to more than 900 — a number the state has not seen since February — as the state sees a surge in virus cases.
  • There were 947 COVID-19 patients in state hospitals Monday, up from 204 at the beginning of July, according to numbers from the Alabama Hospital Association.
  • That’s a 464% spike in less than a month.
  • One silver lining is that latest number is about a third of where the state was at the peak of the pandemic when there were 3,000 virus patients in state hospitals in January. Another is that the number of deaths remain low in the single digits per day over the last month.
  • Still, the surge has health officials concerned.
  • “It’s the perfect storm of large numbers of unvaccinated people and the delta variant which is highly infectious and much more transmissible than anything we saw before,” said Dr. Scott Harris, who serves as Alabama’s state health officer.
  • Dr. Don Williamson, the former state health officer who now heads the Alabama Hospital Association, said the concern is not the number itself, but the steep upward trajectory in numbers. Williamson said the state has the solution in the form of the vaccine, but “there is not a long line of people wanting to be vaccinated.”
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.



2. Senators, White House in talks to finish infrastructure bill

  • Senators and the White House are locked in intense negotiations to salvage a bipartisan infrastructure deal.
  • Despite weeks of closed-door discussions, senators from the bipartisan group blew past a Monday deadline set for agreement on the nearly $1 trillion package. Instead they hit serious roadblocks over how much would be spent on public transit and water infrastructure and whether the new spending on roads, bridges, broadband and other projects would be required to meet federal wage requirements for workers. They’re also at odds over drawing on COVID-19 funds to help pay for it.
  • Republican negotiator Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who took the lead in key talks with a top White House aide, insisted the bipartisan group was “making progress.”
  • The White House wants a bipartisan agreement for this first phase, before Democrats go it alone to tackle broader priorities in a bigger $3.5 trillion budget plan that’s on deck.
  • Sen. Joe Manchin warned his fellow Democrats Monday that no deal on the bipartisan package would likely imperil the larger $3.5 trillion budget.
  • “I would say that if a bipartisan infrastructure bill falls apart, everything could fall apart,” Manchin told reporters. “…one falls apart, how do you do the other one? How’s the other one become more important?”
  • Read more HERE.



3. Fed talks a pullback in economic aid with inflation up

  • With inflation uncomfortably high and the COVID-19 delta variant raising economic concerns, a divided Federal Reserve will meet this week to discuss when and how it should dial back its ultra-low-interest rate policies.
  • For now, the U.S. economy is growing briskly in the wake of the pandemic recession, and the pace of hiring is healthy, which is why the Fed’s policymakers will likely move closer toward acting soon. In particular, the officials are expected to discuss the timing and mechanics of slowing their $120 billion-a-month in bond purchases — a pandemic-era policy that is intended to keep long-term loan rates low to spur borrowing and spending.
  • Consumer prices were up 5.4% in June from a year ago, the biggest increase in 13 years. Last month’s surge marked a fourth straight month of unexpectedly large price increases, heightening fears that persistently higher inflation will erode the value of recent pay raises and undermine the economic recovery.
  • The main concern is that the Fed will end up responding too late and too aggressively to high inflation by quickly jacking up interest rates and perhaps causing another recession.
  • Read more about the Fed’s deliberations HERE.


  • Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress are beginning to feel the political fallout from a country concerned about rising prices.
  • A new poll shows that fewer than half of Americans, 45%, judge the economy to be in good shape, while 54% say it’s in poor shape.
  • Many of those view skew along partisan lines. About 6 in 10 Democrats call the economy good, while three-quarters of Republicans say conditions are poor.
  • Republican lawmakers have blamed Biden’s spending for the inflation and say his plans for another $4.1 trillion in new spending to be paid for through taxes on the wealthy and corporations will only cause prices to keep rising.
  • Read more HERE.



4. First Jan. 6 hearing today

  • Democrats are launching their investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection today with a focus on the law enforcement officers who were attacked and beaten as the rioters broke into the building — an effort to put a human face on the violence of the day.
  • The police officers who are scheduled to testify endured some of the worst of the brutality. They were punched, trampled, crushed and sprayed with chemical irritants. They were called racial slurs and threatened with their own weapons as the mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters overwhelmed them, broke through windows and doors and interrupted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win.
  • The panel’s first hearing comes as partisan tensions have only worsened since the insurrection, with many Republicans playing down, or outright denying, the violence that occurred and denouncing the Democratic-led investigation as politically motivated. Democrats now want to launch the probe — and win public support for it — by reminding people how brutal it was, and how the law enforcement officers who were sworn to protect the Capitol suffered grave injuries at the hands of the rioters.
  • Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the panel, will give opening remarks after Thompson — an effort by Democrats to appear as bipartisan as possible. The House Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, withdrew the participation of other Republicans last week after Pelosi rejected two of them, saying their “antics” in support of Trump, and his lies that he won the election, weren’t appropriate for the serious investigation. Monday evening, the House voted against a resolution offered by the GOP leader to force the members to sit on the panel.
  • The hearing begins at 8:30 a.m. Central Time.
  • Read more and watch HERE.



5. Tokyo: With Simone Biles sidelined, US settles for Silver

  • The Russian Olympic Committee has won the gold medal in women’s gymnastics after U.S. star Simone Biles exited with a medical issue.
  • The Russian gymnasts posted a team score of 169.528, ahead of the U.S. in second place at 166.096.
  • Great Britain won bronze.
  • Biles, the 24-year-old reigning Olympic gymnastics champion, considered to be the greatest gymnast of all time, huddled with a trainer after landing her vault. She then exited the competition floor with the team doctor.
  • Biles returned several minutes later. She took off her bar grips, hugged teammates Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee and Jordan Chiles before putting on a jacket and sweatpants. Chiles replaced Biles on uneven bars and balance bream.
  • The Americans were forced to finish the rest of the competition without her, severely hampering their bid to claim a third straight Olympic title.
  • Read more HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to surge


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senators, White House in talks to finish infrastructure bill


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fed to discuss a pullback in economic aid with inflation up


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Inflation fears and politics shape views of Biden economy


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – At first Jan. 6 hearing, police to detail violence, injuries


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – USA Gym: Simone Biles out of team finals with medical issue


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – How has the recent heavy rainfall impacted Alabama farmers?


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama prison officer convicted in inmate abuse case


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senators race to seal infrastructure deal as pressure mounts


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – SEC takeover: Expansion would just mean more power, wealth


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Huntsville native Nicholas Dunlap wins US Junior Amateur


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – July 26, 2021


AL.COM – Young people disproportionately refusing COVID-19 vaccine: State health official


AL.COM – Clerk tells jury she did not withhold evidence in Alabama sheriff’s corruption trial


AL.COM – Baldwin Democrats urge schools to require COVID masks; superintendent says situation ‘too political’


AL.COM – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issues guidance on COVID-19 vaccination, state law


AL.COM – University of Alabama giving vaccinated students $20


AL.COM – DOJ must say by Tuesday whether Mo Brooks’ Jan. 6 comments were part of his job


AL.COM – What’s ‘Next’ for Alabama? State’s tech, bio-research future ‘evolving very rapidly’


AL.COM – Contributor Cameron Smith: COVID-19 vaccine pits personal choice against public health


AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain: Mountain Brook revisited


Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery Humane Society sees influx of dogs


Montgomery Advertiser – As pandemic eases, once-loved pets being dumped at shelter in ‘disheartening’ numbers


Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery Humane Society pet adoption


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Letter carrier shot while on route in Tarrant, reward offered


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Doctors discuss difficulties controlling COVID-19


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Rainbow City teaching garden asking for help in raising money for Community Thrives Campaign grant


Tuscaloosa News – New tugboat helps modernize Parker Towing Co.’s fleet


Tuscaloosa News – After 42 years, Egan’s Bar to close this weekend; re-opening soon as Unique


Tuscaloosa News – PHOTOS: Christening the tug Jared Phillips


Decatur Daily – Prosecution tracks alleged payment to Sheriff Blakely


Decatur Daily – Morgan, Limestone agencies to receive more Remington money


Decatur Daily – In the community: Something really funny


Times Daily – Looney ‘fired up’ to be UNA’s athletic director


Times Daily – Handy events were real shots in the arm


Times Daily – Elkmont man drowns at Joe Wheeler State Park


Anniston Star – Jacksonville to incentivize vaccinations for city employees


Anniston Star – Ranburne Town Council authorizes agency to apply for senior center renovation grant


Anniston Star – Another Calhoun County COVID spike as spread of virus continues


YellowHammer News – Montgomery’s Steven Reed named one of America’s ’10 Mayors to Watch’


YellowHammer News – UNA names Dr. Joshua M. Looney new athletics director


YellowHammer News – Tennessee Valley experiencing hazy skies from western U.S. wildfires


Gadsden Times – Katie Boyd Britt wants to solve the state’s problems, but is that what Alabama wants?


Gadsden Times – Former Alabama prison guard convicted of failing to stop officer from beating inmate


Dothan Eagle – The Latest: European Union trumpets vaccination rate


Dothan Eagle – At first Jan. 6 hearing, police to detail violence, injuries


Dothan Eagle – Paris police investigate gas bomb attack on Cuban Embassy


Opelika-Auburn News – Olympics Latest: Surfer Buitendag announces retirement


Opelika-Auburn News – UK lawmakers slam government for failing Windrush victims


Opelika-Auburn News – Doing It For The A: Alaska’s first Olympic swimmer wins gold


WSFA Montgomery – Selma police officer killed early Tuesday morning


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery DA’s child trauma program getting national attention


WSFA Montgomery – ALEA identifies man killed in Chambers County crash


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville City Schools requiring masks to start the year


WAFF Huntsville – Prosecutors continue to call up witnesses in week 3 of Sheriff Blakely trial


WAFF Huntsville – Little Ridge Intermediate Elementary set to open before new school year


WKRG Mobile – Blue Angels wear yellow flight suits to commemorate 75 years


WKRG Mobile – OCSO: Man drowns in Cinco Bayou near FWB


WKRG Mobile – New person wanted for question in regards to 2020 Christmas party shooting, family labeling it a hate crime


WTVY Dothan – Temperature checks required, mask order possible at Houston County buildings


WTVY Dothan – Tallapoosa County murder suspect arrested


WTVY Dothan – Geneva County nears start of $1.4 million dollar road resurfacing project


WASHINGTON POST – States that cut unemployment early aren’t seeing a hiring boom, but who gets hired is changing


WASHINGTON POST – From ports to rail yards, global supply lines struggle amid virus outbreaks in the developing world


WASHINGTON POST – After the Tajik president’s sister died of covid, her sons beat up the country’s top health officials


NEW YORK TIMES – As Virus Cases Rise, Another Contagion Spreads Among the Vaccinated: Anger


NEW YORK TIMES – Naomi Osaka’s Olympics Exit Dashes Her Hopes of Gold on Home Turf


NEW YORK TIMES – Carissa Moore and Italo Ferreira Win the First Olympic Gold Medals in Surfing


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures Slip With Tech Earnings on Tap


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Tesla’s Quarterly Profit Soars to Record $1.1 Billion


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Big Pharma Quietly Pushes Back on Global Tax Deal, Citing Covid-19 Role


New York Post – Family urges vaccine after 28-year-old who said COVID was a hoax dies



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