In the hustle of daily life, it is often difficult to sit down and read or watch the news. It is often dark and negative, but it’s still a fundamental part of our everyday lives. Here are some important news stories from the past week that you might have missed.
Brian Laundrie’s Body Found:
On Thursday, October 21st, the FBI confirmed that remains found in a South Florida park belonged to Brian Laundrie. Laundrie became the subject of national attention after he was named the sole person of interest in the disappearance of his fiancé, Gabby Petito, in early September.
This interest came after the two had gone on a summer-long trip across the country. Laundrie was reported missing by his parents on September 17th, only six days after Petito. Police found Petito’s body two days later, strangled to death in Wyoming.
Laundrie’s parents told officials that their son had expressed that he would be going on a hike at the T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve on the 13th.
After over a month’s long search of the Carlton Reserve area of Florida, authorities found Laundrie’s body in a place that had been submerged underwater for weeks.
The police only recovered a few of Laundrie’s personal belongings and found his body was “badly decompos[ed].” Investigators are still piecing together the circumstances surrounding his death and his potential involvement in Petito’s death.
Labor Strikes Nationwide:
Thousands of workers across the country are out on the picket lines. As many companies see their profits hit all-time highs during the pandemic, certain conditions are causing workers to strike in mass.
Companies like John Deere, Starbucks and Dollar General have difficulty keeping their workers on the job and have resorted to unorthodox tactics to combat these strikes.
At John Deere, in response to 10,000 blue-collar union workers not showing up to the factories, the company has brought in around 650 untrained white-collar employees from their management and engineering departments to pick up the slack. Salary workers who did not want to take up their colleagues’ positions felt not doing so would cost them their jobs.
Starbucks has also turned to some radical tactics to combat their workers’ attempts to unionize. Three Starbucks locations in Buffalo, New York, have been attempting to hold union elections. These unions would set a precedent for the coffee house giant.
In response, Starbucks has flooded these locations with new workers that need to be trained and convinced to unionize, which has slowed down the process significantly. Additionally, Starbucks has sent corporate managers to monitor the day-to-day operations of these locations and physically impede any talks of unionization during work hours.
Congress Threatens Prosecution Against Jeff Bezos:
Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has come under fire recently. On top of issues with workers, Congress is threatening Bezos with charges of lying. Many have scrutinized Amazon for illegal and anti-competitive practices in recent years.
Namely, many have accused the company of copying other businesses’ products, producing those items themselves and then highlighting those products on their site over the original versions. This claim was enough to have Bezos dragged before a congressional hearing to corroborate these claims.
While under oath, Bezos responded to a question asking him if he had any knowledge of Amazon’s anti-competitive business practices.
The multi-billionaire said that he did not know of any of these instances taking place. Recently, congress obtained thousands of internal documents from Amazon that showed the company regularly steals the ideas of other manufacturers’ goods and resells them.
Congress has said that if Amazon cannot provide sufficient evidence that Bezos did not lie under oath, they will have to vote on bringing the case before the Department of Justice.
Reconciliation Bill Close to Getting Passed:
Perhaps the most critical issue in Joe Biden’s fledgling presidency, the massive infrastructure and social safety net bill intended to revitalize the U.S. economy, seems close to passing. Joe Biden has met with Sen.
Joe Manchin (D) and is trying to square away the final loose ends of the package. Initially, lawmakers intended the deal to be worth nearly six trillion dollars. Recent reports suggest the total will now hover just under two trillion. This reduction is due to Manchin, the senator from West Virginia, who holds an interesting spot in these negotiations.
A 50-50 split in the Senate requires every Democrat to vote unanimously to pass legislation. Manchin and other like-minded Democratic senators are very wary of what they see as needless spending by the federal government.
Thus, to get these lawmakers to vote yes for the bill, concessions need to be made by the White House.
While The President had already lowered the nose to three and a half-trillion dollars before it even hit Manchin’s desk, the extra one and a half-trillion-dollar reduction are mostly his doing.
This impact comes from a cutting or significant altering of specific critical programs within the bill. Congress reduced a policy enacting a 12-week paid maternity to four weeks. Biden’s plan to implement free community college is now a fund for additional scholarships.
While many lawmakers and pundits are unhappy with the number of concessions made, many agree that lawmakers need to pass something before Congress starts their recess on November 8th.