National News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government will provide its latest snapshot of the layoffs that have remained stuck at an elevated weekly pace above 1 million since the coronavirus erupted in March, even as newly re-opened businesses have rehired some laid-off workers. Though the weekly toll of job cuts has gradually declined, the pace of improvement has essentially stalled, evidence that many companies are still shedding workers. A resurgence of confirmed viral cases is threatening to derail what had looked like the start of an economic recovery. The economy and the job market may struggle to sustain any gains amid the surge in new reported infections.


Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is proposing sweeping new uses of the federal government’s regulatory and spending power to bolster U.S. manufacturing and technology firms. Biden wants a $400 billion, four-year increase in government purchasing of U.S.-based goods and services plus $300 billion in new research and development in U.S. technology concerns. Biden’s plan is expected to be announced Thursday. It calls for such investments before negotiating any new international trade deals. Biden also proposes tightening current “Buy American” laws that are intended to benefit U.S. firms but can be easily circumvented by government agencies.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Political task forces Joe Biden formed with onetime rival Bernie Sanders to solidify support among the Democratic Party’s progressive wing are recommending that the former vice president embrace proposals to combat climate change and institutional racism. They also want him to expand health care coverage and rebuild a coronavirus-ravaged economy. But they stopped short of urging Biden’s full support for policies that could prove too divisive for many swing voters, like “Medicare for All.” Biden hoped the move would promote party unity and help him avoid a repeat of 2016, when many Sanders supporters remained disillusioned enough that they stayed home rather than support Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump.


PHOENIX (AP) — A national organization that aims to boost Latino voter turnout is launching a $10 million campaign in several 2020 battleground states. The campaign by Mi Familia Vota is starting in Arizona and Florida, where Democrats hope to swing votes toward their presumptive presidential nominee, Joe Biden. Both major political parties are courting Latino voters this year. The advertising campaign announced Thursday comes amid growing concerns about Latino turnout in a year when that community has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus.