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Netflix sets unlimited maternity, paternity leave in first year of birth

The streaming video giant announced Tuesday it’s giving employees unlimited maternity and paternity leave in the first year about a birth or adoption. New York Times reporter and CBS News contributor Jodi Kantor joins “CBS This Morning” to discuss the new policy.
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How an Insurgency Threatens Mozambique’s Gas Bonanza
One of the world’s poorest countries could be transformed by Africa’s biggest-ever private investment splurge, but there’s a problem. Increasingly brazen attacks by Islamist insurgents are threatening plans to tap huge natural gas deposits found off Mozambique’s northern coast a decade ago. More than 2,600 people have died and over 700,000 have been displaced since the violence began in 2017. The country’s export ambitions are linked to giant projects by France’s Total SE and Italy’s Eni SpA, an
Woke Asian American Elites Do Not Speak for All Asian Americans | Opinion
The rising tide of crimes against Asian Americans has motivated many to engage in political activism. However, politically active Asian Americans have bifurcated into two camps: woke elites and everyone else.
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Watch: E-cigarette explodes in man's pants
Security cameras at a gas station captured moments when an e-cigarette exploded inside a man's pocket in Kentucky. CBSN's Elaine Quijano shows us the video.
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Video shows police saving man from heroin overdose
Police in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania saved a man who was shooting up heroin on a public bus from an overdose. CBSN's Contessa Brewer has the video of the man's revival and more details.
What Time Will Coinbase Start Trading? Where To Buy Stock As Crypto Exchange Goes Public
Coinbase shares will be listed publicly on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker COIN, and available to purchase via trading apps including Robinhood and WeBull.
Kennedy cousin back in court for decades-old murder case
Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel was back in court hoping to clear his name in a murder committed forty years ago. But prosecutors want him back in prison after a 2013 court decision released him on bail pending a new trial. Peter Van Sant of "48 Hours" reports.
Woman caught up by tornado on miracle survival
At least three people died Tuesday night when tornadoes hit across the Deep South. One woman was swept up in a Louisiana tornado, but miraculously survived. David Begnaud has her story.
Clinton turns attention from Sanders to Republicans
Hillary Clinton, sitting high in the polls, has started talking less about Bernie Sanders and more about the Republicans. Sanders says he's still in the fight, but he's not getting the help he needs from voter turnout. Nancy Cordes has more.
Tracking deadly storm system
Eric Fisher, chief meteorologist at CBS Boston, has the latest on the storm’s path as it heads up the East Coast.
Why Biden is pulling the US -- and NATO -- out of Afghanistan
As President Biden prepares to lay out his plan Wednesday to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan and end America's longest war, a source familiar with his thinking tells me that he thinks no amount of US troops in the country can be a game changer anymore.
Daunte Wright protests: Crowd in Washington, DC, chants 'burn the precinct to the ground,' video shows
A video has emerged of protesters in Washington, D.C., chanting “burn the precinct to the ground” during demonstrations following the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.
Pressure on Rubio, Kasich, Cruz to win home states
Donald Trump now holds three of four wins in the primaries. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich are now hoping to win their home states in order to have a fighting chance at the Republican nomination. Dean Reynolds reports.
Deadly weather heading up East Coast
The same storm system that produced fatal tornadoes in the southern states Tuesday is wreaking havoc along the Eastern seaboard. A tornado is blamed for three deaths in Virginia, and warnings for more twisters stretch from South Carolina to New Jersey. Chip Reid reports.
How does Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine compare to Moderna, Pfizer?
With Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine facing an FDA-recommended pause after several instances of severe blood clots were reported in recipients, those who had scheduled J&J shots could see a bumpy rescheduling process involving canceled or delayed appointments, or even find themselves lined up to receive alternatives if supply allows.
New robot blurs line between man and machine
Boston Dynamics has unveiled a new "humanoid" that can lift objects, walk through snow and even pick itself up off the floor. The latest in a line of Atlas robots, it has a sense of balance not seen in machines before it. CBSN's Anne-Marie Green and Meg Oliver have more.
Welcome to the New Progressive Era
Washington in the first days of the Biden administration is a place for double takes: A president associated with the politics of austerity is spending money with focused gusto, a crisis isn’t going to waste, and Senator Bernie Sanders is happy.People like to tell you they saw things coming. But as I talked to many of the campers in Joe Biden’s big tent, particularly those who, like me, were skeptical of Biden, I found that the overwhelming sentiment was surprise. Few of us expected that this president—given his record, a knife’s-edge Congress, and a crisis that makes it hard to look an inch beyond one’s nose—would begin to be talked about as, potentially, transformational.Biden, after all, was a conservative Democrat who has exuded personal decency more than he has pushed for structural decency. One conservative publication labeled him “the senator from MBNA” for his friendliness to credit-card companies. He conducted the Clarence Thomas–Anita Hill hearings in a way that hurt Hill, for which he later expressed regret. He voted for the Iraq War and eulogized the segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond. He began his 2020 campaign telling wealthy donors that, in his vision, “nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change.”[Franklin Foer: Joe Biden has changed]But then Biden sold the country on a massive rescue package that his erstwhile rival Sanders has called “the single most significant piece of legislation for working-class people that has been passed since the 1960s.” He quickly followed that with an infrastructure proposal that includes everything from roads to a strengthened safety net for caregivers, and focuses on redressing the harms of climate change and the racist urban planning of the past. Biden plans to finance it partially through a tax increase on the corporations he was once better known for protecting. There have been a slew of executive orders, many of real import, as well as gestures like standing up for Amazon workers seeking to unionize.The conversations I’ve had in recent weeks have painted a portrait of an improbable coming-together of people and forces: a moderate president, with an ascendant progressive movement at his back and at his throat, facing a once-in-a-generation window of opportunity. It’s still early. It remains to be seen if this momentum will continue, if the infrastructure plan musters the votes, if the ungainly Sanders-to-Manchin coalition holds. But for now, a capital that has been defined in recent years by the absence of useful action bubbles with generative possibility. And many of us who thought we knew what a Biden presidency would look like, and didn’t expect much from it, are suddenly asking ourselves: How did we get him so wrong?Representative Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat and member of the so-called Squad, endorsed Sanders in the primary and didn’t anticipate a whole lot from Biden. Nevertheless, during the winter transition, she and her colleagues in the Congressional Progressive Caucus shared their ideas and priorities with the incoming administration—and were taken aback when many of them were adopted.“The $1.9 trillion package that they put forth was a surprise,” she told me. “A lot of us made recommendations when the administration was in their transition space, and I don’t think a lot of us expected many of those things would make it in.”For the Reverend William J. Barber II, the North Carolina–based pastor and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, the surprise has been Biden’s venturing beyond his “Middle Class Joe” shtick to talk about a group Democrats have in recent decades preferred not to mention: the poor. At an event Barber hosted last fall, before the election, Biden told the group, “Ending poverty won’t be just an aspiration, but a way to build a new economy.” This, Barber told me, “was huge.” Barber and his team followed up with a 14-bullet-point wish list of poverty-fighting policies, some of which showed up in that first relief bill.[Adam Serwer: Biden chooses prosperity over vengeance]Among Omar and her colleagues’ priorities had been raising the minimum wage to $15, a goal Biden professed to share. But when push came to shove in the Senate, and a procedural obstacle arose, Biden gave in. Many progressives were angry. Biden personally called Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington and the Congressional Progressive Caucus chair, and explained the White House’s thinking. He suggested that Jayapal and some colleagues talk with his team about a long-term strategy for shared goals. And that meeting actually happened, with Biden’s chief of staff, Ronald Klain, on March 17.“That was a huge signaling,” Omar told me. It suggests that progressives might not get everything they want, but, she said, “the administration understands that we are not willing to be taken for granted anymore.”Omar’s experience reflects the collision of events that have landed the country, rather improbably, on the brink of a new progressive era: a president in the sunset of his life finding himself in office thanks in no small part to voters more radical than he, galvanized by long-term trends like rising inequality and the recent upheaval of the pandemic.“The progressive wing is ascendant in terms of the new members, in terms of grassroots energy, in terms of advocating policies that most Democrats support,” Representative Ro Khanna, a California Democrat and member of that wing, told me in January. “But the progressive wing is not in the positions of power yet.” Another way to put it is that progressives won the conversation but lost the primary. The man in power is not their man—but he’s hemmed in by their ideas. “So much of this is being framed in the ways that we want,” Jayapal told me.One sign of this shift is the apparent demise of conventional wisdom that had outlived its usefulness—above all, on the supreme importance of fiscal discipline. “There’s definitely a shift towards a more progressive theory of how the economy works,” John Podesta, a former top aide to Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and the founder of the Center for American Progress, told me.Related to that turn in ideas is a churn in the idea-givers. Centrist and Wall Street–connected economic counselors like Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers, who have been mainstays of previous Democratic administrations, are out, while more progressive advisers like Heather Boushey and Bharat Ramamurti are in. “That’s a big deal,” Robert Reich, the labor secretary under Clinton, told me.I reached out to Summers. He wouldn’t weigh in on personnel changes, but said that if Biden is breaking away from past orthodoxies, it is because “the world has changed.”He’s right. The shift in received wisdom is obviously about the pandemic. But it is also the result of growing frustration with an economy that fails millions of Americans; the influence of the presidential candidacies of Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren; and the hard-won lessons from the Clinton and Obama years about the dangers of caution and of faith in Republicans.Apparently, while younger progressives were soaking in those lessons, Biden’s team was doing the same.The old emphasis on bipartisanship and outreach has quietly been displaced in Joe Biden’s Washington with an emphasis on coalition—attending first and foremost to your own side, everyone balancing the holding of their own with the holding of their nose, so as to get the good-enough thing done now instead of waiting for what might never come.Reed Hundt, a lawyer who served on the Clinton and Obama transition teams, wrote a book about the 2008 financial meltdown titled A Crisis Wasted: Barack Obama’s Defining Decisions. When I called him, he was feeling the strange maybe-vindication of the author who hopes but can’t be sure that his book made a difference. He was optimistic about Biden’s aggressive spending in response to the pandemic. And he noted that, while the Obama team trusted too much in the good faith of Republicans, the Biden administration has focused on keeping its own Democratic coalition contented. “Often the phrase is used derisively, but in this case, ‘Generals fighting the last war’ may be good for the country,” Hundt told me.[Luke Savage: Progressives can’t repeat the mistakes of 2008]Representative Jim Clyburn, the influential South Carolina Democrat and House majority whip whose last-minute endorsement helped catapult Biden to the nomination, made the same point about outreach across the aisle. Biden, who is famous for reaching right, has not talked much about that since his inauguration. “I don’t think Obama really understood the lengths to which those guys would go to keep him from succeeding,” Clyburn said about the Republicans. “And I just think that Joe Biden is not going to make that mistake.”One explanation for Biden’s progressive turn is that he has never been an ideologue. He has lodestars—standing up for the middle class, favoring unions, and so on. But those lodestars have led him to varied results. His superpower, it is often said, is possessing “this sense of where the Democratic Party is, where the median of the party is, at a given moment,” as Khanna put it.“He is a politician in the best sense of the word,” Reich told me. “That is, he sees a parade and he runs and gets in front of it—as long as the parade is not inconsistent with his values.” He added, “The secret here is that he has no strong ideological preconceptions. The interesting thing is he’s very open-minded. He is able to see changes in the operating consensus, the conventional wisdom, and, almost intuitively—I don’t know that it’s conscious—I think he just understands the change and latches onto it.”Jeff Connaughton was once known as a “Biden guy.” He worked on and off for the then senator until he grew so disillusioned with Biden and with Washington in general that he wrote a scorcher of a book, The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins. When I asked him about Biden’s shift left, he told me it reflects the best and worst of his old boss.“You could say he doesn’t have core beliefs, that he shapes himself to the political moment. He often describes himself as a ‘fingertip politician,’ that he can find the political pulse, and that pulse right now is in an exceedingly different place than it was 30 years ago. He stood there in Iowa in 2020 and looked out at the enthusiasm in the other parts of the hall, where the Warren and Bernie troops were cheering and the Biden section was fairly empty. He gets that the progressives have most of the energy and excitement in the party.” Then Connaughton gave the more charitable view: “You might also say it shows he has the capacity for change and growth.”There was another analysis I heard of Biden: Admirers and critics alike describe him as less of a star than Obama and Clinton were, in their different ways, and therefore more capable of old-school coalition. He connects with voters but doesn’t fill the room, and hasn’t filled the national airwaves. He is, in this view, a throwback to an earlier kind of politician whose job was to marshal disparate factions into alliance, rather than personifying the cause himself.“My basic view is Biden is a transactional machine Democrat who wants to draw from every faction of the party as a coalition-building strategy,” said Matt Stoller, an anti-monopoly activist who in his newsletter, BIG, is a frequent critic of the Democratic Party establishment. “The machine-Democrat model is just: You’re a dealmaker,” he told me. “You put people in a room and you get them to cut deals with each other. And that’s how Biden, I think, operates. He just wants to hear from the labor guy, the business guy, and then he wants them to basically come to an arrangement.”In this analysis, Biden is almost like a prime minister of a coalition government in a parliamentary system, where his desired policy course is the one he can get his coalition to agree on. With a 50–50 Senate and a pandemic, this is an orientation that rhymes with practical imperatives.“There’s no room for error,” Representative Tim Ryan, Democrat of Ohio and a moderate of Biden’s persuasion, told me. “It sharpens everybody’s mind, this environment. Bernie knows there’s Joe Manchin and Joe Manchin knows there’s Bernie, so everyone is very focused on the art of the possible.” Ryan added that having to pass through these various filters actually had the advantage of ensuring that what the Democrats enact is popular.Senator Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, observed to me that Biden’s long legislative experience—he came to the presidency with roughly as many years of congressional service as his nine predecessors combined—is an aid to coalition. “When you come from a legislature and you’ve spent time in the legislature, you develop different instincts—that nothing is possible without 50 percent plus one,” Schatz said. “And I think when you’re a supernatural talent in the way that Clinton and Obama were, and you can rise so fast that you can actually jump over a bunch of experienced professional politicians, you have other talents that enable you to lead well, but you may not understand the craft of making legislation as intimately. And it may not be as important to you because it’s not how you rose.” Biden’s non-starriness, Schatz told me, allows other people “to see themselves as personally important in the coalition in a different way.”In practical terms, Biden’s coalitionism translates into outreach that feels novel. “It can be summarized this way: This administration actually calls you,” Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, the union of unions, told me. “They want to hear what you have to say, and they ask for your point of view. Past administrations used to call us to tell us what the decision has been.”Jayapal, of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, observed that this approach dates back at least as far as the Sanders-Biden unity task forces, which were created after a bitter primary to forge common ground and resulted, in her view, in “clear movement on a number of progressive priorities.”When I asked Varshini Prakash, who leads the Sunrise Movement, among the most radical voices on climate, about her service on one such task force, she recalled how surprised she was to have her ideas taken so seriously. “We went through them line item by line item. We argued about all of them. The Biden team, I will say, was more amenable to things than I expected.” Noam Chomsky, the linguist and lion of the left, hardly a Biden stan, later told me Biden’s climate plan, after the task force, was “far better than anything that preceded it. Not because Biden had a personal conversion or the DNC had some great insight, but because they’re being hammered on by activists.” With minor exaggeration, he described Biden’s revised climate plan as “largely written by the Sunrise Movement.”The broader point he was making was that Biden is that rarest of creatures in an age of polarization and certitude: persuadable. For many progressives I spoke with, this persuadability is a source of hope. Jayapal said, “I feel like he understands who helped him get there,” speaking of the racially and ideologically diverse coalition that elected him. “And he understands that they got him there not because they necessarily saw him as the most inspiring candidate—probably a lot of those groups would have chosen somebody else as their first pick—but because they have so much pain at stake that needs to be fixed. And I actually believe he really understands that pain.”Even as progressives enjoy their new influence, some worry about the movement being co-opted and defanged.Briahna Joy Gray, a former Sanders press secretary and now the host of the podcast Bad Faith, worries that progressive priorities will be sacrificed for the sake of the big-tent coalition. The minimum-wage episode was an ominous portent for her. She thinks progressives should have threatened to walk out on the overall rescue plan. What good is winning the war of ideas if you lose every pivotal battle?“I truly am not a maniac who is just like a Twitter warrior who doesn’t understand that there are consequences to these kinds of strategic decisions,” Gray told me. But “choosing to fold every single time is how we got into the neoliberal hellscape that we’re living in right now.” Admittedly sounding somewhat like a Twitter warrior, she added: “Joe Biden wants to cosplay as FDR, but is not willing to actually create a structural intervention that made FDR a four-term president.”I asked Ilhan Omar what she makes of those who feel that the progress they’re seeing is not enough. “They’re right: It’s not enough,” she said. Progressives, she told me, are “glad to be partners in creating policies that are addressing the problems we have today, but we are certainly not forgetting” that there is more to be done.[Ibram X. Kendi: Stop scapegoating progressives]Jayapal suggested that her fellow progressives still need to adjust to the reality of influence. “We’re not used to being on the winning side of things,” she said. “Governing when our voices are actually being taken into consideration is kind of a new experience. I think for a lot of people, we’re still focused on what we didn’t get.”One thing is certain: Biden will not do everything the left flank of his coalition wants him to. He is probably not going to come around to progressives’ views on Medicare for All, or tuition-free public college, or wiping away student debt. The moderates in his big tent, especially in the split Senate, tend to be more protective of business interests and deferential to big donors, more wary of regulation, more prone to patchwork repair of the health-care system than to overhaul, and more averse to procedural changes like eliminating the filibuster. It’s hard to know yet how much Biden will align with them on some of these questions. But even if he doesn’t, he can’t risk losing their votes.David Sirota, a former speechwriter for Sanders and author of the newsletter the Daily Poster, told me the true test will come when Biden gets into conflict with corporate power: confronting Big Tech, seeking a public option on health care, or going ahead with raising taxes on large corporations. Stimulus in a crisis might turn out to be the easy part. “There’s an open question of how much do you think you can change American society without actually confronting the relationship between labor and capital,” Sirota said.But even if Biden doesn’t, or can’t, meet progressive demands on these issues, he could push more modest policies in their direction, in ways that whet the public appetite for going further under a future administration. Sanders has been dropping a number of ideas in recent months that illustrate this potential path: lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 or 55 (even though he also wants Medicare for All); having Medicare cover all co-pays and deductibles for people during the pandemic (perhaps softening the resistance of those content with employer-based insurance); levying a one-time pandemic wealth tax (even though he wants a permanent one). These ideas are hard to write off as incrementalism, because they are not detours from systemic change so much as on-ramps toward it.Something progressives admire about Biden is that he is a talented “reasonablizer” of their ideas. As Reich told me, “Biden is almost magical in his ability to make progressivism boring. He can say the same thing that Bernie Sanders has or AOC has and say it in a way that causes your eyes to glaze over.” From progressives who are used to even their more modest proposals being tarred as communism, this is a genuine compliment.I asked Barber of the Poor People’s Campaign what his movement would do if Biden doesn’t go as far as he’d like to see. “I don’t think that’s the last word,” he told me. “You know, Lyndon Baines Johnson didn’t want to do the Voting Rights Act. The people decided he had to.”He went on: “I don’t think we know fully what any president really wants to do until we put the pressure on.” He quoted something Franklin Delano Roosevelt allegedly once said to the labor activist A. Philip Randolph: “Go out and make me do it.” That apocryphal FDR quote came up many times in my reporting. It is a way of putting the onus on activists, while also showing them respect.Sirota hears echoes of Johnson, too. “Not since LBJ’s era have we simultaneously had a Democratic Congress, a non-celebrity-type machine-Democratic president, and a boisterous left-of-center movement making concrete policy demands,” he said. “That particular confluence can create the ideal conditions for significant and fast progressive change.” What lies ahead, perhaps, is the “make-me-do-it” presidency.What is holding the factions together for now is the sense that they have a singular chance to bend the American trajectory.“One of the things that’s impressed me about all members of Congress is there haven’t been a lot of people acting like spoiled brats,” Schatz told me. “We have an opportunity to do more work in this short time period than many of us have done in previous decades.”Many of the people I interviewed saw 2021 as a break not only from 2017 and Trumpism, and not only from 2009 and the financial-crisis failures, but also from 1981, the year Ronald Reagan became president. “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem,” Reagan famously said. What I heard socialists, progressives, moderates, and the White House itself agree on is that the country has a chance to plot an escape from that imprisoning assumption. “We’re breaking out of the Reagan consensus right now,” Trumka, the union leader, told me.Pete Buttigieg, Biden’s secretary of transportation, ran to the right of the progressives in the 2020 campaign, but often spoke of ending Reagan’s grip. I asked him if “the era of big government” was back. “I would definitely say the idea that government is the problem is over,” he told me. “It’s a new era of expecting government to help solve big problems.”It is awkward but important to bear in mind that, when Reagan got to work slashing both government and taxes, he had a perhaps ambivalent ally in a young senator from Delaware named Joe Biden. Biden voted for the package that is now viewed as the seedbed of the Reagan age. It is remarkable that Biden’s White House, more than Clinton’s or Obama’s, should embrace the idea of ending Reagan’s reign.“This really is the place where we can change the paradigm of how government has operated since Reagan,” Mike Donilon, a senior White House adviser to Biden who began working for him, fittingly, in 1981, told me. “One thing he has always believed is government can be a force for good in people’s lives.” Naturally, he wanted to frame Biden’s stance today in terms of continuity. But I pushed him on the improbability of it all—this leader, of all leaders, driving a turn away from a center-right consensus of which he was a card-carrying member.“The pandemic has fundamentally changed a lot about the country,” Donilon told me. “I don’t think you can go through an experience where 500,000-plus people lose their lives and everybody has their life turned upside-down and you reach unemployment levels approaching Depression-era levels and come out of that the same.” Because the pandemic exacerbated so many other, longer-running trends, Donilon said, the president “believes the country is in a place where it wants to do big things and wants to do transformative things.” It was interesting to hear how he put this: It is the country, and not Biden himself, that is the protagonist of the story.Donilon was at pains to tell me that Biden was who he has always been—that if people are observing a change, it is because the terrain below him has shifted. That might be enough. Biden, he of the sensitive fingertips, quick to the front of the parade, recognized an opening when history ripped one open right before his eyes. Maybe he will lead the parade through that space into a new era, not because this has always been his crusade, but precisely because it hasn’t—because he, like much of the country, bought into the old assumptions, and he, like much of the country, now doesn’t.
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson is the buzz of the NFL draft. But does his potential warrant the hype?
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson has seen his star rise like no other 2021 NFL draft prospect in the last year.
Judges are split on how seriously to take John Roberts' abortion opinion
Almost a year after Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the Supreme Court's liberals to cast the determinative vote to block a Louisiana abortion law, his opinion in the case is causing deep divisions among lower court judges and lawyers.
Europe says no to Coke bottle trademark; Pork belly supplies up 15%
A European court has rejected Coca-Cola’s bid to trademark its bottle design; Pork belly supplies soared 15% in January.
Women detail drug use, sex and payments after late-night parties with Gaetz and others
The first thing some of the women were asked to do when they got to the house parties in the gated community in suburban Orlando was to put away their cellphones, according to two women in attendance who spoke to CNN in recent days. The men inside, a who's who of local Republican officials that often included Rep. Matt Gaetz, did not want the night's activities documented.
Donald Trump wins big at Nevada caucus
Republican front-runner Donald Trump got his third straight victory at the Nevada caucuses. As the countdown to Super Tuesday begins, the question is: Can Trump be stopped? CBS News senior political editor Steve Chaggaris joins CBSN to discuss.
"Stingrays" secretly track cellphones
Law enforcement uses tracking devices called "stingrays" to locate cellphones. But the technology also picks up personal information from other cellphones that happen to be nearby. "48 Hours" Crimesider's Graham Kates joins CBSN to explain.
Clinton leads Sanders in South Carolina
As the countdown to Super Tuesday begins, Hillary Clinton is holding a 28-point lead over Bernie Sanders in Saturday[s primary in South Carolina. CBS News senior political editor Steve Chaggaris joins CBSN to discuss whether she can hold this momentum moving forward to Super Tuesday.
Preview: A Student of Murder
All new: Was a boy genius a stone cold killer too? "48 Hours" correspondent Peter Van Sant investigates Saturday, Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Wisconsin Treasurer Sarah Godlewski launches Senate campaign as Ron Johnson freezes GOP field
Wisconsin Treasurer Sarah Godlewski launched her campaign for Senate on Wednesday, jumping into what's expected to be a contentious Democratic primary as Republicans eagerly await word on whether Sen. Ron Johnson will seek a third term.
Air Canada is offering refunds for pandemic cancellations. Here's how to get your money back
Air Canada will give refunds to those whose trips were canceled due to the COVID pandemic – even if they got a travel credit. Here's what to do.
Scott Kelly talks about his final days in space
Astronaut Scott Kelly is finishing up his year aboard the International Space Station. CBSN asked him about life in space, what he looks forward to doing at home, and why he got into a gorilla costume to spook his fellow astronauts.
Deal the Kraken? Francis can't make official trades -- yet
Just because the NHL can't release the Kraken until October doesn't mean Seattle wasn't in the mix at the trade deadline.
In barbershops, South Carolina voters weigh in on 2016 politics
Ahead of the Democratic primary in South Carolina this weekend, CBS News talks shop with voters in the barber chair. Will Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton win the barbershop vote?
Rare side effects cast cloud over vaccines much of the world desperately needs
Pfizer and Moderna shots, based on mRNA technology, mostly have served wealthy nations. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are expected to fill the global gap.
Deciding now how to divide your parent’s estate between siblings will avoid headaches later
REAL ESTATE MATTERS | The two of you should sit down and discuss your options. Make sure you cover all of your bases in the agreement and then both of you should sign that document.
NFL mock draft: Five quarterbacks selected in the first nine picks
In John Clayton's latest mock draft, the top 10 picks are dominated by quarterbacks, offensive tackles and pass-catchers.
Queen Elizabeth returns to royal duties four days after death of Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth II has returned to royal duties, four days after the death of her husband, Prince Philip.
A civil rights win: Why people with disabilities now have better chance of landing a job
Here's truly something to celebrate: Dedicated funding to support people with disabilities who want to get back to work.
Rep. Nancy Mace: Biden's 'infrastructure' fiasco – Dems offering Green New Deal in sheep's clothing
George Orwell warned us of doublespeak 72 years ago. Yet today, some of my colleagues on the left and President Biden  are using this tactic in a desperate attempt to sell their disastrous "infrastructure" package.
Parents resort to homeschooling due to homework overload
Feel like your child is doing too much homework? You're not alone. Parents who think their children have a homework overload are taking the issue into their own hands with homeschool. CBS News' Jamie Yuccas joins CBSN in New York with more.
Deputy homeland security adviser Russ Travers on terrorist threats
Travers discusses Islamist terrorism and describes how geographically dispersed tied to ISIS and al Qaeda continue to pose a threat to the U.S.
Climate Change a 'Threat Multiplier' Driving Migration from Central America, Expert Says
Climate change was included in the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence's annual threat assessment, which was publicly released on Tuesday.
A Moment of Truth for Morocco | Opinion
Back in December, the Kingdom of Morocco became the fourth Arab nation to join the Abraham Accords when it agreed to begin normalizing relations with Israel.
What Did Bernard Madoff's Wife Know About His Investment Scam?
In a new book Madoff Talks, the swindler's wife Ruth tells what she knew and when.
The Changing Middle Eastern Tide | Opinion
The early seeds of multifaceted regional benefits planted by the Abraham Accords should be encouraged to flourish across even wider terrain.
Vaccine Hesitancy Could Create COVID Islands
Americans will soon begin to fall back into the rhythms of pre-pandemic life—attending sunny summer weddings, squishing into booths at chain restaurants, laughing together at movies on the big screen—and it will feel like a victory over the coronavirus. But the virus might not actually be gone. In pockets of the country, vaccination rates could stay low, creating little islands for the coronavirus to survive and thrive—sickening and killing people for months after the pandemic has ebbed elsewhere. In a worst-case scenario, the virus could mutate, becoming a highly transmissible and much more lethal version of itself. Eventually, the new variant could leak from these islands and spread into the broader population, posing a threat to already-vaccinated people.This is the future that keeps some public-health experts awake at night. Right now, America is in the simplest stage of its vaccination campaign: getting shots to people who want them. But many Americans are still reluctant to get a vaccine—especially those living in rural areas, who tend to be politically conservative and are among the most fervently opposed to inoculation. Public-health leaders will soon have to refocus their efforts toward the next and more difficult stage of the campaign: persuasion. Over the next few months, “the number of willing individuals to get vaccinated will be depleted,” says Timothy Callaghan, a rural-health researcher and professor at Texas A&M University. “Then the work begins.”The politicization of vaccines will complicate this effort. Curiously, it’s a relatively recent phenomenon. Anti-vaccine sentiment has been around since the early days of the smallpox vaccine, and that sentiment grew stronger after the discredited British physician Andrew Wakefield published a now-retracted paper linking vaccines to autism in 1998. But vaccine opponents’ concerns were mostly medical rather than ideological, David Broniatowski, a professor at George Washington University who studies group decision making and behavioral epidemiology, told me. In a recent study analyzing a decade of anti-vaccine rhetoric on Facebook, Broniatowski and a research team concluded that vaccine opposition first became politicized in 2015. That year, a measles outbreak linked to two Disneyland theme parks in California affected more than 100 people and triggered a “multi-state public health incident.” Most of those infected were unvaccinated or had an unknown vaccination status, and the California state legislature responded by removing personal-belief exemptions from public-school immunization requirements. The backlash from vaccine opponents was fierce: Suddenly, the issue was less about medical safety and more about freedom and individual choice. The following year, the propaganda film Vaxxed helped crystallize vaccination as a civil-liberties concern, and vaccine opposition became much more common among conservatives, who were more likely than liberals to be critical of government interference in Americans’ private lives, Broniatowski said.This history helps explain conservatives’ reluctance today to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Until vaccines are available to every person nationwide, it’ll be hard to accurately gauge how widespread vaccine hesitancy is. But new polling data indicate that serious investment in persuasion campaigns will be necessary, especially in rural communities. Rural Americans are twice as likely as people in urban areas to say they will “definitely not” get a shot, and nearly three-quarters of them identify as Republican or Republican-leaning, according to new survey data from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. Rural Americans are more apt to see vaccination as a civil-liberties issue: “More (58%) rural residents view getting vaccinated as a personal choice rather than part of everyone’s responsibility to protect the health of others (42%),” the KFF survey found. (The reverse is true for urban residents.) This group is also much more likely than any other to say that the news media has exaggerated the pandemic’s seriousness, Liz Hamel, who directs KFF’s polling work, told me.[Read: The fourth surge of the pandemic is upon us]It’s possible—even probable—public-health experts told me, that months from now, some rural areas will still have very low vaccination rates, providing isolated havens for the coronavirus. That outcome could be calamitous. First, as long as unvaccinated individuals live together in a community, frequenting the same shops, offices, and classrooms, the virus can find hosts through which to spread. Second, and even worse, a virus left unchecked will evolve—that’s what viruses do best—and could become more infectious, more lethal, and more resistant to existing vaccines. Which means that, ultimately, a new, super-charged coronavirus variant could create the conditions for another epidemic, the experts told me. This is why “we need people vaccinated now, not four months from now,” says Alan Morgan, the CEO of the nonprofit National Rural Health Association.Vaccine hesitancy is now the chief focus for rural-health experts like Morgan. They have an obligation to change minds, and fast. But persuasion works only with trustworthy messengers, such as local leaders, physicians, and pharmacists—people who already have relationships and friendships with community members, who share similar values, and whose children go to school together. “Rather than have these mass-vaccination sites through government-funded health departments with the National Guard” overseeing operations, health officials need to send vaccines straight to places such as doctors’ offices, churches, and familiar local clinics, Michael Meit, the research director at East Tennessee State University’s Center for Rural Health Research, told me. “It’s those relational pieces that are so, so important in our rural communities.”Actually, personal relationships are important in all public-health messaging, regardless of geography. Take the 2019 measles outbreak in parts of New York City. In early spring that year, nearly 600 people across several Hasidic neighborhoods got sick, most of them unvaccinated children. Immunization rates there were low, in part because the Hasidic community had been targeted by anti-vaccination groups making false claims about vaccine safety. In response, city public-health officials enlisted the help of local doctors and rabbis to encourage locals to inoculate their kids. They also created informational booklets with accurate vaccine information in Yiddish, and distributed them to 30,000 households. Their efforts were successful: In the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where case numbers were highest, the share of people who had gotten the measles vaccine increased from 79 percent at the outbreak’s start to 91 percent by the end, Jennifer Rosen, the director of epidemiology and surveillance for the New York City Bureau of Immunization, told me.[Read: Hasidic, devout, and mad as hell about COVID-19]Effective vaccine messaging has to be tailored to people’s specific fears: If someone is worried about government overreach, the messenger should use language that affirms their right to make their own medical decisions, Broniatowski says. “Of course it’s your choice,” he advises messengers to say. “Here’s why it’s the right choice.” Facts alone won’t do the trick, and neither will shaming. Many conservatives have found the discourse around COVID-19 and vaccines to be “very demeaning,” he added. “There’s a lot of communication from people on the periphery of science communication that say things that come across as, ‘What’s wrong, you idiot? Don’t you trust science?’” But it’s natural for people to be reluctant about a brand-new vaccine, and people shouldn’t be scolded for having doubts. Roger Brock, the public-health administrator in rural Barry County, Missouri, told me that he tries to create a judgment-free zone. After listening to patients’ concerns, he explains to them that the vaccines were developed by the smartest scientists in the world, who have no political agenda. (He also reminds them that the vaccines don’t contain microchips, Brock said with a laugh.) “Sometimes you have success” persuading people, “and sometimes you don’t,” he added.Morgan, at the National Rural Health Association, is working to enlist members of the National Corn Growers Association and the Farm Bureau to act as local persuasion leaders. Federally, the CDC is investing millions of dollars in local efforts to improve vaccine access and uptake, and the Biden administration recently launched an ad campaign to persuade holdouts. KFF’s polling offers reason to be optimistic about these efforts overall: Although the most staunchly vaccine-hesitant Americans haven’t budged from their position since December, the number of people who want to get a vaccine is higher than it was over the winter. Rural Americans are still the most hesitant group in the country, but as of this month, more than half of them say they have received at least one vaccine dose or intend to do so as soon as possible.In rural Ripley County, Missouri, the public-health administrator Jan Morrow has been working overtime for months on the persuasion effort. Every night after she returns home from the public-health center, she takes calls from the nervous and the skeptical. Earlier in the pandemic, her neighbors would ask about the efficacy of face masks, or question whether the media was exaggerating COVID-19’s severity, she told me. Nowadays, they’re calling to ask for advice on whether to get the vaccine. “We’re not going to make you take this vaccine. That is your choice,” she usually responds. Sometimes Morrow emphasizes how devastating the pandemic has been for public-health professionals like her—how it felt to watch 19 people in Ripley County, population 13,000, die of COVID-19 in the past year. “I took the vaccine with no hesitancy at all because I have seen our case loads,” she tells them.Just last week, a young man Morrow has known since he was a toddler called to get her opinion on booking an appointment. “I walked him through what the vaccine was gonna do,” she said. By the end of the conversation, she’d scheduled him for a shot.
America Never Knew Why It Was in Afghanistan
The soldiers living in the concrete maze of Combat Outpost (COP) Michigan treated the Taliban fire that poured in from the mountains as though it were weather: Bursts of machine-gun bullets were akin to drizzle, volleys of rocket-propelled grenades more like heavy rain.“It might not be worth going out into that,” a tall, blond soldier remarked to a colleague, after the thump of an explosion on the compound kicked off a firefight as the outpost’s mortars shot back into the cloud-draped hills. By the time a jet dropped a bomb on one of the insurgent positions, the attack had already subsided and infantrymen were sitting outside again in Adirondack chairs, under a shroud of green plastic camouflage netting. “That was a good one,” another soldier said when the ground shook slightly, his voice tinged with regret—he was sorry he’d forgotten to get his video camera out to record it for posterity and Facebook.These troops at COP Michigan during the summer of 2010 wore the black Screaming Eagle patch of the 101st Airborne Division. Members of the division’s 1-327 Infantry battalion, nicknamed the Bulldogs, were two months into a deployment to the valley formed by the fast-moving Pech River, 100 miles northeast of Kabul. Michigan sat where a smaller tributary joined the Pech: Across the flood-swollen river, two rocky teeth flanked the mouth of the Korengal, the infamous “valley of death” from which the previous unit in the area had pulled out shortly before the Bulldog battalion deployed. This post was excerpted from Morgan’s new book. Michigan’s defenders knew just bits and pieces about what was going on inside the Korengal now. Snippets of insurgent walkie-talkie chatter in Arabic—a foreign language in Afghanistan—suggested that out there somewhere, al-Qaeda operatives were working with the local Taliban. Within the outpost’s concrete-ringed operations center, the unexcitable company commander, Captain Dakota Steedsman, gave me a summary of what his soldiers had experienced so far: On his second day, a heavy machine gun, firing with surprising accuracy from a ridge two-thirds of a mile inside the Korengal, had pinned his men down and wounded a sergeant inside the base’s little chow hall. Other soldiers had been wounded since, and one had died. I should expect to see three or four attacks on the outpost, each lasting anywhere from five to 45 minutes, every day during my stay, Steedsman told me.This proved correct. The day’s third attack began at 7:35 p.m. Machine-gun rounds and RPGs snapped in from inside the Korengal, kicking up gravel and ricocheting off concrete barriers. Soldiers fired back from the turrets of armored trucks parked at intervals within the perimeter. I tagged along with the company’s senior noncommissioned officer as he ran through the labyrinth of concrete and dirt-filled barriers over to the mortar pit.[Kori Schake: How a forever war ends]“First Sergeant, you’re not running around out here, are you?” one mortarman asked as we arrived, then turned to me, the visiting reporter: “You came at a good time,” he joked. He and a few other soldiers were dropping rounds into three tubes, sending explosive shells arcing toward grid coordinates they’d long since memorized, and then ducking into a concrete shelter when the incoming fire got too close.After two months in the valley, this kind of fighting was what the soldiers I was visiting were accustomed to. For me, the war in the Pech was something different and surprising.I was 22 years old, about the same age as many of the troops I was reporting on, and had been making trips to Iraq and Afghanistan as a freelance journalist for three years. The terrain here was so beautiful and rugged that it hardly seemed real, a sharp contrast to the dry hills, battered cities, and muggy farmlands I’d encountered elsewhere—an observation many soldiers shared when arriving in Kunar or Nuristan Provinces after past deployments to Iraq or other parts of Afghanistan. And instead of a war of hidden bombs, this was a war of firefights and firepower, where young infantrymen not only routinely shot at the enemy but called in huge numbers of mortar shells, howitzer shells, rockets and missiles from attack helicopters, and satellite-guided bombs from jets.“You get there, and the Pech delivered in every way. You really felt like you were doing what you signed up for,” one veteran would tell me later, echoing a sentiment I found common among sergeants and lieutenants who fought there. “I call it ‘Kunar syndrome,’” another agreed. “For those of us who joined the infantry, that place is exactly what we envisioned.”The slightly larger base that housed the Bulldog battalion’s headquarters, Camp Blessing, was four miles up the Pech, beyond Michigan. The westernmost in a string of four outposts in the valley, it was named after the first American soldier to have died there, an Army Ranger sergeant named Jay Blessing who had been killed by a roadside bomb nearly seven years earlier. Almost 100 U.S. troops had died in the Pech and its tributaries by late July 2010, including four so far from the Bulldog battalion; many of their names were engraved on marble plaques in the base’s main courtyard. Clouds drifted just above the villages on the slopes, and the flags of Afghanistan, the United States, and the U.S. Army waved above.[Read: The U.S. once wanted peace in Afghanistan]The senior U.S. officer in the Pech, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Ryan, surprised me when I interviewed him about his battalion’s mission. Forty-one years old but with less gray in his short haircut than some of his company commanders, Ryan was a West Point graduate from Pearl River, New York, and he had been in and out of Afghanistan and Iraq since the first months after September 11, as an officer in the night-raiding 75th Ranger Regiment.I had become accustomed to commanders in Afghanistan and Iraq promoting the counterinsurgency operations their units were conducting, even hyping them—rattling off numbers to indicate progress, making rosy predictions about the situations they would hand off to their successors. Ryan didn’t do that. It was the summer of President Barack Obama’s Afghan surge, and with nearly 100,000 U.S. troops in the country, all the other battalions I’d visited over the past couple of months had been expanding, building new outposts in new districts. But Ryan talked about retracting. “Sometimes just your presence causes destabilization. We see that on our patrols here,” he said. “Here, the time is done for coalition forces to keep spreading out into more places.”Since April, he acknowledged, attacks on COP Michigan had increased, likely because the Korengal pullout had shifted insurgents’ attention toward the base. Michigan, in fact, was now enduring more daily attacks than any other U.S. outpost in eastern Afghanistan. Ryan wasn’t convinced that he or his troops, or indeed any other Americans, understood enough about what was going on within the complex coalition of insurgent factions in the Pech to conclude that any particular change in the guerrillas’ behavior was the result of U.S. actions. During the same period that attacks against Michigan had risen, for example, attacks against Camp Blessing had decreased, and he didn’t know why.There was another thing Ryan didn’t claim to know for sure: just what he and his men were doing in the Pech. “Why are we here?” he asked me. “Are we building a nation? Are we chasing terrorists? I read the same news as you do, and it doesn’t always seem very clear.”What was obvious in the Pech in the summer of 2010 was that U.S. forces and the Taliban had fought each other to a stalemate. For counterinsurgents as for insurgents, the cooperation of the people was everything, and there, the people were sick and tired of both. Children in the village outside COP Michigan, who tended to stare frostily at American patrols as they walked through town or flash them the middle finger, were so hardened to the violence that during gunfights they would often stroll through the cross fire, picking up expended brass shell casings so that they could sell them in the market.Some of the patrols that I accompanied from Camp Blessing headed north, a short ways into a side valley called the Waygal. The officer in charge of these missions was a lieutenant two years out of West Point named Alex Pruden. Years later, Pruden recalled to me the moment the situation he and his platoon faced crystallized for him.It had been the day of Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections, a month after my visit in 2010, and Pruden was back at Blessing decompressing from a day of thrilling, nerve-racking firefights when his mind wandered to the science-fiction epic Avatar, which had hit theaters as the Bulldog battalion was getting ready to deploy. In the movie, human invaders with the mannerisms and high-and-tight haircuts of U.S. military personnel are stationed on a gorgeous alien world called Pandora; they venture from their bases into the lush jungle only in lumbering vehicles to exploit its natural resources. The analogy was imperfect but obvious. Pruden knew that unlike the marauding East India Company–like corporation in Avatar, the U.S. military had come to the Pech with good intentions, and that the valley had not been some idyllic Eden before Americans arrived. But it still felt as if he and the rest of the Bulldog battalion were the movie’s space mercenaries and the Pech was Pandora.Less obvious was how things had gotten this way. In a conflict where units rotated every six or 12 months and passed down only small parts of their experience to their successors, the origins of U.S. involvement in the Pech were murky, as were many events along the way. Why were the bases even there? Ask a soldier at COP Michigan how long the outpost had been in existence, and you would get a shrug. It had been there when the Bulldog battalion deployed, and when the battalion before that deployed, and the battalion before that; as far as almost any of the troops I spoke with were concerned, it had always been there.As for why the base had been established in the first place, who knew, and what did it matter? Life at the embattled Pech outposts was what it was, and their garrisons were just trying to get through it, to the end of their year, not wondering too much about the decisions their predecessors had made or how American goals in the valley had morphed over the years.[Jim Golby: Trump makes a bad situation worse in Afghanistan]Even at the height of news coverage of the war, when embedded reporters such as myself were regular visitors, much was happening in and around the Pech valley that neither they nor the infantry units they were covering could see, under cover of darkness and top-secret classification.Throughout Afghanistan, while troops such as those at Michigan and Blessing were fighting a daytime war, special-operations forces including Army Rangers and Navy SEALs were fighting a nighttime one, hunting Taliban leaders and al-Qaeda operatives. These counterterrorism troops had led the way into the Pech, undertaking missions—and often leaving messes—that the infantry soldiers who arrived later were told little or nothing about.The one person in the Bulldog battalion who understood this part of the history of U.S. involvement was Ryan. During his time in the Rangers, he had been part of it (and he would be part of it again later as the counterterrorism mission continued from the air, with drones). “We drove through this valley in Hilux pickup trucks,” Ryan told me during one conversation at Camp Blessing, sounding almost surprised at the memory and its contrast with the armored behemoths the Bulldog battalion used now. It was during that operation that Jay Blessing had been killed and the base that bore his name had been established.This post was excerpted from Morgan’s new book, The Hardest Place.
Why Care Work Is Infrastructure
Since the Biden administration released its infrastructure proposal, a semantic debate has arisen around a specific provision: the $400 billion in spending for at-home care for the elderly and disabled. Many Republicans and some Democrats have bristled that such spending—along with more robust family-leave mandates and investments in child-care access that are expected in a second package—is not “infrastructure.” Infrastructure, they argue, consists only of the physical things that make the American economy run: roads and bridges built by men in hard hats, which nearly all politicians in Washington agree require more investment and are usually prefaced with the adjective crumbling.The conceptualization of visiting nurses as infrastructure—definitionally, the basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society—has struck some as cynical, even offensive—an attempt to use a politically popular label to smuggle through a much broader agenda. Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee tweeted a graphic that featured the $400 billion figure in an ugly black-and-yellow scheme, set against an ominously blurry legislative document. “President Biden’s proposal is about anything but infrastructure.” Even some prominent allies of the president, such as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, stopped short of defending care work as infrastructure. “There’s this semantic debate that’s opening up,” Buttigieg said on MSNBC. “To me it’s a little bit besides the point … If it’s a good policy, vote for it and call it whatever you like.”[Read: When will the economy start caring about home-care work?]But the inclusion of care work under the infrastructure umbrella is more than just semantic sleight of hand. Rather, it’s the realization of an argument that feminists have been making for decades: that traditionally feminized caretaking or “reproductive” labor—the child care, elder care, cooking, cleaning, shopping, and domestic logistics that usually women do, often for low pay in the homes of others or for no pay at all in their own homes—is just as essential to the functioning of the economy as roads and bridges are. Domestic labor has to get done for any other work to get done.Once marginal, the idea that care work is infrastructure has been embraced by feminists across the political spectrum. The Italian Marxist feminist Silvia Federici advanced the notion of care work as essential to the productive-labor economy in 1972, when she founded Wages for Housework, an organization that called for the state to pay for domestic work. Less radical feminist thinkers have also accepted the understanding of care work and housework as essential economic functions, excluded from traditional concepts of infrastructure not because they do not meet the definition but because the use of term has been warped by biased perceptions of value. The New Zealander economist Marilyn Waring made this claim in her 1987 book, Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women Are Worth, which argued that GDP was a poor measure of national economic health because it ignored women’s “nonproductive” care work.Waring’s arguments were put into practice on October 24, 1975, when nearly 90 percent of Icelandic women abandoned their paid jobs and child-care and elder-care duties, as well as their housework, for a day to participate in mass street demonstrations. The goal was to highlight the importance of all women’s work—formal and informal, paid and unpaid—and to demand equal wages, women in leadership, and more support for mothers. The women’s strike was organized in part by the socialist feminist group Redstockings, but it was branded with the relatively nonconfrontational language of a “women’s day off.” Still, the withdrawal of women’s labor from the office, shop, and home had immediate effects. Banks, stores, factories, offices, schools, and nurseries all had to close. Men were left scrambling, unsure of how to manage their children. Many men called out sick to spend the day taking care of their kids, which caused more shutdowns. Others brought their kids to work, where the children proved distracting. Chaos abounded; even for the men who managed to get to work, very little work got done. Iceland outlawed gender discrimination the following year. Five years later, the country elected Vigdís Finnbogadóttir as president—the first time a woman was elected as a head of state anywhere in the world.The concept of withholding women’s labor as leverage to gain social change has since been applied elsewhere. For instance, in 2016, after the Polish government proposed a near-total ban on abortion, more than 100,000 people, mostly women, stopped their normal activities to demonstrate against the ban in the streets. As a result, the Polish Parliament rejected the provision. (When a revised ban ultimately went into effect this past January, the country once again saw massive street demonstrations led by women.)If care work makes the economy possible, and its absence makes the economy impossible, what is it if not infrastructure? Most people, however, remain stubbornly opposed to the idea. As a feminized form of work, care work has been mythologized as something women do “naturally,” or sentimentalized as a labor of love. Indeed, American culture is still committed to the notion that women are inherently skilled at and inclined toward spending their time with children; we still understand the home as a refuge from the economy, not as a site of production.Last week, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York tweeted, “Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure.” Jarome Bell, a Republican congressional candidate from Virginia, was thrown. “Taking care of your own kids is infrastructure,” he replied. He meant this ironically; to him, it sounded absurd. Brian Riedl, a fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, summed up the sentimental attachment to child care and other caregiving with his own sardonic assessment: “Cute puppies are infrastructure. The smile on a child’s face is infrastructure. A wave from a pretty girl is infrastructure.” Many take comfort in seeing this type of labor not as effort, but as love; not as work, but as a role.[Catherine S. Ramirez and Glenn Kramon: The U.S. must do more to care for its caregivers]For some people, the rationale for excluding care work is more pragmatic. They argue that infrastructure should refer only to onetime expenditures, and that because care work is a recurring expense, it shouldn’t count. But the idea of onetime spending doesn’t apply to roads and bridges, either. Left untended, highways form potholes, and bridges begin to buckle. The failure to continually allocate funds for the maintenance of these concrete structures is partly why they have fallen into such disrepair.A similar failure of investment has also eroded America’s care infrastructure. Nurses, home health aids, child-care providers, and other waged workers in the care economy are disproportionately women of color, and they’re carrying a massive amount of responsibility for the nation’s economic health with shockingly little of the commensurate compensation or respect.The paid-care workforce has long been under great stress. The median salary of a child-care worker is $25,510. The median salary for a home health aide is even lower, at $17,200. In the past year, moreover, the paid-care economy has been devastated by the pandemic, leading many workers outside that sector—women, primarily—to leave the labor force because they cannot access the family support that they need.And yet, at this crucial moment, care workers are being subjected to a semantic debate that will determine the dignity, legitimacy, and safety of their labor. The result is not only a practical crisis of care work in America, but also a moral one.
Maryland lawmakers allow developers to replace cut trees by preserving existing forest
Legislation aimed at keeping development moving also directs the state to plant 5 million trees.
Aeropostale: The hero pilots who connected the world by airmail
Flying was a dangerous business in the 1920s, but that didn't stop the hero pilots of Aeropostale who risked their lives to bring airmail from France to Africa and on to South America.
Aeropostale: The hero pilots who connected the world by airmail
Flying was a dangerous business in the 1920s, but that didn't stop the hero pilots of Aeropostale who risked their lives to bring airmail from France to Africa and on to South America.
Aeropostale: The hero pilots who connected the world by airmail
What do two major national airlines, an American fashion retail brand, a large publicly listed industrial corporation, a Hollywood movie and several prize-winning literary works all have in common?