Pelosi Slams McConnell Over $2,000 Checks Senate Block; Brexit Deal Signed into Law: World Brief

Date: 2020-12-31 08:11:06

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday closed off chances of the Senate acting anytime soon on a House bill that would give most Americans $2,000 stimulus payments.

The Kentucky Republican said the House legislation, approved in a bipartisan vote Monday, “has no realistic path” to quick passage in the Senate and that it falls short of the demands of President Donald Trump. He again blocked an attempt by Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to adopt the House bill to increase the payments to $2,000 from the $600 by unanimous consent. MORE: https://bloom.bg/34UXpzS

BREXIT: Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit trade deal was approved by the U.K. Parliament less than 24 hours before the country’s final split from the European Union.

The House of Lords gave the green light to the agreement late Wednesday, just a day before the U.K. leaves the EU single market when the transition period expires at 11 p.m. Thursday. MORE: https://bloom.bg/38OsdDp

CHINA VACCINE: China’s drug regulator approved the country’s first coronavirus vaccine for general public use, a sign of confidence in the experimental shots the nation plans to roll out within and beyond its borders.

China’s National Medical Products Administration gave the authorization to a Covid-19 vaccine developed by state-owned China National Biotec Group Co., a unit of Sinopharm, officials told reporters in Beijing Thursday. MORE: https://bloom.bg/2L46CyC

AUSTRALIA NYE: Authorities are battling to contain Covid-19 clusters in Australia’s two largest cities, urging people to avoid large New Year’s Eve gatherings to prevent wider outbreaks.

Ten new cases were reported overnight in Sydney, with a cluster on the Northern Beaches growing to 144, New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters Thursday. A second group of infections in the city’s inner west has risen to nine. MORE: https://bloom.bg/3aXxXxw

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