The Washington Post reports on the challenges facing many women who want to return to work. “It’s not only the pandemic, though the novel coronavirus remains a threat in many parts of the country. It’s the problems the pandemic has compounded: unaffordable child care, unsafe working conditions, low wages, in-person work requirements and the inconsistency of unemployment insurance. A lack of consistent child care highlights intersecting barriers made worse by the pandemic: Schools closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and working parents navigated virtual schooling in between working from home or struggling to pay the bills amid job losses or pay cuts. The cost of child care hit another all-time high in 2020, rising 2.2 percent even as parents were forced to slash their overall child-care spending as the economy cratered, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Costs rose due to the safety hazards of gathering in person during a pandemic, as well as a provider workforce that plunged 36 percent in the early days of the crisis and remains reduced. Working mothers told The Washington Post that to return to work, they need schools to reopen, the flexibility to work remotely and higher wages to afford early child care. Studies back this up. In a pandemic-era analysis of more than 30,000 Americans, university researchers found that women want more work-from-home days than men (49 percent of the time vs. 43 percent), but their employers plan to offer them fewer work-from-home days (19 percent vs. 23 percent). The working paper was written by Jose Maria Barrero of the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University and Steven J. Davis of the University of Chicago.
Mother Jones reports on COVID-19 infections among immigrants in ICE detention. “According to ICE’s own statistics, 14,057 people have tested positive for COVID-19 while in the agency’s custody. As of Sunday, a staggering 1,906 of the roughly 16,700 people in detention right now are being monitored for active COVID-19 infections. If the United States had a similar infection rate, there’d be nearly 40 million active infections at the moment, as opposed to the roughly 560,000 that have been recorded over the past two weeks. Eunice Cho, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU, notes that the number of people ICE is detaining has been rising in recent weeks, although it remains far below the record of more than 55,000 people reached during the Trump administration. Officially, nine people in ICE custody have died from complications from COVID-19. But that doesn’t include people like Vargas or Óscar López Acosta, who died shortly after being released from the Morrow County County Jail in Ohio last year.”
The National Rifle Association’s to evade legal jeopardy by filing for bankruptcy has been denied, allowing challenges like those brought by New York Attorney General Leticia James to move forward. “Weeks of testimony have demonstrated that the NRA and Wayne LaPierre simply filed chapter 11 bankruptcy to avoid accountability,” James said in a statement. “Today’s order reaffirms that the NRA does not get to dictate if and where it will answer for its actions.”
Bloomberg News reports on new research on food and beverage companies targeted marketing to children and young people: “Food and beverage companies are working with the technology industry to aim their products and digital advertising at younger people, effectively creating an environment that’s harmful to the health and well-being of children, according to a consumer advocacy group. The Center for Digital Democracy released a report Wednesday claiming that companies like PepsiCo Inc. and McDonald’s Corp. have teamed up with big technology firms to “work together as a system, where the lines between them are often blurred” to develop marketing strategies specifically targeting young people on the internet. The food and beverage brands have essentially become “big data companies” that gather vast amounts of information on potential customers to help expand and enhance their online promotion of unhealthy food, according to Jeffrey Chester, the Washington-based organization’s co-founder and executive director.”