Minimum wage hike all but dead; Cuomo’s critics call apology ‘tone deaf’; Boy Scouts reorganize

Today is Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Let’s get caught up.

These headlines are in the news this morning: Democrats’ hopes of raising the federal minimum wage appear all but dead in the COVID relief package; critics of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo call his apology ‘tone deaf’ as third woman accuses him of harassment; and the Boy Scouts have submitted a bankruptcy plan.

Read on for these stories, other top headlines, celebrity birthdays and more.


TOP STORIES

Minimum wage hike all but dead in big COVID relief bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats’ hopes of including a minimum wage increase in their $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill seemed all but dead as the Senate prepared to debate its own version of the House-passed aid package.

Four days after the chamber’s parliamentarian said Senate rules forbid inclusion of a straight-out minimum wage increase in the relief measure, Democrats on Monday seemed to have exhausted their most realistic options for quickly salvaging the pay hike. In one decision, they abandoned a potential amendment threatening tax increases on big companies that don’t boost workers’ pay to certain levels.

“At this moment, we may not have a path but I hope we can find one” for pushing the federal pay floor to $15 an hour, said No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of Illinois. Read more:

***

Critics: Cuomo apology ‘tone-deaf,’ ignores power imbalance

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — When she first arrived in Albany to work as a legislative aide in 2013, New York Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou had lawmakers grab her buttocks, suggest she and her boss were “a hot duo” who should have sex, and peer into her office to check her out for a “hot or not” list.

Niou, then a chief of staff in her late 20s, never reported it. She feared it would unfairly drag down her boss. But the experiences stayed with her.

She bristled Monday at the response from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allegations he sexually harassed two young women in state government, remarks some on social media called a “faux-pology” that blames victims for misinterpreting his “good-natured” jokes. Read more:

***

Boy Scouts submit reorganization plan to bankruptcy court

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America submitted a bankruptcy reorganization plan Monday that envisions continued operations of its local troops and national adventure camps but leaves many unanswered questions about how it will resolve tens of thousands of sexual abuse claims by former Boy Scouts

The plan was filed Monday in Delaware bankruptcy court, even though the BSA remains in intense negotiations with insurers who face substantial exposure for sexual abuse claims, and with the official committee representing abuse victims.

The plan calls for a $300 million contribution from the Boy Scouts’ 250-odd local councils into a trust for abuse victims, although the form and timing of those contributions remain up in the air. Read more:

In other news today …

  • FBI Director Chris Wray is set to testify for the first time since the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, with lawmakers likely to press him on whether the bureau adequately communicated with other law enforcement agencies about the potential for violence that day.
  • As President Joe Biden looks to dismantle the last administration’s hardline immigration agenda, he worked Monday to build a partnership with someone who found an unexpected understanding with Donald Trump: Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
  • Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose slightly in December compared with the same month of 2019, indicating the sharp drop seen due to the pandemic was short-lived.
  • Two Americans suspected of helping former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn skip bail in Japan and flee to Lebanon in December 2019 have arrived in Tokyo for a criminal investigation and likely trial.
  • Heavy thunderstorms pounded parts of Appalachia on Sunday and Monday, sending rivers out of their banks and leading to multiple water rescues, mudslides, road closures and power outages, officials said.
  • Volvo says it will make only electric vehicles by 2030. But if you want one, you’ll have to buy it online.
  • In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry says the process of separating from royal life has been very difficult for him and his wife, Meghan.

Click on the links below for full versions of these stories and scroll further for a look at today in history and celebrity birthdays.

***

IMAGE OF THE DAY

***

ON THIS DATE

***

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO …