Former Senate leader Harry Reid to lie in state at US Capitol
Former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who died last month at 82, will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. A formal ceremony honoring Reid will also be held but will be limited to invited guests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The longest-serving senator in Nevada’s history, Reid presided over the upper chamber as majority leader from 2007 to 2015. The last person to lie in state at the Capitol was former Kansas lawmaker and decorated World War II veteran Bob Dole, who died in early December at age 98.
Chicago schools set to resume in-person classes
Chicago teachers and students were set to come back to the classroom Wednesday after city leaders reached an agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union on COVID-19 safety protocols amid a nationwide surge of cases fueled by the omicron variant. Classes came to a halt last week after the union’s members voted in favor of temporarily shifting to remote learning, and the district reacted by canceling classes entirely. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city and union compromised on a metric that would automatically shift a school to remote learning if a certain number of students and staff test positive. The union’s 25,000 members are expected to vote on the agreement this week, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Report to show that consumer prices have jumped
On Wednesday, the government is expected to report that consumer prices jumped 7.1% over the past 12 months, which would be the steepest such increase in decades, according to the Associated Press. Inflation has become the most serious threat to the economy, a growing worry for financial markets and a major political problem for the Biden administration. With inflation surging, unemployment falling and wages rising, some economists are warning that the Federal Reserve may have waited too long to reverse its ultra-low-rate policies – a delay that could put the economy at heightened risk. Friday’s U.S. jobs report for December raised alarms, which showed another sharp drop in the unemployment rate, an unexpectedly large increase in hourly pay and chronic labor shortages. Though lower joblessness and higher pay benefit workers, they can also fuel rising prices.
‘Error of judgment’: Djokovic clarifies recent movements amid Australian visa saga
Novak Djokovic knew he’d tested positive for COVID-19 when he attended an interview and photo shoot at his tennis center in Serbia last month. In a statement posted on his social media accounts Wednesday Djokovic said made an “error of judgment” and should have immediately gone into isolation. He made the admission when he moved to clarify “ongoing misinformation” about his movements after he tested positive last month. He also blamed “human error” by his support team for an error on the travel document he used a week ago to enter Australia, where his visa was revoked and then reinstated in a COVID-19 vaccination saga that has overshadowed the days leading up to the Australian Open. The nine-time and defending Australian Open champion is in limbo before the year’s first major starts next Monday, a week after he won a legal battle allowing him to stay in the country.
Netflix’s new season of ‘Cheer’ addresses child porn charges facing Jerry Harris
The sophomore season of “Cheer” (streaming Wednesday) will not steer away from the scandal of Jerry Harris’ child porn charges. Instead, it documents the team’s shock at Harris’ downfall, after authorities charged Harris in September 2020 with producing child pornography. “It’s been a very difficult year,” straight-shooting coach Monica Aldama, who has guided her team to 14 National Championships since 2000, says in the season premiere. “A lot of great opportunities and a lot of awful times.” The scandal takes center stage in for Episode 5 – titled “Jerry” – which features two of Harris’ accusers, twin brothers identified only as Charlie and Sam, echoing comments they made in 2020 to USA TODAY.
Contributing: The Associated Press