Measure to increase stimulus checks, Boeing 737 Max to return to skies: 5 things to know Tuesday – USA TODAY

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Increased $2,000 stimulus check measure could head to Senate

A measure to increase stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 for most Americans as part of a COVID-19 relief package could be brought to the GOP-controlled Senate on Tuesday. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would force the chamber to take up the measure following its Monday approval in the House. With only one senator needed to object to block the bill from passing, the measure’s future remains unclear. Republicans have for months stressed over increased government spending and are likely to oppose the measure despite President Donald Trump pressing for checks to be boosted to $2,000 per adult. A vote on this measure will force conservative lawmakers into an uncomfortable position: either cave on their long-held objections or snub a key demand of the president in the last weeks of his tenure.

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New COVID-19 relief: More stimulus checks and unemployment benefits

Lawmakers struck a nearly $900 billion COVID-19 relief deal including another round of stimulus checks and jobless benefits for struggling Americans.

Staff video, USA TODAY

American Airlines will put 737 Max back into the air

Boeing’s 737 Max, the jetliner grounded for 20 months after two international crashes, is set to return to the skies with paying passengers on Tuesday. American Airlines’ Flight 718, the first commercial 737 flight by a major U.S. airline since its recertification on Nov. 18, will depart from Miami around 10:30 a.m. ET and arrive at New York LaGuardia at 1:30 p.m. ET. Other airlines are planning to follow suit: United expects to resume Max flights again on Feb. 11 and Southwest hasn’t announced a date for its return, though its CEO predicted it wouldn’t be until spring. All Max jets worldwide were grounded in 2019 following two fatal crashes that together killed 346 people. In November, the Federal Aviation Administration approved changes — mainly in flight-control software — that allowed airlines to resume flying the plane. But it’s unclear whether the flying public will accept the plane or avoid it.

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American Airlines’ 737 Max returns to the skies

American Airlines is taking its long-grounded Boeing 737 Max jets out of storage, updating key flight-control software, and flying the planes in preparation for the first flights with paying passengers later this month. (Dec. 3)

AP

Kamala Harris to receive COVID-19 vaccine 

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, are scheduled to receive their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, transition officials said. Harris’ vaccination is expected to be done live on camera, CNN reported. Harris will join a growing number of high-level officials who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, including President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Dr. Anthony Fauci. Experts say it is important for top government officials to be among the first to receive doses of the vaccine in order to boost confidence among the American people. Inoculating them is also part of a plan to ensure the continuity of government.

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President-elect Joe Biden receives first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

President-elect Biden receives the first of two COVID-19 vaccine doses and urges Americans to do the same.

Staff Video, USA TODAY

Investigators search for motive in Nashville bombing

Investigators on Tuesday are continuing to search for a motive in the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville, Tenn. President-elect Joe Biden attended a national security briefing on Monday, telling reporters afterward that authorities “are working around the clock to gain more information on motive and intent,” and there needs to be “continuing vigilance across the board” against domestic attacks. Officials say they still aren’t sure what motivated 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner, who was killed in the blast, to blow up an RV downtown on Christmas morning, causing massive destruction to 41 buildings. Nearby residents were evacuated from their apartments. No one else was killed in the explosion. Authorities are expected to continue their investigation in the coming days to determine the type of explosives used in the blast and a motive.

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Nashville bombing captured on police camera

The Metro Nashville Police Department released footage of the moment the Christmas Day bombing shook the city.

Associated Press, USA TODAY

California’s stay-at-home order likely to be extended

California’s current stay-at-home order will likely be extended another three weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday. The official word will come Tuesday from state Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly. On Christmas Eve, California became the first state to hit the dire milestone of 2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. Even though residents have been under strict stay-at-home orders, hospitals have been flooded with the largest crush of cases since the pandemic began. If extended, the shutdown order will continue to prohibit residents from gathering; essential businesses must continue to operate at significantly lower capacity; bars, wineries, salons and restaurant dining will remain shut down and hotels can only be open for critical infrastructure support. Newsom said the state must prepare for an inevitable “surge on top of a surge” as the holiday season continues.

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