The House plans to vote Monday on a measure to increase direct payment checks for Americans from $600 to $2,000 in the COVID-19 relief package that President Donald Trump signed on Sunday. The $900 billion package provides up to $600 in direct stimulus checks to millions of Americans and extends unemployment benefits, as well as a program intended to help small businesses retain their employees during the pandemic. The president had previously called the bipartisan bill a “disgrace” and said he wanted it to include $2,000 direct payments rather than $600. But after a growing number of Republicans pushed back on Trump's reticence – and Democrats quickly embraced Trump's idea of larger direct payments – Trump relented and signed. Democrats intend to bring stand-alone legislation to increase checks to $2,000 to a vote on the House floor Monday.
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The United States will require air passengers traveling from the United Kingdom to provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure beginning Monday. The move, announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday, comes as a growing number of countries banned British travelers amid the rapid spread of a new variant of coronavirus in London and elsewhere. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said that while preliminary analysis in the U.K. suggests the new variant is "significantly more transmissible," there is no indication that infections are more severe. Experts have warned, however, that even if the variant is not more lethal, it will likely lead to an increase in infections, hospitalizations and virus-related deaths.
Long-term health facilities and nursing homes that opted to use Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine will start rolling out vaccination efforts on Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The majority of America's more than 70,000 long-term care facilities and nursing homes opted to take part in a federal program that uses pharmacy chains to facilitate vaccination of staff and residents. Last week, vaccinations began at long-term care facilities that opted to use the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine. More vaccines will be rolled out to Americans in the weeks and months to come, with Pfizer and Moderna expected to deliver a combined 300 million doses of their vaccines by the middle of next year, enough to vaccinate nearly half the population of the U.S.
The NFL playoffs are right around the corner, and the field is taking shape as Week 16 of the regular season concludes with the Buffalo Bills hosting New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. The Bills have already clinched the AFC East division title, but seeding is still up for grabs and a win Monday would vault Buffalo into second place in the conference. Week 16 solidified the playoff picture some with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks clinching NFC postseason berths and the Kansas City Chiefs securing the top seed in the AFC. The final playoff spots are up for grabs next week in what promises to be an exciting regular-season finale.
A 37-year-old military member facing charges of murder after a shooting rampage at a bowling alley in Rockford, Illinois, is scheduled to have his first court appearance Monday. Duke Webb, 37, is being held without bond on three counts each of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in Saturday's attack that left three people dead and three others injured. According to officials, Webb fired shots inside and outside the complex during the incident – most of which was caught on surveillance video – then tried to conceal his identity and hide two weapons that were found at the scene. Three men, ages 73, 65 and 69, were shot and killed. The injured are a 14-year-old boy, who was shot in the face and airlifted to a hospital in Madison, a 16-year-old girl and a 62-year-old man, who is in critical condition after undergoing surgery from the shooting.