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Biden wants to put Tubman to $ 20 faster, says Psaki

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Treasury Department is set to resume Obama-era plans to put abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the $ 20 bill, and President Joe Biden wants to speed the process, said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

US money should “reflect the history and diversity of our country, and Harriet Tubman’s image on the new $ 20 bill would certainly reflect that,” she said at a briefing for reporters. “We’re looking for ways to accelerate this effort.”

Tubman, a former slave who helped others to freedom, was to be the first woman and minority group to appear in US paper currency. Andrew Jackson, the seventh US president, currently has $ 20 bills.

The Trump administration slowed down these plans announced during Barack Obama’s presidency. Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced in 2019 that $ 20 bills with portraits other than Jackson would not go into circulation until 2028 and declined to put Tubman’s image on the currency.

Tubman escaped slavery and became a leading figure in the pre-civil war abolitionist movement. It led hundreds to freedom along the subway north, where slavery was forbidden. During the civil war, she served as a spy for the Union Army.

– Bloomberg News

First case of a contagious variant of COVID-19 from Brazil confirmed in Minnesota

Minnesota health officials confirmed the first U.S. case of a contagious variant of coronavirus originating in Brazil on Monday.

The Minnesota Department of Health said the case involved “a Minnesota resident with a recent history of travel to Brazil,” the department said in a statement.

“Although this variant is believed to be more transmissible than the original strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, it is not yet known whether the variant causes a more severe disease,” the health department said.

The strain was discovered during routine variant surveillance testing, the department said in a statement. This strain is known as the Brazil P.1 variant.

“We are grateful that our testing program helped us find this case, and we thank all Minnesotans who seek tests when they feel sick or otherwise have a reason to take a test,” said Jan Malcolm, Minnesota health commissioner .

“This is not surprising,” Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and advisor to President Biden’s coronavirus response team, told the Washington Post. “It’s a very difficult development, but at the same time not unexpected.”

The Minnesota health authorities also announced three more cases of the UKB1.1.7 variant, bringing the total number discovered to eight.

– New York Daily News

Study: Earth is losing ice at a record rate, melting is accelerating

PARIS – According to a study published by the European Space Agency (ESA) on Monday, the world is losing ice at a record rate and rate of increase.

According to a study published in The Cryosphere magazine, 28 trillion tons of ice melted around the world between 1994 and 2017, which is the equivalent of a 100-meter-thick block the size of the UK.

A trillion tons of ice, if it were in the shape of a cube, would be taller than Mount Everest, the authors said.

Meanwhile, the rate of melting increases as the atmosphere and oceans warm up. In the 1990s, the world lost 0.8 trillion tons of ice annually. By 2017 that number was 1.2 trillion tons per year.

ESA researchers analyzed global satellite data for the study and complemented their results with ground-based studies of the polar regions and some of the world’s 215,000 mountain glaciers.

“The ice sheets are now following the worst global warming scenarios,” lead author Thomas Slater said in a statement.

The resulting rise in sea levels would have “very serious effects on coastal communities this century,” he warned.

Another problem is the loss of sea ice, which is reducing the Earth’s reflective surface and increasing the effects of global warming.

“As the sea ice shrinks, more solar energy is being absorbed by the oceans and atmosphere, causing the Arctic to warm faster than anywhere else on the planet,” said study co-author Isobel Lawrence.

– dpa, Berlin

2021 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.

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