Trump impeachment trial, coronavirus vaccines, Lunar New Year: 5 things to know Friday

Impeachment trial Day 4: Trump’s legal team takes the Senate floor

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team will take the Senate floor Friday after House impeachment managers spent the last day of their arguments hoping to convince senators that Trump incited the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Earlier this week, Trump lawyer Brice Castor told the Senate that while his client denounced the violence at the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob as “repugnant in every sense of the word,” he also said Trump’s words are protected speech that should not be blamed for the actions of others, namely the rioters. On Thursday, lead prosecutor, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said the ex-president does not get a First Amendment “excuse” for the deadly riot at the Capitol that day given his incitement of the crowd and his relentlessly false allegations about a stolen election. Trump’s legal team will begin their presentation at noon ET, which could last up to eight hours with an additional eight hours on Saturday.

  • Impeachment prosecutors wrap up case: Here are the top takeaways from trial’s third day
  • ‘Brings tears to your eyes’: What we learned from previously unseen riot footage at the impeachment trial
  • Donald Trump is unhappy with his legal team, allies say, but still confident he’ll be acquitted
  • A minute-by-minute timeline of Trump’s day as the Capitol siege unfolded on Jan. 6

CDC to release COVID guidelines that may inch Biden closer toward opening schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to release guidelines Friday on reopening — one of the components President Joe Biden needs to achieve his goal of having most public schools open within his first 100 days in office. Biden has repeatedly pointed to CDC guidelines – expected to cover a host of issues such as masks, social distancing, proper hygiene, building ventilation and whether teachers need vaccinations – to provide direction for schools. The president has also proposed $130 billion for school reopenings in his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, that he hopes to push through Congress within the next few weeks.

  • Variant cases have doubled in US since Jan. 31. Latest COVID-19 updates
  • ‘Stop killing us’: Attacks on Asian Americans highlight rise in hate incidents amid COVID-19
  • In-person school can be safe. CDC reports how schools with little COVID-19 spread are making it work.

It’s officially tax season. Here’s what you need to know.

Tax season 2021 is finally here, more than two weeks later than last year. And this time it’s a little different for many Americans due to COVID-19, especially for taxpayers who lost jobs or hours during the pandemic last year. The tax impact of everything from stimulus checks to unemployment benefits could leave you with questions when filing returns, creating new headaches for many. As you get started putting together your returns, here are a few key things to keep in mind. An important note: No, stimulus checks aren’t considered income by the IRS.

  • Taxes Q&A: Will I owe taxes on stimulus checks? What if I collected unemployment?

Lunar New Year, the Year of the Ox, begins

Lunar New Year – also known as the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival – begins Friday, ushering in the second animal on the Zodiac with the second new moon after the winter solstice. This year, we’ll say goodbye to the Year of the Rat and hello to the Year of the Ox. Though the occasion is meant to be celebrated with family and friends, the coronavirus pandemic means that the festival will look different this year for the 1.5 billion people who observe it. The Lunar New Year typically falls between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. Next year, the celebration will begin Tuesday, Feb. 1.

  • Improvise, adapt, overcome: This is how people in New Jersey are celebrating Lunar New Year during the pandemic
  • 10 fun ways to celebrate Lunar New Year with kids

CVS, Walgreens to begin delivering COVID-19 vaccines

Ready to get vaccinated? Starting Friday, you might be able to do that at your local pharmacy. COVID-19 vaccines are poised to roll out at major pharmacies throughout the country, including the nation’s two largest chains, CVS and Walgreens. While state-determined eligibility and availability will remain limited for the time being, experts say they’re hopeful that the nation’s established network of pharmacies will help speed up distribution. Other pharmacies chosen to deliver vaccines at certain locations include Walmart, Rite Aid, Kroger, Publix, Costco, Albertsons, Safeway and Meijer.

  • Time off for a vaccine:Should employers give workers paid time off or other incentives to get vaccinated?
  • Airlines are against mandatory pre-flight COVID testing in the US. A new Harvard study says testing may serve ‘a critical need’

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