Monday morning news – December 28, 2020

Trump signs government funding, coronavirus relief legislation » President Trump last night signed a massive government funding and coronavirus relief bill into law.

Last week, he threatened to veto the legislation. But since then, he’s been under heavy pressure from Republicans to relent. 

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said Sunday that if Trump didn’t sign it… 

HOGAN: Look, millions of people are going to suffer. The Paycheck Protection Plan ran out in July. Unemployment benefits are about to run out. 

Congress sent the legislation to the president’s desk before Christmas. On top of more than $2 trillion in government funding, it provides $900 billion worth of coronavirus relief funds. That does include funding for small business loans and a federal boost to unemployment aid. 

And Uncle Sam will send out another round of stimulus checks—$600 per qualified adult and $600 per child. 

But last week, the president said that’s not enough and called on lawmakers to amend the bill to send out $2,000 checks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had planned a House vote today on a standalone bill to do just that. 

But GOP Senator Pat Toomey said yesterday…

TOOMEY: I don’t agree with $2,000 checks to people who have had no lost income whatsoever… 

He and many other Republicans are reluctant to keep piling onto a nearly $28 trillion national debt. 

Now that the president has signed the original package, it’s unclear if the House will still vote on a standalone bill. 

Canada confirms first cases of coronavirus variant » Canadian health officials say they have confirmed the first three known cases in the country of a coronavirus variant. 

The new strain has been running rampant in the U.K., prompting many nations to impose travel restrictions from Britain. Those countries include Canada and the United States. 

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told ABC’s This Week…

ADAMS: If you’re worried about a new, potentially more contagious variant, it is that much more important that we follow the four Ws: wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance, and the fourth one is wait on gatherings, especially with one last holiday coming up, New Years. We need to be very careful. 

Experts say there’s no evidence that the new strain is any more virulent or that it’s resistant to coronavirus vaccines. But it does appear to be much more infectious.

On Thursday, the CDC announced that anyone traveling from the U.K. to the United States will have to test negative for the virus no more than 72 hours before boarding a flight.

FBI investigating “person of interest” in Nashville Christmas Day bombing » Authorities say it appears that the suspect in the Christmas Day bombing in downtown Nashville blew himself up in the explosion.

An RV packed with explosives detonated Friday morning injuring three people and damaging more than 40 businesses.

Nashville police officer James Luellen said minutes before the blast an announcement played from a loudspeaker on the RV. 

LUELLEN: The RV started making an announcement, somewhere along the lines—don’t quote me exactly—but there’s a large bomb within this vehicle. Your primary objective is to evacuate. 

FBI agents searched the home of the 63-year-old suspect in suburban Nashville on Saturday.

Authorities believe he acted alone. And they’re still trying to determine a motive, but Nashville Mayor John Cooper told CBS’ Face the Nation

COOPER: The truck was parked adjacent to this large historic AT&T facility. And to all of us locally, it feels like there has to be some connection with the AT&T facility and the site of the bombing. 

The blast affected AT&T communications in the area, causing service disruptions over the weekend. 

U.S. serviceman faces charges in Ill. bowling alley shooting » Meantime in Illinois, authorities say an active duty U.S. serviceman from Florida is behind bars facing murder charges after a deadly shooting on Sunday. 

Police say the 37-year-old man apparently opened fire at random inside a bowling alley in the town of Rockford. The gunman killed three adults and wounded several others, including a 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl. 

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara told reporters…

MCNAMARA: We have three families who are mourning the loss of their loved ones. And we have three additional families who are praying that their loved ones live throughout these really horrific injuries.

Rockford, Illinois Police Chief Dan O’Shea said police arrested the suspect within minutes of the shooting. 

O’SHEA: He was taken into custody without any officers firing their weapons. The suspect had attempted to obscure his identification and hide his weapons prior to the officers taking him into custody. 

O’Shea said the suspect had no known ties to any of the victims. He faces three charges of murder and three charges of attempted murder. 

Baseball hall of famer Phil Niekro dies » Baseball hall of famer Phil Niekro has died. 

For 24 years, Niekro baffled hitters with his trademark knuckleball. 

The five-time All-Star spent 20 of those seasons in an Atlanta Braves uniform. He also pitched for the Yankees, Indians, and Blue Jays. 

Niekro punched his ticket to the Hall of Fame with a career ERA of 3.35 and more than 300 wins. 

The Braves said Sunday that Niekro died in his sleep at his home in suburban Atlanta. He was 81 years old.

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) This Dec. 24, 2020, file photo shows the U.S. Capitol is seen in Washington. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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