Here’s the latest for Friday March 5th: Minimum wage hike falls short as Senate debates virus bill; Mass vaccine sites in Atlanta, Cleveland; Pope urges Iraq to embrace its Christians on historic visit; Spacewalkers finish solar panel prep.
JULIAN STYLES: This is AP News Minute. The Senate has seemingly killed progressives last-ditch effort to include a minimum wage hike in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. Senators voted 58-42 to reject it, even though the roll call wasn’t formally gaveled to a close. The White House says two new mass vaccination sites will be opened soon in Atlanta and Cleveland.
Each with the ability to provide 6,000 daily coronavirus vaccine shots. Coronavirus special advisor Andy Slavitt says it brings the total of FEMA supported sites to 18, with the capacity to provide 60,000 daily shots. Pope Francis opened the first ever papal visit to Iraq with a plea for the country to protect its centuries old diversity, urging Muslims to embrace their Christian neighbors as a precious resource and asking the embattled Christian community, though small like a mustard seed, to persevere.
Spacewalking astronauts completed the first round of prep work for new solar panels, part of a major power upgrade at the International Space Station. NASA’s Kate Rubins and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi installed mounting brackets and struts for the improved solar wings due to arrive in June. Julian Styles, Associated Press with AP News Minute.