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Fire erupts at Texas Hilton hotel amid water shortage

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Fire erupts at Texas Hilton hotel amid water shortage

A massive fire broke out Friday night at a hotel packed with guests as the state continues to battle record cold temperatures and water shortages, according to reports.

Firefighters responded to the Hilton Garden Inn in Killeen after the blaze was reported shortly before 9 p.m., according to KWTX.

The flames reached so high the roof of the hotel caved in, the outlet reported.

The guests — many of whom were fleeing storm conditions at home, and including some Army soldiers from the nearby Fort Hood military base — were evacuated from the hotel.

“Initial indications are that all guests — including a few soldiers — were evacuated and immediately rebooked in nearby hotels,” Fort Hood officials tweeted.

The fire appeared to be extinguished by 10 p.m., according to the outlet.

No injuries were reported. The Killeen Police Department warned the public to avoid the area as fire officials investigate the cause of the blaze.

The fire comes as millions of Texans continue to endure extremely cold temperatures and power outages following a winter storm that left more than 30 people dead.

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Idaho protesters burn masks at state capital

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Idaho protesters burn masks at state capital

Protesters in Idaho staged a mask burning event at the state capital on Saturday, as frustration over coronavirus-related disruptions to daily life continue to fester.

At least three lawmakers from the state legislature and the Lt. Gov Janice McGeachin were there to cheer them on, according to local media reports from the scene.

Video posted to Twitter suggests that most of the actual burning of masks took place inside small, self-contained fires lit in garbage bins. At least one person was filmed burning a picture of Joe Biden.

Many protesters, often with children in tow, displayed signs reading “I will not self-suffocate,”

“We’re standing here today to rein back government. To reestablish our Republican form of government, a government that has balance between the branches,” said Daar Moon, a protest organizer, in a Twitter video. “It’s a widespread grassroots movement, an uprising in that regard, it’s come off very well today here in Boise.”

Last week Idaho legislators introduced a bill to make mask mandates illegal. Though there is no current statewide requirement, mask mandates are in force in seven of 11 Idaho counties, according to the Associated Press.

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Biden cheers passage of $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid bill in White House speech

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Biden cheers passage of $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid bill in White House speech

President Biden celebrated the party-line passage of his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill Saturday, saying the measure is another step for the country’s return to normalcy.

The bill will “get the country in a place to get back to normal” Biden said in a 9-minute address in the White House State Dining Room.

The rescue plan includes $75 billion for pandemic-related medical costs, such as vaccine production.

“I believe we’ll have enough by the middle of May to vaccinate — it’s going to take longer to get it in their arms, but that’s how much vaccine we’ll have,” Biden said.

He appealed to the House of Representatives — which the Democrats control by a slim 10-vote margin — to pass the Senate-revised bill in the next few days.

“By passing this plan we’ll have proved that this democracy, this government, can still work,” he said.

The House is expected to take up the bill on Tuesday.

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You can now be a ‘millionaire’ in Venezuela for 50 cents

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You can now be a ‘millionaire’ in Venezuela for 50 cents

All it takes to be a millionaire in Venezuela is a few American pennies: the beleaguered South American country’s economy is so bad, they’re introducing a million bolivar note worth roughly 53 cents.

According to a statement from the country’s central bank, Venezuela will also be printing 200,000 and 500,000 bills along with the 1,000,000 bills.

The move comes as hyperinflation has made smaller bills superfluous and worthless – and most citizens are “turning to the U.S. dollar for everyday transactions,” Bloomberg notes, adding “About 66 percent of transactions across the country are (now) estimated to be made in foreign currency.”

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has claimed he is going to make the country the world’s first fully digital economy, in an attempt to fight the inflation which ballooned to more than 3000 percent last year.

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