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Miami is considering paying salaries in Bitcoin

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Miami is considering paying salaries in Bitcoin

Bitcoin could soon be the currency of choice in Miami. 

Commissioners in the Florida city are mulling whether or not to give public officials the option of receiving their salaries, or a portion of it, in Bitcoin and if they should allow the public to use the cryptocurrency to pay for city services, the Miami Herald reported. 

Mayor Francis Suarez, who’s trying to shape Miami into a tech hub, is ready to go all-in with Bitcoin but commissioners voted late Thursday to first study the use of the virtual currency and to find a vendor that could help with transactions before moving forward, the outlet said. 

“It’s wonderful to be a very ‘crypto-forward’ city in the city of Miami, and I want to thank my commission colleagues for allowing that to happen,” Suarez told the outlet. 

Following a long discussion and questions about Bitcoin, the commissioners agreed 4-1 to hold off before an analysis on the futuristic currency, thought to be a guard against a failing dollar, is completed. 

Commissioner Joe Carollo isn’t convinced — he voted no on the measure, the outlet reported. 

“I think the mayor has done a fabulous job with that, and his intentions are coming right from the heart,” Carollo said. 

“Having said that, I can’t drink the Kool-Aid on this one.”

Miami will begin launching public awareness campaigns in English, Spanish and Creole to teach residents about cryptocurrency while lobbying the state legislature to pass laws that will allow the city to invest public dollars in the highly-volatile cryptocurrency. 

Day-to-day price swings of Bitcoin continue to dip and peak in the thousands. Late Friday, it hovered just under $48,000 a share but the public is able to buy portions of a share. 

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Brazilian COVID-19 variant found in Oregon

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Brazilian COVID-19 variant found in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. — A coronavirus variant that was first detected in Brazil has emerged in Oregon, the first known case of the new variant on the contiguous U.S. West Coast, medical authorities said Tuesday.

The sample was sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the end of January by medical officials in Douglas County, Oregon. They said they received the results back on Monday night, which showed the P.1 variant.

“The P.1 variant … appears to be related to business travel outside the United States to and from Brazil,” the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team said in a statement Tuesday.

The variant, which was first found in Manaus, Brazil, appears to be more contagious than other COVID-19 strains. It can potentially be contracted by someone who was already infected or who has been vaccinated.

There have been 10 additional cases of the P.1 variant reported in the U.S., with five in Florida, two in Minnesota and one each in Oklahoma, Alaska and Maryland, the CDC says.

Health officials in Douglas County, located in western Oregon, said they are awaiting results of other samples that were sent to the CDC for genome sequence DNA testing for emerging COVID-19 variants.

The Oregon Health Authority said the unidentified person who contracted the Brazilian variant has been working closely with the local health department and has been self-isolating.

Health officials on Tuesday also reported 13 new coronavirus-related deaths in the state, raising the known death toll to 2,225. There were 269 new confirmed and presumptive cases in the state, for a total of 156,037, authorities said.

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Ohio grandmother killed by stray bullet before son’s funeral

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Ohio grandmother killed by stray bullet before son's funeral

An Ohio grandmother was struck by a stray bullet and killed while planning her son’s funeral over the weekend, a report said.

Ruth Lewis, 89, gathered with relatives at a family member’s home in Warren when she was shot in the back around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, according to WKBN-TV.

She was pronounced dead a short time later. No other injuries were reported.

“This was a senseless death caused by a random bullet,” said Warren Mayor Doug Franklin.

“Obviously, she wasn’t the target so it’s so unfortunate, but that just goes to speak to the dangers of just having so many guns in irresponsible hands.”

Witnesses reported hearing at least five to 10 gunshots, including one who saw two cars driving away erratically from the home.

With Post Wires

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$140 million ‘Pelosi subway’ axed from Senate COVID bill

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$140 million 'Pelosi subway' axed from Senate COVID bill

Guess she’ll have to take the bus.

Funding for a rail project near House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s California district that Republicans denounced as wasteful was removed Tuesday from President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill.

The Senate parliamentarian ruled the $140 million appropriation wasn’t allowed under the so-called Byrd rule that polices unrelated items in budget reconciliation bills.

Republicans singled out the rail project as an example of unrelated “pork” in the bill, which is being rammed through Congress without Republican support using special rules that allow a simple majority vote in the Senate.

On Tuesday, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) ridiculed the project as Pelosi’s “tunnel of love” ahead of an anticipated vote on the package later this week.

Representatives for Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, had defended the project, saying that ridership for mass-transit plummeted during the pandemic, making it reasonable to increase government spending.

“The Senate Parliamentarian has now ruled that the BART extension from San Jose to Santa Clara does not meet the requirements of the Byrd rule because it is part of a pilot project. Therefore, it will be removed from the reconciliation package,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said.

A separate $1.5 million allocation for the Seaway International Bridge between Massena, New York, and Canada also will be removed, he said.

The Senate parliamentarian previously blocked Democrats from including a federal minimum wage hike to $15 per hour in the bill.

Hammill defended the original inclusion of the rail funds.

“COVID-19 had an immediate and overwhelming effect on all of our transportation systems and the millions of transportation and construction jobs associated with them,” he said.

“As part of the $30 billion in public transit support, the House included $1.425 billion to help dozens of major transit rail capital projects, including the BART extension from San Jose to Santa Clara.”

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