Biden Administration Says Puerto Rico Relief Aid Is Coming But Doesn’t Specify When & More In Today’s News

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
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Las Notis is a daily news column that gets you up to speed on the political, media + other going ons in Latin America and the diaspora—all in one quick digest.

    Here’s your glimpse at what’s going on today:

  • President Biden is planning to push his $1.9 trillion stimulus bill to address the toll of the pandemic, but he will meet with a group of about 10 Republicans who want to propose an alternative with a smaller price tag. Biden’s plan includes another round of direct payments to Americans, which Republicans want to scale back. Biden has said he’s open to working with Republicans but that he’ll continue with his bill if they can’t find a bipartisan agreement. [NYT]
  • Just after five members of his legal team abandoned his impeachment case, Donald Trump has appointed two new lawyers for his trial. According to reports, Trump has been at odds with legal experts because he wants to focus on his election fraud claims rather than the constitutionality of impeaching a former president. [CNN]
  • White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the Biden administration plans to release hurricane disaster aid for Puerto Rico that had been previously been withheld by Trump. They have not set a timeline for when the funds will be released. [Miami Herald]
  • The World Health Organization announced that through the global COVAX program, more than 35.3 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine are expected to go out to 36 Caribbean and Latin American states from mid-February to the end of June. The Pan American Health Organization has said that about 500 million people need to be immunized to control the pandemic in Latin America. [Aljazeera]
  • A new coronavirus variant from the Amazon has worried scientists and overcrowded hospitals in northern Brazil, which is the country hardest-hit by Covid-19 after the U.S. The variant has been identified in seven additional countries, and experts fear it might be more deadly, more contagious and able to reinfect people who have already had the virus. [WSJ]
  • Gunmen opened fire on activists from El Salvador’s left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, the country’s main opposition party, as they were returning from a campaign rally in San Salvador. Two people were killed, and three people have been arrested. [BBC]
  • Domincan singer Natti Natasha announced on Instagram that she got engaged to Raphy Pina, the founder of the Puerto Rican reggaeton label Pina Records known for signing artists such as Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Plan B, and Natti Natasha herself. She showed off her engagement ring in her post. [Billboard]