Miguel Cardona to Be Nominated as Education Secretary & More in Today’s News

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Read more

Las Notis is a daily news column that gets you up to speed on the political, media + other goings-on in the United States, Latin America, and the diaspora—all in one quick digest.

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

  • Following Congress’ approval of the new pandemic relief bill, stimulus checks may be sent to Americans as early as this week. Joe Biden has said the bill is just the beginning; he plans to pass more relief after he is inaugurated next month. [NYT]
  • As part of the relief spending bill, Congress has also included legislation to start the process of creating a national Latino museum. Previously, Republican senator Mike Lee blocked a scheduled voice vote on the museum and on a bill to establish a women’s history museum, accusing the effort of creating “an array of segregated separate but equal museums for hyphenated identity groups.” [NBC Latino]
  • Countries have blocked travel from Britain after a new, more contagious strain of the coronavirus was discovered. Scientists are working to understand the mutation, known as the 501Y variant, but so far has not found any indication it would be resistant to vaccine efforts. [AFP]
  • Joe Biden is planning to nominate Miguel Cardona, the commissioner of public schools in Connecticut, as his education secretary, according to sources familiar with the matter. Cardona is considered an under-the-radar candidate who has pushed to reopen schools and has not been aligned with education policy battles in recent years. He was born in Meriden to Puerto Rican parents. [WaPo]
  • A report from the watchdog group the Committee to Protect Journalists said the number of journalists killed as a result of their work more than doubled in 2020, with at least 30 deaths worldwide. Armed conflict and gang violence made Mexico and Afghanistan among the deadliest countries for reporters. [NYT]
  • Police in Rio have arrested city mayor Marcelo Crivella, an evangelical pastor who was elected in 2016. He was detained at his home as part of an investigation into an alleged bribery scheme at Rio’s city hall. Crivella, who recently lost a bid for re-election, has said he is innocent and the target of a “political persecution.” [BBC]
  • Experts fear a vaccine rollout in Latin America, where some regions face challenges as a result of the pandemic, poverty and flawed healthcare systems, that could result in a logistical nightmare. [LA Times]