Rural broadband is on Biden’s infrastructure list
President Biden plans to announce a plan to modernize U.S. infrastructure on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, with a dramatic expansion of rural broadband expected to be part of the package. Broadband service increasingly is seen as essential to rural prosperity and even survival.
Gonzales is named immigration adviser at USDA
President Biden appointed Oscar Gonzales, an advocate for social justice, as immigration reform adviser at USDA on Monday. Gonzales, who worked at USDA during the Obama years, also will serve as deputy chief of staff for operations and as assistant secretary for administration.
U.S. suspends trade engagement with Burma in wake of coup
Two months after the military coup in Burma, the Biden administration announced a cutoff of trade engagement with Rangoon “until the return of a democratically elected government.”
Today’s Quick Hits
Keeping tariffs on China: The United States and China will meet on trade “when the time is right” and in the meantime, the Biden administration will leave in place tariffs on $ 370 billion worth of Chinese products. (South China Morning Post)
Rural eviction moratorium: The CDC’s extension through June 30 of a moratorium on residential evictions because of the pandemic will provide “relief to hundreds of thousands of Americans who rely on USDA-supported multifamily housing communities.” (USDA)
Carbon bank skepticism: A USDA carbon bank is the topic du jour for climate mitigation, but it’s far from certain that Congress or farmers will accept the idea. (Politico)
Montana eyes wolves: The Montana legislature is sending bills to Gov. Greg Gianforte that would allow hunters to kill far more wolves than in the past, through practices such as spotlighting and baiting. (New York Times)
Animal role in coronavirus: The virus that causes Covid-19 probably moved from bats into another unknown animal before it began to infect humans, says a joint WHO-China study. (Associated Press)