Pilots Ready to Leave Delta and Southwest Airlines

Pilots from Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines have made it known to the respective companies that they want to get packages for early departures. Earlier, as many as 1,700 pilots in the union were looking for an early out program, but this has risen to more than 2,200 since Friday. Delta had offered not to furlough pilots if they would agree to guaranteed minimum pay.

About 24% of Southwest pilots, along with 33% of flight attendants, are looking for early retirement. They may also settle for a leave of absence on a long-term basis.

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Treasury Secretary to Meet with Senate Republicans on Tuesday

At a closed-door lunch meeting with Senate Republicans, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, the White House Chief of Staff, will meet to discuss the needs of the next economic stimulus package. They will be providing a briefing to the Republicans that will focus on jobs, children, and vaccines.

The goal of the meeting is to come to an agreement with the White House before beginning discussions with the Democrats. Both parties hope to come to an agreement on a package around the end of July – when the $600 per month extra money for unemployment ends. Democrats want to see this program continued but Republicans are expected to reduce the amount.  Some money is expected to be added to the package to help provide schools with money to have the necessary safety features needed to resume school in the fall.

The UAE Is Going Nuclear

The United Arab Republic (UAE) has built its first four nuclear reactors at the Barakah nuclear power station. They are now complete with fueling rods and they hope to be generating power for the region soon. Although the country has promised not to reprocess their spent fuel or to enrich the uranium (for nuclear weapons), the reactors are poor quality and do not meet with standards employed elsewhere.

A bigger problem lay in the possibility that they may be attacked, and these reactors do not have the safety protocols needed for that possibility. Nuclear experts have sounded an alarm over these reactors being in this region. Reactors have a lot more fissionable material in them than an atomic weapon and previous attacks on nuclear sites in the region have occurred often. This makes them a serious target in a time of military conflict with potentially serious results.

Foreign Students May Return to the U.S.

In a change in policy, the United States has agreed to permit foreign students to come and receive classes in the U.S. – even if classes are online only. Most foreign students come from China (about 350,000) and India but it may be nearly impossible for them to come from China. Flights from the country are currently banned and there is a mandated two-week quarantine policy in place. Colleges need the money and it will provide a boost in the economy since foreign students usually pay full-tuition prices. The opening of doors again to foreign students may not bring the desired results, however, since students from Europe provide fewer than 10% of foreign students training here.

Positive Coronavirus Vaccine Tests at Oxford University

A vaccine developed at Oxford University in England, along with AstraZeneca, has provided positive results. The vaccine trial resulted in developing the desired immune response in more than 1,000 human test subjects. It also had just a few side effects that are considered minor.

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