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The US Senate has voted to approve Joe Biden's $ 1.9 billion stimulus bill. In doing so, the president's plan to drive America's economic recovery has brought it a big step closer to its final approval in Congress, but has sent another jolt across the financial markets.

The upper chamber of Congress passed the fiscal incentive bill 50-49 after all Democrats voted in favor and all Republicans present were against.

The bill is now expected to go to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives for a final vote on Tuesday and then to Biden's desk to be included in the bill.

At the heart of the stimulus package is a new round of means-tested direct payments worth $ 1,400 per person for Americans earning less than $ 75,000 a year. This is part of a package of measures to help with large-scale tax transfers aimed directly at low- and intermediate-income families.

Also includes a $ 300 per week extension of federal unemployment benefit through early September.

In addition to financial support for American families, there is US $ 350 billion in aid to states and local governments, the expansion of a tax credit, and additional funding for the introduction of vaccinations and the reopening of schools. An earlier proposal to raise the federal minimum wage from $ 7.25 to $ 15 was dropped after the Senate MP ruled that it could not be approved by a simple majority in the upper chamber of Congress.

Futures trading suggests US stock markets will fall again on Monday after the Senate passes the stimulus package. Nasdaq 100 futures fell about 2 percent in European trading, suggesting the tech-focused index may fall further after falling about 8 percent in the past three weeks. The sale also continued in the US government bond market. The return on the 10-year benchmark treasury rose by 0.04 percentage points to over 1.6 percent, almost its highest level since the beginning of the year.

Coronavirus digest

  • More than 4.4 million new businesses have been launched in the United States US according to the Census Bureau, since last March, well above the increase seen in previous recessions. Data from Friday showed that the US economy created 379,000 jobs in February.

  • The Bank of Japan will maintain monetary easing but lay the foundation for a "nimble" response to changing economic conditions, said the central bank's deputy governor.

  • Brazil fights a second virus attack triggered by a contagious P. 1 strain.

  • The EU will urge the US to allow exports of millions of doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine.

  • More than half of the adults in rich countries will still wait for the first vaccine dose in 15 months, the head of a logistics group that distributes shocks has warned.

Sanya Ojiambo argues that the post-pandemic recovery is an opportunity to eradicate gender inequality. Follow our Covid-19 live blog and vaccine tracker.

In the news

"I just didn't want to be alive anymore" Meghan Markle was suicidal from her experience with a British royal family who refused to protect them from hateful tabloids and worried about the color of their unborn child, as the Duchess of Sussex revealed on a two-hour broadcast on Sunday with Oprah Winfrey. (FT)

The interview on Sunday evening with Oprah Winfrey described how a fairytale biracial romance turned into a crisis for the British monarchy © Via Reuters

Oil prices jump above USD 70 after the attack Oil prices rose above $ 70 a barrel for the first time in 14 months after Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, said the power plants in one of the world's largest oil shipping ports were attacked by Iranian-backed Houthi forces on Sunday in Yemen. (FT)

GE is about to sell an aircraft lease unit General Electric is on the verge of selling its aircraft leasing business to Irish group AerCap for more than $ 30 billion. GE Capital Aviation Services is one of the world's largest leasing companies buying and leasing aircraft to airlines. (FT)

The Chairman of the New York Senate calls for the resignation of Andrew Cuomo Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Democratic majority leader in the state's Senate, argued that the governor became a distraction when more women accused him of inappropriate behavior and called on the three-time New York governor to resign. (FT)

The ECB asks the banks about their exposure to Greensill European Central Bank regulators have asked lenders on the continent for details of their involvement with Greensill Capital and its client GFG Alliance, as officials say four people familiar with the matter are trying to understand whether the crisis is contained. (FT)

Beijing wants to lower the proportion of directly elected HK lawmakers Hong Kong's new electoral law, officially unveiled this week at the Communist Party's National People's Congress, will reduce the proportion of democratically elected lawmakers and increase President Xi Jinping's influence in the territory. (FT)

Pope Francis ends his historic visit to Iraq The first papal visit to Iraq, including the former Islamic state stronghold of Mosul, ended on Monday. During the three-day visit, the Pope also held a historic interfaith meeting with the most eminent Shiite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. (FT)

Iraq's most revered Shiite minister, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, met Pope Francis and his delegation in the holy city of Najaf. © Ayatollah Sistanis media office

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe faces new trial British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has called on Iran to end the "cruel and excruciating ordeal" the charity worker endured as she faced another trial despite her release from house arrest. (FT)

The day ahead

The trial of a former police officer accused of killing George Floyd begins Jury selection is due to begin today in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer accused of killing George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man. The death sparked nationwide protests against racism and police brutality. (FT, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Political presentations Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, will address the Resolution Foundation on Monday on the post-coronavirus economic outlook. The European Central Bank will publish the weekly numbers for its pandemic emergency purchase program. (FT)

Schools in England are reopening Almost all English students will resume face-to-face classes when the first part of the UK government's “roadmap” begins from a national lockdown. The National Statistics Office will publish figures on vaccine hesitation. (FT)

International Women's Day 2021 The theme of this year's celebrations is "Choose a Challenge". Events are held around the world to expose prejudice and inequalities between the sexes. Meet our cast of women who are changing the world. (IWD, FT)

The latest live events in our Future of Work series focus on the workforce. Human resource managers and their teams play a pivotal role in defining business strategy and reshaping their organizations as the crisis evolves from social disaster to economic imperative. Join Now.

What else are we reading?

The race to enlarge green hydrogen Hydrogen has been touted as a potentially revolutionary alternative to fossil fuels for decades, but its high cost and complexity have slowed attempts to create entirely new economies. Can the gas help solve the world's dirtiest energy problems? This is the first in a series to look at whether hydrogen can help reduce emissions in various industries.

Since the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, “low-carbon hydrogen”, which is produced either without fossil fuels or by storing and recording the emissions generated, has been firmly back on the agenda
Since the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, “low-carbon hydrogen”, which is produced either without fossil fuels or by storing and recording the emissions generated, has been firmly back on the agenda. © FT montage

Why Walmart is banking on What exactly does Walmart do? The question has become more pressing for the banking industry following news poached from major retailer Omer Ismail, head of Goldman Sachs' start-up consumer banking business. One thing is almost certain, writes US finance editor Robert Armstrong. Walmart is betting that the regulatory environment has changed. (FT)

The deepening crisis in Rio de Janeiro Brazil fluctuates from overlapping crises. The economy has barely grown in a decade, and that was before the coronavirus pandemic triggered both a health emergency and a deep recession. Now the most famous city is in heavy debt and violent crime. (FT)

A corpse is removed from a street in Rio. Public health expert Lígia Bahia says, "People don't die from variants of the coronavirus or the severity of Covid-19 – they die because they don't have access to health care." © Ricardo Moraes / Reuters

Wishful thinking about China will not serve American interests While the former president lacked a coherent strategy to combat the rise of China and his vitriolic rhetoric did not help America, the past four years have at least put an end to deliberate blindness, writes Rana Foroohar. (FT)

Mothers step back at work A global survey of FT readers shows that two in five working mothers have taken or are considering taking a step back from work during Covid-19. According to a shareholder advisory firm, only one in ten people named chief executive or executive chair of the world's 500 largest companies in the past two years has been women. Read our special series of reports on women in business.

Do young people really need the office? Emma Jacobs argues that there is a risk in romanticizing young people returning to the office. It seems at times during the pandemic, she writes, that the idea of ​​the workplace has been endowed with magical powers. (FT)

Podcast of the day

Disrupt the hospital Could a piece of high-tech fabric keep Covid-19 patients out of the hospital and have them monitored at home? On the latest installment of the Tech Tonic podcast, Hannah Kuchler, the FT's pharmaceutical and biotech correspondent, shares the wearable technology that is transforming healthcare during the pandemic and examines what it means for the future of patient care. (FT)

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