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We've talked about whether so-called vaccine passports are legal and whether they might be necessary for travel. Now we want to ask whether bringing them into widespread use is the right thing to do. Yasmeen Serhan is worried about this. She wrote a piece for The Atlantic titled "The Futility Of Vaccine Passports." In it, she argues that vaccine passports could divide society into two groups, the jabbed and the jab-less. And Yasmeen Serhan is with us now from London.

Welcome. Thanks so much for joining us.

YASMEEN SERHAN: Thanks for having me.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We've talked about whether so-called vaccine passports are legal and whether they might be necessary for travel. Now we want to ask whether bringing them into widespread use is the right thing to do. Yasmeen Serhan is worried about this. She wrote a piece for The Atlantic titled "The Futility Of Vaccine Passports." In it, she argues that vaccine passports could divide society into two groups, the jabbed and the jab-less. And Yasmeen Serhan is with us now from London.

Welcome. Thanks so much for joining us.

YASMEEN SERHAN: Thanks for having me.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We've talked about whether so-called vaccine passports are legal and whether they might be necessary for travel. Now we want to ask whether bringing them into widespread use is the right thing to do. Yasmeen Serhan is worried about this. She wrote a piece for The Atlantic titled "The Futility Of Vaccine Passports." In it, she argues that vaccine passports could divide society into two groups, the jabbed and the jab-less. And Yasmeen Serhan is with us now from London.

Welcome. Thanks so much for joining us.

YASMEEN SERHAN: Thanks for having me.

The Chinese government says it is issuing a $2.8 billion fine on the e-commerce company Alibaba Group for violating its anti-monopoly regulations.

Alibaba is one of the most influential tech giants in China and the world. The company was under investigation by the Chinese government since December for "suspected monopolistic conduct."

In Coney Island, The Wonder Wheel Spins Again

14 hours ago

Coney Island's eccentric orchestra is back: Roller coaster carts tick up, up, up and then plummet and swerve along winding tracks. Rides hum, buzz and creak to the beat of carnival music.

After a year of being shut down due to the pandemic, Coney Island's two amusement parks, Luna Park and Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, have reopened — at a third of their normal capacity.

At Deno's, kids and adults face off to see who can squirt water into the mouth of a clown fastest — and get a balloon to pop like a firecracker.

From toilet paper to hand sanitizer to disinfecting wipes, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to some major shortages across the United States. While supermarket aisles may have finally returned to their fully stocked state, restaurants across the country are now facing a new and uniquely American shortage — ketchup.

"They are really sweating over it. I mean, it's costing a lot," says Heather Haddon, a restaurant reporter for The Wall Street Journal. "It's, you know, a service issue. So for these restaurant owners, it's not a laughing matter."

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Direct government payments to Americans have been a crucial economic lifeline in this pandemic. But one nonprofit in Jackson, Miss., has been running an experiment since 2018. What if their struggling neighbors got checks every month, month after month?

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As more people get their shots and begin to reemerge from pandemic hibernation, one exclamation seems to rise from towns all across America.

JENN CUBBAGE: Girl, what did you do to your hair?

Amazon Warehouse Workers Vote 'No' To Union

20 hours ago

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There will be 86% fewer Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses allocated to states next week, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show, highlighting the company's yo-yoing vaccine supply from week to week.

But next week's dip in supply isn't exactly the setback it appears to be.

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The Small Business Administration yesterday launched with great fanfare a long awaited portal that would allow arts venues closed down by pandemic to apply for grant money to cover rent, utilities, insurance and other accumulated expenses. The site went live at noon, but was wracked with so many technical issues that the SBA decided to shut the portal down indefinitely.

A new possible problem with Boeing's 737 Max airplanes has several airlines once again pulling dozens of the troubled jets out of service.

Boeing said in a statement that it has "recommended to 16 customers that they address a potential electrical issue in a specific group of 737 MAX airplanes prior to further operations."

Updated April 9, 2021 at 1:28 PM ET

Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama will not be forming a union.

The vast majority of votes cast by Amazon's workers in Bessemer, Ala., were against joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in a stinging defeat of the union drive. The final tally showed 1,798 votes against unionizing and 738 votes in favor of the union.

Kristy Miller's dogs, Oreo and Dabo, often start barking right on cue when she joins a Zoom call from her home.

And much too often, Miller hears herself ask a single, exasperated question over the piercing yaps of her dogs: "Can you hear me?"

President Biden is pushing hard to get more Americans to buy electric vehicles to rein in global warming and spur domestic manufacturing.

The $2 trillion infrastructure plan he is trying to sell to Congress includes about $174 billion to boost electric vehicle sales and production — more than the president proposes spending on roads and bridges.

The hand counting of votes will continue on Friday in a high-profile, high-stakes election that will determine whether Amazon workers in Alabama will form the company's first unionized warehouse in the U.S.

At the end of Thursday, more than two-thirds of the tallied votes were against unionizing, with no votes outnumbering yes votes 1,100 to 463.

General Motors will temporarily shut down two more plants as automakers continue to struggle with major supply chain disruptions, particularly in computer chips.

The company will idle its plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, for one week and Lansing Delta Township, Michigan, for two weeks. They're the lastest in the long list of North American auto plants going dark because of the ongoing chip shortage, causing temporary layoffs for workers and cutting into the supply of new vehicles.

Vaccine "passports" are making headlines and eliciting emergency measures by governors in a handful of states.

So what are these credentials, exactly, and what are they used for?

What is a vaccine passport?

It's a credential that can be used to show that a person has been vaccinated. The same technology can be used to show a person's coronavirus test results. It's a way to demonstrate a person's health status, generally through a smartphone app or a QR code that has been printed.

The long-awaited lifeline for live venues impacted by the coronavirus shut downs is finally here. Owners of small music venues, independent movie theaters and some museums can now apply for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant — a $16 billion grant program set up and run by the Small Business Administration.

Updated April 8, 2021 at 6:20 PM ET

Late in Patrick Radden Keefe's brutal, multigenerational treatment of the Sackler family, Empire of Pain, he offers a jarring anecdote.

It's 2019. The scandal surrounding OxyContin, Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers' role in America's devastating opioid epidemic is front-page news. Hundreds of people are dying every day from overdoses.

For eight years, the civil rights organization Muslim Advocates has reported scores of examples of bigotry and hate promoted across Facebook. It has published reports and met privately with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his number two, Sheryl Sandberg, about its concerns.

Updated April 8, 2021 at 3:35 PM ET

The results of the 2021 election that everyone has been awaiting with bated breath are taking a while.

Blame it on mail-in votes. Yes, this one, too.

Updated April 8, 2021 at 12:11 PM ET

President Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan isn't just about roads, bridges and affordable housing but also about dealing with climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency's new leader says.

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The global production of electric vehicles is likely to increase at an astonishing pace. That means automakers need a lot more batteries, and all that demand could mean a bottleneck. NPR's Camila Domonoske reports.

Saks Fifth Avenue is going fur-free, becoming the latest fashion seller to take animal-fur clothes and accessories off its shelves.

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