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Live from NPR news I’m Jeanine Herbst.

After many Texans got huge electric bills after last week’s winter storm, Texas governor Greg Abbott today says that Texas utility’s commission for now will stop sending out bills and there will be a moratorium on disconnects for nonpayment. Meanwhile as Texas thaws out, state’s water utilities are slowly coming back on line, but as Texas public radio Jerry Clayton reports millions are still without regular water service.

Portions of major Texas cities including Dallas, Huston and San Antonio have restored some water service, yet millions of people across the state are still under boil water notifications. Many of those are expected to be rescinded early this week, in San Antonio as of Sunday afternoon more than 90%of water service had been restored, but about half the city was still under a boil water notice, municipality in many cases are waiting for the Texas commission on environment quality to test water supplies. City and county government along with many non-profit organizations continue to hand out water to residents across the state. I’m Jerry Clayton in San Antonio.

President Biden’s nearly 2 trillion dollar corona virus relief package goes before congress this week as NPR’s Barbara reports democrats hope to include a minimum wage increase to 15dollars an hour.

Democratic congress woman Pramila Jayapal told CNN she believes the fight to increase the minimum wage is a fight worth having.
“If we are gonna be real, about tackling racial inequity, economic inequity, then we are going to have to raise the minimum wage. “  
President Biden has said he supports the measure, but is doubtful it can be passed through the Senate reconciliation process that only needs 51 votes. Progressives argue the measure would affect the federal budget and therefore falls within the rules of reconciliation. The Senate parliament terrain hasn't yet decided whether that’s the case. But 2 moderate Senate democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have already indicated they won't support using reconciliation to increase the wage to that level. Barbara NPR news.

The British government says every adult in the UK will be offered a first dose of the vaccine by the end of July, NPR’s Jackie Northam reports.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he accelerated target for vaccination will allow vulnerable people to be protected sooner, about 1/3 of British adults almost 17 million people have already be vaccinated. Under the new target every one over 50 or with an underlying health condition can be vaccinated by mid-April. The government has faced harsh criticism for its handling of the pandemic, which has left more than 120,000 people dead, the highest toll in Europe. A new variant earlier this year forced the UK’s third lockdown. And Johnson is under pressure to reopen schools and business to help the economy, which has been battered by the pandemic. Jackie Northam NPR news Washington.
This is NPR news.

Thousands of protesters marched in Myanmar again today, denouncing the February 1st military coup and calling for elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi  to be released. Yesterday security forces fired on protesters in Mandalay killing 2 people. Peaceful demonstrations were held in that city today. The military has been unable to stop the demonstrations and the civil disobedient campaign of strikes against the coup, even with a promise of new elections and warnings against dissent. The US says it’s deeply concerned by the violence.

The damage from the winter storms and extreme cold isn’t only in Texas. After nearly a week of freezing temperatures, farmers in Mississippi and Louisiana say they have lost livestock and crops. Steven from member station WBHM has more.

Farmers in both states have lost thousands of chickens as ice caused their shelters to collapse, Mississippi cattle farmer Caroline Jon says she’s lost at least 7 of her cattle.
“All of this was stress in animal and whilst animal are in stress and we are losing dollars because they are losing pounds.”  
With pipes and ponds freezing, farmers are also worrying about cattle dying from dehydration. Louisiana farmers are concerned the frozen earth may have killed their sugar cane crop, but won’t find out for several weeks. If their roots will not sprout the Louisiana farm bureau federation says the state’s farmers could end up losing millions of dollars. For NPR news I’m Steven in Birmingham.  

The average price of a gallon of regular gas is on the rise jumping 14 cents over the past 2 weeks, to 2 dollars 64 cents a gallon according to the Lundberg Survey.

I’m Jeanine Herbst and you are listening to NPR news.
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