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The next worker fight: Time off for Juneteenth

Who gets paid time offto celebrate Juneteenth in the years to come will be uneven and complicated, if history is any guide.

Why it matters: Corporate America hasn't grappled with a new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was authorized almost 40 years ago. How they responded took years to evolve.


  • To this day, it's among those not universally recognized as a paid day off for corporate employees — not to mention for hourly workers.

What's happening: Bank of America, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo are offering a "floating" paid holiday this year — and starting in 2022, it will be part of its holiday schedule.

  • Morgan Stanley told its employees it could "step away from work at midday" today, Bloomberg reports.
  • Nike says it will close all of its distribution centers and retail stores tomorrow, but stores like Target and JCPenney will be open. Starbucks will pay hourly workers time-and-a-half tomorrow, as it did last year.

Catch up quick: Juneteenth has been informally celebrated since 1865 — when the last enslaved people finally got word of their freedom — but corporate America began acknowledging the day just last year, weeks after George Floyd's murder.

  • Over 800 companies are now giving employees paid time off, up from roughly 500 last year, according to Hella Creative — a group that's been petitioning corporations to acknowledge the day.

What to watch: One area where the observance of federal holidays is most inconsistent is stock exchanges — the cornerstone of financial markets.

  • There's no hard-and-fast rule for when trading shuts down. The exchanges close in observance of MLK Day, but they're open on Veterans Day. They close for Good Friday, even though it's not a federal holiday.
  • What exchanges, regulators and industry groups decide for Juneteenth could push employers in adjacent industries to give workers time off.

Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine "remains durable" with 93% efficacy through 6 months

Moderna said Thursday that its coronavirus vaccine was 93% effective against COVID-19 through six months after receiving the second dose.

Why it matters: The number shows that efficacy "remains durable" through that time, and hardly wanes from the 94.5% efficacy Moderna reported last November. But the clinical trial, which started in July 2020, was conducted before the Delta variant became the common strain in the U.S.

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U.S. women's soccer team beats Australia, wins Olympic bronze

The U.S. women's soccer team won the bronze medal on Thursday after beating ninth-ranked Australia 4-3.

Why it matters: Thursday's victory marks the U.S. team's first bronze in Olympic history, handing the team a medal after it failed to earn one during the Rio Games in 2016.

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Top Democratic operatives mapped out how to defend Kamala Harris at high-powered dinner

A group of the Democratic Party's most influential women met for dinner at a home in the nation’s capital last month to game out how to defend Vice President Kamala Harris and her chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, against a torrent of bad press.

Why it matters: It's telling that so early in the Biden-Harris administration, such powerful operatives felt compelled to try to right the vice president's ship.

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In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 13 highlights

Day 13 of the Tokyo Olympic Games saw Team USA's men's basketball team beat Australia 97-78 on Thursday to advance to the gold medal game.

The big picture: Kevin Durant led the charge with 23 points to help the U.S. secure a final spot against either France or Slovenia on Saturday local time. Elsewhere, the U.S. added to its gold medals count, with shot putter Ryan Crouser and teenage canoeist Nevin Harrison both winning their events.

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Judge to Capitol rioter: Insurrection is "not patriotism"

A federal judge sentencing a Michigan man in D.C. Wednesday over his role in the U.S. Capitol riot dismissed any notion that he's a political prisoner.

Driving the news: U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that she wasn't sentencing Karl Dresch, of Calumet, "because he is a supporter" of former President Trump, noting that "millions of people" had voted for him "and did not heed his call to descend on the nation's Capitol," per the Detroit News.

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2 wildfires ravage Northern California homes as thousands evacuate

Two massive California wildfires have triggered new mandatory evacuation orders for thousands of people and destroyed homes and businesses in the state's north overnight.

Details: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze, razed houses and businesses as it ripped through the Greenville area of Plumas County Wednesday night, per AP. The rapidly spreading River Fire burned "multiple" homes as it tore through Placer and Nevada counties, KOVR notes. Mandatory evacuation orders were in effect for both fires.

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Landlords mount legal challenge to Biden administration's new eviction moratorium

A group of landlords and real-estate companies issued a legal challenge on Wednesday night in a D.C. district court to the Biden administration's new national eviction moratorium.

Driving the news: The Alabama and Georgia Associations of Realtors' emergency motion argues that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's order Tuesday barring evictions for most of the U.S. through Oct. 3 exceeds the CDC's powers, according to a statement from the National Association of Realtors.

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Olympic beach volleyball duo one step away from realizing gold medal dream

Alix Klineman and April Ross are guaranteed to earn at least an Olympic silver medal after defeating Germany 2-0 in the Tokyo Games on Thursday morning local time.

Of note: It's the latest chapter in an enduring partnership, driven by past failures and bound by future aspirations.

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