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New York’s Vaccine Passport Could Cost Taxpayers $17 Million

The New York Times reported:

New York officials introduced the Excelsior Pass app earlier this year as the country’s first government-issued vaccine passport, designed to help jump-start the state’s economy.

But newly obtained documents show that the state may have larger plans for the app and that the cost to taxpayers may be much higher than originally stated.

The state’s three-year contract with I.B.M. — obtained by an advocacy group and shared with The New York Times — to develop and run the pass establishes the groundwork for a future where at least 10 million people in the state would have an Excelsior Pass. It would provide them with a QR code that would not only verify their vaccination status but could also include other personal details like proof of age, driver’s license and other health records.

178 Health Care Workers Suspended From Houston Methodist Hospital System For Refusing COVID-19 Vaccination

USA Today reported:

Scores of workers at a Houston hospital system have been suspended and face being fired for refusing the COVID-19 vaccination, a controversial company mandate that has drawn protests and an outcry from those facing termination.

Houston Methodist CEO Dr. Marc Bloom said the 178 workers represent less than 1% of almost 25,000 employees …

Bloom said 27 of the 178 suspended workers have received one dose of vaccine, and that he is hopeful they will get the second dose. All are suspended for two weeks and are set to be fired if they fail to be fully vaccinated.

Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How Bezos, Musk, Other Top Billionaires Pay Almost Zilch in Income Taxes

ProPublica reported:

In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world’s richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes.

Michael Bloomberg managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row.

ProPublica has obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years.

TOMORROW: Health Freedom Advocates to Rally Against Indiana University Vaccine Mandate

The Defender reported:

A group of Indiana University (IU) students, parents and staff will hold a “Rally for Medical Freedom” on Thursday, June 10 to demand officials immediately retract the university’s COVID vaccine mandate and drop all mask requirements and COVID mitigation testing.

The rally will take place at 1 p.m. ET during the board of trustees meeting, in front of Sample Gates on the IU-Bloomington campus.

On May 21, IU announced a new policy requiring all students, faculty and staff to get the COVID vaccine, claiming the vaccine mandate is necessary for the university to return to in-person classes.

TikTok Sued in the Netherlands for $1.7 Billion Over Collecting Children’s Data

The Epoch Times reported:

The Amsterdam-based Market Information Research Foundation (SOMI) sued the video-sharing platform TikTok on behalf of 64,000 Dutch parents, seeking 1.4 billion euros (about $1.7 billion) for allegedly collecting data from millions of children.

Amazon Pharmacy Offers Half-Yearly Prescriptions Starting at $6

Reuters reported:

Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) said on Tuesday it was now offering six-month prescriptions starting at $6 for medications of common health issues through its pharmacy.

The company said prime members would get additional savings when paying without insurance. Customers can pay as low as $1 per month for select medications, including drugs to treat diabetes and blood pressure, and will get free two-day delivery.

The e-commerce giant launched an online pharmacy in November for delivering prescription medications in the United States and stirring up competition with drug retailers such as Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA.O), CVS Health (CVS.N) and Walmart (WMT.N).

Fans at England’s Euro Games to Use Vaccine Passports

Yahoo! News reported:

Fans attending England’s opening Euro 2020 match against Croatia on Sunday will be the first at a sporting event in Britain to have the option of using coronavirus vaccine passports.

European governing body UEFA has confirmed that ticket holders based in Britain can gain entry either by providing proof of a negative lateral flow test or by showing proof of full vaccination — both doses received at least 14 days before the match.

Ticket holders based elsewhere must provide proof of a negative lateral flow test.

Biden Revokes and Replaces Trump Executive Orders That Banned TikTok

CNBC reported:

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday that sets criteria for the government to evaluate the risk of apps connected to foreign adversaries, a move with implications for Chinese-owned sites like TikTok and WeChat.

Biden revoked and replaced the three executive orders by then-President Donald Trump that sought to ban transactions with TikTok and WeChat by American businesses. One of the orders also sough to ban TikTok, resulting in a prolonged court battle. TikTok remains available and popular in the U.S.

EU Digital COVID Certificate: Everything You Need to Know

CNN reported:

How travel will look in the near future is the question on everyone’s lips, and as Europe begins to reopen its borders to travelers from outside the continent, the European Union has announced the launch of its EU Digital Covid Certificate — set to allow freedom of movement around the bloc.

Already, nine countries are using the scheme to issue certificates, with more expected to join before the scheme officially launches on July 1. The EU’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly to approve the scheme on June 9.

U.S. Senate Approves $50bn Boost for Computer Chip and AI Technology to Counter China

The Guardian reported

The U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly approved a bill to boost American semiconductor production and the development of artificial intelligence and other technology in the face of growing international competition, most notably from China.

The 68-32 vote for the bill on Tuesday demonstrates how confronting China economically is an issue that unites both parties in Congress. It is a rare unifying issue in an era of division as pressure grows on Democrats to change Senate rules to push past Republican opposition and gridlock.