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The feds reportedly doled about two-thirds of the money set aside for the second round of coronavirus stimulus checks in just one week. As of Tuesday, the Treasury Department had distributed more than $112 billion worth of the $600 payments since they started going out last week, The Wall Street Journal reported. The checks were reportedly expected to cost roughly $164 billion overall. That suggests the second checks have gotten to Americans faster than the first. The Internal Revenue Service took about three weeks to distribute a little more than half of the $293 billion set aside for the initial $1,200 checks in last spring’s massive CARES Act stimulus bill. But the process hasn’t been free from glitches despite the increased speed. For instance, taxpayers grew confused about the status of their payments after learning that tax preparers H&R Block and TurboTax had become middlemen for the money. And the IRS admitted that some checks were sent to closed or inactive accounts, forcing banks to return the money to the feds. “While the IRS has been able to deliver the second round of Economic Impact Payments in record time, we understand there are many questions and we appreciate everyone’s patience
American workers filed 787,000 applications for jobless benefits last week, 19,000 fewer than last week — pushing the total number of filings during the coronavirus pandemic to 73 million. The number of Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits since March is now equivalent to the populations of France and Portugal combined. The claims were down from the previous week’s revised total of 806,000. The figure breaks a three-week streak of jobless numbers clocking in above 800,000. New filings, however, have remained above the pre-pandemic record of 695,000 for 10 straight months despite falling sharply from their late March peak of about 6.8 million. “The 787,000 new unemployment claim filings were down from the week before, but the 4-week moving average continues to trend higher,” Bankrate’s chief financial analyst Greg McBride said. These are the first jobless claims since Americans began receiving their long-awaited COVID-19 stimulus checks. The $600 will be showing up in the bank accounts of people who have direct deposit set up with the IRS over the next week. The Treasury began mailing out physical checks on Wednesday for individuals who do not have their accounts linked.
President Trump considered joining Parler under a pseudonym in the months before the controversial social network went dark, its chief executive claimed in court papers. Trump had thought about moving to the Twitter-like platform — which was popular with his supporters — under the name “Person X” since at least October of last year, according to Parler CEO John Matze. The president’s purported plans were part of the reason Amazon Web Services decided to boot Parler from its servers this week, putting the fledgling company in an existential crisis, according to Matze. “Based on my interactions with AWS personnel during this period, I believe AWS’s decision to terminate service to Parler was based, not on expressed concerns about Parler’s compliance with the AWS [Customer] Agreement, but in part on a desire to deny President Trump a platform on any large social-media service,” Matze said in a declaration filed Wednesday as part of his company’s federal lawsuit against AWS. Parler CEO John Matze said his app may never return.Fox News Amazon’s cloud-computing unit forced Parler offline Monday over concerns about its failure to crack down on threats of violence its users posted in the wake of last week’s Capitol riots. Parler’s