President Trump, NPR, Holly Smith discussed on All Things Considered

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Meanwhile, the attorney general's decision, which was highly unusual to intervene in this case, and to try to drop it after Flynn had pleaded guilty caused an uproar in critics said This looks a lot like a political favor to a friend of the president. Well, this is of course, the first part in that we have seen from President Trump's since the election. Should we be anticipating many more? This is the first of what we expect to be a number of partners. Yes, there are a number of people who the president is friends with who could expect to pardon some top names were looking at former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort. The president's former political adviser, Steve Bannon, who is facing federal charges in New York. There is also of course, the possibility that the president could pardon his family preemptively and the possibility for the president to try to pardon himself before he leaves office. That is NPR. Justice correspondent Ryan Lucas. Thank you, Ryan. Thank you. Encourage or require. That is a dilemma Many employers are facing as a covert 19 vaccine comes closer to reality. Ah, quarter million people in the U. S have died from Cove it once there's a shot can that can prevent illness Should it be mandatory in the workplace? NPR's Andrea Hsu has more Only a couple of months into the pandemic. Holly Smith had made up her mind. Her restaurant Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, Washington, would not reopen the diners until there was a covert 19 vaccine. She's already told her staff you are going to get vaccinated. Some of my young millennials are like, so I'm taking this is a directive like as a mandate. Is that how you mean it? And it's that's a scary thing. You know, like, Yeah. Yes, yes, Smith had 28 employees before the pandemic. She's had to lay off all but five. Her fine dining spot has become a take out on Lee business. Even with a much smaller staff, Smith is serious about safety. She requires her workers to get tested. If they go on vacation with people outside their bubble, or if they're showing any sign of illness. I believe in civil liberties and all those different things, but you know, we have people who live with their parents. We have people who lived with her husband, who has diabetes. The staff have to be healthy and safe before you could move forward, she says, you know for vaccinated I think I can move out in the world and be responsible for these 28 or 30 people. Plus all the people coming in Now, if you're wondering, Can she actually do this? Can she require her workers to get vaccinated? The answer appears to be yes. But her workers also have the right to request exemptions. Under federal laws. Someone could say I have a medical or religious reason I can't be vaccinated and companies must try to provide accommodations. It's incredibly hard to manage a mandate. Johnnie Taylor Jr is president of the Society for Human Resource Management. He says Each requests must be evaluated on its own merits. Now imagine if there were hundreds of them. A recent poll found four in 10. Americans don't want the vaccine, though that polling was done before anyone knew how well the vaccines would work. So this is a true headache for HR professionals. That's why you're likely to see many companies strongly encourage the vaccine, but stopped short of mandating it. Take, for example, the pork producers Smithfield, the company told NPR. They're not anticipating a firm mandate, but they want to offer the vaccine on site. Even with all the headaches, Taylor things many employers will go for the mandate. After all, they have an obligation to get rid of any known hazards in the workplace like Covad. It's real and it's devastating. So I think the dynamic changes. Employers are actually going to position this as I need to do this full stop. Now. There are some workplaces that already mandate the flu vaccine most commonly hospitals. Dr. James McDevitt is dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He says the annual flu shot is required for some 14,000 people, doctors, nurses, med students, even the clerks. They're sitting in a computer that don't see live patients. It's the right thing to do for society, he says. If you claim an exemption, you have to wear a mask. Now with the covert vaccine. Baylor is not going to make it mandatory until they can actually get enough supply to cover everyone and until it's been deemed safe, not just by the FDA, McDivitt says, but by his own colleagues. Johnny Taylor Jr says. Whatever companies decide there are likely to be challenges. And so Congress and state legislators are going to have to think about how to offer some protection on both sides. Legal protection for companies that mandate the vaccine in case someone has a bad reaction. Even though you will have to sign a waiver before you get the shot. They've also gotta protect the employers who decide not to make it. Mandate and then who are sued by employees who contracted Taylor has been meeting with federal employment officials telling them employers want to do the right thing, but they're in a tough spot, and they're going to need help getting through this. Andrea Hsu NPR news In a surprise announcement today, the Trump Administration has denied a permit for the Pebble Mine in Alaska. The proposed open pit gold mine would have been one of the largest in North America. Alaska Public Media's Liz Ruskin reports at many points during the Trump presidency, It has appeared that the permit was certain to be granted. But the Army Corps of Engineers determined the mind plan would not comply with the Clean Water Act and that the project is not in the public interest. Fishermen and tribes in Bristol Bay have been fighting the mind for more than a decade, fearing it would degrade the rich salmon runs that are at the heart of the area's economy and indigenous culture. Sport fishermen come from all over the world to stay at lodges in the area for a chance at landing a record Cojo or rainbow trout, Nancy Morris Lion and Bear Trail Lodging. King Salmon Got the news by text. It is an incredible relief. I felt like sitting down and just crying Well, lion says The prospect of the mine has held the whole region hostage for years. Lodge owners like her didn't know if they could invest in their businesses. The president's oldest son and avid hunter and fisherman is credited with galvanizing the Trump administration against the project, Lion, says Donald Trump Jr and his brother, Eric stayed with her about eight years ago. I always said that I had faith that after they had visited here, and they spent time here The state. He understood that this place didn't need something like that. Marring it, starring at ruining it forever. Pebble Limited partnership says it's not giving up and is focusing on a possible appeal of the Army cores decision. The company says the project would provide hundreds of good jobs. But they were more questions about the lasting impact of the mine. When secret recordings emerged this fall, Pebble executives were caught saying that they ultimately planned a much larger mind than they had requested A permit for For now, the Army course decision appears to be a death blow for the pebble mine. The incoming Biden administration is likely to oppose the project, as the Obama administration did. For NPR news. I'm Liz Ruskin in Washington..

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