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Top 50 Multimedia Trends in August – From Sports-Only Streaming Solutions to VR Dolphin Experiences (TrendHunter.com)

Top 50 Multimedia Trends in August – From Sports-Only Streaming Solutions to VR Dolphin Experiences (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) These August 2020 multimedia innovations range from sports-only streaming solutions to VR dolphin experiences.

When it comes to notable tech, standouts include a recent Jaguar Land Rover and…
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(TrendHunter.com) These August 2020 multimedia innovations range from sports-only streaming solutions to VR dolphin experiences.

When it comes to notable tech, standouts include a recent Jaguar Land Rover and…

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Indoor Air Sanitizers – The Airetrex 365 Brings Hospital Disinfecting Technology to the Home (TrendHunter.com)

Indoor Air Sanitizers – The Airetrex 365 Brings Hospital Disinfecting Technology to the Home (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) The Remington Airetrex 365 Air Sanitizer made by Pinnacle Climate Technologies helps consumers bring hospital disinfecting technology into their own homes. The unit relies on short-wave ultraviolet…
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(TrendHunter.com) The Remington Airetrex 365 Air Sanitizer made by Pinnacle Climate Technologies helps consumers bring hospital disinfecting technology into their own homes. The unit relies on short-wave ultraviolet…
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Next stimulus bill: HEALS Act could include benefits beyond another payment – CNET

money-bills-wallet-coins-dollars-1017

Proposals under consideration in Washington could provide financial support during the pandemic.

Angela Lang/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

tax-free stimulus check of up to $1,200 is enticing for anyone, but the next coronavirus relief bill — whatever it’s called — will contain more than just a check for those who qualify. Senate Republicans’ plan for the next stimulus package, which is called the HEALS Act, also posits a renewal of enhanced unemployment assistance (though at a lower threshold than before) and over $100 billion dedicated to reopening schools this fall.

As bipartisan debate heats up over what should and shouldn’t be included in a final bill, there’s uncertainty that an agreement will come soon that will solidify the contents of another rescue package that seems to be supported by both chambers of Congress and the White House.

“Hope springs eternal that we will reach some kind of agreement, either on a broad basis or a more narrow basis, to avoid having an adverse impact on unemployment,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Wednesday in an interview with PBS News Hour. Meanwhile, new jobless claims for the week ending with July 25 tallied 1.43 million, which is up 12,000 from the previous week.

Here are the major pieces Democrats, Republicans and White House officials are pushing to include in the next stimulus package — and how likely we are to get them before Aug. 7, the last day before the Senate is set to break for its monthlong August recess. This story is updated often with new information.

Second stimulus check: Designed to get you to spend

What it is: A payment sent to qualifying individuals and families, based on annual income, age, number of dependents and other factors. The first stimulus checks authorized under the CARES Act have gone out to over 160 million Americans — either as a check, prepaid credit card or direct deposit. But not without a hitch and after three months some are still waiting for their stimulus payment.

How it could help you: The payment is not taxable and you can use it however you want to pay for food, housing, clothing and so on. The idea is that spending the checks will help the economy recover faster.

Why we think a second check will pass: The CARES act authorized payments of up to $1,200 per eligible adult and so does the HEALS Act. The House of Representatives’ HEROES Act, meanwhile, called for $1,200 stimulus checks, but for more people. The White House also supports another round of checks, which makes this a likely part of the final bill.

$100 bills$100 bills

The HEALS Act proposes to give eligible Americans the same size stimulus check as was issued in March.

James Martin/CNET

More unemployment benefits for Americans out of work

What it is: An additional weekly check for people who applied for unemployment for the first time or were already collecting unemployment. The program initially granted by the CARES Act provided an extra $600 per week and expired on Saturday, but lawmakers are looking into another unemployment boost now.

How it could help you: An extra weekly payment on top of the ordinary unemployment benefit gives individuals and families a leg up and cutting it off or reducing it could be devastating for both unemployed workers and the economy.

Why we think it could happen: Republicans support the extension, though at a reduced rate, saying $600 a week is too generous. “We have learned what we knew at the time,” Senator Chuck Grassley said Monday, “That when you pay people more not to work than they would get working, what do you expect? People will not work. And what this country needs is more workers.”

Democrats support an extension at the current $600 rate and balk at the Senate proposal, which would extend benefits based on 70% to 75% of lost wages, starting at $200 a week and over time increasing to $500 a week, with state assistance. With no agreement on a second package close, the two sides may decide to extends the benefits for a few weeks while they hammer out the details of the bill: “We have discussed a short-term extension to [unemployment insurance] and the evictions so that we have some period to negotiate before it runs out,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.

Payroll Protection Program to help businesses keep people employed

What it is: Intended to help you retain your job, the Paycheck Protection Program provides forgivable loans to small businesses as an incentive to keep employees on the payroll. 

How it could help you: The program is designed to fund workers employed who would otherwise have lost their jobs during the pandemic. The program got off to a rocky start and it’s not clear the PPP met the goals Congress set for it. 

“Overall PPP hasn’t preserved many paychecks,” wrote Joshua Gotbaum, a guest scholar of economic studies at the Brookings Institution. “A careful study found that PPP-eligible small businesses laid people off just as quickly as other businesses,” he said.

Why we think it could get extended: The Republican proposal will target the hardest-hit small businesses, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said Monday, including those with revenue losses of 50% or more over last year.

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A tax credit would help with your pay.

Angela Lang/CNET

Employee retention tax credit would help pay workers

What it is: Under the program, an employer can receive refundable tax credits for wages paid to an employee during the pandemic. The employer can then use the credits to subtract from — and even receive a refund over — taxes they owe.

How it could help you: Again, it’s not a direct payment to you, but the program encourages businesses to keep workers on the payroll.

Why we think it could happen: Grassley said the HEALS Act includes further tax relief for business who for hire and rehire workers and the Democrat-backed Heroes Act also builds on the tax credits that were part of the initial CARES Act. And there’s additional bipartisan support besides.

Now playing: Watch this: Stimulus Standoff on Capitol Hill


1:21

Return-to-work payment of up to $450 each week

What it is: A temporary weekly bonus for unemployed workers who secure a new job or are rehired, on top of their wages. As proposed by Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, the bonus would be $450 a week.

How it could help you: Under Portman’s plan, the weekly bonus would go to laid-off workers who return to work.

Why we think it may not happen: The White House in May expressed interest in the bonus and Portman continues to support the idea, but it’s not part of the proposal McConnell and the other Senate presented on Monday.

Rental assistance to help keep people in their homes

What it is: This plan would help renters pay rent and assist landlords with expenses with less rent money coming in, especially as the US faces a potential “tsunami of evictions.”

How it could help you: The rental assistance program would temporarily help you pay rent if you qualify, put a hold on evictions for a year and help cover costs of rental property owners because of rental payment shortfalls.

Why we think it may not happen: House Democrats included an eviction moratorium in its proposed Heroes Act. However, it was not part of the Senate presentation on Monday and these protections have now lapsed.

010-money-us-dollar-bills-roll-stack-cash010-money-us-dollar-bills-roll-stack-cash

Payroll tax cuts may not make the cut in the next coronavirus relief bill, currently known as CARES Act 2.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Payroll tax cut to give you more take-home pay

What it is: President Donald Trump has for months pushed the idea of including temporary payroll tax cuts in the next stimulus package. The proposal could include cutting both the employer and employee share of payroll taxes.

How it could help you: If you have a job, a payroll tax cut would let you keep more of your earnings each check. The plan would not help those who are unemployed and don’t receive a paycheck. As of July 4, the nearly 32 million people who were claiming unemployment insurance would not benefit.

Why we don’t think it’ll happen: Neither the Heroes Act nor the current Senate plan includes a payroll tax cut. Even Trump seems to have given up on the plan.

Until we know for sure what the finalized stimulus bill will bring, there are some resources to help you through the financial crisis, including coronavirus hardship loans and unemployment insurancewhat you can do if you’ve lost your jobwhat to know about evictions and late car payments; how to take control of your budget; and if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS.

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Color-Changing Freshness Indicators – Bizongo’s Improving the User Experience in the Food Industry (TrendHunter.com)

Color-Changing Freshness Indicators – Bizongo’s Improving the User Experience in the Food Industry (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) The color-changing food indicator developed by Bizongo is useful in a number of ways. For one, it ensures that consumers are aware of the spoilage condition of their food in real-time. Secondly, the…
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(TrendHunter.com) The color-changing food indicator developed by Bizongo is useful in a number of ways. For one, it ensures that consumers are aware of the spoilage condition of their food in real-time. Secondly, the…
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In-Transit Temperature Trackers – Smashtag Boasts a Wireless Temperature Logger, Ensuring Quality (TrendHunter.com)

In-Transit Temperature Trackers – Smashtag Boasts a Wireless Temperature Logger, Ensuring Quality (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Temperature trackers are now increasingly being utilized in the food industry to ensure the best possible quality for clients and consumers. Most recently, Smashtag announced its newest innovation…
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(TrendHunter.com) Temperature trackers are now increasingly being utilized in the food industry to ensure the best possible quality for clients and consumers. Most recently, Smashtag announced its newest innovation…
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Stimulus check qualifications: Would you get the new $1,200 payment? What you need to know – CNET

$1, $10 and $20 bills sticking out of a wallet

The proposals for who may or may not qualify for a second stimulus check are coming into focus.

Angela Lang/CNET

Republican and Democrat negotiators seem far from reaching an agreement on the next stimulus package: “We’re nowhere close to a deal,” said White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday afternoon. One of the few things the two sides do have in common is the goal to send you a second stimulus payment for up to $1,200 per person. But that doesn’t automatically mean you’ll qualify for the full amount — or any at all.

On the Republican side, the proposed HEALS Act mostly follows the guidelines set out for the first stimulus check, with $1,200 going out to individuals and $500 to dependents. The Republican plan makes some eligibility adjustments, however, and of course we don’t know how their proposal could change before it becomes law. The Heroes Act, passed by the Democrat-led House, also sets out $1,200 payments.

Here’s what we know now about who would qualify based on annual taxable income, citizenship, age, marital status and the number of claimed dependents. Check back frequently for new updates.

Who would get a second stimulus check under the HEALS Act?

The Senate Republicans’ HEALS Act would follow the payment guidelines set out in the CARES Act, with a new adjustment for dependents. 

“[The bill] includes just a few people that were unintentionally left out of the last one. Mostly dependents, college and adults, that are somebody else’s dependents,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday.

Here’s who would qualify for a HEALS Act payment:

  • A single US resident with an adjusted gross income less than $99,000.
  • Head of a household earning under $146,500.
  • Couple filing jointly without children and earning less than $198,000.
  • A dependent of any age. 

In the CARES Act, the cutoff to receive a $500 dependent check was age 16 and younger and college students under 24 were not eligible to receive a check. The Senate proposal would exclude those in prison and who recently died from qualifying for a check. The bill would also prohibit creditors and banks from seizing the payment to pay debts.

Now playing: Watch this: Stimulus Standoff on Capitol Hill


1:21

Who would qualify for a second stimulus check under the Democrats’ plan?

The broadest eligibility parameters suggested so far come from the Heroes Act, which was proposed by the House of Representatives on May 15. Although it has been fiercely opposed by Senate Republicans and President Donald Trump, we can look to this bill to help frame the conversation about the upper limits of who might qualify for a broad proposal:

  • Individuals who made less than $99,000 according to the adjusted gross income from their 2018 or 2019 taxes (whichever was most recently filed).
  • College students, dependents over 17, disabled relatives and taxpayers’ parents.
  • Families of up to five people.
  • SSDI recipients.
  • People who aren’t US citizens and do file tax returns, pay taxes and otherwise comply with federal tax law using an individual taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security number.
$20 bills and credit cards in a wallet$20 bills and credit cards in a wallet

It may soon become clear who can qualify for another stimulus check.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Who didn’t receive a first stimulus check with the CARES Act?

These groups did not meet the requirements for the first payment:

  • Single taxpayers with an adjusted gross income above $99,000.
  • Heads of households with an AGI over $136,500.
  • Married couples with an AGI over $198,000.
  • Children over 16 and college students under age 24.
  • Nonresident aliens, as defined by the US government.

When will we know the eligibility requirements?

Now that the Senate has made its proposal, with the White House’s involvement, negotiations with House Democrats can begin. After the sides reach an agreement, the stimulus bill won’t take effect until the president signs it into law. 

And while we won’t know for sure until the two sides come together on the next stimulus package, we have a good idea what Congress’ deadline is and when a check could be sent

For more, here’s what we know about the major proposals for a second stimulus package. We also have information on unemployment insurance, what you can do if you’ve lost your job, if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS and what to know about evictions.

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Double-Sized PC Displays – The Philips 498P9 Brilliance Monitor Has a SuperWide 49-Inch Screen (TrendHunter.com)

Double-Sized PC Displays – The Philips 498P9 Brilliance Monitor Has a SuperWide 49-Inch Screen (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) The Philips 498P9 Brilliance Monitor is a premium peripheral for professionals and gamers alike that will work to enhance their computing experience in a big way. The monitor features a 32:9…
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(TrendHunter.com) The Philips 498P9 Brilliance Monitor is a premium peripheral for professionals and gamers alike that will work to enhance their computing experience in a big way. The monitor features a 32:9…
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Pot-Scrubbing Appliances – The ‘Skadu’ Handheld Power Scrubber Makes Quick Work of Cleanups (TrendHunter.com)

Pot-Scrubbing Appliances – The ‘Skadu’ Handheld Power Scrubber Makes Quick Work of Cleanups (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) The ‘Skadu’ handheld power scrubber is an easy-to-use appliance for those looking to make quick work of dishes without the need to use much manual labor to get the job done. The handheld…
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(TrendHunter.com) The ‘Skadu’ handheld power scrubber is an easy-to-use appliance for those looking to make quick work of dishes without the need to use much manual labor to get the job done. The handheld…
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Stimulus check qualifications: Will you get the next $1,200 payment? What you need to know – CNET

$1, $10 and $20 bills sticking out of a wallet

The proposals for who may or may not qualify for a second stimulus check are narrowing.

Angela Lang/CNET

Congressional Republicans and Democrats may not agree on much, but if both parties get their way you’ll get another stimulus check before the fall. On Monday, Senate Republicans rolled out their proposed HEALS Act, their stimulus package that includes a second payment. The Senate proposal for another round of stimulus checks follows the Democrats’ plan for new payments outlined in their Heroes Act, which the Senate has never deliberated.

With both proposals now on the table, we have a good idea who would and wouldn’t be eligible for a new check under the two packages.

The HEALS Act also mostly follows the payment guidelines set out for the first stimulus check, with $1,200 earmarked for individuals and $500 for dependents. But the plan does shift some requirements and there’s still a lot we don’t know, including how the GOP’s proposal could change on its journey to become law.

Here’s what we know now about who would qualify based on age, annual taxable income, citizenship, marital status and the number of claimed dependents. (And here’s when the IRS might send the first payments.) Check back often for frequent updates.

Who would get a second stimulus check under the HEALS Act?

The Senate Republicans’ HEALS Act would follow the payment guidelines set out in the CARES Act, with a new adjustment for dependents. 

“[The bill] includes just a few people that were unintentionally left out of the last one. Mostly dependents, college and adults, that are somebody else’s dependents,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday.

Here’s who would qualify for a HEALS Act payment:

  • A single US resident with an adjusted gross income less than $99,000.
  • Head of a household earning under $146,500.
  • Couple filing jointly without children and earning less than $198,000.
  • A dependent of any age. 

In the CARES Act, the cutoff to receive a $500 dependent check was age 16 and younger and college students under 24 were not eligible to receive a check. The Senate proposal would exclude those in prison and who recently died from qualifying for a check. The bill would also prohibit creditors and banks from seizing the payment to pay debts.

Now playing: Watch this: Stimulus Standoff on Capitol Hill


1:21

Who would qualify for a second stimulus check under the Democrats’ plan?

The broadest eligibility parameters suggested so far come from the Heroes Act, which was proposed by the House of Representatives on May 15. Although it has been fiercely opposed by Senate Republicans and President Donald Trump, we can look to this bill to help frame the conversation about the upper limits of who might qualify for a broad proposal:

  • Individuals who made less than $99,000 according to the adjusted gross income from their 2018 or 2019 taxes (whichever was most recently filed).
  • College students, dependents over 17, disabled relatives and taxpayers’ parents.
  • Families of up to five people.
  • SSDI recipients.
  • People who aren’t US citizens and do file tax returns, pay taxes and otherwise comply with federal tax law using an individual taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security number.
$20 bills and credit cards in a wallet$20 bills and credit cards in a wallet

It may soon become clear who can qualify for another stimulus check.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Who didn’t receive the first stimulus check under the CARES Act?

These groups did not meet the requirements for the first payment:

  • Single taxpayers with an adjusted gross income above $99,000.
  • Heads of households with an AGI over $136,500.
  • Married couples with an AGI over $198,000.
  • Children over 16 and college students under age 24.
  • Nonresident aliens, as defined by the US government.

When will the eligibility requirements be set?

Now that the Senate has made its proposal, with the White House’s involvement, negotiations with House Democrats can begin. After the sides reach an agreement, the stimulus bill won’t take effect until the president signs it into law. 

And while we won’t know for sure until the two sides come together on the next stimulus package, we have a good idea what Congress’ deadline is and when a check could be sent

For more, here’s what we know about the major proposals for a second stimulus package. We also have information on unemployment insurance, what you can do if you’ve lost your job, if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS and what to know about evictions.

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Reworked Smart Assistant Apps – Amazon Made the Alexa App More User Friendly and Customization (TrendHunter.com)

Reworked Smart Assistant Apps – Amazon Made the Alexa App More User Friendly and Customization (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Amazon is reworking its Alex app with more first-party features, as well as more of an emphasis on personalization. The new features were made possible through new developer tools, which were…
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(TrendHunter.com) Amazon is reworking its Alex app with more first-party features, as well as more of an emphasis on personalization. The new features were made possible through new developer tools, which were…