Trump allows some unemployment pay, defers payroll tax

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — President Donald Trump on Saturday bypassed the nation’s lawmakers as he claimed the authority to defer payroll taxes and replace an expired unemployment benefit with a lower amount after negotiations with Congress on a new coronavirus rescue package collapsed.

Oahu correctional facility inmate tests positive for virus

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Public Safety announced Friday that a new inmate at the Oahu Community Correction Center tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, raising concerns about the safety of others crowded in jails and prisons statewide.

Postal Service loses $2.2B in 3 months as virus woes persist

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service says it lost $2.2 billion in the three months that ended in June as the beleaguered agency — hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic — piles up financial losses that officials warn could top $20 billion over two years.

UH-Hilo pushes back on student restrictions

As the state prepares to reinstate interisland travel restrictions next week to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, administrators at the University of Hawaii at Hilo have pushed back against further restrictions for out-of-state students.

Last-ditch virus aid talks collapse; no help expected for jobless now

WASHINGTON — A last-ditch effort by Democrats to revive Capitol Hill talks on vital COVID-19 rescue money collapsed in disappointment Friday, making it increasingly likely that Washington gridlock will mean more hardship for millions of people who are losing enhanced jobless benefits and further damage for an economy pummeled by the still-raging coronavirus.

The US needs an airplane mask mandate

In a country where COVID-19 remains out of control, it’s wrong for anyone not to wear a mask on a commercial airplane. Increasing evidence shows that good cloth face coverings significantly lower the spread of the novel coronavirus at close quarters — and that not wearing them is risky, because this germ is so often breathed into the air by people who don’t yet know they have it. One passenger on a flight from Singapore to Hangzhou, China, was infected by neighboring passengers when he merely let his mask slip below his nose while talking with his family.

‘Worst nightmare’: Laid-off workers endure loss of $600 aid

An unemployed makeup artist with two toddlers and a disabled husband needs help with food and rent. A hotel manager says his unemployment deepened his anxiety and keeps him awake at night. A dental hygienist, pregnant with her second child, is struggling to afford diapers and formula. Throughout the country, across industries and occupations, millions of Americans thrown out of work because of the coronavirus are straining to afford the basics now that an extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits has expired.

Coffee farmers in jeopardy with no federal aid

HONOLULU — Hawaii’s congressional delegation has continually urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand its coronavirus relief program to include coffee farmers, but the state’s roughly $50 million coffee industry waits in limbo.

Trump, McConnell huddle; virus aid talks at risk of collapse

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump huddled at the White House on Thursday with the Senate’s top Republican, searching for a way forward on vital COVID-19 rescue money, while Trump’s top bargainers returned to Capitol Hill amid increasing concern that negotiations with Democrats might collapse.