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Weekend Reads 3/21/20

Senate clears 77-day extension of surveillance powers

The extension is retroactive to Saturday. It still needs to pass the House, which is currently out of town. Asked if they could support the Senate deal, a senior Democratic House aide told The Hill that “leadership [is] discussing.”

As US fumbles COVID-19 testing, WHO warns social distancing is not enough

“The most effective way to prevent infections and save lives is breaking the chains of transmission,” he went on. “And to do that, you must test and isolate. You cannot fight a fire blindfolded. And we cannot stop this pandemic if we don’t know who is infected.”

In Italy and beyond, churches grapple with coronavirus

There is also confusion about whether priests should visit the sick. Some priests do not wish to put the ill or elderly at risk by becoming vectors of transmission. Italian retirement homes and clinics are closed to visitors, though most hospitals employ chaplains with nursing skills, who are allowed to spend time with patients and administer last rites.

Amazon is hiring 100,000 warehouse workers and raising pay as the coronavirus causes an 'unprecedented' increase in demand for this time of year

Amazon said in a blog post over the weekend that as the coronavirus spreads across the world, it's seeing a sharp increase in online shoppers. That has caused some of its most popular brands and household staples to run out of stock, as well as delays to its normal delivery cycle.

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