Biden to reopen ‘Obamacare’ markets; Walmart’s robot-filled warehouses; no adds to baseball Hall

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. Let’s get caught up.

These headlines are in the news this morning: President Biden will reopen ‘Obamacare’ markets for Americans in need of coverage amid the pandemic; Walmart to build more robot-filled warehouses at its stores; baseball’s Hall of Fame gets no new members in 2021.

Read on for these stories, other top headlines, celebrity birthdays and more.


Top stories

Biden to reopen ‘Obamacare’ markets for COVID-19 relief

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Joe Biden plans to reopen the HealthCare.gov insurance markets for a special sign-up opportunity geared to people needing coverage in the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden is expected to sign an executive order Thursday, said two people familiar with the plan, whose details were still being finalized. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the pending order ahead of a formal announcement.

Although the number of uninsured Americans has grown because of job losses due to the economic hit of COVID-19, the Trump administration resisted calls to authorize a “special enrollment period” for people uninsured in the pandemic. Read more:

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Walmart to build more robot-filled warehouses at stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart is enlisting the help of robots to keep up with a surge in online orders.

The company said Wednesday that it plans to build warehouses at its stores where self-driving robots will fetch groceries and have them ready for shoppers to pick up in an hour or less.

Walmart declined to say how many of the warehouses it will build, but construction has started at stores in Lewisville, Texas; Plano, Texas; American Fork, Utah; and Bentonville, Arkansas, where Walmart’s corporate offices are based. A test site was opened more than a year ago at a store in Salem, New Hampshire. Read more:

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Baseball Hall gets no new members; Schilling 16 votes shy

NEW YORK (AP) — The baseball Hall of Fame won’t have any new players in the class of 2021 after voters decided no one had the merits — on the field or off — for enshrinement in Cooperstown.

Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were the closest in voting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America released Tuesday, and the trio will have one more chance at election next year. It’s the first time the BBWAA didn’t choose anyone since 2013. Read more:

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Today’s weather

The short drive from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe could bare witness to more extreme weather events over the next 3 days than a person has fingers on one hand. CNN Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the details.

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In other news today …

  • U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin held their first conversation as counterparts Tuesday in a phone call that underscored troubled relations and the delicate balance between the former Cold War foes.
  • Biden on Tuesday ordered the Department of Justice to end its reliance on private prisons and acknowledge the central role government has played in implementing discriminatory housing policies.
  • The Justice Department rescinded a Trump-era memo that established a “zero tolerance” enforcement policy for migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, which resulted in thousands of family separations.
  • Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy was taken to a hospital Tuesday evening after not feeling well and later sent home after tests, a spokesman said.
  • The terrifying nighttime tornado that blasted through suburban Birmingham late Monday, trapping entire families in the remnants of shattered homes and injuring 30, left a trail of destruction that stunned even longtime residents used to Alabama’s violent weather.
  • A major winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the middle of the country while another system blanketed areas of the Southwest, disrupting travel for a second consecutive day Tuesday and shuttering many schools.
  • Jungle Cruise, one of the original Disney parks’ rides, is getting a 21st century remodel in yet the latest update to a legacy theme park ride that has been criticized in years past for being racially insensitive.
  • There has never been a Super Bowl matchup of accomplished quarterbacks quite like the one coming up next week between Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes.

Click on the links below for full versions of these stories and scroll further for a look at today in history and celebrity birthdays.

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