Senators are demanding answers from Amazon about how it treats warehouse workers

A group of US senators led by Cory Booker is intensifying pressure for Amazon to improve working conditions for its warehouse employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, Booker and Sens. Robert Menendez, Sherrod Brown, Richard Blumenthal, and Kirsten Gillibrand sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that questioned the company’s decision to fire an employee who demanded better health protections at the company’s facilities.

“We write to express our continued concern about working conditions at Amazon as well as recent actions Amazon has taken, including the recent firing of an Amazon warehouse employee,” reads the letter, which goes …

18 fascinating nonfiction podcasts (that aren’t true crime)

Big news: The coronavirus pandemic sucks. As life continues with wide swaths of the world shut down, we’re all looking for ways to be social and stay optimistic amid the darkness. One method: listening to podcasts that take us away from reality, if only for a while.

Podcasts are keeping people company while they do other tasks, and many podcasters have responded to their increased time at home by producing more content. Some shows are updating at an increased clip, releasing bonus episodes alongside their regular output; some hosts are branching out from their usual podcast mode. There are also …

Congress could vote on another “interim” coronavirus relief bill as soon as this week

Congress won’t be back in town until April 20, but lawmakers are already considering passing another “interim” coronavirus relief package as soon as this week. The timing depends, of course, on whether Democrats and Republicans can agree on what the bill should include.

Everyone can get behind at least one measure: Lawmakers from both parties support allocating more money to small businesses, via a new loan program called the Paycheck Protection Program.

In the CARES Act, $349 billion was set aside for PPP, which includes forgivable loans for small businesses and nonprofits that have been hurt by the effects …

Hospitals are cutting staff just when America needs them most

The American health care workforce is being squeezed from two sides: by the coronavirus itself and a shortage of protective gear but also by the economic crisis, which is driving physician practices and now some hospitals to furlough or lay off staff at the very moment they are most needed.

My colleagues and I sounded the alarm about the first problem in this piece a couple of weeks ago. But the second is only beginning to fully reveal itself.

Altarum, a nonprofit research and consulting firm, reported last Friday that 43,000 health care workers had been laid off in …

Bernie Sanders ends his second bid for the presidency

Sen. Bernie Sanders’s second crusade for the White House is over. The insurgent candidate had seemed briefly like the favorite for the Democratic nomination this time, but he fell behind the mainstream party choice — again.

The news broke on Wednesday that the Vermont senator would be suspending his campaign. Former Vice President Joe Biden is now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

A few weeks ago, Sanders fell short in the Florida, Arizona, and Illinois primaries and found himself too far behind Biden to have any realistic hope of catching up in the delegate count. With the coronavirus pandemic seizing …