Walmart announced Tuesday that it is raising the starting wage for more than 100,000 of its U.S. workers, including department managers and workers in specialized divisions. The wage increases will go into effect next month.
Workers in Walmart's deli and wireless product divisions, for example, will now earn between $9.90 and $18.81 an hour, compared with a range from $9.20 to $18.53 an hour before the increase, The Associated Press reports. Meanwhile, department managers in electronics and automotive care will earn between $13 and $24.70 an hour, compared with $10.30 to $20.09 before the increase.
In February, Walmart announced that it would raise its minimum wage for all workers to $9 an hour in April and to $10 next February. Walmart is America's largest private-sector employer, with 1.3 million employees nationwide. The company said it is spending $1 billion to raise its workers' wages. Meghan DeMaria
As the government shutdown heads into its third day, there are two big questions about President Trump's role in the negotiations and underlying issues: Does Trump understand immigration policy, and is he being manipulated and undercut in his negotiations by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and policy adviser Stephen Miller?
On Sunday, Kelly "fielded most of the calls" about the shutdown from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), The New York Times reports, and "the president was urged for a second day to step back from the fray, and for a second day he vented to aides that he wanted to do more to get involved." Friday's shutdown-averting negotiations between Trump and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were "derailed" by Kelly and Miller, "whose stance on immigration, coupled with Kelly's position on defense spending, pushed Trump off any compromise," NBC News reports, citing senior administration officials.
Trump's "heart is right on this issue," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters on Sunday. "I think he's got a good understanding of what will sell, and every time we have a proposal, it is only yanked back by staff members. As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we are going nowhere. He's been an outlier for years."
Senator Graham: "As long as Steven Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration we are going no where. He’s been an outlier for years.” pic.twitter.com/6aR42Jeiu7
— Alan He (@alanhe) January 21, 2018
Mark Krikorian, a notable proponent of curtailing immigration, tells the Times he doesn't subscribe to this "Svengali theory" and says Trump's "inclinations are hawkish on immigration." In Congress, Democrats and Republicans are frustrated and confused at a president "either unwilling or unable to articulate the immigration policy he wanted, much less understand the nuances of what it would involve," the Times reports. The resulting "paralysis" in Washington has complicated shutdown talks and "raised questions not only about Mr. Trump's grasp of the issue that animated his campaign and energizes his core supporters, but his leadership." Peter Weber
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is learning the hard way what happens when you make moves without consulting the White House.
Several people with knowledge of the matter told Axios that President Trump was upset that Zinke went "rogue" two weeks ago and promised Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) his state would be exempt from the Interior Department's offshore oil and gas leasing program. Zinke never spoke with Trump or anyone in the administration about the exemption, Axios says, and this could lead to legal problems — environmental groups and state attorneys general could sue the federal government, arguing it wasn't fair for just Florida to be exempt and not other coastal states.
The Eastern Gulf of Mexico next to Florida is filled with oil and gas reserves, and former Interior Department officials told Axios they believe the Trump administration will find a way to work around Zinke's promise. Trump and Zinke have had a good relationship, and while this isn't the end of Zinke's tenure, he's been knocked down several pegs as far as the administration is concerned, Axios reports. Catherine Garcia
Congressional Republicans might want to say spasibo to the thousands of Russian bots working to make #SchumerShutdown a trending hashtag.
The Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan project led by former top national security officials, says that on Sunday night, Russian Twitter bots and trolls were out in full force, and their No. 1 hashtag was #SchumerShutdown, HuffPost reports. The Alliance for Securing Democracy, which tracks the activity of 600 Twitter accounts that are linked to Russian influence operations, says these users are often spreading false information about U.S. politics and tweeting conspiracy theories.
Republicans are blaming the government shutdown on the Democrats, using #SchumerShutdown on Twitter as a way of pinning this all on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his demand for a compromise on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Democrats, meanwhile, say the shutdown is due to President Trump's shifting demands and other Republicans, who have control of the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives, refusing to work together on a bipartisan bill. Catherine Garcia
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Veep, and This Is Us were some of the big winners Sunday night at the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by Kristen Bell.
Three Billboards won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, with stars Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell winning for best female actor in a leading role and best male actor in a supporting role. This Is Us won Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, while star Sterling K. Brown was named best male actor in a drama series. Veep's Julia Louis-Dreyfus was named best female actor in a comedy series, and the show's cast took home the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Morgan Freeman also was honored with a lifetime achievement award.
The Philadelphia Eagles had a huge victory over the Minnesota Vikings, 38-7, in Sunday night's NFC championship game, and will now face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. This will be the team's third trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history. Quarterback Nick Foles completed 26 of 33 passes for 352 yards, with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Super Bowl LII is set for Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Catherine Garcia
With no deal reached Sunday night, the Senate adjourned and will vote at noon Monday on a bill to reopen the government for at least three weeks.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wanted to hold a vote at 10 p.m. Sunday, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) objected, saying there still wasn't a plan in place that works for Democrats and Republicans. Earlier in the day, more than 20 senators from both sides of the aisle met in the office of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to work on a plan that would provide funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program. Democrats have also said any bill that comes forward must address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The government shut down at midnight on Friday after McConnell was unable to get the 60 votes necessary for a bill to keep the government open for a month. On Monday, only federal employees deemed essential will go to work, and several services will be unavailable. Catherine Garcia
Afghan security forces announced Sunday that all six Taliban militants who took over Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday night have been killed.
At least 18 people, including 14 foreigners, were killed during the siege, and 10 were injured. The militants were wearing suicide vests and exchanged gunfire with security forces, and witnesses said they went up and down the hallways of the luxury hotel, targeting foreigners and government officials. Several of the victims were employees of KamAir, a private Afghan airline.
A spokesman for the Taliban said that originally they wanted to attack the hotel on Thursday, but they postponed their plans due to a wedding on the premises, wanting to minimize civilian casualties. Catherine Garcia