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Official White House Photo by Adam SchultzBy MICHELLE STODDART, LAUREN KING and KATE PASTOR, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) -- This is Day 42 of the administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Here is how the day is unfolding. All times Eastern:

Feb 27, 12:10 pm
Biden praises House for passing American Rescue Plan, tells Senate there’s “no time to waste”

During brief remarks Saturday morning, Biden praised the House passage of his American Rescue Plan and urged the Senate to pass the bill, warning there’s “no time to waste.”

He said he spoke with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just before stepping out and thanked her for her work on the effort and for moving the country “one step forward” on relief.

The $1.9 trillion economic coronavirus relief package will provide resources to schools and businesses, boost funding for vaccinations and testing and grant financial relief to Americans across the country.

“With their vote, we're one step closer to vaccinating the nation. We are one step closer to putting $1,400 in the pockets of Americans,” Biden said. “We're one step closer to extending unemployment benefits for millions of Americans who are shortly going to lose them. We're one step closer to helping millions of Americans feed their families, and keep a roof over their head.”

“We're one step closer to getting our kids safely back in school. And we're one step closer to getting state and local governments the money they need to prevent massive layoffs for essential workers,” he added.

He directed a message to the Senate, stressing, “I hope it will receive quick action.”

“If we act now, decisively, quickly and boldly, we can finally get ahead of this virus, we can finally get our economy moving again, and the people of this country have suffered far too much for too long," the president said.

Feb 27, 11:49 am
House passes $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package in party-line vote


The House approved a massive $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, advancing President Joe Biden's top agenda item and providing more resources to schools and businesses, boosting funding for vaccinations and testing, and granting financial relief to Americans across the country.

Democrats passed the measure early Saturday morning in a party-line vote, with Republicans united against the bill calling for slimmer, more-targeted relief.

All but two Democrats supported the bill in the 219-212 vote, and no Republicans backed the package.

Reps. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., and Jared Golden, D-Maine, voted against the legislation.

The Senate is expected to take up the legislation next week, after the chamber's parliamentarian ruled that Democrats could not include a $15 minimum wage in the proposal over budgetary concerns.

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ABC NewsBy SAMANTHA WNEK, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- The Pacific Northwest will get a bit of a break in the active weather Saturday as the latest storm to drop feet of snow moves further east.

Snoqualmie Pass was shut down for a while Friday to allow for crews to do avalanche control work. After re-opening they were forced to shut down I-90 again due to multiple collisions.

Snoqualmie Pass has picked up an incredible 396 inches of snow so far this season.

Stevens Pass -- which was also forced to close down for some time on Friday -- has picked up another 19 inches of snow.

The Northwest will continue to see heavy snow and gusty winds. There is also an avalanche threat in the area, and very high avalanche conditions are expected Saturday.

While some winter storm warnings have been allowed to expire overnight, others will continue through Saturday morning for the Northwest.

Winter weather advisories stretch into Utah, where the snow will last through the day, with nearly 2 feet expected in the mountains. Winds will be gusting at 45 mph.

In California and Nevada, winds have already gusted at up to 80 mph at Mount Rose and 69 mph at Mammoth Mountain.

Gusty winds will continue through the weekend.

A high wind watch has been issued for Southern California including Anaheim, Riverside and San Bernardino from Saturday night through Sunday afternoon.

Some wind gusts will reach 75 mph.

As a system moves into the Plains and Tennessee Valley, strong storms and flooding rain are possible over the next few days.

Flood watches have been issued from Arkansas to West Virginia, as several rounds of rain will be moving through those areas.

A wide swath of 2-5 inches of rain is expected from Texas to West Virginia over the next several days.

Additionally, strong to severe storms are possible Saturday with the highest threat of hail and damaging winds occurring in parts of Northern Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

On Sunday, the threat of severe storms will include Dallas, Little Rock, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee.

A system bringing rain, snow and an icy mix is moving through the mid-Atlantic and Northeast Saturday.

Winter weather advisories are issued for parts of the Poconos, Adirondacks, Catskills and across a large part of New Hampshire and Maine.

The highest snow totals will be 6 inches in Maine. The other areas will likely see 1-3 inches with a light glaze of ice.

It is a quick-moving system and by late Saturday morning and early afternoon the rain will stop from from Washington, D.C., to Boston.

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ABC NewsBy ANNE FLAHERTY, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) -- At the White House COVID response team briefing Friday, top U.S. health officials warned that recent progress in declining case numbers appears to have stalled and that restrictions shouldn’t be eased until the U.S. baseline is much lower.

Numbers have fallen precipitously since early January, but the seven-day case average still hovers around 70,000.

That rivals last year’s summer peak and threatens to push the U.S. in the wrong direction.

"Certainly, 70,000 is not there. Not even close," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert. "You've got to get way down in test positivity at the same time that you scale up the vaccine."

Fauci said he wants to see where the numbers go in the next week or so before advising people to loosen restrictions.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agreed.

"The latest data suggests that these declines may be stalling, potentially leveling off and (at) still a very high number," she said. "We at CDC consider this a very concerning shift in the trajectory."

"We may be done with the virus, but the virus is not done with us. We cannot get comfortable or give into a false sense of security that the worst of the pandemic is behind us," she said.

Fauci says the next week or so will be critical.

"We don't want to be people always looking at the dark side of things, but you want to be realistic," he said. "So, we have to carefully look at what happens over the next week or so with those numbers, before you start making the understandable need to relax on certain restrictions. So, just watch it closely and be prepared to react according to what actually happens."

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FernandoAH/iStockBy MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A new report demonstrates the "devastating" impact of the coronavirus pandemic on New York City's arts and entertainment sector, as many venues, including Broadway theaters, have remained shuttered for nearly a year.

One year ago, nearly 87,000 people were employed in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector in New York City, according to the New York State Department of Labor's Current Employment Statistics -- not including freelancers or the self-employed.

By April, after the statewide stay-at-home order went into effect, that number fell to 34,100, and it has "barely budged" since then, said New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, whose office released the report.

Arts, entertainment and recreation employment in December was down 66% year-over-year -- more than any other sector in the city's economy, according to the report.

"The COVID-19 outbreak has had a profound and a very negative effect on this industry," DiNapoli said during a Facebook livestream on Wednesday. "It's forced venues to close, thousands into unemployment and pushed businesses to the brink of collapse."

The numbers paint a "stark and devastating" portrait of an industry that was "more than thriving" until the pandemic, DiNapoli said. From 2009 to 2019, employment grew by 42% -- faster than the 30% rate for the private sector overall, the report said.

Manhattan is the hub of the city's arts and entertainment industry, home to a majority of its venues and jobs.

"Every job and business in this previously booming sector needs to come back," Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said during Wednesday's livestream. "It was lost. It needs to come back. Right now Times Square is vacant."

Brewer is concerned that people in the industry have left the city for good due to the lack of work.

"We can't lose their talent," she said.

The report "puts the numbers behind the feeling that the arts and culture have been hit so hard, and that it is right now the least-recovered sector, despite much effort," she added.

The comptroller pointed to a new federal relief package, which includes $15 billion nationally for shuttered arts organizations and designates over $284 billion to revive the Paycheck Protection Program of the CARES Act, as a potential industry salve.

While performing arts venues, including Broadway theaters, remain closed, some venues and cultural institutions have started to reopen in New York City with restrictions and mitigation measures in place.

Zoos and aquariums started welcoming guests back in July, followed by museums in August, with mask-wearing and social-distancing requirements, capacity limits and timed entries.

This week, Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center held their first sporting events with fans in almost a year, with capacity limited to 10%. Movie theaters in New York City can reopen starting March 5 at 25% capacity.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn't announced a timeline yet for performing arts venues, though he said on Feb. 8 that the "overall effort is heading towards reopening with testing."

"There are venues that we want to start to reopen with testing and capacity limitations," Cuomo said at a press conference. "Theaters, arenas, why can't you do it with Broadway? You can."

The Broadway League, which represents theater owners and producers, had previously announced that Broadway performances will remain suspended through May 30 of this year.

To help promote arts and culture, the state recently launched a new performing arts program, NY PopsUp, which will feature over 300 free events statewide in 100 days.

Next month, New York City will start accepting applications for Open Culture NYC, a permitting program that would allow institutions to hold socially distanced performances on city streets. The city has also recently created Curtains Up NYC, a program to connect live performance venues to up to $10 million in federal grants.

As live venues have struggled to hold on for almost a year, some won't be reopening. Among the latest closures, the Peoples Improv Theater, a nearly 20-year-old comedy venue, announced last week that it was shuttering its main space in Manhattan.

"It's been over 11 months that we have been shut down and eventually we have to surrender to survive," owner Ali Farahnakian said in a statement. "So we are in the process of surrendering the space. ... Godspeed to a brighter future."

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VCG/VCG via Getty ImagesBy MARLENE LENTHANG, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Basketball star Jeremy Lin said he was called "coronavirus" on the court in a social media post in which he denounced racism against Asian Americans.

"Being an Asian American doesn't mean we don't experience poverty and racism," Lin shared on social media late Thursday. "Being a 9-year NBA veteran doesn't protect me from being called 'coronavirus' on the court."

Lin didn't state when the incident took place. The G League is now investigating Lin's claim, ESPN reported.

Racist attacks have soared against the Asian community amid the pandemic as COVID-19 first emerged on the global radar in Wuhan, China.

Between March and December last year, the organization Stop Asian American and Pacific Islander Hate recorded nearly 3,000 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents nationwide.

The 34-year-old athlete, who formerly played point guard for the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, now plays for the NBA's G League team the Santa Cruz Warriors, an affiliate of the Golden State Warriors.

Lin encouraged the public to speak up against racist behavior in his post.

"We are tired of Asian American kids growing up and being asked where they're REALLY from, of having our eyes mocked, of being objectified as exotic or being told we're inherently unattractive," he wrote.

"We are tired of being invisible, of being mistaken for our colleague or told our struggles aren't as real," he added.

Santa Cruz Warriors officials did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Friday he wants the NBA to investigate Lin's claim.

"Really powerful. I applaud Jeremy for his words and echo his sentiments regarding racism against the Asian American community," Kerr said per ESPN.

Lin, who was born in California to Taiwanese parents, was the first Asian American player to win an NBA championship in 2019 when the Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors.

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MivPiv/iStockBy AICHA EL HAMMAR CASTANO and MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News

(RIO DE JANEIRO) -- It's been days since Alejandra heard from her son.

The 42-year-old mother has been one of many gathered outside a large prison in Guayaquil, a port city on Ecuador's southern coast, where dozens of inmates were killed Tuesday in a riot.

"I cannot stop thinking my son is dead," said Alejandra, who asked ABC News not to use her last name or her son's name for fear of retaliation.

Alejandra said her 26-year-old son was being held in pre-trial detention for a petty crime and that he has a court appearance scheduled for next year. She said she received a telephone call from him on Tuesday, when the violence erupted. He told her, "I am afraid to die."

Clashes broke out at the Guayaquil prison and three others across Ecuador between rival drug gangs trying "to seize the criminal leadership of the detention centers," according to Gen. Edmundo Moncayo, head of Ecuador's prison system, known by its Spanish-language acronym SNAI.

Moncayo told reporters during a press conference Tuesday that the violence was precipitated by a break in leadership of a prominent local gang called Los Choneros, whose leader was assassinated in December at a shopping mall in the port city of Manta on Ecuador's central coast.

Fernando Carrion, a research professor at FLACSO Ecuador, a postgraduate institution in Quito, told ABC News that revenge was expected but not to this level. He said Los Choneros is linked to Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel and that, although Ecuador does not produce drugs, criminal gangs use the South American country to transport drugs and launder money.

"We have never seen such a cruel mutiny," Carrion told ABC News. "It absolutely has never happened before in the history of Ecuador, and this is only the beginning. I believe it was an earthquake and now we will have the aftershocks."

Moncayo told reporters that a search for weapons was carried out at the Guayaquil prison on Monday, after officials were tipped off by Ecuador's national police force that inmates had two firearms smuggled to them by a guard and were planning to kill Los Choneros leaders. That search sparked a series of coordinated, simultaneous mutinies at four prisons in three different provinces the following morning, and it wasn't until the afternoon that authorities regained control, according to Moncayo.

Carrion told ABC News that the deadly riots prove what little power Ecuadorian authorities actually wield inside prisons ever since the country's principal intelligence agency, known by its Spanish-language acronym SENAIN, was shut down in 2018.

"For criminal groups, reaching this level of efficiency and planning is truly showing the problems of prison systems and lack of institutionalization," he said.

Videos recorded by inmates and shared on social media showed beheaded and mutilated corpses in the aftermath of the bloodbath.

"These attacks were not only a tragedy, but criminal groups were sending clear messages to other groups," Carrion told ABC News. "We are talking about bodies dismembered -- this is a way to communicate."

The number of dead has continued to rise in the days since. As of Friday, the death toll from the riots was 81, while 20 others remained injured, according to the National Police of Ecuador. Authorities have yet to release the names of those killed or wounded.

"As soon as I heard the news, I went straight to the prison," Alejandra told ABC News. "When I arrived, many women were already there on their knees, crying, praying."

Alejandra, who lives in Guayaquil and makes a lower-middle-class wage working in an office, said she was forced to go back to work Friday after spending two days outside the prison with other families of inmates.

"I am constantly thinking of my son," she said. "I would like to be with other mothers in front of the jail."

Alejandra is among those calling on authorities to identify the dead and wounded so they can know whether their loved ones survived the attacks.

"This is not too much to ask," she said. "They don't want to tell us anything."

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MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- While the last entry, Terminator: Dark Fate, all but terminated the franchise's future at the box office, Netflix is hoping to re-energize the property with an anime-style series. 

The streaming giant and Skydance Productions, which currently owns the rights to the series, are teaming up with Project Power writer Mattson Tomlin and Japan's Production I.G. for the series, notes The Hollywood Reporter

Tomlin's action flick Project Power, which starred Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, was a hit for Netflix; Tomlin also co-wrote the upcoming The Batman, which will star Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader.

Writer-director James Cameron unleashed Terminator on the world in 1984. The film starred a bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the movie became a smash, propelling the onscreen killing machine into one of the biggest box office draws in history.

It was followed by the series' most successful entry, 1991's blockbuster Terminator: Judgment Day.

All told, there have been six movies in the franchise, and one small-screen adaptation, 2008's The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

In a statement, Netflix’s VP of Japan and anime, John Derderian, said, "Terminator is one of the most iconic sci-fi stories ever created--and has only grown more relevant to our world over time. The new animated series will explore this universe in a way that has never been done before."

By Stephen Iervolino
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