Inside the Americas – US voting rights battle: Joe Biden pushes for reform to end voter suppression

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This week, Joe Biden made a passionate speech on voting rights, comparing that fight to the battle to end racial segregation in the 1960s. For the first time ever, the US president is directly pushing to get rid of a vote-blocking device in the Senate known as the filibuster. That requires close to two thirds of senators to pass a bill, as opposed to a simple majority. Biden, a former senator himself, says the voting rights issue is a “battle for America’s soul”.

Meanwhile, 340,000 schoolchildren in Chicago were back in the classroom this week after missing five days of school. The cancellations were caused by a standoff between the state’s district officials and Chicago’s powerful teachers’ union over coronavirus protocols. Both sides have now reached a deal to move forward, which includes better face masks and expanded Covid-19 testing.

Finally, hospitals in Peru are nearing breaking point as a third wave of Covid-19 sweeps the nation. The Omicron variant is driving new infections to an all-time high. The government is now extending curfews and urging more Peruvians to get vaccinated. More than 200,000 people in Peru have lost their lives to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.