◇ Program Summary
1. Is tipping getting out of hand? Many consumers say “yes”
Across the country, many people believe the age-old practice of tipping is getting out of hand.
Some fed-up consumers took to social media to complain about being asked to tip drive-thrus food, while others said they were tired of buying a muffin or a simple cup of coffee at the neighborhood bakery. Asked to leave a tip. They want to know what’s next – do we tip our doctors and dentists too?
As more businesses embrace digital payments, customers are automatically prompted to leave a tip — often as high as 30 percent — where they wouldn’t normally tip. Some said the situation had become more depressing as prices soared due to inflation.
According to Square, one of the largest companies operating digital payment methods, tips at full-service restaurants rose 25.3% in the third quarter of 2022, while tips at quick-service or counter-service restaurants rose 16.7% compared with the same period in 2021. Data provided by the company shows that tipping has continued to increase over the same period since 2019.
2. The FDA wants to simplify the use and update of Covid-19 vaccines
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to simplify the process for a Covid-19 vaccine to look more like a flu shot, according to documents posted online on Monday. This could include simplifying vaccine components, immunization schedules and regular updates.
The FDA said it expects to assess circulating strains of the coronavirus at least annually and decide in June which strains to choose for the fall, much like the process of updating the flu vaccine every year.
Going forward, most people may only need one dose of the latest Covid-19 vaccine to restore protection, regardless of how many previous shots they have had, the agency said. Those who are very young and have not been vaccinated, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems may need two doses, according to a briefing document provided by the FDA to its vaccine advisors.
3. High prices lead people to smuggle eggs from Mexico
The high prices have led to more people trying to bring eggs into the U.S. from Mexico, according to border officials. San Diego Customs and Border Protection officials have seen an increase in attempts to move eggs across the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a tweet from Jennifer De La O, director of field operations.
“The San Diego field office has recently noticed an increase in the number of eggs being intercepted at our ports of entry, and as a reminder, raw eggs are prohibited from entering the U.S. from Mexico. Failure to declare produce can result in up to $10,000 fine.” According to Customs and Border Protection, it is illegal to bring undercooked eggs into the U.S. from Mexico because of the risk of contracting bird flu and Newcastle disease, a disease that affects birds. infectious virus.
In a statement emailed to CNN, Gerrelaine Alcordo, a public affairs specialist with Customs and Border Protection, attributed the increase in egg smuggling attempts to the soaring cost of eggs in the United States. An outbreak of deadly bird flu among U.S. chicken flocks sent egg prices soaring, rising 11.1% from November to December and 59.9% annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Increases were reported at the Tijuana-San Diego crossing, as well as “other southwestern border areas,” Alcordo said.
4. La Niña phenomenon leads to less snowfall in the Special Zone
Nearly two months into winter, and with light snow still in the forecast, with no one inch thick yet, some Washington-area residents may be wondering what caused this weather shift.
According to the National Weather Service, La Niña refers to “a persistently below-normal sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly (0.5°C or higher) in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.” Historically, La Niña has been detrimental to snowfall in the Washington area . Cooling in the equatorial Pacific alters global jet stream patterns, often strengthening the Pacific Jet stream. That punished the West with colder weather, but warmer temperatures swamped much of the United States.
This year marks the third consecutive winter La Niña in Washington, D.C. Snowfall in early January last year helped push snowfall totals for the second of three straight winters to 13.2 inches, still below Washington, D.C.’s annual average of 13.7 inches. The first of three consecutive La Niña winters in 2020-21 produced just 5.4 inches of snow.