October 22, 2019

With more and more shoppers asking for cruelty-free and sustainable merchandise, Macy's and Bloomingdale's have decided to phase out fur.

Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores, including outlets, will stop selling fur products by February 2021. Fur vaults and salons, which offer storage and repairs, will also shut down. "This announcement is consistent with the views of countless consumers in the marketplace, and other retailers should follow," Humane Society of the United States President and CEO Kitty Block said in a statement.

Fur production is down in the United States, NBC News reports, and luxury designers like Chanel, Gucci, and Armani have said they will stop using it in their products, focusing instead on faux fur. Earlier this month, California became the first state to ban the sale and manufacture of fur items, starting in 2023. Catherine Garcia

June 13, 2019

With a unanimous vote, the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday passed a bill to extend the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

The move came one day after former Daily Show host Jon Stewart testified before the committee, criticizing lawmakers for their failure to reauthorize the fund. The 9/11 first responders "did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility," he said. "Eighteen years later, do yours."

The fund, established in 2011, assists first responders who are now sick because of the toxic substances they were exposed to, as well as the families of those who have died. The $7.3 billion fund has already paid out $5 billion to 21,000 claimants, with thousands of unpaid claims left to process. While Congress reauthorized the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2015 for 90 years, the fund was only extended through 2020.

The Never Forget the Heroes Act of 2019 reauthorizes the fund through 2090, and is expected to pass when the full House votes on it. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday said he has been "imploring, pleading, even begging" Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to hold a vote on the bill as soon as the House passes it. Catherine Garcia

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