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Walmart is increasing wages for its lowest paid workers, But $10 an hour is hardly enough to support a family. We hear about pressure for raises at other big companies as some cities and states increase their minimum wages.

Also, the deadline looms for funding Homeland Security, and a volunteer for a one-way ticket — to the planet Mars.

Photo: Mike Mozart

Deadline Looms for Funding Homeland Security 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Congress has until Friday to pass the $40 billion budget for the Department of Homeland Security. Republicans have held up funding because of the President’s executive actions on immigration. Yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson went on all five major Sunday talk shows with an urgent message. He told NBC's Meet the Press, "If we go into government shutdown, some 30,000 employees of my department will be furloughed, including a lot of headquarters personnel who I count on daily to stay one step ahead of groups like ISIL. A large part of the workforce will be required to come to work, but they’ll come to work without pay, so the working men and women of my department will be required to work on the frontlines without a paycheck, which has serious consequences for working men and women and their families."

Susan Davis reports on Congress for USA Today.

Susan Davis, USA Today (@DaviSusan)

TtP on injunction to Obama's protection of immigrants against deportation

Walmart, the Minimum Wage and the Working Poor 33 MIN, 51 SEC

Last week, Walmart stunned the world of retail by announcing that it will give half-million low-wage workers a raise in April to $9 an hour, with the promise of $10 an hour by February of next year. Low pay has created image problems for America's biggest private employer, while reduced unemployment means new competition for workers. But even $10 is hardly enough to support a family, and labor advocates are pushing for $15. As some cities and states increase the minimum wage, we hear what life is like at the lowest end of the pay scale.

Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg BusinessWeek (@josheidelson)
Linda Tirado, author (@KillerMartinis)
Karen Harned, National Federation of Independent Business Legal Center (@NFIB)
David Cooper, Economic Policy Institute (@metaCoop)

Our Walmart
'Left Right and Center' on Walmart's increasing wages
Eidelson on Walmart's decision to give up money rather than power
National Federation of Independent Business opposition to 'job killing' federal minimum wage hike
Congressional Budget Office on effects of a minimum-wage increase on employment, family income
Cooper on importance of raising minimum wage to safety net programs
EPI President Lawrence Mishel's House testimony on the challenges of raising wages, creating jobs
David Neumark on minimum wage increasing long-term job loss
David Card, Alan Krueger study on minimum wages and employment in NJ/PA fast food industry (1992)

Hand to Mouth

Linda Tirado

Who Would Sign Up for a One-Way Ticket to Mars? 9 MIN, 41 SEC

A Dutch non-profit venture called Mars One has plans to land two men and two women on the planet Mars. More than 200,000 people have volunteered to go on the one-way mission— with departure planned for 2025.

Sonia Van Meter, who’s one of 100 finalists for the expedition, describes herself as "a political consultant with a husband, two extraordinary stepsons and a black lab mix." She says she "didn’t think twice" when she heard she could take "a one-way trip to another planet."

Sonia Van Meter, finalist for the Mars One expedition (@bourbonface)

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