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Food stamps recipients doing a big once-a-month shopping trip on the day their monthly SNAP account is re-funded. Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Sunday called Trump administration plans to cut food stamp benefits for almost 700,000 jobless Americans "arbitrary and capricious" as she blocked the move, per the Washington Post.

Details: The rule at issue "radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving states scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans," said Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell, of D.C., CNN notes.

  • The Agriculture Department had been "icily silent" on how many people would have been denied Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits had the changes been in effect, she added.

The big picture: A coalition including 19 states, Washington, D,.C., and New York City sued the Agriculture Department over the move to increase work requirements for food stamp recipients — the first of three planned efforts to limit the federal food safety net, applying to adults without disabilities or children or dependents.

  • The Agriculture Department did not immediately return Axios' request for comment

Go deeper: Coronavirus pandemic prompts record food stamp spending

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Nov 8, 2020 - Economy & Business

Over 1 million Americans filed for unemployment for 33rd straight week

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits continues to fall, but data from the Labor Department showed more than 1 million people filed for first-time jobless benefits for the 33rd week in a row.

By the numbers: More than 738,000 people applied for first-time traditional unemployment benefits last week, and nearly 363,000 applied for benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

20 mins ago - Health

U.S. exceeds 100,000 COVID-related hospitalizations for the first time

People wait outside the Emergency room of the Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, California on Dec 1. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

More than 100,200 Americans were hospitalized as of Wednesday due to the coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began in early 2020, per the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The milestone comes as health officials anticipated cases to surge due to holiday travel and gatherings. The impact of the holiday remains notable, as many states across the country are only reporting partial data.

4 hours ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”