Friday morning news: March 22, 2024 | WORLD
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Friday morning news: March 22, 2024


WORLD Radio - Friday morning news: March 22, 2024

News of the day, including Congress votes on a government funding bill and Secretary of State Tony Blinken meets with Israeli leaders about the war in Gaza

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Thursday Associated Press / Photo by Mariam Zuhaib

Government funding package » On Capitol Hill, members of the House are expected to vote today on a government funding bill to avert a partial government shutdown.

Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries:

JEFFRIES: It’s a win for the American people that we are on the verge of avoiding a harmful government shutdown and meeting the needs of the American people.

But some Republicans say the $1.2 trillion dollar package unveiled Thursday does nothing to secure the southern border or to address Washington’s spending problem.

Texas Congressman Chip Roy:

ROY: This bill spends at a higher level than Nancy Pelosi. This bill continues the regulatory assault on American hard workers through the climate agenda by the radical progressive Democrats, and we do nothing to seriously unwind it.

The bill includes a 3 percent increase in defense spending over last year as well as $300 million in aid to Ukraine.

If it passes in the House, it will head to the Senate for consideration ahead of a midnight deadline to avert a shutdown.

Blinken - Israel » Secretary of State Tony Blinken is in Tel Aviv today meeting with Israeli leaders about the war in Gaza.

After meetings in Egypt Thursday, Blinken said work continues toward a possible cease-fire.

BLINKEN: The gaps are narrowing, and we continue to push for an agreement in Doha. There’s still difficult work to get there, but I continue to believe it’s possible.

Blinken today will also reiterate the Biden administration’s deep concern over Israel’s planned ground operation in the city of Raffah.

BLINKEN: That would be a mistake, something we don’t support, and also not necessary to deal with Hamas, which is necessary.

The administration will make that case more fully when a delegation of Israeli officials travels to Washington next week for high-level talks.

But that will be a tough sell. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Raffah is the last Hamas stronghold and to leave terrorist commanders and battalions alive in that city would be to lose the war.

Russian strike on Kyiv » Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is renewing his appeal for more weapons and air defense systems to fend off Russian attacks.

ZELENSKYY: All the air defense provided to Ukraine keeps our cities and villages alive. But the existing air defense systems are not enough to protect our entire territory from Russian terror.

Russian missiles rained down on Kyiv Thursday for the first time in more than a month. Ukrainian forces say they were able to shoot down 31 missiles, but more than a dozen people were injured in the capital city.

DOJ Apple antitrust case » The Justice Department, 15 states and the District of Columbia are taking Apple to federal court. Their lawsuit accuses the tech giant of violating antitrust laws.

Attorney General Merrick Garland:

GARLAND: We allege that Apple has employed a strategy that relies on exclusionary, anti-competitive conduct that has hurt both consumers and developers. For consumers, that has meant fewer choices, higher prices and fees, lower quality smartphones, apps, and accessories.

Among the specific allegations: the DOJ says Apple uses its operating system to block new apps and cloud streaming services; degrades how Android messages appear on iPhones; and hinders rival payment solutions.

GARLAND: Apple has consolidated its monopoly power, not by making its own products better, but by making other products worse.

Apple says the lawsuit is wrong on both the facts and the law.

Biden Loan » President Biden says he’s waiving nearly $6 billion in student debt for public service workers. WORLD’s Christina Grube reports.

CHRISTINA GRUBE: Some 70,000 government workers will have their student debts cleared under the 2007 Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. That’s according to a White House statement on Thursday.

Public servants like teachers and firefighters who have made student loan payments for at least 10 years are eligible to have the remaining balance wiped.

The move is the latest election-year push to find legal means to erase student debt after the Supreme Court struck down Biden’s mass loan cancellation plan last year.

For WORLD, I’m Christina Grube.

United Nations AI » All 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly have voted to approve the first UN resolution on artificial intelligence.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield:

GREENFIELD: Why should this body, with so many existential challenges on its plate, take on AI? And the answer is simple: AI is existential.

The resolution urges countries and organizations worldwide… to help to develop safety rules and guard against the “improper or malicious design [and] deployment” of AI.

But the resolution is nonbinding, meaning there is no way to compel cooperation.

Another key goal of the resolution is to use the technology to spur progress toward key UN goals like ending global hunger and poverty.

Former police officers sentenced in torture case » A federal judge has finished handing down prison sentences to six former Mississippi law enforcement officers who were convicted of breaking into a home without a warrant and torturing two men.

The former officers, who are white, admitted to an hours-long assault of two black men last year.

They received prison terms ranging from 10 to 40 years.

But civil attorney Malik Shabazz is calling for more accountability.

SHABAZZ: Step up Rankin County, and show that you can put a new sheriff in office that has not presided over the blood and torture.

He said the crimes revealed a culture of corruption within the sheriff's department.

Menendez won’t run in primary » Embattled Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez has announced that he will not run in his party’s New Jersey primary contest, but he has not ruled out a third-party reelection bid. Menendez had defied calls from within his own party to step down as he fights numerous felony corruption charges.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Culture Friday with John Stonestreet. Plus, how much The Matrix has aged in 25 years.

This is The World and Everything in It.

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