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Friday morning news: March 29, 2024

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WORLD Radio - Friday morning news: March 29, 2024

News of the day, including the White House hopes to reschedule a meeting with Israel and Kansas sues the Biden administration over its student debt forgiveness program


John Kirby, White House national security communications adviser Associated Press/Photo by Jacquelyn Martin

U.S.-Israel/Palestinian government » The White House says talks are back on track with Israel.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby says they’re hoping to reschedule a meeting that Israel canceled this week amid diplomatic tensions.

KIRBY: We are hoping that this meeting can be scheduled in person here in Washington, as was the original plan.

Israel canceled plans to send a delegation after the Biden administration chose not to block a resolution at the U.N. Security Council that demanded an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.

The move angered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He said the move actually damaged hopes for a cease-fire and of bringing Israeli hostages home.

Kirby says the talks between the two governments right now remain civil.

KIRBY: The tone throughout here has been businesslike and it has been professional. And we expect that it’s gonna stay that way.

U.S. and Israeli leaders had planned to discuss the war, efforts to broker a cease-fire, and plans for post-war Gaza.

Baltimore bridge latest » Cranes are moving into position in Baltimore to begin pulling the mangled remains of the Francis Scott Key Bridge from the lower Patapsco River.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said it’s only the first step of a very long process.

MOORE: Government is working hand in hand with industry to clear the wreck and to move the ship.

A cargo ship lost power before slamming into a bridge support on Tuesday.

Clearing the river is a crucial first step toward reopening the trade-critical Port of Baltimore and eventually, starting construction on a new bridge.

Kansas sues over Biden debt cancelation plan » The Attorney General of Kansas Kris Kobach is suing the Biden Administration over its latest plan to cancel student debt.

KOBACH: You're taking money from people who decided not to go to college, couldn't afford to go to college, maybe worked their way through college.

He said this will likely be an expense of well over $200 billion dollars on the taxpayer dime.

President Biden recently announced the “Save Plan” — promising to lower student loan repayments based on family income.

The supreme court blocked the President's previous loan cancellation program though the administration found other ways to erase almost $144 billion dollars of student debt.

ICE arrests » Immigration and Customs Enforcement — or ICE for short — just carried out a massive crackdown on migrant criminals in cities across the country.

ICE enforcement and removal official Russell Holt:

HOLT: The 216 migrants arrested have a combined total of 456 criminal convictions.

Acting ICE Director PJ Lechleitner said they arrested migrants from numerous countries accused of trafficking drugs like meth and fentanyl. He said it was a job made tougher by sanctuary cities, which often don’t cooperate with ICE.

LECHLEITNER: Although we're always mission ready and capable of conducting large scale operations like this one, it's better all around when law enforcement agencies honor our detainers to keep people like the 216 arrested in this operation off our streets.

The CDC says the United States suffered well over 100,000 overdoses last year.

Push to toss out Georgia election interference case » A judge in Georgia today is weighing whether Donald Trump’s election interference case should be thrown out as Trump’s lawyers argue it should.

In arguments Thursday, Trump attorney Steve Sadow says the former president engaged only in free speech.

SADOW: I don’t think there’s any question that statements, comments, speech, expressive conduct that deals with campaigning or elections has always been found to be at the zenith of protected speech.

But Fulton County prosecutor Donald Wakeford countered …

WAKEFORD: What we have heard here today is an attempt to rewrite the indictment – to take out the parts that are inconvenient and only say, “Well, it’s all speech. It’s all talking. He was just a guy asking questions.”

Prosecutors accuse Trump and others of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to overturn the election results.

The former president says the case is another example of weaponizing the courts for political ends.

Disney - America First Legal, Florida » A non-profit legal group just fired a warning shot across the bow of the Disney corporation. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN: The non-profit group “America First Legal” —AFL for short— sent a letter to Disney declaring that the company’s leadership is “gambling with shareholder money and appears to be violating federal law.”

AFL claims Disney's "woke" policies have alienated customers and tanked its share value by nearly 40% since February of 2021.

The group cites policies like racial and sexual quotas in its entertainment productions. It also points to Disney pushing divisive social and political content on its platforms, such as Disney+.

AFL notes one example in a Muppet Babies cartoon in which the male character Gonzo wants to wear a dress.

SOUND (Muppet Babies clip): But the girls said I’m not supposed to wear a dress. I don’t want everyone to be upset with me.

But his wish for a Cinderella-like dress is then granted.

America First Legal urges Disney's board and management team to realign with its traditional brand values and address the legal and ethical concerns it raised.

The letter comes amid a proxy battle ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting next week.

For WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

FTX Sam Bankman-Fried » The founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, will spend decades behind bars for orchestrating one of the biggest financial frauds in history. A federal judge just sentenced him to 25 years in prison for stealing more than $8 billion dollars from FTX customers.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: The “Christ is King” controversy on Culture Friday. Plus, Netflix tells the story of Moses.

This is The World and Everything in It.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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