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Monday morning news: April 1, 2024


WORLD Radio - Monday morning news: April 1, 2024

News of the day, including the United States sends weapons to Israel and workers begin removing sections of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore

Salvage operations on the Francis Scott Key Bridge Associated Press/Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kimberly Reaves/U.S. Coast Guard

Israel-Hamas Rafah / bombs to Israel » The United States is sending billions of dollars worth of bombs and fighter jets to Israel despite diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

The Biden administration has signed off on the transfer of those weapons.

That’s led to some disagreement within the Democratic party.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen:

VAN HOLLEN: Until the Netanyahu government allows more assistance into Gaza to help people who are literally starving to death, we should not be sending more bombs.

Israel says it is not restricting aid into Gaza.

And Democratic Congressman James Clyburn told NBC’s Meet the Press that the United States is simply honoring agreements made well in advance of the transfer.

CLYBURN: We cannot go back on our word and expect for other people to keep theirs. So we have to keep our word.

The transfer of weapons comes ahead of Israel’s planned ground operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which the White House opposes.

Bridge removal begins » In Baltimore, crews are now removing shattered concrete and twisted steel from the Patapsco River after last week’s collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg:

BUTTIGIEG: This is going to be a very complex process. There are, even now, forces acting on that steel. So it takes a lot to make sure that it can be dismantled safely, to make sure that the vessel stays where it is supposed to be and doesn’t swing out into the channel.

The “vessel” he’s referring to there is the cargo ship that lost power and slammed into a bridge support, triggering the collapse.

Cranes swung into place over the weekend … as workers measured and cut the steel to prepare to lift sections out of the water.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said Sunday:

MOORE: This is not just impacting Maryland. This is impacting the farmer in Kentucky. It’s impacting the auto dealer in Ohio. It’s impacting the restaurant in Louisiana. It’s impacting the entire country.

That’s because the wreck has cut off access to the Port of Baltimore, a critical trade hub in the United States. Clearing access to the port will take months while rebuilding the bridge is expected to take several years.

Speaker Johnson on push to oust him » House Speaker Mike Johnson’s job is under threat as a new aid package for Ukraine remains in limbo.

The speaker could bring it to the floor for a vote over the objections of some House Republicans. That could further motivate a group led by Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene to file a motion to vacate the speakership once the House returns from recess next week.

TURNER: Yeah, unfortunately, the chaos caucus has continued to want to stop everything that occurs in Congress. It’s not as if they have an alternative plan. They’re just against those things that are necessary.

But some other Republicans charge that Johnson hasn’t shown the courage to make difficult choices, is maintaining the status quo, and has been ineffective as speaker.

New $20/hr. for California fast food workers » A new law is set to take effect in California today that will mandate a minimum wage or at least $20 per hour for most fast food workers.

Michael Reich is chairman of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics, University of California-Berkeley. He says employers have had it very good.

REICH: Profits are fine in the industry. And so there’s also room for them to absorb the wage increases.

Many fast food workers in the state say they’re happy about the change. But others are seeing their hours cut.

Alex Johnson is Cinnabon and Auntie Anne’s franchise owner. He said he wants to pay his employees as well as he can.

JOHNSON: But this bill, AB-1228, has really hit our operations hard. We’re no longer hiring. We’re not backfilling positions. We’re not growing in the state anymore. We’re not expanding locations.

He said he’s ultimately thinking about selling or closing his business.

White House celebrates Trans holiday on Easter » On Easter Sunday, the Biden administration celebrated the national Transgender Day of Visibility.

Secretary of State Tony Blinken called it a “celebration of the courage and resilience of transgender, nonbinary and gender non-confirming persons.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee remarked:

HUCKABEE: It would be the equivalent of Joe Biden on Ramadan saying, “Okay, we’re going to also declare this ‘eat more pork and bacon day.’” Now, how would that go over? It’s absurd.

Biden issued an official White House proclamation recognizing the Trans Day of Visibility in 2021.

HUCKABEE: You know, we need to help people who are confused. We need to feel for them. But we don’t need to somehow completely surrender to this nonsense and pretend that it’s normal.

The administration’s transgender celebration comes after the White House banned religious themes from the White House Easter Egg Art contest.

Southern Africa drought » In southern Africa, a severe drought has escalated into a critical hunger crisis, affecting millions.

The U.N. World Food Program Zimbabwe director Francesca Erdelmann:

ERDELMANN: I just spoke with some of the elders from the community and the last time they can remember this type of drought is 1947. So this is not a normal circumstance.

Zambia and Malawi have already declared national disasters and Zimbabwe could be about to do the same.

Almost 3 million people in rural Zimbabwe are threatened by hunger, a situation that was made worse by the driest February ever recorded.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: the FDA’s approval for an abortion drug on Legal Docket. Plus, the Monday Moneybeat.

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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