Tuesday morning news: March 19, 2024 | WORLD
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Tuesday morning news: March 19, 2024


WORLD Radio - Tuesday morning news: March 19, 2024

News of the day, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sends negotiators to Washington to discuss the war in Gaza and Vladimir Putin wins a sixth term as president

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Getty Images / Photo by Jack Guez / AFP

Biden calls Netanyahu / Israeli officials to Washington » Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to send a team of Israeli officials to Washington for a direct and frank conversation about the war in Gaza.

That announcement followed the prime minister’s first phone call with President Biden in more than a month.

National security advisor Jake Sullivan:

SULLIVAN: We really need to get down to brass tax. Everyone sitting around the same table, talking through the way forward.

The relationship between the Biden administration and Netanyahu’s government has chilled in recent weeks over tactics of war and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The White House is also wary of Israel’s planned ground operation in the city of Rafah. Netanyahu says it’s the last Hamas stronghold, and there’s no way to win the war without going into Rafah.

NETANYAHU: Unless we have that victory that I talked about, then we have a defeat. And a defeat spells terrible things for our future and for the future of the Middle East and beyond the Middle East.

But Sullivan said the White House hopes to change Netanyahu’s mind.

SULLIVAN: Our view is that there are ways for Israel to prevail in this conflict, to secure its long term future, to end the terror threat from Gaza and not smash into Rafah. That's what we're going to present.

Million displaced Palestinians are holed up in the city on the southern tip of Gaza.

Gaza food shortage » Sullivan also brought up a new U.N. report that warns of critical food shortages in the territory.

And Afrin Husain with the World Food Program said Monday …

HUSAIN: In northern Gaza, famine is imminent starting from now to May of this year. So it’s a very short window to act.

He said more than a million people are already suffering from a catastrophic level of hunger.

Jamie McGoldrick is U.N. humanitarian coordinator for the region. He said while aid is being delivered by sea and by air drops every possible road must be open for supply trucks.

MCGOLDRICK: The only real way to get heavy loads of material, food and others, into all parts of Gaza is only by road.

Israel insists it is not blocking or limiting humanitarian aid from entering Gaza.

Putin setting agenda / Yulia, Zelenskyy remarks » Vladimir Putin was officially elected to a record sixth term as president in Russian elections over the weekend.

State Department spokesman Vedant Patel to reporters Monday:

PATEL: I was on the edge of my seat. It was such a nail-biter. In all seriousness, to be very clear, the Russian people deserve a free and fair election and the ability to choose among a group of candidates representing a diverse set of views.

And access to a free press and impartial information. But the State Department said none of that happened in Russia.

Many other world leaders said the same, including Italy’s foreign minister Antonio Tajani:

ANTONIO TAJANI: [Speaking Italian]

who noted the recent death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

And Navalny's widow, Yulia Navalnaya, also spoke out, calling Putin a dictator.

NAVALNAYA: He’s a killer. He’s a gangster. He’s the person who brought my country to war and to everything.

Putin says one of his first priorities in his sixth term …will be to set up a buffer zone inside Ukraine…an act one senior Ukrainian official calls a sign of escalation.

SCOTUS: social media » The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in a case accusing the Biden administration of coordinating with Big Tech to censor some messages on social media, especially those of conservatives.

Some Republican states charge that the federal government has wrongly coerced social media platforms into censoring speech it doesn’t like.

In one exchange, Justice Samuel Alito seemed sympathetic to those complaints.

JUSTICE ALITO: There is constant pestering of Facebook and some of the other platforms. They want to have regular meetings, and they suggest rules that should be applied, and why don’t you tell us everything that you’re going to do.

But Justice Amy Coney Barrett seemingly expressed that at least some of those interactions may be appropriate.

She specifically spoke to law enforcement contacting social media companies when someone maliciously releases someone's personal information, a practice known as doxxing.

JUSTICE BARRETT: So the FBI can’t make — Do you know how often the FBI makes those calls?

BENJAMIN AGUINAGA: And that’s why I have my backup answer, your honor, which is, if you think there needs to be more, the FBI absolutely can identify certain troubling situations like that and let the platforms take action.

Louisiana Solicitor General Benjamin Aguinaga heard there.

But multiple justices did seem concerned that ruling in favor of the states could affect common interactions between the government and the platforms.

Multiple lower courts did side with the states, but their decisions are on hold pending the high court’s ruling which is expected by early summer.

AGUINAGA: I think they absolutely can call and say this is a problem; it’s gone rampant on your platforms. But the moment that the government tries to use its stature as the government to pressure them to take it down, that is when you’re interfering with third party speech rights.

EPA bans asbestos » The EPA is entirely banning a substance once popular with U.S. manufacturers.

AUDIO (1950s asbestos commercial): It was natural that the scientists would turn to asbestos, for this is a remarkable mineral.

An ad heard there from the 1950s long before scientists learned that it causes cancer.

But some forms of chrysotile asbestos are still used to this day in some chlorine bleach, brake pads, and other products.

The EPA says no more, though it will take some time to entirely remove it from the marketplace.

The decision marks a major expansion of EPA rules under a 2016 law that overhauled regulations governing thousands of chemicals and substances.

Homeland Security AI » The Department of Homeland Security is rolling out a test program to determine how artificial intelligence can help to detect threats. WORLD’s Christina Grube reports.

CHRISTINA GRUBE: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says DHS is piloting multiple AI based projects.

One is testing how AI can recognize patterns and trends to help identify drug networks and child exploitation.

Emergency Management and Immigration are also running pilot programs designed to “improve officer training.”

Majorkas says the department aims to make sure that its use of AI “fully respects” the privacy and civil rights of Americans.

For WORLD, I’m Christina Grube.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure. Plus, Making the calls as a referee.

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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