Wednesday morning news: March 20, 2024 | WORLD
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Wednesday morning news: March 20, 2024


WORLD Radio - Wednesday morning news: March 20, 2024

News of the day, including the Supreme Court rules that Texas can enforce state immigration law and Hong Kong’s new security law cracks down on dissent

Police detain an immigrant accused of criminal activity in El Paso, Texas. Getty Images / Photo by John Moore

Texas immigration law » The U.S. Supreme Court says Texas can enforce a state immigration law, at least for now.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick:

PATRICK: It sounds like the court has made this decision that Texas has the right to defend ourselves against this organized, mobilized cartel-driven invasion of our country.

But the state’s legal win is temporary. The court merely lifted an injunction that barred enforcement of the law while a legal battle plays out.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill back in December.

ABBOTT: Biden’s deliberate inaction has forced Texas to fend for itself.

The law allows for law enforcement officers to arrest migrants suspected of having crossed the border illegally … and for judges to order unauthorized migrants to leave the country.

Abbott argued that the founding fathers gave states the power to enforce their borders if the federal government failed to do so … under Article 1, Section 10.

But Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy disagrees:

MURPHY: It’s going to create a mess at the border. You can’t have two different immigration enforcement systems, one run by the federal government, one run by the state government.

And the Biden administration argues that only the federal government has the power to enforce immigration law.

Arguments over the law in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are set for April 3rd.

Hong Kong law » In Hong Kong, a new so-called security law is set to take effect in the city this weekend. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN: The law will give Hong Kong’s government, which is now under the thumb of the Chinese Communist Party even more power to crack down on dissent.

The legislature rubber stamped the law Tuesday in the formerly semi-independent territory.

The new measure will add to a sweeping security law that Beijing imposed on the city in 2020. The government used the law to silence pro-democracy demonstrations and imprison activists.

International watchdog groups say the law will make Hong Kong less free and less safe for American businesses.

For WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Pentagon officials on Ukraine aid » The United States won't let Ukraine fail. That was the message Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin delivered at Ramstein Air Base in Germany Tuesday.

AUSTIN: Our allies and partners continue to step up. And the United States must also.

Austin heard there as allies huddled to discuss further aid for Ukraine.

His remarks came amid a standstill in Washington where the House is stalled on a foreign aid package that would provide about $60 billion in weapons to Ukraine.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman CQ Brown told coalition partners:

BROWN: Russia’s plan is to wait out Western will to support Ukraine. This coalition must not let that strategy work.

The meeting comes a week after the Pentagon managed to find $300 million in the contract savings … to fund a new package of military aid for Ukraine. But Defense leaders say that won’t last long.

Government funding » On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are arguing over government funding with another deadline fast approaching to avoid a partial government shutdown.

And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged members to act quickly to prevent one.

MCCONNELL: The stakes really couldn’t be higher for American security at home and abroad.

But GOP Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis argued that Republicans need to push for meaningful change on things like border security.

MALLIOTAKIS: This is the only leverage we have is during this funding process. As you know, James Maddison said we have the power of the purse. That was given to Congress for a reason.

Many government agencies are already funded through September, but Congress is facing a Friday deadline to fund other departments including the Defense Department, Homeland Security, Labor, and HHS.

House hearing on Afghanistan withdrawal » The top two U.S. generals who oversaw the Afghanistan evacuation in 2021 are blaming Biden administration planning failures for the chaos.

Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley and former US Central Command General Frank McKenzie said they told the president that the United States needed to keep a minimum of 2,500 troops in Afghanistan to prevent a collapse. But President Biden decided to keep roughly a quarter of that number.

General Milley told the House Foreign Affairs Committee …

MILLEY: My analysis was that an accelerated withdrawal would likely lead to the general collapse of the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government, resulting in a large-scale civil war reminiscent of the 1990s - or a complete Taliban takeover.

And General McKenzie testified:

MCKENZIE: It remains my opinion that if there is culpability in this attack, it lies in policy decisions that created the environment of August 2021 in Kabul.

It's the first time the military leaders have spoken publicly about the failures, as they describe them.

Thirteen U.S. servicemembers and hundreds of Afghan civilians died in the chaotic withdrawal.

Navarro reports to prison » Former Trump White House official Peter Navarro is now serving the first full day of a four-month sentence in a federal prison.

That’s after he defied a subpoena from the House panel investigating the Capitol riot.

Navarro turned himself in peacefully, but not quietly on Tuesday.

NAVARRO: I am the first senior White House adviser in the history of our Republic that has ever been charged with this alleged crime. And I say alleged because for hundreds of years this has not been a crime.

Former President Donald Trump called his imprisonment a disgrace.

TRUMP: They treated him very badly. The Biden administration treated him very, very badly. It’s a shame, but that’s the way it is.

Navarro maintains that he couldn’t cooperate with the subpoena because Trump invoked executive privilege.

But courts say Navarro couldn’t prove that Trump used that defense.

Trump, co-defendants appeal Willis decision » In Georgia, Donald Trump and co-defendants in a case accusing them of election interference are asking an appeals court to overturn a judge’s decision to allow Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on the case. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has that story.

KRISTEN FLAVIN: Judge Scott McAfee ordered that either Willis or special prosecutor Nathan Wade leave the case after a romantic affair between the couple created the appearance of impropriety.

And it was Wade who resigned.

But the judge did acknowledge flaws in Willis’ conduct during the prosecution.

And lawyers for Trump and others are appealing. They argue that leaving the Democratic prosecutor on the case jeopardizes the integrity of the trial.

For WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Where the Biden impeachment inquiry stands now…on Washington Wednesday. Plus, World Tour.

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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