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Homeland Security is making plans to handle a record surge of migrants
Crossings at the southwest border have been peaking again in recent weeks, and Department of Homeland Security officials are bracing for those numbers to rise much higher if the Biden administration decides to lift a public health order that has limited immigration during the pandemic. A decision about the order, put in place by the Trump administration two years ago this month, could come as early as Wednesday, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may decide whether to renew it for an additional 60 days. Department officials Tuesday described contingency plans for managing as many as 18,000 encounters a day at the border, regardless of the cause.
Biden signs bill to make lynching a federal crime
President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a bill making lynching a federal crime, criminalizing an act that had come to symbolize the history of racism in the United States. “Lynching was pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone, not everyone belongs in America, not everyone is created equal,” Biden said, speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House. Named for Emmett Till, the Black boy who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955, the bill makes lynching punishable by up to 30 years in prison. It was passed by the House in February with only three lawmakers opposed, and passed the Senate without objection Monday.
Call logs underscore Trump’s efforts to sway lawmakers on Jan. 6
President Donald Trump reached out repeatedly to members of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, before and during the siege of the Capitol, according to White House call logs and evidence gathered by the House committee investigating the attack. The logs indicate Trump called Republican members of Congress as he sought to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to reject electoral votes from several states. The logs also have a gap with no record of calls during critical hours when investigators know Trump was making them, including the period when the building was being assaulted. It is well known that Trump routinely used his personal cellphone, possibly explaining the gaps.
Oregon ends residency requirement for medically assisted deaths
Oregon will no longer require terminally ill people seeking to end their lives with doctor-prescribed lethal drugs to be residents of the state, according to the settlement of a federal lawsuit that had claimed the requirement was unconstitutional. The Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Medical Board and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office agreed that they “would not apply or otherwise enforce” the residency requirement, according to the settlement, which was filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland. The settlement resolves a lawsuit that Compassion &Choices, an advocacy group that supports expanding access to end-of-life medicine, filed in October to challenge the Oregon residency requirement.
Gunman kills 5 in Israel’s fifth attack in recent days
A Palestinian gunman killed five people in an ultra-Orthodox city outside of Tel Aviv on Tuesday night. The shooting was the fifth attack in less than two weeks and brought the total death toll in recent days to 11 — the most people killed by militants in such a short period in Israel, outside of a full-scale war, in several years. The spasm of violence heightened fears of an even more intense surge over the next month, when the rare convergence of Ramadan, Passover and Easter is expected to raise tensions further between Israelis and Palestinians.
Solomon Islands’ leader rejects concern over China deal
In a fiery speech confirming that the Solomon Islands has drafted a security agreement with China, the island nation’s leader said Tuesday that the deal was “ready for signing” and criticized as “insulting” concerns from Australia and New Zealand that the pact could destabilize the region’s security. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s remarks to Parliament marked the first time he had addressed the leak last week of a draft of the security agreement. The draft — which was shared by opponents of the deal — spurred alarm in a region where concerns about China’s influence has been growing for years.
Prince Andrew escorts queen to memorial
Six weeks ago, Prince Andrew agreed to a multi-million-dollar legal settlement with a woman who accused him of raping her. On Tuesday, he escorted his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, to a memorial service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the life of her late husband, Prince Philip. Andrew’s very conspicuous public appearance on the queen’s arm sent an unmistakable message of support by a 95-year-old mother for her disgraced son. But it struck some royal watchers as incongruous, given that she stripped Andrew of his military titles and all but banished him from public life.
By wire sources
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