Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 |
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Black support for GOP ticked up in this year’s midterms
Black voters have been a steady foundation for Democratic candidates for decades, but that support appeared to show a few cracks in this year’s elections. Republican candidates were backed by 14% of Black voters, compared with 8% in the last midterm elections four years ago, according to AP VoteCast, an extensive national survey of the electorate. A variety of factors might play into that, including voter turnout and candidate outreach. It’s too early to tell whether the 2022 survey data represents a longer-term drift of Black voters toward the GOP or whether it will hold during a presidential year.
Suspect in Idaho killings plans to waive extradition hearing
A suspect arrested in connection with the slayings of four University of Idaho students plans to waive his extradition hearing so he can be quickly brought to Idaho to face murder charges. That is according to his defense attorney. Authorities in eastern Pennsylvania arrested Bryan Christopher Kohberger, a 28-year-old Ph.D. student at Washington State University, on Friday. Kohberger defense attorney Jason LaBar said Saturday that Kohberger is eager to be exonerated, and said people should wait to pass judgment until after a fair trial. Moscow Police Captain Anthony Dahlinger said Saturday that investigators believe Kohberger is the person responsible for all four of the killings. Dahlinger says more information will be released once Kohberger is returned to Idaho.
‘Atmospheric river’ dumps heavy rain, snow across California
A powerful storm is bringing drenching rain or heavy snowfall to much of California as the state gets ready to usher in a new year. Flooding and rock slides have closed portions of roads in northern California. In the high Sierra Nevada, as much as 2 feet of snow could accumulate into early Sunday. Chains or four-wheel drive are being required for vehicles on many roads through the mountains. The National Weather Service in Sacramento says the atmospheric river storm is pulling in a long and wide plume of moisture from the Pacific Ocean. One ski resort south of Lake Tahoe closed a chair lift because of flooding.
Steep decline in teen births over 30 years
Teen births have fallen by more than three-quarters in the past three decades, a change of such improbable magnitude that experts struggle to fully explain it. Child poverty also plunged, raising a complex question: Does cutting teen births reduce child poverty, or does cutting child poverty reduce teen births? While both may be true, it is not clear which dominates. One theory holds that reducing teen births lowers child poverty by allowing women to finish school, start careers and form mature relationships. Another says progress runs the other way: Cutting child poverty reduces teen births, since teenagers who see opportunity have motives to avoid getting pregnant.
New York OKs human composting law; 6th state in US to do so
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed a law making her state the sixth in the nation to allow human composting as a method of burial. Hochul signed the law Saturday. The move legalizes natural organic reduction, popularly known as human composting, following after Washington state, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and California. New York investor Howard Fischer is one supporter who sees human composting as an eco-friendly way to return his remains to the earth as fresh, fertile soil when he dies. Critics like the New York State Catholic Conference, representing the state’s bishops, oppose the burial method as “inappropriate” for humans.
Banks seek to quash women’s lawsuits in Jeffrey Epstein case
Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase are asking a federal court to throw out lawsuits that claim they helped Jeffrey Epstein abuse young women and maintain his sex-trafficking ring. The banks argue they provided routine services to Epstein, and the lawsuits fail to show that they were part of Epstein’s criminal sex trafficking ring. The banks filed their motions to dismiss the lawsuits in federal district court in New York late Friday. The lawsuits, filed by two women both identified as Jane Doe, say the banks should have seen evidence of sex trafficking by Epstein, the high-flying financier who killed himself in jail in 2019 while facing criminal charges.
N. Korea fires 3 missiles amid tensions over drone flights
North Korea has fired three short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters, the latest in a barrage of weapons tests this year that comes days after it increased tensions by flying drones into South Korea. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the three launches from an inland area south of Pyongyang, the North’s capital, on Saturday morning. Some experts say North Korea is seeking to modernize its arsenal and boost its leverage in future dealings with the United States. Saturday’s launches came five days after North Korea flew drones into South Korea’s airspace for the first time since 2017.
By wire sources
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