Vice President Kamala Harris will be in charge of the federal government’s efforts to meet the surge in migration toward the United States’ border with Mexico. President Joe Biden made the announcement on Wednesday.
He met with Harris as well as Xavier Becerra (Health and Human Services secretary) and Alejandra Mayorkas (Homeland Security secretary), according to the Associated Press.
There’s been a big increase in migrants at the border, some trying to enter illegally and some trying to gain sanctuary status. Causes of the push have included gang violence in some Latin American countries, deepening poverty south of the border and the belief that the Biden administration would be less restrictive than his predecessor.
News: Voting rights battles heat up
Efforts by both major parties to advance their view of fair voting are in conflict at the federal and state levels. Many states – nearly all of them “red” states that consistently vote Republican – are seeing bills introduced that Democrats call “voter suppression.” Among the proposed changes would be requiring that absentee ballots be notarized, reducing early voting days and banning voting on Sunday. Such changes are intended to counter “voter fraud.” Democrats are countering with the For the People Act, which would ban some of those policies, which have been compared to “Jim Crow” laws designed to keep Blacks from the polls.
The bill faces a tough battle in the evenly-divided U.S. Senate, where each party has 50 votes. Vice President Kamala Harris can cast the deciding vote in case of a tie, but even one defection from Democratic ranks would defeat the bill.
Business: 127m stimulus checks so far
If you’re one of those who have received your $1400 COVID-19 relief bill payment, you’re part of the biggest club in America. According to the Internal Revenue Service, checks (or direct deposits) have been sent to 127 million people.
That amounts to $325 billion, reports USA Today. Money sent so far has gone to eligible taxpayers who filed direct deposit information on their 2019 or 2020 federal income tax returns.
Paper checks and debit cards were also mailed out and will continue to be sent via the USPS for several weeks.
Wall Street’s off day. All three major stock indexes reported losses on Wednesday. The Dow was off 3.09 points to close at 32,430.06. The S&P 500 dropped 21.38 points to finish at 21.38 and Nasdaq was down 265.81 points, ending at 12,961.89.
Sports: Angels in first, says SI
Predictions are not proof, but Angels fans might be a little encouraged by the April issue of Sports Illustrated, which – in its Major League Baseball preview – has the Halos winning the American League West pennant, edging out the Houston Astros.
The SI staff also predicts the Dodgers will outpace the San Diego Padres for another NL West title. Other division champs are projected to be Yankees (AL East), White Sox (AL Central), Braves (NL East) and Cardinals (NL Central). The magazine’s World Series pick? Braves over Yankees.
Wednesday’s late scores
- San Jose 2, Kings 1: Matt Roy had the sole LA goal in this loss in San Jose. Jonathan Quick had 21 saves in goal. The team is 13-12-6, still fifth in the NHL West.
- Minnesota 2, Ducks 1: Anaheim suffered another one-goal loss in St. Paul. Troy Terry scored for the Ducks (9-18-6), who remain in eighth place in the NHL West.
- Clippers 119, Atlanta 110: The Clips won their second straight game as Kawhli Leonard scored 25 points at Staples Center. LAC is now 28-16, fourth in the Western Conference and third in the NBA Pacific Division.
Weather: Chili … no, chilly on Thursday
Temperatures will take an abrupt turn for the cooler on Thursday and Friday, then bounce back into more typical number for the weekend. The forecast for the West Orange County area is for a high of 60 on Thursday (low of 48) and 64 on Friday (46). On Saturday, things will warm up to 76, then 79 on Sunday. In the coastal area of Huntington Beach, daily highs will be four to five degrees cooler.
Categories: The Wider World