National News Content

Fewer Migrant Children Held In Border Detention Facilities, But Challenges Remain

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 4:35pm
The Biden administration has been scrambling to care for hundreds of migrant children and teenagers crossing the Southern border alone daily — opening a dozen emergency influx shelters and moving thousands out of jail-like holding cells and tents that have stoked public outrage. Still, the administration faces big challenges as it deals with the record-breaking surge of unaccompanied minors. The number of migrant teens and children in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection fell to 2,853 this week — less than half the number who were held in overcrowded facilities near the border in late March. Another 19,000 unaccompanied minors were in the custody of U.S. Health and Human Services as of Tuesday, according to the agency. By law, those children are supposed to be transferred to HHS custody within three days. In practice, that hasn't been happening, partly because of a lack of available space in HHS's permanent shelter system. That bottleneck may be starting to ease. In recent

Democrats Unveil Long-Shot Plan To Expand Size Of Supreme Court From 9 To 13

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 3:04pm
Liberal congressional Democrats unveiled a proposal Thursday to expand the number of seats on the U.S. Supreme Court from nine to 13 — a move Republicans have blasted as "court packing" and which has almost no chance of being voted on after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she has "no plans to bring it to the floor." The measure, the Judiciary Act of 2021, is being co-sponsored by Reps. Jerrold Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee; Hank Johnson of Georgia; Mondaire Jones of New York; and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts. "We are not packing the Supreme Court, we are unpacking it," Nadler said at a news conference in front of the Supreme Court. In a statement, Nadler, a congressman from New York, said the bill would "restore balance to the nation's highest court after four years of norm-breaking actions by Republicans led to its current composition." At issue is the makeup of the Supreme Court, where conservatives now have a 6-3 majority. Democrats and liberal activists say this

Connections: Discussing the New York State Budget with State Senators

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 2:25pm
We continue our conversation about the state budget with State Senators: Samra Brouk (D, WF), District 55 Jeremy Cooney (D, WF) District 56 Edward Rath III (R) District 61 Robert Ortt (R, C, IP) Minority Leader, District 62

Connections: Discussing the New York State Budget with State Assemblymembers

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 2:25pm
New York State has passed a budget. Legalized marijuana has garnered the most consistent headlines, but there are many other issues to discuss. Our guests this hour are members of the New York State Assembly: Harry Bronson (D, WF, IP) District 138 Sarah Clark (D, WF) District 136 Josh Jensen (R, C, I) District 134 Jen Lunsford (D, WF) District 135 Stephen Hawley (R, C, I) District 139 Demond Meeks (D, WF) District 137

Podcaster Chronicles Racism, 'Resistance' And The Fight For Black Lives

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 1:29pm
On April 11, Daunte Wright , a 20-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minn. It was the latest in a long line of killings of Black people by police in America. An officer's body camera captured footage of Wright's shooting, but podcast host Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr., who lost a close friend from college to police violence a few years ago, doesn't plan on watching it. "I choose not to put myself through that," he says. "I know if I watch that, I'll just be frozen ... with grief and frozen with fear, too. And I can't move like that." Tejan-Thomas Jr.'s " Resistance " podcast explores different aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement. The podcast has been mostly devoted to the protests that started last summer after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but it also chronicles Tejan-Thomas Jr.'s personal history. Born in Sierra Leone, Tejan-Thomas Jr. experienced that country's civil war before coming to the U.S. at the

China To Loom Large At Biden's Summit With Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 12:25pm
SEOUL — As Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has readied for his trip to Washington — where, on Friday, he will be the first foreign leader to meet face-to-face with President Biden — opposition lawmaker Shiori Yamao has been making preparations of her own. Earlier this month, she joined dozens of other lawmakers in a new caucus to promote Japan's human rights diplomacy. The group is crafting a resolution criticizing human rights abuses in China and Myanmar and aims to pass legislation allowing Japan to impose sanctions on human rights violators. Yamao's group is one of many factors — including surging domestic anti-China sentiment — pushing Japan's foreign policies closer to those of the U.S. This paves the way for the two countries' leaders to jointly criticize China's human rights situation, something that may emerge from Friday's meeting and would have previously been unimaginable. As the Biden administration tries to enlist allies to help meet the challenge China poses to U.S.

Biden Claims GOP Voters Support His Infrastructure Plan; Poll Shows They Don't

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 12:00pm
President Biden and his team have been making a simple case for why Republican elected officials should support his roughly $2 trillion infrastructure plan: Lawmakers might not like it, but their voters do. "Overwhelmingly, the majority of the American people — Democrats, Republicans and independents — support infrastructure investments that meets the moment," Biden said last week. "So, I urge the Congress: Listen to your constituents and, together, we can lay a foundation for an economy that works for everyone and allows America to remain the world leader." Biden and other administration officials have made that case repeatedly , but it is hardly true. While a majority of American adults support his infrastructure proposal — 56% — including 9 in 10 Democrats and half of independents, Republicans overwhelmingly do not, according to the latest NPR/ PBS NewsHour /Marist survey . Republicans also disagree with how Biden wants to pay for it all, indicating the president is likely to get

Scientists Create Early Embryos That Are Part Human, Part Monkey

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 11:17am
For the first time, scientists have created embryos that are a mix of human and monkey cells. The embryos, described Thursday in the journal Cell , were created in part to try to find new ways to produce organs for people who need transplants, said the international team of scientists who collaborated in the work. But the research raises a variety of concerns. "My first question is: Why?" said Kirstin Matthews , a fellow for science and technology at Rice University's Baker Institute. "I think the public is going to be concerned, and I am as well, that we're just kind of pushing forward with science without having a proper conversation about what we should or should not do." Still, the scientists who conducted the research, and some other bioethicists defended the experiment. "This is one of the major problems in medicine — organ transplantation," said Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte , a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla,

Coming up on Connections: Thursday, April 15

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 10:46am
First hour: Discussing the New York State Budget with State Assemblymembers Second hour: Discussing the New York State Budget with State Senators

RCSD announces plans to return to 5-day-a-week instruction in September

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 10:33am
The Rochester City School District will return to in-person learning five days a week beginning on Sept. 8, Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small said Thursday. In a letter to families, Myers-Small noted that last week, the state Department of Health issued new guidance decreasing the social distancing requirements in classrooms from 6 to 3 feet. She said the district is now moving forward with plans that will allow more students to return to in-person instruction. Myers-Small said that if the state removes all restrictions, students will attend school in person as they did before the COVID closures. The superintendent said that beginning Sept. 8, all students in prekindergarten through 12th grade will receive direct instruction from their teachers five days week. The district will offer a 100% remote learning option to accommodate families who do not feel comfortable sending their children back to school in person. If families choose the remote option, they must respond by May 7, or their

'It's Not A Never Thing' — White, Rural Southerners Hesitant To Get COVID Vaccine

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 10:19am
There are more than enough shots to go around in communities such as Hartsville, Tenn., the seat of Trousdale County, a quiet town tucked in the wooded hills northeast of Nashville. It's a county that is nearly 90% white and where Donald Trump won nearly 75% of the votes in 2020. There was no special planning to reach underserved communities here, other than the inmates at the state prison, which experienced one of the nation's largest correctional facility outbreaks of COVID-19. But now Tennessee, like much of the nation, is finding that rural, white residents need a little more coaxing to roll up their sleeves for the shot. This week, the state published results from a statewide survey, and a focus group of unvaccinated residents. More than 45% of white, rural conservatives said they were unwilling even to consider taking the vaccine. "There's nothing inherently unique about living in a rural area that makes people balk at getting vaccinated. It's just that rural areas have a larger

Testimony Ends Without Derek Chauvin Taking The Stand In His Trial

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 10:10am
Updated April 15, 2021 at 12:48 PM ET Testimony ended Thursday in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The defendant said he will not testify in his defense in the trial and would invoke his Fifth Amendment right. Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd's death after he held his knee on Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds on Memorial Day last year. The state brought Dr. Martin Tobin back to the stand as its rebuttal witness. Tobin is a critical care pulmonologist who testified last week that Floyd died from a lack of oxygen. Judge Peter Cahill did not allow the prosecution to introduce "newly discovered evidence" related to carbon monoxide levels in Floyd's blood. Hennepin County medical examiner Dr. Andrew Baker found that the county did have the records but had not sent them along with Floyd's other lab results. MPR News via / YouTube Defense medical expert Dr. David

U.S. Slaps New Sanctions On Russia Over Cyberattack, Election Meddling

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 8:34am
Updated April 15, 2021 at 5:40 PM ET President Biden is ordering a new round of economic sanctions on Russia — a response in part to Moscow's election meddling and a Kremlin-linked computer breach that penetrated numerous U.S. government networks. Biden said Thursday that the United States isn't pushing for "a cycle of escalation and conflict" with Russia, but instead for both nations to manage tensions and work together when needed. But the president also said that during a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he made it clear that any actions taken against the United States would be met with proportionate repercussions. "My bottom line is this, where it is in the interest of the United States to work with Russia, we should and we will. If Russia seeks to violate the interests of the United States, we will respond," Biden said. "We will always stand in defense of our country, our institutions, our people and our allies." White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday

Long legal fight ends, Cariol Horne to receive her BPD pension

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 8:16am
Former Buffalo Police Officer Cariol Horne will receive her full pension, as a long legal fight came to a close Tuesday.

Long legal fight ends, Cariol Horne to receive her BPD pension

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 8:16am
Former Buffalo Police Officer Cariol Horne will receive her full pension, as a long legal fight came to a close Tuesday.

Rep. Davis On Committee Hearing Testimony About IG's Report On Capitol Riot

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 7:48am
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit NOEL KING, HOST: I want to bring in Congressman Rodney Davis. He's the top Republican on the House Administration Committee. That is the committee that will hear Michael Bolton's testimony later today. Good morning to you, sir. RODNEY DAVIS: Hey, good morning. Thanks for having me on. KING: We appreciate you being here. Based on what you've read of this report, what do you want to know most during today's hearing? What's at the top of your mind? DAVIS: Well, it's what's not in the report. The Capitol Police is actually governed by the Capitol Police Board, which is a board that's made up of two political appointees, the two sergeant-at-arms that are appointed by the speaker of the House and also the majority leader in the Senate, and then also the architect of the Capitol, who's, you know, less of a political person. Decisions were not made or able to be made by the Capitol Police chief leading up to January 6 and before that that, I think, should

Blinken Visits Afghanistan After Biden Announces Troop Withdrawal

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 7:37am
Updated April 15, 2021 at 1:41 PM ET U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kabul on Thursday in an unannounced visit that comes just a day after President Biden announced he has decided to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, ending America's longest conflict. Blinken told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that he intended to "demonstrate with my visit the ongoing commitment of the United States to the Islamic Republic and the people of Afghanistan." "The partnership is changing, but the partnership is enduring," Blinken said. Ghani replied: "We respect the decision and are adjusting our priorities." On Wednesday, Biden announced that the remaining 2,500 U.S. troops would be coming home by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that sparked a U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. The withdrawal would fulfill a deal the Trump administration struck with the Taliban last year — although that agreement pledged a full pullout of U.S. troops by May 1 . Biden has said

A Surprising Kind Of First Aid For Mozambicans Fleeing Violence

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 7:15am
There's medical first aid. And then there's psychological first aid: an eight-step approach to help people who've been through trauma. It's part of the mission of the Doctors Without Borders staff to help the tens of thousands fleeing the northern city of Palma, ravaged by civil unrest . They come by foot, covering around 200 miles, and sometimes by boat or plane if they're being evacuated as armed militias kill men, women and children and chase others into the bush. They are often reeling from what they've seen — helplessly watching as family and friends were publicly beheaded or shot and their homes burned to the ground. Many of those who escaped and made the trek to the city of Montepuez came across the bodies of others who had been killed or died from hunger or thirst. And then there was the underlying anxiety that they might be caught themselves. It's actually not the lack of food or water that has put them in such a desperate state when they arrive, says Ampara Vilasmil, the

As Auto Industry Goes Electric, Can It Avoid A Battery Bottleneck?

WXXI US News - Thu, 04/15/2021 - 6:32am
The world is going to need more batteries. A lot more batteries. Every major automaker is preparing to pivot from gas and diesel cars to electric and hybrid ones. Ford F-150s and Kia crossovers, Volkswagen hatchbacks and BMW sedans: They'll all plug in instead of fill up. It's a remarkable transformation that will change the way we drive and shake up world energy markets. But the massive shift is raising concern that the world's battery supply chain, from mines to manufacturers, will fail to keep pace, leading to a bottleneck that will slow the pace of electrification and derail companies' business plans — and the fight against climate change. These fears are coming as the global auto industry is already reeling from supply shortages, most notably of semiconductors, that have delayed the production of an estimated million vehicles and cut into billions of dollars of automaker profits. A future battery shortage could be even more of a nightmare. "In a conservative scenario, we expect
Syndicate content