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Biden administration announces protection for undocumented spouses of US citizens

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President Joe Biden takes executive action to protect hundreds of thousands of undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens. And from wildfires to tropical storms to extreme heat, much of the country is under alert for severe weather. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

Biden administration announces protection for undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens

The Biden administration has announced a new immigration policy that will shield undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens from being deported. The executive action will cover approximately 500,000 immigrants living in America for at least 10 years. 

Under the program, known as “Parole in Place,” those whose applications are approved by the Department of Homeland Security will be given three years to apply for permanent residency in the U.S. The undocumented spouses would be given work permits, help to gain access to a green card and provided a path to citizenship. 

“These actions will promote family unity and strengthen our economy, providing a significant benefit to the country and helping U.S. citizens and their noncitizen family members stay together,” the White House said in a statement. 

President Joe Biden is expected to make an announcement on the policy at the White House Tuesday, June 18, as he marks the 12th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which protects undocumented immigrants who came to America as children from deportation. 

The new policy announcement is already being met with criticism from some Republicans. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, wrote on X that it is “incentivizing more illegal immigration.”

The Biden administration also announced plans to make it easier for those immigrants, commonly known as Dreamers, who have earned a college degree and been offered a job to receive work visas. 

These are the latest moves by President Biden on immigration as he seeks reelection. Earlier in June, the president issued an executive order limiting access to asylum seekers who cross the border illegally when the number of encounters reaches a certain point. That policy has already been challenged, with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) suing the administration.

Vladimir Putin to visit North Korea for summit with Kim Jong Un 

For the first time in 24 years, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be visiting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as he looks to strengthen ties with the country. Putin will be spending two days in North Korea, where he will meet with Kim for a summit following their talks in Russia in September. 

Prior to his visit, Putin wrote a letter that was published in a North Korean state newspaper where he said he appreciates North Korea’s support in its war with Ukraine. 

Both the U.S. and South Korea have accused North Korea of providing Russia with military equipment — an act that would violate sanctions by the United Nations Security Council. North Korea and Russia have denied the accusations.   

Speaking to reporters on Monday, June 17, White House National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. is keeping an eye on the growing relationship between Putin and North Korea.   

“No surprise that [Putin] went to North Korea after his so-called election, a real nailbiter that was,” Kirby quipped to a reporter. “He was going to go on a little bit of a charm offensive here and that’s what he appears to be doing. We’re not concerned about the trip. What we are concerned about is the deepening relationship between these two countries, not just because of the impacts it’s going to have on the Ukrainian people — because we know North Korean ballistic missiles are still being used to hit Ukrainian targets — but because there could be some reciprocity here that could affect security on the Korean Peninsula.” 

Additionally, in the letter published in the North Korean paper, Putin said Russia and the North will work together on trade and payment systems that are “not controlled by the West.” 

Heat, wildfires, tropical storm threaten U.S. coast to coast

From extreme heat to wildfires to drenching downpours, the U.S. is facing severe weather threats coast to coast. The sweltering heat that’s been scorching the west is now heading to the northeast, putting millions of Americans at risk as temperatures reach up to triple digits. 

The National Weather Service warned a looming heat dome could bring temperatures to record-breaking highs well into the following week. 

Meanwhile, two major wildfires are burning in the west. Thousands of residents in the southern New Mexico village of Ruidoso were ordered to evacuate their homes Monday, June 17, without taking time to pack anything as the flames quickly approached. 

The fire had grown to at least two square miles and burned more than 5,000 acres since it started Monday. 

Firefighters are also battling widespread flames in southern California. What’s been dubbed the “Post Fire” has now spread to more than 15,000 acres in Los Angeles County. That fire, which started Saturday, June 15, was 20% contained as of fire officials’ last report Monday night

Authorities said more than 1,100 firefighters, including air tankers and helicopter crews, are battling the fire from the ground and sky. 

In the nation’s southeast, the first tropical storm watch of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is in effect for the stretch of coast from southern Texas to northeastern Mexico as a broad area of thunderstorms develops in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s forecast to turn into the first named storm of the season. 

Boeing CEO to testify before Senate committee

Boeing is back in the hot seat on Capitol Hill Tuesday, June 18, as the company’s CEO is set to testify before Congress. David Calhoun is scheduled to appear before the Senate Investigations Subcommittee about the company’s latest plan to fix its manufacturing problems. 

This will mark the first appearance of a high-ranking Boeing official before Congress since a panel blew out of a 737 Max during an Alaska Airlines flight in January, raising new concerns about the company’s best-selling commercial aircraft. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are conducting separate investigations into that incident. 

Just last week, the head of the FAA told a Senate committee the agency was “too hands off” in its oversight of Boeing before the January incident. 

Tuesday’s hearing comes as the Justice Department is considering whether to prosecute Boeing for violating terms of a settlement in connection with two fatal 737 Max crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people. 

McDonald’s ending its AI drive-thru test with IBM

You will no longer be able to use artificial intelligence to order your Big Mac — at least for now. McDonald’s announced it is ending its AI drive-through test run at more than 100 of its restaurants. 

The fast food chain had partnered with IBM to create its so-called Automated Order Taker, which involves voice-activated ordering that uses AI to expedite the customer experience. However, reports said customers complained the chatbot got orders wrong and the tech had trouble interpreting accents. 

@that_usa_guy

Trying the McDonald’s AI drive thru….Again @McDonald’s Corporate #fail

♬ original sound – Dal JustDal

McDonald’s said it will be looking to explore voice ordering solutions “more broadly” in the future. 

The AI drive-thrus are set to be shut off by the end of July. 

Boston Celtics win record 18th NBA Championship

For a record 18th time, the Boston Celtics are NBA champions. Powered by stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 in game five Monday, June 17, to clinch the franchise’s 18th championship. 

The Celtics have now won the most championships in NBA history, breaking a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Tatum scored 31 points in the victory in front of the team’s hometown fans. Brown, who had 21 points in the game, was voted the NBA Finals MVP

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[KARAH RUCKER]

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION HAS ANNOUNCED A NEW IMMIGRATION POLICY THAT WILL SHIELD UNDOCUMENTED SPOUSES OF U.S. CITIZENS FROM BEING DEPORTED. 

THE EXECUTIVE ACTION – WHICH STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS HAS REPORTED WAS LIKELY TO OCCUR — WOULD COVER APPROXIMATELY FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND IMMIGRANTS LIVING IN AMERICA FOR AT LEAST 10 YEARS. 

UNDER THE PROGRAM – KNOWN AS “PAROLE IN PLACE” – THOSE WHOSE APPLICATIONS ARE APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WILL BE GIVEN THREE YEARS TO APPLY FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY IN THE U.S. 

THE UNDOCUMENTED SPOUSES WOULD BE GIVEN WORK PERMITS, HELP TO GAIN ACCESS TO A GREEN CARD AND PROVIDED A PATH TO CITIZENSHIP. 

THE WHITE HOUSE SAYING IN A STATEMENT: 

“THESE ACTIONS WILL PROMOTE FAMILY UNITY AND STRENGTHEN OUR ECONOMY, PROVIDING A SIGNIFICANT BENEFIT TO THE COUNTRY AND HELPING U.S. CITIZENS AND THEIR NONCITIZEN FAMILY MEMBERS STAY TOGETHER.” 

PRESIDENT BIDEN IS EXPECTED TO MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE POLICY AT THE WHITE HOUSE TUESDAY AS HE MARKS THE 12-TH ANNIVERSARY OF DACA – WHICH PROTECTS UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS WHO CAME TO AMERICA AS CHILDREN FROM DEPORTATION. 

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ALSO ANNOUNCING PLANS TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR THOSE IMMIGRANTS – KNOWN AS DREAMERS – WHO HAVE EARNED A COLLEGE DEGREE AND BEEN OFFERED A JOB TO RECEIVE WORK VISAS. 

THESE ARE THE LATEST MOVES BY PRESIDENT BIDEN ON IMMIGRATION AS HE SEEKS REELECTION. EARLIER THIS MONTH – THE PRESIDENT ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER LIMITING ACCESS TO ASYLUM SEEKERS WHO CROSS THE BORDER ILLEGALLY WHEN THE NUMBER OF ENCOUNTERS REACHES A CERTAIN POINT. THAT POLICY HAS ALREADY BEEN CHALLENGED – WITH THE ACLU SUING THE ADMINISTRATION.   

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 24 YEARS – RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN WILL BE VISITING NORTH KOREA AS HE LOOKS TO STRENGTHEN TIES WITH NORTH KOREAN LEADER KIM JONG UN. 

PUTIN WILL BE SPENDING TWO DAYS IN NORTH KOREA – WHERE HE WILL MEET WITH KIM FOR A SUMMIT FOLLOWING THEIR TALKS IN RUSSIA IN SEPTEMBER. 

PRIOR TO HIS VISIT – PUTIN WROTE A LETTER THAT WAS PUBLISHED IN A NORTH KOREAN STATE NEWSPAPER WHERE HE SAID HE APPRECIATES NORTH KOREA’S SUPPORT IN ITS WAR WITH UKRAINE. 

BOTH THE U.S. AND SOUTH KOREA HAVE ACCUSED THE NORTH OF PROVIDING RUSSIA WITH MILITARY EQUIPMENT – AN ACT THAT WOULD VIOLATE SANCTIONS BY THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL. NORTH KOREA AND RUSSIA HAVE DENIED THE ACCUSATIONS.   

SPEAKING TO REPORTERS ON MONDAY – WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESMAN JOHN KIRBY SAID THE U.S. IS KEEPING AN EYE ON THE GROWING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PUTIN AND NORTH KOREA.   

JOHN KIBRY | WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESMAN 

“No surprise that he went to North Korea after his so-called election, a real nailbiter that was. He was going to go on a little bit of a charm offensive here and that’s what he appears to be doing. We’re not concerned about the trip what we are concerned about Trevor is the deepening relationship between these two countries, not just because of the impacts it’s going to have on the Ukrainian people because we know North Korean ballistic missiles are still being used to hit Ukrainian targets but because there could be some reciprocity here that could affect security on the Korean Peninsula.” 

ADDITIONALLY — IN THE LETTER PUBLISHED IN THE NORTH KOREAN PAPER, PUTIN SAID RUSSIA AND THE NORTH WILL WORK TOGETHER ON TRADE AND PAYMENT SYSTEMS THAT ARE QUOTE “NOT CONTROLLED BY THE WEST.” 

FROM EXTREME HEAT TO WILDFIRES TO DRENCHING DOWNPOURS — THE U-S IS FACING SEVERE WEATHER THREATS COAST TO COAST. 

THE SWELTERING HEAT THAT’S BEEN SCORCHING THE WEST IS NOW HEADING TO THE NORTHEAST… PUTTING MILLIONS OF AMERICANS AT RISK AS TEMPERATURES REACH UP TO TRIPLE DIGITS. 

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WARNING A LOOMING “HEAT DOME” COULD BRING TEMPERATURES TO RECORD-BREAKING HIGHS WELL INTO NEXT WEEK. 

MEANWHILE — TWO MAJOR WILDFIRES ARE BURNING IN THE WEST. 

THOUSANDS OF RESIDENTS IN SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO WERE ORDERED TO EVACUATE THEIR HOMES WITHOUT TAKING TIME TO PACK ANYTHING AS THE FLAMES QUICKLY APPROACHED. 

THE FIRE HAD GROWN TO AT LEAST TWO SQUARE MILES AND BURNED MORE THAN 5-THOUSAND ACRES SINCE IT STARTED MONDAY. 

FIREFIGHTERS ARE ALSO BATTLING WIDESPREAD FLAMES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. 

WHAT’S BEEN DUBBED THE “POST FIRE” HAS NOW SPREAD TO MORE THAN 15-THOUSAND ACRES IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY. 

THE FIRE — WHICH STARTED SATURDAY — IS NOW 20 PERCENT CONTAINED. 

AUTHORITIES SAY MORE THAN 11-HUNDRED FIREFIGHTERS — INCLUDING AIR TANKERS AND HELICOPTER CREWS — ARE BATTLING THE FIRE FROM THE GROUND AND SKY. 

AND IN THE NATION’S SOUTHEAST… THE FIRST TROPICAL STORM WATCH OF THE 2024 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON IS IN EFFECT FOR THE STRETCH OF COAST FROM SOUTH TEXAS TO NORTHEASTERN MEXICO AS A BROAD AREA OF THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPS IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. 

IT’S FORECAST TO TURN INTO THE FIRST NAMED STORM OF THE SEASON. 

BOEING IS BACK IN THE HOT SEAT ON CAPITOL HILL TUESDAY — AS THE COMPANY’S C-E-O IS SET TO TESTIFY BEFORE CONGRESS. DAVID CALHOUN IS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR BEFORE THE SENATE INVESTIGATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE… ABOUT THE COMPANY’S LATEST PLAN TO FIX ITS MANUFACTURING PROBLEMS. 

THIS WILL MARK THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF A HIGH-RANKING BOEING OFFICIAL BEFORE CONGRESS SINCE A PANEL BLEW OUT OF A 737 MAX DURING AN ALASKA AIRLINES FLIGHT IN JANUARY… RAISING NEW CONCERNS ABOUT THE COMPANY’S BEST-SELLING COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT. 

THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD AND THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION ARE CONDUCTING SEPARATE INVESTIGATIONS INTO THAT INCIDENT. 

JUST LAST WEEK — THE HEAD OF THE F-A-A- TOLD A SENATE COMMITTEE THE AGENCY WAS “TOO HANDS OFF” IN ITS OVERSIGHT OF BOEING BEFORE THE JANUARY INCIDENT. 

TUESDAY’S HEARING COMES AS THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS CONSIDERING WHETHER TO PROSECUTE BOEING FOR VIOLATING TERMS OF A SETTLEMENT IN CONNECTION WITH TWO FATAL CRASHES OF BOEING’S 737 MAX IN 20-18 AND 20-19 THAT KILLED 346 PEOPLE. 

YOU WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO USE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO ORDER YOUR BIG MAC – AT LEAST FOR NOW. 

MCDONALD’S ANNOUNCING IT IS ENDING ITS AI DRIVE-THRU TEST RUN AT MORE THAN 100 OF ITS RESTAURANTS. 

THE FAST FOOD CHAIN HAD PARTNERED WITH IBM TO CREATE ITS SO-CALLED AUTOMATED ORDER TAKER – WHICH INVOLVED VOICE-ACTIVATED ORDERING – USING AI TO EXPEDITE THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. 

HOWEVER, REPORTS SAY CUSTOMERS COMPLAINED THE CHATBOT GOT ORDERS WRONG AND THE TECH HAD TROUBLE INTERPRETING ACCENTS. 

MCDONALD’S SAID IT WILL BE LOOKING TO EXPLORE VOICE ORDERING SOLUTIONS “MORE BROADLY” IN THE FUTURE.  

THE AI DRIVE-THRUS ARE SET TO BE SHUT OFF BY THE END OF JULY. 

FOR A RECORD 18TH TIME – THE BOSTON CELTICS ARE NBA CHAMPIONS. 

POWERED BY STARS JAYSON TATUM AND JAYLEN BROWN – THE CELTICS DEFEATED THE DALLAS MAVERICKS 106 TO 88 IN GAME 5 MONDAY NIGHT TO CLINCH THE FRANCHISE’S 18TH CHAMPIONSHIP – THE MOST IN NBA HISTORY. 

TATUM SCORED 31 POINTS IN THE VICTORY IN FRONT OF THE TEAM’S HOMETOWN FANS. 

BROWN – WHO HAD 21 POINTS IN THE GAME — WAS VOTED THE NBA FINALS MVP.