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The Morning Rundown™

Biden, Trump make separate visits to southern border: March 1, 2024

Mar 1


In competing visits, President Biden and former President Trump address the crisis at the southern border. And, at least two people are dead in the largest fire in Texas history. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Friday, March 1, 2024.

Biden, Trump make separates stops at Southern border to address immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump made competing visits to the southern border on Thursday, Feb. 29, each addressing the migrant crisis, a pivotal issue for voters as the two frontrunners for their parties gear up for a potential presidential face-off in November.

Positioned 300 miles apart, both surveyed the U.S.-Mexico border and discussed the record number of migrants illegally crossing into the United States. During his visit to Brownsville, Biden called on Trump to support the Senate’s bipartisan border security bill, which Trump has opposed.

“Here’s what I would say to Mr. Trump,” Biden said. “Instead of playing politics with this issue, instead of telling members of Congress to block this legislation, join me, or I’ll join you, in telling the Congress to pass this bipartisan security bill. We can do it together. You know, and I know is the toughest, most efficient, most effective border security bill this country has ever seen.”

Meanwhile, in Eagle Pass, Trump, accompanied by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, blamed Biden for the crisis. 

“Now the United States is being overrun by the Biden migrant crime,” Trump said. “It’s a new form of a vicious violation to our country. It’s migrant crime. We call it Biden migrant crime but that’s a little bit long, so we’ll just leave it. But every time you hear the term migrant crime, you know where that comes from.”

A recent Gallup poll indicates immigration has surged to the forefront of American concerns, followed by the government and the economy. The poll found a record high 55 percent of adults view the influx of immigrants entering the U.S. illegally as a critical threat to the nation.

Airman accused of leaking defense info expected to plead guilty

Jack Teixeira, the National Guardsman accused of leaking thousands of classified documents on the gaming site Discord, is set to plead guilty. Prosecutors revealed in a court filing that the airman will change his plea from not guilty to guilty in federal court on Monday, March 3.

Teixeira faced a potential maximum sentence of 60 years for charges related to the improper handling and public disclosure of national defense secrets. The classified documents he leaked included sensitive information about Ukraine’s air defenses and a foreign plot targeting U.S. troops overseas.

Prosecutors said there was no evidence of espionage, rather, Teixeira wanted to impress people on the site with his insider information. The 22-year-old, who was stationed at an air base in Cape Cod, has been in custody since his arrest last spring at his mother’s home in Massachusetts.

Congress passes stop-gap spending bill to avert government shutdown

Congress passed a short-term funding deal Feb. 29, to prevent a partial government shutdown that was set to begin Friday, March 1. The bill now awaits President Biden’s signature.

The Senate approved the stop-gap measure with a vote of 77 to 13, setting new funding deadlines for government agencies to March 8th and March 22nd. Earlier in the day, the House passed the measure by a vote of 320 to 99.

In response to the bill’s passage, President Biden acknowledged its benefits for Americans but noted that it serves only as a temporary solution.

Congress is scheduled to return next week to complete work on long-term funding plans.

At least 46 killed, dozens injured in Bangladesh building fire

A fire in a Bangladesh shopping mall killed at least 46 people late Thursday Feb. 29. The fire ripped through a six-story building housing restaurants and stores.

Investigations are underway to determine if a gas leak or a stove ignited the fire on the first floor of a restaurant, leading to rapid spread throughout the building.

Dozens of firefighters fought for over two hours to bring the blaze under control. Some survivors made their escape by heading to the building’s roof.

Officials warn that the death toll may increase as emergency services have taken around 20 people with critical injuries to local hospitals.

Following this incident, the government has formed a panel to investigate the cause and to develop strategies to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Texas battles Smokehouse Creek Fire, largest in state history

The Smokehouse Creek wildfire, now recognized as the largest fire in Texas history, has claimed at least two lives and crossed into Oklahoma. The Texas A&M Forest Service reports the fire is only 3% contained and has expanded to nearly 1,700 square miles after combining with another fire.

Authorities are cautioning that strong winds and warm temperatures have dried out grasses across many parts of Texas, increasing fire risks.

Texas A&M Forest Service Chief Wes Moorehead stated, “As firefighters continue to suppress active fires, we urge Texans to be cautious with any outdoor activity that may cause a spark.”

The Texas Agriculture Commissioner has noted a significant impact on livestock, with thousands of cattle dead and concerns that the numbers could rise.

During his visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, President Joe Biden announced he has directed federal officials to do “everything possible” to assist communities affected by the fires. This includes sending more firefighters and equipment.

The cause of the wildfires remains unknown.

Phillies end dollar dog nights after unruly fan behavior

For baseball enthusiasts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an era is coming to an end, but not for reasons like player retirements or stadium demolitions. Rather, it’s about hot dogs.

After 27 years, Philadelphia Phillies fans will no longer enjoy their cherished Dollar Dog Nights, a tradition where hot dogs were sold for just one dollar a few times during the baseball season. The decision to end this beloved promotion comes in the wake of unruly behavior from fans last season, which included throwing hot dogs and led to several ejections from the stands.

Moving forward, the Phillies will replace Dollar Dog Nights with a buy one, get one deal. However, fans looking for budget-friendly hot dog nights can still find them with another Pennsylvania team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, who continue to offer Dollar Dog Nights.

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