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The Morning Rundown™

Biden, Trump set for historic presidential rematch after clinching nominations

Mar 13


President Biden and former President Trump clinch their parties’ nominations, setting up a rematch for the White House. And a rocket explodes in Japan just seconds after liftoff. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Wednesday, March 13, 2024.

Biden, Trump clinch nominations to set up presidential rematch

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have each secured their respective party’s nomination for the presidential race, marking a historic rematch set for November. This event repeats the 2020 election, promising another intense electoral battle between the two.

This year’s race is noted for being the first presidential rematch since 1956 and notably the first between two individuals who have both held the presidency since 1912. Despite the primary calendar not even being more than halfway complete, Biden and Trump have amassed the necessary delegates to become the presumptive nominees, with victories in the Georgia, Mississippi, and Washington state primaries on Tuesday solidifying their positions.

President Biden, in a statement, reflected on his motivations for running four years ago and the support he has received, saying, “Four years ago, I ran for president because I believed we were in a battle for the soul of this nation. Because of the American people, we won that battle, and now I am honored that the broad coalition of voters representing the rich diversity of the Democratic Party across the country have put their faith in me once again to lead our party — and our country — in a moment when the threat Trump poses is greater than ever.”

Former President Trump posted a video on social media, dubbing Tuesday, “a great day of victory,” and criticized Biden’s presidency, saying, “But now we have to get back to work because we have the worst president in the history of our country, his name is Joe Biden, sometimes referred to as Crooked Joe Biden and he must be defeated. Our nation is failing. We’re a nation that is in serious decline.”

Trump also emphasized the importance of the upcoming election, stating, “So, we’re not going to take time to celebrate. We’ll celebrate in eight months when the election is over. November 5th, I believe will go down as the most important day in the history of our country.”

Both candidates will officially receive their party’s nomination during the summer conventions. The Republican National Convention is scheduled to take place in Milwaukee in July, followed by the Democratic Convention in Chicago in August.

Putin says Russia is ready to use nuclear weapons if threatened

Just days before Russia’s presidential election, in which Vladimir Putin is widely expected to secure another six years in power, the Russian president has declared the country’s readiness to deploy nuclear weapons if its statehood, sovereignty, or independence are threatened.

In an interview aired Wednesday, March 13, on Russia’s state television, Putin issued a warning to the United States, stating that sending troops to Ukraine would be perceived as a significant escalation. He asserted that Russia will achieve its objectives in Ukraine and expressed openness to negotiations, despite U.S. claims that Putin is not prepared for serious discussions on the issue.

The White House announced on Tuesday, March 12, that the U.S. will provide an additional $300 million in military aid to Ukraine. This increase in support comes as a result of savings achieved in contracts with weapons manufacturers.

House expected to vote on TikTok bill

Today, the House is set to vote on a bill that could significantly impact the future of TikTok in America. The legislation demands that ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, must sell the social media platform within six months or face a potential ban in the U.S.

For the bill to pass, it will need the backing of two-thirds of House members. The move comes after the House Energy and Commerce Committee showed unanimous support last week, voting 50-0 in favor of the bill, thereby advancing it to the full House vote.

In preparation for today’s vote, House members received a classified briefing on Tuesday from the FBI, Justice Department, and intelligence officials regarding the app. President Joe Biden has expressed his readiness to sign the bill into law if it successfully passes through Congress.

Uvalde police chief resigning after investigation over school shooting response

Daniel Rodriguez, the police chief of Uvalde, Texas, has announced he will resign, following the release of a city council report defending the police response to the 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. The tragic event left 19 children and two teachers dead.

Rodriguez’s resignation letter made no mention of the school shooting, instead focusing on the next steps in his career. This move comes as the investigation into the law enforcement response reveals that Uvalde police officers at the scene adhered to policy and were not found guilty of serious misconduct. Despite this, nearly 400 law enforcement officers, including Uvalde police, waited more than an hour to confront the gunman after the shooting began.

The city’s findings are in line with a Department of Justice report, which underscored poor communication among officers and inadequate training. In the aftermath, five officers present during the incident, among them two Department of Public Safety officers and the former school police chief, were dismissed from their positions. Yet, no criminal charges have been brought against any of the officers involved.

Japanese rocket explodes seconds after takeoff

A rocket launched by the Japanese startup Space One exploded seconds after liftoff, marking a setback for the company’s ambitions. The incident occurred in a mountainous region of central Japan at approximately 11 a.m. local time on Wednesday. Videos captured the rocket’s ascent before it was engulfed in flames and smoke just five seconds into the flight.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene to extinguish a fire sparked by the falling debris from the explosion. According to a Space One official, the rocket likely self-destructed following the detection of a malfunction by its systems.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported in the incident. Space One had aimed to distinguish itself as the first private company to successfully place a satellite into orbit.

Dallas Seavey wins record 6th Iditarod despite moose penalty

In a mix of triumph and controversy, the 2024 Iditarod sled dog race concluded with Dallas Seavey making history by securing his sixth victory in the grueling 1,000-mile Alaska race. Seavey completed the race in 9 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes and 8 seconds.

However, this year’s race was not without its challenges for Seavey. He encountered a significant setback when his team tangled with a moose on the trail, leading to a two-hour penalty. The altercation resulted in an injury to one of his dogs. Seavey, in response, shot and killed the moose but faced penalties for failing to properly gut the animal according to race regulations.

This year’s Iditarod was marred by the death of three sled dogs, which prompted calls from an animal rights organization to end the running of the storied race. 

Seavey first claimed the Iditarod title in 2012 at the age of 25, making him the youngest winner in the history of the race. His latest victory adds another remarkable chapter to his storied career in sled dog racing.

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