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The Morning Rundown™

Supreme Court extends hold on Texas’ immigration law

Mar 19


The Supreme Court steps in to extend a block on Texas’ immigration law. And, the biggest single prize in TV history will be up for grabs thanks to Amazon and a YouTube star. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Tuesday, March 19, 2024.

Supreme Court extends hold on Texas’ immigration law Senate Bill 4

The Supreme Court has decided to extend a hold on Texas’ new immigration law, which would have allowed police to arrest migrants who cross the border illegally.

The order, issued Monday, March 18 by Justice Samuel Alito, indefinitely blocks Senate Bill 4 from taking effect, as the court considers appeals by the Biden administration.

In January, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Texas, arguing that the state “cannot run its own immigration system.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who signed the bill into law in December as part of his state’s measures to combat the crisis at the border, responded to the court’s decision, saying, “The Supreme Court has temporarily halted enforcement of SB 4, but it didn’t halt Texas’ pre-existing authority to arrest for criminal trespass and other violations of the law.”

The law was originally set to take effect on March 10 if the Supreme Court did not act.

Congressional leaders reportedly agree on DHS funding as deadline looms

Congressional leaders have reportedly reached an agreement on the last remaining spending bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, as another partial government shutdown looms.

According to multiple reports, sources indicate that the funding for DHS would be a full-year bill, rather than a stopgap measure.

Deals have been reached on the five other remaining bills after Congress passed the first six earlier this month. These bills include funding for the Pentagon and the Departments of Labor and Education, among other departments.

However, there remains a possibility that Congress will still need to pass a short-term solution before the Friday, March 22, deadline. The House has a rule requiring members to have at least 72 hours to review legislation before voting.

Israel to send delegation to White House to discuss Rafah operations

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to dispatch a delegation to Washington D.C. to address the United States’ concerns about Israel’s planned operations in the Gaza town of Rafah, where over a million displaced Palestinians are living.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan informed reporters on Monday that the Israeli team will comprise military, intelligence, and humanitarian officials.

The agreement was reached during a call between Netanyahu and President Biden, marking their first in over a month.

In his summary of the call, Sullivan outlined the U.S.’ perspective on the current situation in the Gaza conflict.

Sullivan stated, “More innocent civilians have died in this conflict, in this military operation, than in all the wars in Gaza combined, including thousands of children. A humanitarian crisis has descended across Gaza, and anarchy reigns in areas that Israel’s military has cleared but not stabilized. The president told the prime minister again today that we share the goal of defeating Hamas, but we just believe you need a coherent and sustainable strategy to make that happen.”

Sullivan added that discussions with Israeli officials could take place this week or next week, with Israel agreeing to refrain from conducting any operations in Rafah before the meeting.

Biden to host historic U.S.-Japan-Philippines Summit, rising North Korea tensions

President Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for a White House summit next month, amid rising concerns over North Korea’s nuclear program and Chinese actions in the South China Sea.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced the first-ever U.S.-Japan-Philippines leaders’ summit, underscoring the growing economic ties between the nations.

Tensions escalated as North Korean state media reported the country conducted a live-fire drill involving nuclear-capable rockets, targeting South Korea. This comes a day after South Korea and Japan reported North Korea fired short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern coast, days after the U.S. and South Korea completed combined training exercises.

Unilever to split ice cream unit into standalone business

Unilever, the multinational consumer goods company known for brands such as Dove, Hellmann’s, and Vaseline, announced Tuesday, March 19, its intention to spin off its ice cream unit – which includes Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum – into a standalone business.

Alongside this cost-saving measure, the company revealed plans to eliminate approximately 7,500 predominantly office-based jobs.

Unilever stated that the restructuring process will commence immediately and is expected to be finalized by the end of 2025.

The company anticipates that these initiatives, along with a new productivity program, will result in savings of over $868 million over the next three years.

MrBeast to host, produce new Amazon reality series with $5 million prize

Amazon Prime Video is set to launch a new reality competition series offering contestants the chance to win $5 million, believed to be the largest single prize in the history of television and streaming.

The show, titled “Beast Games,” will be hosted and produced by Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, YouTube’s most popular creator. Donaldson boasts over 245 million subscribers to his YouTube channel and, according to Forbes, earns approximately $82 million annually.

“Beast Games” will feature 1,000 contestants vying for the $5 million cash prize. While details of the challenges remain undisclosed, Amazon promises a “fast-paced and high production format” for the upcoming show.

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