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The Morning Rundown™

Vice President Kamala Harris to tour Minnesota abortion clinic in historic visit

Mar 14


Vice President Kamala Harris plans for a historic stop at an abortion clinic in Minnesota. And a man who lived most of his life in an iron lung passes away. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Thursday, March 14, 2024.

Vice President Kamala Harris to tour abortion clinic in Minnesota

Vice President Kamala Harris is set to make a historic visit to an abortion clinic in Minnesota on Thursday, March 14, marking the first time a sitting U.S. president or vice president has toured such a facility, according to the White House.

Harris’ visit to a Planned Parenthood clinic is a key stop in her nationwide “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour, initiated in response to the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision overturning Roe v. Wade. The landmark ruling had recognized a constitutional right to abortion for nearly five decades.

During her visit, the vice president plans to meet with healthcare providers and possibly interact with patients, highlighting the significance of safeguarding reproductive rights. The Supreme Court’s decision has prompted states like Minnesota to pass laws guaranteeing abortion rights, a measure Harris is expected to address, especially in light of abortion bans in other states.

The exact location of the clinic remains undisclosed due to potential protest concerns, with sources citing security reasons. The vice president’s team will likely reveal the details closer to the time of her visit.

This event marks the sixth stop on Harris’ tour, which began in January on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, underscoring the administration’s commitment to reproductive freedom amidst a shifting legal landscape.

Trump’s legal team to argue classified documents case should be dismissed

A federal judge is set to hear arguments Thursday, March 14, from members of former President Donald Trump’s legal team on their motion to dismiss the classified documents case against him. Trump is expected to be present at the hearing in a Florida courtroom.

The case centers on documents found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, which his lawyers claim were designated as personal, thereby allowing Trump to retain them under the Presidential Records Act. However, Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team contends that the documents were not personal and that the act does not cover classified and top-secret documents.

Additionally, Trump’s legal team will argue that a portion of the Espionage Act, which pertains to retaining national defense information, is unconstitutionally vague as it applies to the former president. Smith’s team has countered, asserting the statute is clear.

Earlier this month, the judge also heard arguments from both parties regarding the setting of a trial date, though it remains unclear when either ruling on the case will be issued.

Judge sets trial date for Hunter Biden gun case

A federal judge has set a tentative trial date for Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, in a case charging him with possession of a firearm while using narcotics and making false statements about his drug use during the purchase. The trial is scheduled to begin on June 3.

Both Hunter Biden’s legal team and federal prosecutors anticipate that the trial, taking place in Delaware, will last no longer than nine days.

In addition to the federal gun charges, Hunter Biden faces separate tax-related charges in California, with that trial set to start on June 20.

Hunter Biden has entered a plea of not guilty to all charges brought against him.

Israel plans to relocate civilians to ‘humanitarian islands’ before Rafah invasion

As the Israeli military gears up for a significant offensive in Rafah, plans are underway to relocate a large portion of the population from Gaza’s southernmost city, home to 1.4 million people, ahead of the operation. According to the IDF’s spokesperson, Israel intends to move civilians to “humanitarian islands” established with international community support in the center of the territory.

This move comes amidst warnings from Israel’s allies, including the United States, and aid organizations about the potential consequences of attacking the densely populated city. Many residents of Rafah have been displaced from other areas within the territory.

The objective of the planned offensive, Israel states, is to dismantle Hamas. The IDF spokesman detailed that the humanitarian islands would offer temporary housing, food, water, and other essential services to the displaced individuals. However, specifics regarding the start of evacuations or the offensive’s exact timing remain undisclosed.

Autopsy Report: Oklahoma teen died by suicide following school fight

An autopsy report released Wednesday, March 13, has revealed that Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old nonbinary student from Oklahoma whose death made national headlines, died by suicide after an altercation in a high school bathroom. The medical examiner found that Benedict succumbed to “combined toxicity” from medications commonly used to treat allergies and depression.

The incident, which occurred on February 7 at Owasso High School, led to widespread condemnation from LGBTQ rights groups, who highlighted the issue of bullying at the school. The Owasso Police Department, which had been waiting for the autopsy results to confirm the cause of death amid initial uncertainty, stated that a report on the bathroom altercation was only filed after Benedict was taken to the hospital by relatives on the same day.

Prior to the release of the autopsy findings, police officials noted that preliminary results indicated Benedict did not die from physical injuries sustained in the fight.

Texas man who lived in iron lung for seven decades dies

Paul Alexander, a Texas man who spent seven decades living in an iron lung after being diagnosed with polio in 1952, has died at the age of 78. Alexander became a social media sensation in recent months.

Diagnosed at the age of 6 as the disease swept through Dallas, Alexander was left paralyzed from the neck down and dependent on an iron lung to breathe. Despite these challenges, he achieved remarkable milestones, graduating from college, earning a law degree, and practicing law for 30 years. Alexander also penned an autobiography, sharing his life’s journey.

His cause of death has not been specified, but his passing comes weeks after being hospitalized with COVID-19.

In January, Alexander launched a TikTok account named “Polio Paul,” quickly amassing hundreds of thousands of followers. Through his posts, he answered questions about his life and strongly advocated for polio vaccination for children, drawing widespread attention to his story and the importance of the vaccine.

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