Taiwan electronics manufacturer Foxconn is drastically scaling back a planned $10 billion factory in Wisconsin, confirming its retreat from a project that former President Donald Trump once called “the eighth wonder of the world,” CNBC reports.
“Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to announce that the Justice Department is opening a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis a day after a former officer was convicted in the killing of George Floyd,” the Associated Press reports.
“The Justice Department is already investigating whether Chauvin and the other officers involved in Floyd’s death violated his civil rights. The investigation being announced Wednesday is known as a ‘pattern or practice’ and will be a more sweeping probe of the entire department and may result in major changes to policing there.”
Politico: “The U.S. officials have a lot of ground to make up after years of the federal inaction, and Biden has pushed his team led by John Kerry and national climate adviser Gina McCarthy to move quickly by organizing the global summit less than 100 days into his tenure. That scramble has left a lot of questions circulating about exactly what to expect from the speeches from the 40 nations invited to participate in the virtual event Thursday and Friday.”
A reminder: It’s Earth Day tomorrow.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) tweeted that the lack of riots in the streets of Washington, D.C. on Tuesday night after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd was somehow evidence that Black Lives Matter “is the strongest terrorist threat in our country.”
Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson claimed that last summer’s protests “intimidated” the Chauvin jury into guilty verdict, according to the Washington Post.
“President Biden plans to deliver a speech Wednesday on his administration’s efforts to combat covid-19 and the current state of vaccinations,” the Washington Post reports.
“The speech comes amid signs of hope and concern in the nationwide effort to vaccinate people as quickly as possible. More than 40 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and many states have recently picked up the pace at which they are getting shots into arms.”
Russia will quit the International Space Station in 2025, marking the end of one of its few successful areas of cooperation with the West, the Financial Times reports.
Adam Serwer: “The 2020 election showed that the Republican Party could embrace conservative positions, even on immigration, and still appeal to Latino voters.”
“But the ideological predilections of Anglo-Saxonism definitionally exclude that part of the Republican base, sending a clear message that they and other voters of color are unwelcome in the party, and threatening those electoral gains. They replace a message of restriction, or even law and order, with one rooted in racial purity.”
“McCarthy’s forceful condemnation of that message is one small example of how a more diverse base of voters can work as a check against bigotry within a political party, even if it’s only a single step in the right direction, against weak actors it takes little courage to condemn.”
Reuters: “A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a petition by Michael Cohen, the onetime personal lawyer and fixer for former President Donald Trump, to release him from home confinement in May, six months ahead of schedule.”
“U.S. District Judge John Koeltl said the petition was premature because prosecutors were not yet required, under a 2018 law allowing early release for some prisoners, to credit Cohen for hundreds of hours of work and courses he completed while imprisoned at a federal facility in New York state.”
Jonathan Bernstein: “On the one hand, legalizing marijuana now polls well, which must make it tempting for Biden to jump to the front of the parade. But if he did so, public opinion would likely polarize by party, with Republicans who are now inclined toward legalization switching to opposition.”
“That’s simply the context of any policy question during this era of strong partisan polarization; if the president takes a position, public opinion will strongly tend to reshuffle, with voters in the president’s party supporting whatever it is and voters in the out-party doing the opposite.”
“Two close associates of Alexei Navalny were detained Wednesday ahead of protests planned to support the imprisoned Russian opposition leader, who has been on a hunger strike since March 31,” the AP reports.
“Navalny’s team called Sunday for nationwide protests after reports about the politician’s health deteriorating in prison. Russian authorities have stressed that the demonstrations were not authorized and warned against participating in them.”
The top US military official who runs the American nuclear arsenal warned that China and Russia are modernizing their nuclear weapons and capabilities faster than the US, saying during a congressional hearing on Tuesday that if it does not start investing more in nuclear defense and infrastructure, the US will be “at risk of losing credibility in the eyes of our adversaries,” CNN reports.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) declared a state of emergency at the southwest border in Arizona and said the state would deploy 250 National Guard troops to help local law enforcement, the Arizona Republic reports.
“Angela Merkel’s conservative alliance fell behind the Greens to its lowest poll rating on record yesterday, hours after naming its candidate to succeed her as chancellor of Germany,” the Times of London reports.
“The Greens seized a seven-point lead as voters appeared to recoil from the centre right’s new figurehead, Armin Laschet.”
“The swing away from Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian affiliate, which are jointly known as the Union, is one of the sharpest in modern German history.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is seriously considering running for president in 2024, Axios reports.
“While Christie isn’t saying anything publicly about his thinking — besides telling radio host Hugh Hewitt he’s not ruling it out — people close to him have an early sense of the rationale and outlines of a potential candidacy.”
“Christie, whose 2016 bid for the nomination was short-lived, has told friends that he’d be the only person in the 2024 field with executive experience who has run a presidential race before. That’s a clear shot at one potential rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s enjoying a surge of popularity from Republican voters.”
Insider: “Staffers at all levels, from fellows to chiefs of staff and everyone in between, have struggled with burnout, several current and former employees told Insider. They described the line between their work and personal lives, already razor thin prior to the pandemic, being completely obliterated by remote work.”
Michael Grunwald: “It’s often said in Washington that personnel is policy, and it would be hard for the president not to push the climate envelope after hiring so many envelope-pushers. If Biden has recruited the climate equivalent of America’s 1992 Olympic ‘Dream Team’ — as Ali Zaidi, McCarthy’s deputy, describes it — his Michael Jordans and Charles Barkleys will all expect to hoop.”
“There just isn’t much subtlety about the Biden team’s enthusiasm for climate action… Team members say their meetings are a bit surreal — not only because they’re all virtual, but because the participants all understand without ever saying so explicitly that their goal is decarbonizing the country… To Washington Republicans, all this unabashed green cheerleading reflects a liberal government stocked with radical ideologues by a supposedly moderate president.”
Politico: “Biden left the impression that it would not just be a portion of his upcoming address to a joint session of Congress, but that he’d support moving immigration measures through budget rules allowing a simple majority vote in the Senate.”