Texas Lawmakers Threaten Gun Violence As Protests Erupt Over New Sanctuary Cities
TIME – Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas’ tough new anti-“sanctuary cities” law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense divides over hardline immigration policies boiled over.
Activists wearing red T-shirts reading “Lucha,” or “Fight,” quietly filled hundreds of gallery seats as proceedings began. After about 40 minutes, they began to cheer, drowning out the lawmakers below. Protesters also blew whistles and chanted: “Here to stay!” and “Hey, hey, ho, ho, SB4 has got to go,” referring to the bill that Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law this month.
Former Panamá Strongman Manuel Noriega, Dead at 83
CBS News – Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, the military strongman and former CIA informant who was forced from power by an American invasion and spent the last 27 years of his life in prison, died late Monday after suffering a brain hemorrhage resulting from surgery. He was 83.
His death was announced on Twitter by Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, who said it “closes a chapter in our history; his daughters and his family deserve a funeral in peace.”
Noriega had been transferred to house arrest in Panama City on Jan. 29 to prepare for a procedure to remove a benign brain tumor. He went in for a second surgery on March 7, his daughters said, but was left in critical condition after the procedure.
President’s Administration Nearing Completion on Cuba
Reuters – The Trump administration is nearing completion of a policy review to determine how far it goes in rolling back former President Barack Obama’s engagement with Cuba and could make an announcement next month, according to current and former U.S. officials and people familiar with the discussions.
President Donald Trump’s advisers are crafting recommendations that could call for tightening some of the trade and travel rules that Obama eased in his rapprochement with Havana but which are expected to stop short of breaking diplomatic relations restored in 2015 after more than five decades of hostility, the sources said.
The policy review, coordinated by the National Security Council, is expected to pick up steam now that Trump has returned from his first foreign trip, one administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Australia Plans Paedophile Passport Ban
BBC News – Convicted paedophiles would be denied passports in Australia under a “world-first” plan proposed by the government.
The proposal, to be introduced to parliament, would prohibit registered sex offenders from traveling overseas.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said it would affect about 20,000 offenders who had completed punishments but remained under monitoring by authorities.
Sex offenders would be able to apply for passports if they were no longer on the register, the government said.
“No country has ever taken such decisive and strong action to stop its citizens from going overseas, often to vulnerable countries, to abuse kids,” Mr. Keenan said.
GOP Rep Sics ICE on Protesters, Threatens to Shoot Dem
Latest – Republican representative in the Texas state legislature, Matt Rinaldi, called Immigration and Customs Enforcement on protesters at the state Capitol. Hundreds of protesters wearing red T-shirts were there to protest the new state law “banning” sanctuary cities.
Rinaldi, assuming that some amongst the protesters were undocumented immigrants, decided he would call ICE agents to round them up. He reportedly went over to a group of Hispanic legislators to boast to them about what he had done and this led to a scuffle on the floor of the state House of Representatives. “Fuck them, I called ICE,” he said, according to Rep. Ramon Romero speaking to The Texas Observer.
US May Put Emergency Tariffs on Solar Imports
Reuters – The United States has notified the other 163 members of the World Trade Organization that it is considering putting emergency “safeguard” tariffs on imported solar cells, according to a WTO filing published on Monday.
The move raises the stakes in a global battle to dominate the solar power industry, which has grown explosively in the past five years. As production has increased, prices have tumbled, favoring producers who can take advantage of economies of scale.
The United States, China, and India are vying to be the market leader, and are looking out for any perceived breach of the international trade rules by their rivals.
Last September, the WTO ruled that India was illegally discriminating against U.S. solar exports, while India launched its own WTO complaint about solar subsidies in eight U.S. states.