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February 22, 2024

First Line News Articles for Thursday, February 22 2024

Top Stories

Biden Weighs Tougher Asylum Process for Migrants

Amid a record-setting, election-year migrant crisis, the Biden administration is considering taking unilateral action to try and lower the number of asylum seekers entering the country.

Biden Administration Wiping Out another $1.2 Billion in Student-Loan Debt

President Joe Biden’s administration is set to forgive another $1.2 billion worth of student-loan debt for nearly 153,000 people.

LDS News

BYU students, law professors attend International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington

Seven BYU students represented the university’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies at the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, D.C., from Jan. 29-31.

After a boom in west Africa, LDS church finds increasing acceptance in the east

Once shunned as cultic and anti-Christian, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has converted not only thousands of Africans, but has come to collaborate with Africa’s historic denominations, and even with Muslims.

Church of Jesus Christ announces name change for Provo temple

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Tuesday that the temple serving BYU students and missionaries at the Provo Utah Missionary Training Center, along with other members, will be renamed as part of its reconstruction.

Select meetinghouses will serve as community resource centers

Select meetinghouses for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have become community resource centers.

Tabernacle Choir announces fall 2024 ‘Hope’ tour stops in Florida and Georgia

The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra will be performing in Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida; Morehouse College and State Farm Arena, in Atlanta, Georgia, in September 2024

What to know about the March 17 Worldwide Relief Society Devotional

On Sunday, March 17, a worldwide Relief Society devotional will be held for all Relief Society women and young women turning 18 in 2024.

New prison branch forms in Cape Verde

A new branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been formed in the prison in Praia, Cape Verde.

National

Hunter Biden Seeks to Have Federal Tax Charges Dismissed, Asks Judge To Remove ‘Extravagant Lifestyle’ Details from Indictment

Hunter Biden’s legal team filed a barrage of motions to dismiss his federal tax charges in California on Tuesday night, including one motion attacking IRS agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler.

N.Y. AG Letitia James Says She Is Prepared to Seize Trump’s Assets If He Can’t Pay $355 Million Fine

New York attorney general Letitia James said she is prepared to seize former president Donald Trump’s business assets if he can’t pay the $355 million fine following the end of his civil-fraud case late last week.

Missouri governor announces troop deployment to southern border

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) announced Tuesday the state will deploy up to 200 members of its National Guard and 22 state highway patrol troopers to the border in an effort to heed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) request for support.

Expiring Trump Tax Cuts Issue on Both Sides of Aisle

Republicans are hoping an election sweep of Congress and the White House will let them extend former President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cuts law due to expire next year.

Appeals court tosses Obama-era federal coal leasing moratorium

A federal appeals court on Wednesday axed an Obama-era moratorium on new coal mine leasing on public lands.

Supreme Court appears skeptical of EPA interstate air pollution rule

The Supreme Court heard arguments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) interstate air pollution rule Wednesday, with members of the court’s liberal minority expressing skepticism about the appropriateness of hearing the case but the conservative majority seeming amenable to blocking the rule.

US to Invest $20B to Secure Ports, Cargo

President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order and create a federal rule Wednesday aimed at better securing the nation’s ports from potential cyberattacks.

Biden administration seeks input on rules for open-source artificial intelligence

The Biden administration is seeking input from experts on what sorts of guardrails are recommended for open-source artificial intelligence models.

James Biden’s testimony includes inconsistencies about Chinese income

James Biden told Congress in a closed-door interview on Wednesday that he never used his brother President Joe Biden to further his own business pursuits, but the younger Biden also made remarks about his China-related ventures that conflict with testimony from others.

US Supreme Court Declines to Decide Legality of Excluding Jurors Based on Religion

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to decide the legality of excluding jurors on the basis of religion, turning away a Missouri agency’s bid to reverse a lesbian worker’s win in a workplace bias lawsuit after three prospective jurors were excluded for citing Christian beliefs that being gay is a sin.

World

Lockbit crackdown heats up as US offers reward for info on hackers

The U.S. offered a reward of up to $15 million for information on the leaders of the notorious cybercrime group Lockbit on Wednesday as police in Ukraine announced the arrest of a father-son duo alleged to have been involved with the gang.

U.S. defends Israeli security at ICJ hearing on occupation of Palestinian lands

The United States Wednesday defended Israel’s security needs as the International Court of Justice considers an advisory opinion on Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Trident missile test fails for second time in a row

The test firing of a Trident missile from a Royal Navy submarine has failed, for the second time in a row.

US tells allies Russia could launch space nuke this year: NYT

The U.S. informed its NATO and Asian allies that Russia could deploy a nuclear weapon into space this year after details of American intelligence assessments of its ambitions circulated last week, according to The New York Times.

Feds charge Japanese Yakuza leader with nuclear materials trafficking

Federal prosecutors in New York on Wednesday said they charged a Japanese Yakuza leader with conspiring to traffic nuclear materials from Burma to other countries in the belief that they would be used by Iran to make a nuclear weapon.

Ukraine’s Air Force Says It Downs 13 of 19 Russia-Launched Drones

Russia launched 19 attack drones at Ukraine overnight and six missiles, with the Ukrainian air defense systems destroying 13 of the drones and one missile, Ukraine’s air force said Wednesday.

US Payments to Russians for Embassy in Moscow ‘Help Finance’ War in Ukraine

The U.S. government has paid Russian companies over $8 million to maintain its embassy in Moscow since the war in Ukraine began, a Newsweek investigation has found, with one company that was awarded a contract later placed under sanction by Canada.

Business

Dow Jones Industrial Average adds Amazon, axes Walgreens

Amazon will replace Walgreens Boots Alliance in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Economy

Mortgage demand tanks as mortgage rates rise past 7% again

Mortgage demand plummeted last week as homebuyers shied away from the housing market amid rising mortgage rates.

Fed Concerned About Cutting Rates Too Soon

The bulk of policymakers at the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last meeting were concerned about the risks of cutting interest rates too soon, with broad uncertainty about how long borrowing costs should remain at their current level, according to minutes of the Jan. 30-31 session.

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