PAINE IN THE MORNING: 9 things you need to know this Tuesday – March 23rd 2021 (LISTEN)


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New Jersey Halts Reopening, NYC Asks Cuomo To Do The Same, As Mutant COVID Spreads – In an abrupt reopening U-turn, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has just decided to halt the Garden State’s reopening plans as its total case count surges to become the highest in the US. The decision follows an announcement on Friday that capacity at gyms, restaurants, hair/nail salons and other “recreational” businesses would be raised to 50%. The number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings has also doubled to 50 from 25.

However, during an appearance in CNN Monday morning, Murphy proclaimed that the state “won’t be opening further capacities for some time now.” His remarks applied to “further reopenings,” meaning that he won’t roll back these new measures introduced Friday. Murphy cited the growing presence of certain COVID “variants” – ie mutated strains believed to be more infectious or more virulent – as his reason for pausing the reopening. – READ MORE

Leaked Photos Reveal Biden’s Detention Cells for Migrant Children on Border – U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) released a series of leaked photos to Axios showing the deplorable, overcrowded conditions of migrant children being held in South Texas. A short time later, James O’Keefe released additional disturbing photos depicting children having to sleep on floor mats in overcrowded facilities which were rapidly opened amid a worsening humanitarian crisis.

Congressman Cuellar, who lives along the Texas border with Mexico, told Axios these unaccompanied migrant children are living in eight “pods” designed to hold up to 260 people. However, Border Patrol officials are actually holding more than 400 unaccompanied male minors in the spaces, the Texas congressman said. – READ MORE

CNN Reporter: Migrant Children Centers Are ‘Jail-Like,’ Look Like Concrete ‘Prison Cells’ – CNN Reporter Priscilla Alvarez said Monday that migrant children centers are “jail-like” and look similar to concrete “prison cells.”

“Those are facilities that are not intended for them, they look like jail-like conditions, like prison cells with concrete walls and concrete benches, and these kids are spending more than the three-day limit than they’re supposed to according to federal law,” Alvarez said on CNN’s “New Day.” “The administration is racing here to find enough space for these kids that is suitable for them.” – READ MORE

REPORT: Illegal Immigrants In Rio Grande Valley Being Released Without Court Date –Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector of Texas are reportedly releasing illegal immigrants seeking asylum into the U.S. without giving them court dates, Fox News reported Sunday.

Illegal immigrants claiming asylum are not given a Notice to Appear before being released from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody, multiple unnamed Border Patrol agents confirmed with Fox News. Since the migrants aren’t given a court date to attend an asylum hearing, the responsibility is on them to schedule one through Immigrations and Customs Enforcement or other legal assistance. – READ MORE

US-Mexico border traffickers earned as much as $14M a day last month: sources – Criminal organizations trafficking women, children, families and single adults over the U.S.-Mexico border earned as much as $14 million a day in February, according to border patrol sources.

“Trafficking is a multibillion-dollar industry,” said former Tucson Border Patrol Chief Roy Villareal, who retired in December after 30 years with the agency. “A lot of these vulnerable populations use their life savings. Some are essentially indentured servants and they’re working off this debt for a long period of time. In other cases, some of these migrants are asked to transport narcotics or some form of crime to work off a different part of their debt.” – READ MORE

Prosecutor Says Sedition Charges Possible In Capitol Riot Cases, Trump May Be ‘Criminally Culpable’ – The federal prosecutor who oversaw the Justice Department’s investigation into a Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol said that some rioters may be charged with attempting to overthrow the government.

Michael Sherwin appeared on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, two days after he stepped down from leading the investigation into the riot. He left open if former President Donald Trump is expected to face charges related to the riot. Earlier this month, Sherwin stepped back from his post as acting U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., for a replacement picked by the Biden administration. – READ MORE

First Details Of Biden’s $3 Trillion “Build Back Better” Infrastructure Plan Have Just Leaked – Weeks after the administration previewed (via Bloomberg) its plans to push ahead with the first major federal tax hike since 1993 to fund its infrastructure ambitions, the first details of the Biden’s multitrillion-dollar infrastructure-climate plan have just been leaked via the New York Times.

Per the NYT, Biden’s economic advisers are preparing to recommend spending as much as $3 trillion on an “infrastructure” package that also features some facets of the Green New Deal, and other progressive measures to help “narrow economic inequality.” After months of debate and preparation, the Biden advisors are expected to present their proposal to the president this week. The plan reportedly recommends carving the administration’s economic agenda into separate legislative parcels, rather than trying to push through another leviathan like the stimulus bill (the battle over the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021” passage seeped precious momentum from the administration as it struggled to deliver on its broad promises for the first 100 days). – READ MORE

Judge Rules Some Ghislaine Maxwell Details Too “Sensational And Impure” To Be Revealed To The Public – A federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday ruled on a series of redactions proposed by Ghislaine Maxwell and prosecutors regarding a compilation of transcripts submitted under seal by the government last month.

After reviewing arguments from both sides, U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan allowed most of the government’s redactions to remain in place over Maxwell’s objections while also adding several additional redactions at her request. – READ MORE

America’s Worst Drug Crisis Ever Is Causing The Streets Of Many Cities To Look Like “Zombie Apocalypse” Has Arrived – America has been battling illegal street drugs for decades, but we have never seen anything like this. When the COVID pandemic hit the U.S., illegal drug use dramatically surged, and that has carried over into 2021. As I discussed a few days ago, the amount of meth that CBP agents have seized is up 9 percent so far in fiscal year 2021 and the amount of cocaine that CBP agents have seized is up 64 percent so far in fiscal year 2021. But the largest increase has been in fentanyl traffic. At this point, CBP agents have seized “more than 4,900 lbs of fentanyl during the first five months of FY21, already surpassing the total for all of FY20”. – READ MORE

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