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Magnolia Mornings: January 4, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: January 4, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - January 4, 2024

Magnolia morning

Important state and national stories, market and business news, sports and entertainment, delivered in quick-hit fashion to start your day informed.

In Mississippi

1. Multiple state Capitols receive bomb threats

Mississippi Capitol (Photo: Sarah Ulmer/Magnolia Tribune)

Mississippi’s state Capitol was not the only government building temporarily closed on Wednesday due to a bomb threat. Multiple state Capitols around the country received similar threats, prompting law enforcement officials to close the buildings and sweep the grounds to ensure all was clear.

As reported the Lexington Herald-Leader, a spokesperson for the Kentucky Secretary of State said the threat was sent out to multiple secretaries of state across the country as a “mass email.”

Georgia, Montana, Connecticut, Michigan, and Minnesota received similar threats, as did others. No explosives have been found in any of the locations, according to multiple sources.

2. New curfew for minors in Jackson approved by City Council

The Jackson City Council approved a new curfew for minors – those under 18 years of age – in an effort to reduce crime in the capital city.

The curfew, which will be from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on weekdays and 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. on weekends, will go into effect in 30 days.

“Anything we enact, we have to know and believe that it will not only be effective but know that we have the tools in place for it to actually be sufficient,” Mayor Chokwe Lumumba said.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Biden-Harris campaign to kickoff 2024 campaign on January 6th

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will kickoff the 2024 election cycle this Saturday, January 6th, laying out why the Democrats should be re-elected this year.

Biden will reportedly use the event, set to be at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and the day to distinguish himself from former President Donald Trump, the leading Republican candidate in the field. The campaign plans to continue their narrative that Biden must be re-elected to defend democracy against Trump and MAGA Republicans.

“This Saturday will mark the three-year anniversary of when, with encouragement from Donald Trump, a violent mob breached our nation’s Capital. It was the first time in our nation’s history that a president tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power,” Biden-Harris campaign manager Julie-Chavez Rodriguez told reporters on a call, according to ABC News.

The Biden campaign says Valley Forge was chosen for its historical significance.

“There, the president will make the case directly that democracy and freedom – two powerful ideas that united the 13 colonies and that generations throughout our nation’s history have fought and died for … remains central to the fight we’re in today,” principal deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks told reporters according to ABC News.

2. Speaker Johnson leads trip to U.S. Southern border

Speaker Mike Johnson talks with Border Patrol in Eagle Pass, Texas (Photo from Rep. Tony Gonzales on X)

After record border crossings over the last month, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson led a group of Republican lawmakers in a visit to assess the situation on the ground this week.

The trip comes as lawmakers in Congress, specifically in the U.S. Senate, negotiate a deal to revamp the nation’s border policy, while in the House the Committee on Homeland Security is planning to formally initiate impeachment proceedings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas next week. 

The White House said the group of roughly 60 members were “playing politics” and holding up crucial funding, funding which is also entangled with aid to Ukraine, an increasingly divisive issue among lawmakers.

The Biden Administration also noted on Wednesday that they allowing several legal border crossings in Texas, Arizona and California to reopen that were closed late last year after seeing declines in crossings. The officials said this would allow those customs officers to assist in processing migrants who had entered the country illegally.

Sports & Entertainment

1. Ole Miss men’s basketball move up to No. 22 in AP Top 25

(Photo from OleMissMBB on X)

The 13-0 Ole Miss Men’s Basketball team moved up three spots this week in the AP Top 25, coming in at No. 22.

The Rebels are one of three undefeated teams in the Top 25, with James Madison at No. 19 and Houston at No. 3 as the others yet to have a loss this season.

Ole Miss being 13-0 ahead of conference play matches the best start in program history.

Notably, Mississippi State’s men’s team also received four votes in this week’s poll.

2. Southern Miss rounds out new coaching hires

Southern Miss football coach Will Hall announced Wednesday the hirings of Micheal Spurlock and Fred Wyatt as assistant coaches.

Spurlock comes to Southern Miss after spending the last season at WKU as receivers coach. He played quarterback collegiately at Ole Miss and then wide receiver and returner in the National Football League from 2006-14, with career stops that included the Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears. 

Wyatt  joins the Southern Miss staff after spending the last season at Eastern Illinois with current Golden Eagle defensive coordinator Clay Bignell. He played football at Northwestern and then worked as a graduate assistant coach at Kansas State for two seasons before being on staff at Missouri Western, where he coached defensive line in 2021 and 2022.

Markets & Business

Bonds are back?

Markets Insider reported on Wednesday that Vanguard says bonds are back, thanks to tighter Fed policy. Expectations are that rate hikes are over and easing is forthcoming. Yet, Vanguard says to look for that in the second half of the year. 

“Short-term pain can lead to long-term gain,” Vanguard strategists said in a Wednesday note shared by Markets Insider.

Vanguard said reinvestments and new money flowing into fixed income look attractively valued.

“[C]entral banks’ unwinding of their bond-buying programs could reduce liquidity and raise the risk premium (investors’ requirement for higher yield as compensation for the risk of interest rate changes over a bond’s lifetime),” Vanguard added in the note.

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.