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Magnolia Mornings: April 26, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: April 26, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - April 26, 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. Hyde-Smith pushes back against Biden Administration over faith-based bias

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) recently joined U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R) in introducing a resolution of disapproval to overturn a Biden Administration final rule “that directs nine federal agencies to discriminate against faith-based organizations.”

The Congressional Review Act resolution (S.J.Res.73) targets a rule finalized in March that empowers the nine agencies to jeopardize the ability of faith-based organizations to receive federal contracts and grants on the same basis as secular organizations.  Hyde-Smith says the rule will effectively force religious organizations and faith-based charities to choose between receiving federal funds and maintaining their core beliefs.

According to a release from Hyde-Smith’s office, the agencies “given the green light to show bias against faith-based services” include the U.S. Departments of Education, Homeland Security, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

2. Jackson man pardoned by President Biden

President Biden has pardoned Bobby Lowery of Jackson. Lowery was convicted of a non-violent drug offense at the age of 25. He is now 50 years old.

According to a White House release, Lowery has maintained steady employment and actively volunteers at his church and at various community-based organizations.

“Friends and colleagues praise his work ethic, dedication to his family, and strong moral character,” the release states.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Secretary of State Blinken, China’s Xi Jinping meet for talks in Beijing

Xi Jinping (Wikicommons)

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, in Beijing on Friday, as the two countries worked to hold together a fractious relationship, as reported by the New York Times.

“The Biden administration is deeply concerned that cheap Chinese exports are threatening U.S. jobs, and is worried about China’s support of Russia in the Ukrainian war. And China has accused the United States of working to encircle Chinese interests in the Pacific,” NYT reported.

The NYT also notes, “U.S. officials want China to make progress on stemming the flow to the United States of chemicals used to make fentanyl, and to strengthen communication between their militaries, among other goals. Chinese officials said they wanted to promote more cultural exchanges between the countries, and press the United States to end interrogations of Chinese students at the border.”

2. Trump, Biden running neck and neck

The latest national polling averages as compiled by FiveThirtyEight shows that incumbent President Joe Biden, the Democrat, has closed the gap with Republican nominee former President Donald Trump in recent weeks.

Trump now only leads Biden in the polling average by 0.4%.

FiveThirtyEight also shows that Biden’s disapproval has increased, with polls showing 56.2% disapproving of the incumbent, while Trump isn’t much better. Nearly 53% polled had an unfavorable opinion of the former President.

Sports & Entertainment

1. 1st Round picks in for NFL Draft

Here’s a recap of who went where in Thursday’s Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft. Rounds 2 and 3 will commence Friday night, with the remaining rounds happening on Saturday.

1. Chicago Bears (via trade with Carolina) – Caleb Williams, QB USC
2. Washington Commanders – Jayden Daniels, QB LSU
3. New England Patriots – Drake Maye, QB North Carolina
4. Arizona Cardinals – Marvin Harrison Jr., WR Ohio State
5. Los Angeles Chargers – Joe Alt, OT Notre Dame
6. New York Giants – Malik Nabers, WR LSU
7. Tennessee Titans – JC Latham, OT Alabama
8. Atlanta Falcons – Michael Penix Jr., QB Washington
9. Chicago Bears – Rome Odunze, WR Washington
10. Minnesota Vikings (via trade with New York Jets) – J.J. McCarthy, QB Michigan
11. New York Jets (via trade with Minnesota) – Olu Fashanu, OT Penn State
12. Denver Broncos – Bo Nix, QB Oregon
13. Las Vegas Raiders – Brock Bowers, TE Georgia
14. New Orleans Saints – Taliese Fuaga, OT Oregon State
15. Indianapolis Colts – Laiatu Latu, DE UCLA
16. Seattle Seahawks – Byron Murphy II, DT Texas
17. Minnesota Vikings (via trade from Jacksonville) – Dallas Turner, OLB Alabama
18. Cincinnati Bengals – Amarius Mims, OT Georgia
19. Los Angeles Rams – Jared Verse, DE Florida State
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Troy Fautanu, OT Washington
21. Miami Dolphins – Chop Robinson, DE Penn State
22. Philadelphia Eagles – Quinyon Mitchell, CB Toledo
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (via trade with Minnesota through Cleveland from Houston) – Brian Thomas, WR LSU
24. Detroit Lions (via trade with Dallas) – Terrion Arnold, CB Alabama
25. Green Bay Packers – Jordan Morgan, OT Arizona
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Graham Barton, OT Duke
27. Arizona Cardinals (from Houston) – Darius Robinson, DE Missouri
28. Kansas City Chiefs (via trade with Buffalo) – Xavier Worthy, WR Texas
29. Dallas Cowboys (via trade from Detroit) – Tyler Guyton, OT Oklahoma
30. Baltimore Ravens – Nate Wiggins, CB Clemson
31. San Francisco 49ers – Ricky Pearsall, WR Florida
32. Carolina Panthers (via trade with Buffalo through Kansas City) – Xavier Legette, WR South Carolina

2. Reed leaves JSU for Charlotte

(Photo from CharlotteWBB on X)

JSU’s Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tomekia Reed has left the school to become the new Head Coach at Charlotte.

She guided JSU to six consecutive berths in the SWAC Tournament semifinals (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024), three straight berths in the conference tournament finals (2021, 2022, 2024), five consecutive SWAC regular season titles (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024), and three (two straight) SWAC tournament titles and NCAA appearances (2021, 2022, 2024).

Reed is a four-time SWAC Coach of the Year and three-time HBCU National Coach of the Year.

Markets & Business

1. Hope of Fed rate cuts dimming

According to the Wall Street Journal, investors are backing away from expectations that the Fed can reduce rates in the coming months.

“In particular, inflation data has consistently been firmer than expected, with recent months getting revised somewhat higher in subsequent reports. This trend has led investors and Fed officials to rethink whether rate cuts will be appropriate this year,” WSJ reported.

As WSJ also mentions, “Thursday’s report suggested that figures for January and February are likely to have been revised higher from already firm levels and that inflation didn’t ease and may have picked up in March, keeping the 12-month inflation rate around 2.8%.”

2. GDP 1st quarter growth weaker than expected

U.S. economic growth was much weaker than expected to start the year, and prices rose at a faster pace, the Commerce Department released Thursday as reported by CNBC.

“Gross domestic product, a broad measure of goods and services produced in the January-through-March period, increased at a 1.6% annualized pace when adjusted for seasonality and inflation, according to the department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis,” CNBC reported. “Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for an increase of 2.4% following a 3.4% gain in the fourth quarter of 2023 and 4.9% in the previous period.”

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.