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Magnolia Mornings: May 14, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: May 14, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - May 14, 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. MEMA assessing damage after severe weather

Severe weather tore through the Magnolia State over the last few days. Images shared by MEMA show damage assessment being conducted in Smith County.

Those impacted are asked to report damage to MEMA as they continue to assess impacts around the state.

On Monday, MEMA reported that there was one fatality in Rankin County following the storms from MAY 9-10.

2. USDA cites Jackson Zoo over sanitation, housing, food storage

WLBT reports that an inspection report shows poor sanitation and poor food storage were among five non-compliant issues found at the Jackson Zoological Park during a USDA inspection.

“The USDA inspected the West Jackson facility in April. The inspection was required for the city to maintain the zoo’s exhibitor’s license,” WLBT reported. “Inspections uncovered ‘evidence of widespread rodent activity in shelter structures,’ evidence of improper food storage, and safety issues with at least two animal enclosures.”

Inspectors also found issues with animal housing and food storage.

“The city was required to correct issues with the cooler by May 10. It was not known if the issue had been corrected,” WLBT reported.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Blinken in Ukraine to meet with Zelensky

Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kyiv on Tuesday, reports CNN, marking the first visit of a Biden administration official to Ukraine following the passage of the supplemental funding which included nearly $61 billion for the country.

“The top US diplomat was meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and is due to deliver a speech later Tuesday to highlight the US’ continued support for Ukraine across the board, including militarily, economically, in the energy space, and on democratic institution building, according to a senior US official,” CNN reported.

2. Cohen testifies in Trump trial

As reported by Reuters, Michael Cohen told jurors on Monday that former President Donald Trump “personally approved a hush money payment to bury a porn star’s story of a sexual encounter before it could derail his 2016 campaign.”

“The October 2016 payment is at the center of the historic trial, which entered its fifth week in New York state criminal court in Manhattan. Prosecutors have said they could rest their case this week,” Reuters reported, adding, “Prosecutors have said Trump paid Cohen back after the election and hid the reimbursements by recording them falsely as legal retainer fees in Trump’s real estate company’s records.”

Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Cohen returns to the stand on Tuesday.

Sports & Entertainment

1. PRCC to host region baseball tournament

Preparations are underway at Pearl River Community College to host the six-team double-elimination Region 23 Tournament which will run May 13-17. 

The winner of the tournament heads to Enid, Oklahoma for the NJCAA DII World Series May 25-June 1.

Pearl River won its sixth MACCC title this season, setting new records for single-season wins with 47 and consecutive wins with 29. The Wildcats went 25-3 in MACCC play — the most wins by a team in conference play since 2017.

2. JSU baseball earns SWAC conference appearance

(Photo from Jackson State Athletics)

Jackson State’s win over Bethune-Cookman last weekend propelled the Tigers into the SWAC baseball tournament in Atlanta.

JSU baseball is now 31-18 on the year and 14-12 in SWAC play.

The Tigers will round out the regular season at Alabama A&M in a three-game series starting on Thursday.

Markets & Business

1. Copper seeing a global rush

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Biden Administration has huddled with potential investors about taking a stake in First Quantum Minerals’ Zambian mines after the company hit a crunch. The United Arab Emirates, Japan and Saudi Arabia have all so expressed interest in a stake in the copper producer, WSJ says according to people familiar with the matter. 

“The goal is simple: to keep it out of Chinese control and prevent the Asian superpower from tightening its grip over the global supply of crucial metals and minerals,” WSJ reported. “The bidding, expected to be concluded later this year, is part of a global rush to acquire more copper, a key component in everything from electric cars to transmission lines and the data centers powering the AI revolution.”

2. Biden Administration increasing tariffs on Chinese imports

(Photo from the White House)

The White House has announced that in response to China’s unfair trade practices and to counteract the resulting harms, President Biden is directing his Trade Representative to increase tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 on $18 billion of imports from China to protect American workers and businesses.

Below is a list of the announced tariff increases:

  • The tariff rate on certain steel and aluminum products under Section 301 will increase from 0–7.5% to 25% in 2024.
  • The tariff rate on semiconductors will increase from 25% to 50% by 2025.
  • The tariff rate on electric vehicles under Section 301 will increase from 25% to 100% in 2024.
  • The tariff rate on lithium-ion EV batteries will increase from 7.5%% to 25% in 2024, while the tariff rate on lithium-ion non-EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2026. The tariff rate on battery parts will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2024.
  • The tariff rate on natural graphite and permanent magnets will increase from zero to 25% in 2026. The tariff rate for certain other critical minerals will increase from zero to 25% in 2024.
  • The tariff rate on solar cells (whether or not assembled into modules) will increase from 25% to 50% in 2024.
  • The tariff rate on ship-to-shore cranes will increase from 0% to 25% in 2024.
  • The tariff rates on syringes and needles will increase from 0% to 50% in 2024. For certain personal protective equipment (PPE), including certain respirators and face masks, the tariff rates will increase from 0–7.5% to 25% in 2024. Tariffs on rubber medical and surgical gloves will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2026.
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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.