Biden urged to use 14th Amendment, DeSantis criticized over education bills, Harry and Meghan’s ‘car chase’


President Biden is urged to act without Congress to raise the debt limit. Advocates question Florida Gov. DeSantis’ support of an AAPI history bill. And New York police push back on Prince Harry and Meghan’s car chase claims. 

Here’s what to know today.

▼ The Lead

Some Senate Democrats push Biden to use 14th Amendment tackle debt limit

With a looming debt ceiling deadline and growing dissatisfaction among lawmakers, some Senate Democrats are circulating a letter urging President Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment to lift the debt ceiling and avert a default — without an act of Congress. 

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Senators write in the letter that the 14th Amendment “clearly states: ‘the validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be questioned.”

“Using this authority would allow the United States to continue to pay its bills on-time, without delay, preventing a global economic catastrophe,” the letter continues.

The draft letter is still in the works and comes as some progressive lawmakers take issue with aspects of the legislative negotiations, like Republican demands to impose tougher work requirements to receive federal benefits. Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith is leading the effort, as well as Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Ed Markey and Bernie Sanders. 

Biden said he has been “considering” using the 14th Amendment but concluded it would not solve the current stalemate.

Read more about the debt ceiling negotiations:

  • Who is Garrett Graves? Our politics writers profile the GOP representative tapped by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to broker a peace among Republicans and negotiate the debt ceiling. 

▼ Top Stories

New Mexico gunman used 3 firearms in mass shooting

The teen who killed three elderly women in Farmington, New Mexico, used three weapons, including an AR-15, authorities said yesterday, offering more information about the suspect and timeline of the attack. Beau Wilson first opened fire from his own home on Monday morning, shooting off at least 141 rounds, police said. He then walked out and continued to shoot indiscriminately before police brought him down. A search of Wilson’s home turned up 10 more firearms, and police said he had access to “a lot, a lot, of ammunition.”

DeSantis criticized over bills mandating Asian American history but banning ‘systemic racism’

A new law in Florida that requires Asian American and Pacific Islander history to be included in the K-12 curriculum was met with mixed emotions from advocates who point to how other marginalized communities are being affected by another state law. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the law on AAPI history last week. But on Monday, he signed a law that defunds college spending on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and limits the way race and gender can be taught in higher education.

One AAPI advocate said the history law is far from a “win” for the Asian American community, adding that “racial injustice can’t be a zero-sum game for communities of color.”

DeSantis also signed four bills yesterday that restrict LGBTQ rights, including a measure that expands what critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” law. 

Intel leaks suspect was warned repeatedly about mishandling classified info

Jack Teixeira, the Air National Guardsman accused of one of the most significant intelligence leaks in years, was warned repeatedly by superiors about his handling of classified information, prosecutors said Wednesday, alleging that he may have shared sensitive secrets with people outside the United States.

Six months before his detention, Teixeira was seen “taking notes on classified intelligence information” before putting the notes into his pocket, according to an Air Force memo written at the time.

New digital scans offer unprecedented glimpse of Titanic wreckage

There may be more to learn about the world’s most famous shipwreck, thanks to the first full-size digital scans of the Titanic. Using deep-sea mapping and specially adapted cameras, a group captured detailed images of the entire vessel and created 3D models. Experts are optimistic the models could break through “a century’s worth of human interpretation” about the 1912 catastrophe. See more of the newly released images.

▼ Today’s Talker

Prince Harry and Meghan say they were in a ‘car chase’

… after a charity event in New York City on Tuesday night. A spokesperson for the couple said it was “near catastrophic,” but law enforcement officials pushed back against the characterization, calling it only “a bit chaotic.” Meanwhile, the cab driver who picked up the couple after the incident seemed unfazed by the celebrity pickup.

▼ Politics in Brief

TikTok ban: Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a bill to ban TikTok, the first time a state will restrict downloads to the popular social media app.

Classified documents: Every administration since President Ronald Reagan’s has mismanaged classified documents, National Archives officials said behind closed doors. 

Secret Service: The agency’s director is “livid” over the apparent “human failure” that allowed an intruder to enter the home of national security adviser Jake Sullivan undetected last month, two sources said. 

▼ Staff Pick

How AI chatbots work

ChatGPT has passed a business school exam, confounded teachers and helped people craft emails. That is notable because these tasks require correct answers, and being right is more of a byproduct of their objective: producing natural-sounding text. So how do artificial intelligence chatbots work? And why do they get some answers right and some really wrong? Here’s an interactive look inside the box. — Nigel Chiwaya, senior editor, data viz

▼ In Case You Missed It

▼ Select: Online Shopping, Simplified

One out of every three Americans get sunburned each year. If you’re one of them, here are a few expert-recommended treatments to relieve pain and calm itching. Plus, our Select team spoke to dermatologists who give advice on how to treat varying burns.

Read the full article here


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