MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
The wall along the southern border still rankles some people. But in rural areas, it’s seen as one hopeful step to end human smuggling and drug trafficking.
SMITH: There’s a huge faction of those people in Washington and they don’t care. Well, Trump is showing them if we have the desire, we can do it.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Also the Supreme Court handed down four opinions yesterday. We’ll outline those.
Plus the pandemic means canceled events, including weddings…
SHELNUTT: And we’re excited to get married, but at this point, kind of the, the happiness from the season is stolen…
REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, March 24th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. Good morning!
REICHARD: Now the news. Here’s Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Senate again fails to advance coronavirus bill, but reportedly make progress in talks » Another day of deadlock on Capitol Hill as the Senate again failed to make concrete progress on a coronavirus response bill.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he still couldn’t endorse the bill as written.
SCHUMER: The bill still includes something that most Americans don’t want to see, large corporate bailouts with almost no strings attached.
Republicans say it’s not a bailout to offer loans to big employers that are largely or entirely shut down through no fault of their own, some by government order.
GOP Senator Susan Collins of Maine blasted the chamber for once again failing to act.
COLLINS: When people are dying from the coronavirus; when we are facing unemployment rates, which could go as high as 20 percent according to the treasury secretary, surely we ought to be able to pull together.
But after another contentious day of bickering and finger pointing, the two sides reportedly moved closer together during negotiations last night and may be close to a deal.
The Washington Post reports that some senators wanted Schumer to announce a deal in principle Monday evening. But he decided to hold off until they settle a few unresolved issues.
Fed announces bold steps to prop up, markets, economy » Meantime, the Federal Reserve is unleashing its boldest effort yet to protect the economy from a coronavirus crash. WORLD’s Anna Johansen has more.
ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: With lending in treasury and mortgage markets threatening to shut down, the Fed announced an aggressive set of programs Monday. It committed to buy as much government-backed debt as it deems necessary. And for the first time ever, the Fed said it plans to buy corporate debt, too.
Its intervention is intended to ensure that households, companies, banks, and governments can get the loans they need—at a time when their own revenue is fast drying up as the economy stalls.
The Fed will provide up to $300 billion by purchasing corporate bonds, a wider range of municipal bonds, and securities tied to debt like auto and real estate loans. It will also buy an unlimited amount of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities to try to hold down borrowing rates and ensure those markets function smoothly.
With Monday’s moves the Fed’s all-out effort to support the flow of credit has now gone beyond even the extraordinary steps it took during the financial crisis of 2008.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen.
Georgia issues new restrictions to slow spread of virus » Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on Monday issued new restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but stopped short of a total shelter-in-place order.
Georgians who meet a certain criteria and are considered at “high risk” of serious illness from the coronavirus must shelter in place.
KEMP: This order will also close all bars and nightclubs, and it will ban all gatherings of 10 or more people, unless you can maintain 6 feet between people at all times.
The public gathering ban may effectively shut down dine-in restaurants, though they are not expressly mentioned in the governor’s order. Some critics said the order did not go far enough.
According to the National Governors Association, at least 29 states have placed limits on gatherings. And 37 states are restricting some businesses, including bars and restaurants.
Australia, Canada boycotting Tokyo Olympics unless delayed to 2021 » Australia is the latest country to announce that it will not participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games—unless they’re postponed until 2021. The head of the Australian Olympic Committee made the announcement Monday.
CARROLL: We have to look after not only our athletes and officials, but also their family who are feeling concern for their sons and their daughters.
Canada made a similar announcement earlier this week. And the head of the British Olympic Association said Monday that his county will likely join Canada and Australia in drawing a line in the sand.
Craig Reedie, a longtime member of the International Olympic Committee, said amid the coronavirus pandemic, a postponement is likely. But he added “The length of postponement is the major challenge for the IOC.”
The games were scheduled to start July 24th.
Pompeo departs Kabul following talks with dueling leaders » Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Afghanistan on Monday after trying to broker an agreement between the country’s squabbling political leaders. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has that story.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Secretary Pompeo was in Kabul on an urgent visit to try to move forward a U.S. peace deal signed last month with the Taliban. But as his plane took off Monday, there was still no announcement on whether he was able to bring the two sides together.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his main rival, Abdullah Abdullah, remain at a political impasse. That as Abdullah and his supporters do not accept the results of the country’s recent election or the legitimacy of Ghani’s victory. Both men declared themselves president in dueling inauguration ceremonies earlier this month.
The political turmoil has stalled progress toward a peace deal with the Taliban. Reports out of the Afghan capital suggested that Pompeo had given Ghani and Abdullah until today to come up with a compromise. But still no indication either side has offered to step aside.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: four opinions from the Supreme Court.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MEGAN BASHAM: It’s Tuesday, the 24th of March, 2020. Thanks for joining us today for The World and Everything in It. Good morning to you! I’m Megan Basham.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Well, the Supreme Court justices handed down four opinions yesterday.
First (Kahler v Kansas), the insanity defense. The justices decided by 6 to 3 that the Constitution does not require states to use a particular insanity test. Kansas charged James Kahler with capital murder after he shot and killed four family members. He argued the state violated his due process rights because it permits conviction of a mentally ill person who can’t tell right from wrong.
You can hear the eventual ruling in this comment from Justice Samuel Alito during argument in October:
ALITO: If that were the general rule that you cannot be convicted if you believe that what you’ve done is moral, that would revolutionize criminal law.
The court emphasized the insanity defense sits “at the juncture of medical views of mental illness and moral and legal theories of criminal culpability.” Hence, the proper place to try out new approaches is a project for the states, not Constitutional law.
BASHAM: Next (Comcast Corp v Nat’l Assoc. Of African-American Owned Media), the court held that if you sue alleging race discrimination in contractual matters, you must show race was the cause of a decision not to enter into a contract. The lower court held a plaintiff need only show race as one factor among many. But in a unanimous vote, the court holds plaintiffs to a more demanding standard.
REICHARD: Third (Allen v Cooper): a unanimous decision is a blow to a videographer who copyrighted images of a pirate ship submerged off the shore of North Carolina. The state posted online some of his images of Blackbeard’s ship that wrecked in 1718. He sued the state for copyright infringement, but the justices held the Constitution grants states sovereign immunity from federal lawsuits.
BASHAM: And finally (Guerrero-Lasprilla v Barr) in a 7-2 ruling, the court broadens the scope of when federal courts can review deportation orders. This case involved two men who were deported after drug convictions. They wanted to reopen their cases, but did after the deadline to file. Courts of Appeal only consider questions of law in immigration cases. But is a time limit about fact, or law, or both? The Supreme Court favored the two men in this case, who now have a chance to learn from lower court whether they did wait too long.
MEGAN BASHAM: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: ranchers and the border wall.
MARY REICHARD: The wall at the southern border is fast becoming reality. The ongoing construction still causes lots of controversy in cities. But what about more remote regions? Do the people who live there think the wall will make life better?
WORLD reporter Sarah Schweinsberg recently visited ranchers in southeastern Arizona to find out.
SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Chance Smith is a rancher and cowboy. He lives 19 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.
This morning, Smith and two of his children climb into his pickup truck to check on cattle. As Smith turns onto the main highway, he spots a white SUV with a green stripe parked on the side of the road. It’s a border patrol vehicle.
SMITH: He’s supposed to be looking for tracks.
The tracks of migrants crossing the border illegally and the tracks of drug traffickers working for Mexican cartels. It’s easy to disappear in this remote area surrounded by mountains.
SMITH: The ones behind us are the Chiricahua, those in front of us are the Palencinos and those blue mountains off down there to the south are the Sierra Madres in Mexico.
Smith and other ranchers say poor immigration policies and enforcement have let this area become a drug-smuggling corridor.
As he drives, Smith recalls a day four years ago. His wife was outside washing a car when four strangers appeared from the south. They walked through the yard with large backpacks. Smith says they were packing what he calls “dope.”
SMITH: Marijuana is the most common. It’s usually people packing, generally about 40 pound bundles. They are professionals. That’s what they do. And they are in shape.
Smith says everyone around here has similar stories of run-ins with smugglers and migrants.
SMITH: I don’t know of anybody that’s not going to have a story of it.
And so Smith—reluctantly—supports the border wall. He’s reluctant because he says it won’t fix the country’s broken immigration system. But…
SMITH: I’m hoping that it’s a sign and a decision that the people of America are ready to do something about the border and defend it. It is encouraging to a lot of the people on the ground and the people who live here.
Chance Smith’s parents, Steven and Tammy Smith, also ranch in the area.
STEVEN: We’ve been here 32 years.
We talk in the lobby of Douglas, Arizona’s historic Gadsden Hotel. This border town landmark has hosted many meetings between elected officials and ranchers.
Steven and Tammy Smith say politicians only pay lip service to their concerns while nothing really changes. Seeing the wall go up makes them feel like someone in Washington finally cares.
STEVEN: All of the illegal drugs, the illegal traffic, the human smuggling, the, that doesn’t bother them. And I don’t know what it is, but there’s a huge faction of those people in Washington and they don’t care. Well, Trump is showing them if we have the desire, we can do it. And now he is stepping on their toes, and they’re not liking it.
Tammy Smith says local opposition groups and national media paint ranchers and others here who support the wall as racist or xenophobic. She says that isn’t fair.
TAMMY: We love the folks on the other side of the fence. It’s just like your neighbor, your ranching neighbor. You have fences between your ranches to keep your belongings on that side of the fence… We don’t dislike the person on the other side of the fence, but it’s necessary to do that.
Ed Ashurst moved here from northern Arizona 22 years ago to ranch. This morning, he sits at his homemade wood table and pours himself a cup of coffee.
Instead, Ashurst argues border patrol should constantly be stationed all along the border and not inland, miles from the border, like the border patrol officer by Chance Smith’s home.
ASHURST: If you had some law enforcement at the border, you wouldn’t need the wall. And if you build the wall and don’t have law enforcement at the wall, the wall isn’t going to work.
Ashurst says best-methods aside, working to secure the border will be good for the people living on this side of the line and for most living on the other side.
A secure border makes trafficking drugs into the United States more difficult. That would make the cartels less profitable and eventually less powerful. And that’s one step toward giving hope to those looking for a better life.
ASHURST: The good people in Mexico don’t have guns. They don’t have money. They have no power and they have no guns, and they are at the mercy of the outlaws.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg in Portal, Arizona.
MEGAN BASHAM: Next up on The World and Everything in It, international adoption.
COVID-19 has disrupted just about every aspect of life. Adoptive parents are not immune. Efforts to contain this disease are causing significant disruptions in the adoption process. Think travel bans and quarantines.
MARY REICHARD: Joining us now to talk about that is Chris Palusky. He’s president and CEO of Bethany Christian Services. It’s the largest evangelical adoption agency in the United States. Good morning, Chris.
CHRIS PALUSKY, GUEST: Hey, good morning to you.
REICHARD: How bad are these disruptions? And are they affecting both domestic and international adoptions?
PALUSKY: I think it’s affecting everything. So, with Bethany—Bethany’s involved in adoption domestic, international, foster care. We work with refugees and immigrants and we do in-country adoption, in-country foster care, and all of them are disrupted right now. It’s something like we’ve never seen before and, yeah, we’ve never seen anything like this before.
REICHARD: How many children and families are we talking about?
PALUSKY: You know, in the United States—so, we do international adoption and we’ve got a couple dozen families who have been waiting to be reunited or united with their adopted kids and there’s obviously a travel ban on places like China and other places around the globe. So we’ve got parents who are eagerly awaiting to be reunited or united with their forever child. We don’t have any end in sight right now. We’re still waiting to hear from the countries on when they can open up again and also from our own government about when it’s going to be safe to travel. That’s the big unknown right now.
REICHARD: No one knows exactly how long these restrictions on movement and gatherings are going to last. But life—we think, we hope, we believe—will return to normal eventually. Will these adoptions pick up where they left off?
PALUSKY: You know, we’re very hopeful that those international adoptions will happen quickly because with special placement need kids, they’re especially vulnerable right now. And so the sooner they can be reunited or united with their families, that’s what we want. But we want to make sure it’s done in a very safe way. We have been communicating with the parents and also with the governments of China and other countries around the globe to get the latest updates on those kids, and we know that they’re OK right now. Again, with the pandemic as it spreads, we want to make sure they’re in the best possible place ever, and we believe that would be with their forever family. So, yeah, that’s where we are.
REICHARD: One last question. I understand your teams are also starting to see more refugees in the countries where you work. Is that related to COVID-19, and if so, why?
PALUSKY: You know, I wouldn’t say it’s directly related. What we have seen is that the world’s become a much more fragile place and with this new virus, it’s becoming even more fragile. So, we have been working in refugee camps providing foster care for kids across the globe. Right now, we’re in the largest refugee crisis the globe has ever seen. So, we have 71 million people displaced. Around 28 [million] of those are refugees. So, those are people who have been pushed out the borders of those countries, of their own countries. And the lion-share of those people are women, children, and the elderly. And they’re living in squalid conditions. They’re living in camps. They don’t have great access to water and sanitation like you and I do. So, they are especially vulnerable. So, Bethany wants to work with the most vulnerable out there and so working with refugees, working in refugee camps, and even with immigrants who are fleeing from Central America. We want to work with kids whenever possible because we find them to be the most vulnerable. So, is it directly related? Probably. Our world just suddenly became more vulnerable than we’ve ever seen it. That’s why we want to respond—in fact, we want to encourage people of faith to respond. It’s not a time to fear. It’s a time to give our worries to God and step up. So I want to encourage people to step up and get involved. And that could be doing something with your local church. It could be partnering with a local organization like Bethany or Food For the Hungry or lots of great organizations out there to help with local needs—foster care and adoption—or international needs with refugees and the crisis we’re facing.
REICHARD: Opportunities do exist—even now. Chris Palusky is president and CEO of Bethany Christian Services. Thanks for joining us today.
PALUSKY: Thank you so much.
MARY REICHARD: First responders are getting creative during this time of pandemic.
Officers on the island of Majorca off the east coast of Spain wanted to lift the spirits of people stuck inside their homes.
Sirens broke the silence along a deserted residential street. The officers then stepped out of their squad cars. Listen to what they did next:
An officer strummed his acoustic guitar and sang into a microphone synced up to the loudspeakers on his squad car. The other officers danced in the street. And the people sang along!
AUDIO: [Resident signing along]
Some of the lyrics they sang: “We are all united. Come out on your balconies!” And “The virus that is facing us will not defeat us!”
Then they piled back into their cars and moved on to cheer up the next locked-down neighborhood.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD: Today is Tuesday, March 24th. You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we are so glad you are! Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.
MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham.
Well, as you’ve no doubt experienced the coronavirus has led to cancellations and postponements of events, big and small. There’s talk of the Olympics being postponed. Last week’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities got canceled.
REICHARD: Athletic events and parades are one thing. But what about the sacred? Like weddings.
For Christians, a wedding is an example of the anticipation we feel waiting for Christ’s return. And it marks the beginning of the oneness described throughout the Bible: “The two shall become one flesh.” Our own Sophia Lee wrote a column for WORLD Magazine about postponing her own wedding.
WORLD’s Katie Gaultney caught up with another couple facing disappointment, with hope.
SHELNUTT: It’s okay, I’ll just wear it twice!
KATIE GAULTNEY, REPORTER: Standing in front of a wall-sized mirror during her dress fitting, Taylor Shelnutt looks every part the cake-topper bride. Her blonde locks cascade in waves over her shoulders and lacy white gown. She looks ready for her mid-April wedding, but she doesn’t feel it.
SHELNUTT: Really just it’s heartbreaking that we would be at this three, three and a half weeks out from our wedding and not be hopeful for it, and not be filled with joy or excitement. And we’re excited to get married, but at this point, kind of the happiness from the season is stolen…
Shelnutt and her fiancé, Cole Mund, had planned their Dallas wedding for Easter weekend. The symbolism was intentional:
SHELNUTT: I wanted it to be a representation of the gospel and that’s what marriage is. And so I really wanted that just proclaimed loud and clear right before Easter.
But a couple weeks ago, COVID-19 concerns began snowballing. Out-of-town relatives—which make up most of Taylor’s family—expressed concerns about traveling. Her elderly grandparents certainly wouldn’t be able to attend. And then, the federal government began discouraging gatherings of people—first 500, then 50, then anything over 10. Dr. Deborah Birx is on President Trump’s coronavirus task force.
BIRX: We’re asking all of them to hold their gatherings to under 10 people, not just in bars and restaurants, but in homes. We really want people to be separated at this time…
But Taylor and Cole are still holding out hope that maybe… maybe?… April 11 can still be “their day.”
SHELNUTT: …continuing day by day to just watch the news and hear the updates. And I’m really not making any decisions because one day changes from the next.
Every day brings new information at breakneck speed. A new hurdle to clear. Mund said just a few days ago, postponing their wedding wasn’t even on their radar.
MUND: Even then, we didn’t even think in this short span of three, four days that that would even be a possibility that this wedding couldn’t happen.
But weddings are so interactive. There are hugs, kisses, handshakes, dancing, not to mention finger-foods. If ever there were a hotspot for the spread of contagious disease, a wedding is it. Plenty of their friends have insisted they’ll come, no matter what. But Taylor and Cole don’t want to gamble with their guests’ health.
SHELNUTT: My sister-in-law is pregnant, and my cousins have little, tiny babies. You know, my grandmas are older, and Cole has a lot of older people in his family. And so it’s a lot of responsibility to be making this decision on behalf of 200 people who could be there.
So what’s an engaged couple to do? Elope? Make a quick trip to the justice of the peace? In some counties, even courts are closed, making that prospect a difficult one. Taylor thought about making their wedding very small and carrying on with the April 11th date. But there are hang-ups with that idea too.
SHELNUTT: It’s hard for me thinking through the backup options too, because I do feel like you lose the specialness, and I feel like even if we were to do a small ceremony now and have the actual big wedding later, I would be kind of faking it at that point.
If they cancel, they’ll face a long to-do list: notify guests, negotiate with vendors for refunds, cancel hotel blocks, and so on.
Wedding industry professionals are feeling the effects of these cancellations already. So many vendors—like florists and caterers—already operate on razor-thin margins.
Caroline Fair is a high-end wedding planner in Dallas. She and her colleagues are planning to push for postponements rather than outright cancellations; and then waive the normal change fees associated with something like that.
FAIR: The first thing that people might do is go to social media and say, I can’t believe my florist just charged me a fee to move the date when it’s out of my control. My personal thoughts on that are just showing people compassion and grace in this uncertain time. And um, I think we’ll all make it back in the end.
For now, Shelnutt and Mund are loosening their grip on April 11. They picked up their marriage license, just in case the Dallas courts close. The unknown is hard, but they’re hanging on to hope.
SHELNUTT: In all the uncertainty and all the unknowns, we have to keep telling ourselves the things we do know. And that is, we know that the Lord is our good. We know he is sovereign. We know he’s in control and we know he’s not surprised by this.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Katie Gaultney in Dallas, Texas.
MEGAN BASHAM: Today is Tuesday, March 24th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Next up: commentary from Ryan Bomberger.
But before that, we should note, this isn’t the only place you can hear Ryan today.
BASHAM: That’s right! We are very excited to announce that today marks the launch of Season 2 of The Olasky Interview. Twelve episodes featuring new and classic interviews our editor in chief Marvin Olasky has done.
Just search for The Olasky Interview on whatever platform you’re using to listen to The World and Everything in It. The first three episodes are available now: John Piper, Arthur Brooks—and our new commentator Ryan Bomberger, along with his wife Bethany.
REICHARD: Yes, it’s an interview Marvin did with Ryan and Bethany back in 2013. You’ll hear more about their personal stories and their pro-life work. So you’ll want to check that out.
For now, Ryan sees hypocrisy in the abortion industry during this time of pandemic.
RYAN BOMBERGER, COMMENTATOR: If there’s anything good that’s emerged from this coronavirus pandemic panic, it’s this: Human life matters. Governments and businesses, worldwide, are going to great lengths to protect vulnerable human lives.
Yet, while the world is moving to keep death from spreading, some remain eager to execute: Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses continue to kill the most vulnerable and put women in needless danger.
Despite shutdown orders wiping out the ability of millions of businesses to remain open, Planned Parenthood touts its separate and unequal treatment.
In Massachusetts is one example. Despite shutting down all non-essential businesses and mandating delay of elective medical procedures, the pro-abortion governor of the state—Charles Baker—has exempted abortion businesses.
Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts tweeted that the governor—quote—“rightly made clear that a temporary ban on elective medical procedures DOES NOT apply to abortion.”
In Ohio, Attorney General Dave Yost has just ordered abortion businesses to stop doing surgical abortions, as they are elective procedures.
The Ohio decision came after the pro-life organization Created Equal pushed state officials to stop business-as-usual in the state’s abortion centers. The organization has set up a website urging other states to follow Ohio’s lead. Created Equal’s Mark Harrington explains:
MARK HARRINGTON: If abortion is a choice, like the abortion industry says it is, then abortion is an elective procedure. Abortionists want to have it both ways. This is a clear double-standard. Abortion centers across the nation are staying open during this national health crisis, risking public health and safety. It’s time for the governors to shut ‘em down.
The American Association of Pro-Life OBGYNS—or AAPLOG—also issued a statement questioning why abortion centers remain open. Quoting now—“Elective abortions offer zero health benefits to women and do not treat a disease process. The American Association of Prolife OB/GYN’s calls for abortions to be suspended according to the current recommendations pertaining to elective procedures and office visits.” End quote.
Even the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute—which was created by Planned Parenthood back in the 60s to create scientific credibility—contradicts the “abortion is essential healthcare” rhetoric. In a study explaining the reasons why women choose abortion, 93 percent were found to be non-medical. Reasons include “Timing is wrong,” “It would interfere with education or career plans,” or “Can’t afford a baby right now.”
In a crisis, a predatory industry further exploits the vulnerable.
We have to remember, panic is always dependence on the wrong source. As Christians, we have a mandate far greater than a temporary lockdown. We have an eternal one that compels us to intervene in another’s crisis, to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
When we fear the circumstances, we fail. When we love those in crisis, we succeed.
I’m Ryan Bomberger.
MEGAN BASHAM: Tomorrow: lawmakers are preparing to pass a massive stimulus package to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the economy. We’ll talk about that on Washington Wednesday.
And, we’ll learn how the three-point shot came to dominate basketball at every level.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Megan Basham.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.
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