Monday morning news – March 15, 2021

FEMA to assist with unaccompanied minors at border » The Biden administration is turning to FEMA for help managing record numbers of unaccompanied minors now streaming across the southern border. 

FEMA will help to shelter and transfer minor children who arrive without a parent or guardian. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told ABC’s This Week… 

PELOSI: I’m so pleased that the president as a temporary measure has sent FEMA to the border in order to help facilitate the children…

While the administration is deploying the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Democrats say the situation is not an emergency, calling it instead a “humanitarian challenge. 

But Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy says the situation is increasingly dire. He noted that apprehensions are up more than 170 percent from the same time last year. 

CASSIDY: The fact that they’re sending FEMA tells us that the 170 percent they anticipate growing to 350 percent or even a higher number. They’re sending FEMA as reinforcements, not for today, not for tomorrow, but for three weeks from now. 

He said the administration is sending Spanish language messages trying to convince Central American migrants not to come to the border right now, but he said President Biden’s policies are sending the opposite message. 

Democratic Senator Chris Coons said he does not think it’s fair to blame the Biden administration, but some changes are needed. 

COONS: Let’s restart the program that allows for kids to apply for asylum in their home country in places like Honduras and Guatemala instead of waiting until they get here. There are things we can do to solve for this, but it’s not simply the policies of any administration that creates these crises.

Since taking office, President Biden has ended the Trump-era practice of expelling immigrant children who cross the border alone. 

Secretaries Blinken, Austin lead first Cabinet-level trip abroad » Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are leading the Biden administration’s first Cabinet-level trip overseas. They’re flying to Asia today for four days of talks in Japan and South Korea. 

Threats from China will loom large during talks with U.S. allies in the region. Blinken told reporters earlier this month… 

BLINKEN: The challenge posed by China is different. China is the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to challenge the stable and open international system.

Blinken will not visit China this trip, but he and national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, plan to meet with Chinese officials in Alaska on Thursday.

The secretaries and U.S. allies will also discuss strategy on containing North Korea. 

U.S. officials have tried to reach out to Pyongyang through multiple channels since last month, but have reportedly received no response.

Pressure mounts on Cuomo to resign » Pressure continues to mount on N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign following another new allegation of sexual misconduct last week. And many fellow Democrats are among those saying Cuomo must go, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

DE BLASIO: The governor and his team have been trying to cover up the truth. I mean, we’ve gotten report after report of purposeful efforts to cover up the facts that the public deserves. 

New York Sen. Kirsten Gilibrand and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who also represents New York, also wrote a joint statement urging him to resign. 

But Cuomo had this to say about the growing number of elected officials urging him to resign: 

CUOMO: Politicians who don’t know a single fact, but yet form a conclusion and an opinion are in my opinion reckless and dangerous. 

The governor insists he has no intention of stepping down.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler dies » Boxing great Marvelous Marvin Hagler died over the weekend at the age 66. 

The middleweight recorded 52 knockouts in 67 fights. His 1985 victory over Thomas Hearns in three rounds is one of boxing’s most famous fights. 

AUDIO: Hearns in deep trouble again. Hearns is down! Hearns is down in the 3rd round and on his back!

And his 1987 split-decision loss to Sugar Ray Leonard is one of the most controversial. Hagler retired from boxing after that fight. 

He finished his 14-year career with a record of 62-3-2. He was a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and World Boxing Hall of Fame.

Swift, Beyonce win big at Grammys » Pop superstars Taylor Swift and Beyonce cleaned up at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards last night.  

Swift became the first woman to win album of the year three times, this time for her 2020 album Folklore.  

And Beyonce picked up multiple awards. With 28 Grammys, she is now the most decorated female act in Grammy history. 

R&B artist H.E.R. won Song of the Year honors for “I Can’t Breathe.” 

MUSIC: [I can’t Breathe]

And Best Contemporary Christian Song went to Zach Williams & Dolly Parton for “There was Jesus.” 

MUSIC: [There Was Jesus]

This year’s ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center had a very different feel with socially distanced performances and no live crowd.

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool, File) This Monday, March 8, 2021, file photo shows New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaking at a vaccination site in New York. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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