NEWS AND OPINION:
The situation on the southern U.S. border has become so dire that it is drawing concern from afar.
“Authorities in Mexico found an abandoned truck carrying 103 unaccompanied minors, making it the biggest discovery of migrant children traveling through Mexico in recent times. The minors were traveling without adult relatives and were part of a group of 343 migrants from Central and South America, the National Migration Institute said in a statement on Monday,” Deutsche Welle, a German news organization, advised in a report published Tuesday.
“Along with the migrant children, authorities also found 212 adults from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Ecuador in the trailer, the National Migration Institute said. Another 28 migrants were found traveling as families in the vehicle. The migrants were found safe, wearing color-coded bracelets that were apparently used for identifying them as smugglers’ clients,” Deutsche Welle said, noting that the truck was found without a driver.
ONE FOR TIMBER FAMILIES
A bipartisan team of lawmakers is stepping up to make life a little easier for those who have a close relationship with trees.
Sens. Jim Risch, Idaho Republican, and Angus King, Maine independent, have joined forces with Reps. Glenn Thompson, Pennsylvania Republican, and Jared Golden, Maine Democrat, to reintroduce the Future Logging Careers Act.
“This legislation would allow teenage members of logging families to gain experience in the logging trade under parental supervision so they may carry on the family business. The Future Logging Careers Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to work in certain mechanized logging operations under parental supervision,” a news release from Mr. Risch’s office shared with Inside the Beltway stated.
“Idaho’s logging industry has long been a family trade, but current law is hampering its future by preventing young men and women from working in their family’s businesses,” Mr. Risch said in a written statement.
“The Future Logging Careers Act would give timber families the same opportunity to pass down their trade that is allotted to family farmers. With the logging industry facing a decline in labor and an aging workforce, we must empower the next generation of loggers who are vital for properly managing our forests, supporting rural economies, and maintaining family businesses. I am proud to introduce this legislation that does just that,” Mr. Risch noted.
Additional cosponsors of the legislation include Republican Sens. Mike Crapo of Idaho, Susan Collins of Maine, Tim Scott of South Carolina and John Cornyn of Texas plus Reps. Russ Fulcher, Idaho Republican, and Chellie Pingree, Maine Democrat.
The Future Logging Careers Act also has received support from the American Loggers Council and the Associated Logging Contractors of Idaho.
FOR THE LEXICON
“The Swag Bag Index.”
This handy term is from Forbes.com, which tracks the hefty costs associated with gift bags handed out to celebrities at the Academy Awards, which will take place Sunday in Hollywood.
And no wonder.
The “gifts” include getaways to an exclusive retreat in Canada or to a renovated lighthouse off the coast of Italy, a gift certificate for plastic surgery and anti-aging treatments, and other goodies. But times appear to be challenging, even for this elite community.
“This year’s haul is worth an estimated $126,000, a 10% drop from last year and nearly half off the all-time high of $225,000 in 2020. Then again, the bag is still worth more than 300 times the value of Oscar himself — the 24-karat gold-plated statuette only costs about $400 to make,” Forbes noted in its report, published Tuesday.
In the week of Feb. 27-March 5, Fox News had larger audiences in prime time and throughout the day than cable-news rivals MSNBC and CNN — and everyone in the cable realm as well. Fox News averaged 2.1 million prime-time viewers, compared with MSNBC with 1.1 million and CNN with 530,000, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Fox News aired 86 of the top 100 cable news telecasts during the week and also bested the rival networks with 1.4 million in “total day” — the 24-hour period lasting from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m. Eastern time on any given day. The network also marked 100 consecutive weeks on top in total day audiences with the all-important adults 25 to 54 demographic.
The standouts for the were “The Five,” with 3.1 million viewers and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” with an audience of 3 million. “Fox & Friends” remains the morning ratings winner for the 102nd week in a row, with 1.3 million viewers, compared with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with 851,000 viewers and CNN’s “This Morning” with an audience of 370,000 viewers.
IVY COVERED HALLS
Michigan State University is now offering a class on how to grow up, according to the College Fix, a news organization written entirely by college students.
“Michigan State University Extension’s Adulting 101 programs help high school students demystify the obscure reality of being an ‘adult’ through engaging educational sessions,” according to the program website.
“Adulting 101 sessions offer a wide range of useful tips to successfully live independently covering topics in financial empowerment, workforce, and college readiness, leadership, civic engagement, social-emotional health, and general life skills that often are not required classes in school or passed down by parents,” Kathy Jamieson, an “extension educator” for the university, told the College Fix in a statement.
POLL DU JOUR
• 81% of U.S. adults are more worried about inflation than their taxes.
• 72% say the government does not spend their tax dollars wisely.
• 72% think their current tax rate is too high.
• 49% would prefer to go on jury duty than do their taxes.
• 39% would move to a different country if it meant they could have a tax-free future.
• 37% would get an “IRS” tattoo if they could have a tax-free future.
• 34% say not having enough money is their biggest fear when filing their taxes.
• 23% say making a math mistake on their taxes is their biggest fear.
• 22% say getting audited is their biggest fear.
• 21% say identity theft is their biggest fear.
SOURCE: A WalletHub survey of 200 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 13-17 and released Monday.
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