Kamala Harris to meet 'Dreamers' amid immigration, NATO goes after China: 5 Things podcast

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On today's episode of the 5 Things podcast: Senior video producer Hannah Gaber chats with Supreme Court correspondent John Fritze about some Supreme Court cases, NATO goes after China, some states are seeing COVID-19 surges and Tropical Storm Bill has formed, but may weaken.

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Taylor Wilson:

Good morning, I'm Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Tuesday, the 15th of June 2021. Today, the future of DACA, plus the latest from the Supreme Court's busy term, and more.

Taylor Wilson:

Here are some of the top headlines.

  1. One person was killed and three others injured in a shooting at a Decatur, Georgia supermarket, after a mask dispute. The alleged gunman argued with a cashier, then left the store before returning to shoot and kill the cashier. A deputy working as a security guard tried to intervene and exchanged gunfire with both he and the suspect wounded.

  2. An unruly passenger on a Delta flight over the weekend has been identified as an off-duty Delta flight attendant. The man took hold of the plane's public address system telling passengers that oxygen masks would deploy, and had to be detained by other passengers and crew members. It's the latest aviation incident in recent weeks. A passenger on another Delta flight reportedly tried to breach the cockpit and a passenger punched a Southwest Airlines flight attendant in the face.

  3. And the three remaining NBA Conference semi-final series are all tied up at two games a piece. The Hawks beat the Sixers and Clippers beat the Jazz, to win their respective game fours on Monday night.

Taylor Wilson:

Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with a group of female immigrants on Tuesday. They have temporary status in the U.S. as so-called dreamers. Part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program. Tuesday is the ninth anniversary of the Obama-era policy that protected undocumented immigrants from deportation, if they were brought to the U.S. as children, but DACA's future is uncertain. A federal judge in Texas is weighing a court challenge to strike down the program completely. The Vice President will use Tuesday's round table to push the Senate to pass two bills that cleared the House with bipartisan support earlier this year.

Taylor Wilson:

The American Dream and Promise Act would give DACA recipients the ability to live and work in the U.S. And the Farm Workforce Modernization Act would allow some one million undocumented farm workers to apply for legal status. The push comes as the Biden Administration works on economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. And an estimated one million DACA recipients are essential workers, who have worked on the front lines of the pandemic. According to the advocacy group, fwd.us, DACA status has to be renewed every two years and does not offer a path to citizenship.

Taylor Wilson:

The Supreme Court still needs to work through a stack of cases before taking a recess later this summer. Senior Video Producer Hannah Gaber is back with Supreme Court correspondent John Fritze to take a look at a few of them.

Hannah Gaber:

The eyes of the world are on NATO, but our eyes are on SCOTUS. The July 4th holidays quickly bearing down upon us, especially in political time, but they still have about 20 opinions to come. Not all of those are going to be as spicy as some others. Which ones are you watching for?

John Fritze:

That's right. We've got 18 cases hanging out there, that they will likely have to rule on between now and the end of the month. They could add days. They sometimes do. I don't think they will this time, but that's a possibility. So, basically it's a lot of material to get through in just a couple of weeks. The four main cases, there's one dealing with the Affordable Care Act. That is another challenge to whether Obamacare is legal. It's the latest challenge from conservatives. That could be a blockbuster case. That's a situation where the court could rule to overturn Obamacare. I don't think the Justices are going to do that, but that's a possibility.

John Fritze:

Another big case that we're looking at involves the City of Philadelphia and whether a Catholic foster care agency in that city may decline to screen same-sex couples to be potential foster parents. So, this is an important case because it involves religious freedom versus gay rights. This is an issue that keeps coming up at the Supreme Court, and that's one we're going to be watching very closely. There's a case called Brnovich, out of Arizona, and this deals with voting rights. That's an important case because what's happening in the states right now, right? A lot of states are passing laws, restricting access to ballots. This case could answer the question of, well, how far can federal law go in shutting down some of those state laws? Super important case given the timing.

John Fritze:

The last case is perhaps the most "fun case" which is the case involving a cheerleader, a former high school cheerleader, who went off on her school after failing to make the varsity team. This is a really interesting case, it's also fun, but it's an interesting case because it raises the question of how far can schools go to police speech off campus? It's a very clear standard when it's on campus. So, students do have First Amendment rights on campus, but if they disrupt the classroom or disrupt the workings of the school, then schools can discipline that speech. It's kind of an unanswered question, what happens when the student walks off the school yard? And in a time when an awful lot of students were doing school online and where an awful lot of students transact their conversations through social media or over the internet, this is a really important question. And so, it's perhaps one of the most important First Amendment cases to come along in a long time.

Hannah Gaber:

All of these are kind of about blurred lines, right? Like most things that end up in front of the Supreme Court. Where is the line between in parentis locus while you're school, and then if you're still a student, but you're not in school? I'm also curious because it's my understanding, we might see an opinion from the Chief Justice on the Obamacare case and we might see one from Alito on the Philadelphia case.

John Fritze:

That's right. So, at this point in the term, what happens is we all game out, who's going to write what, and then we try to game out, well, how would they come down on that decision if they're the ones that are going to write it? What generally happens is that everybody, every Justice gets an opinion from each term, right? So, we're talking about the Fulton case, which is the Philadelphia same-sex case and the ACA case, were both argued in the same month. And the only two justices left that have not written an opinion from that month are, as you note, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. That natural gaming that we do here, and there's no science to it, but the assumption is that Alito will write the Fulton case, as you said.

John Fritze:

The Supreme Court has been going in this direction for a long time. There have been a number of decisions dealing with COVID restrictions and how they impact churches and synagogues. And the court has been signaling for a long time that it wants to move in a direction to offer additional protections to religion. And so, if Alito gets that decision, I think that makes sense. It would be consistent with what we would expect this conservative court to do and what we'd expect in this case. On ACA, Roberts wrote the important defining opinion on this last time it came to the court, he upheld the ACA, arguing that Congress had it within its authority to impose a requirement that everybody gets insurance, the so-called individual mandate, very controversial, and he "saved it" last time.

John Fritze:

And so, I think there's a lot of thinking that he's going to pick up that opinion and perhaps maintain Obamacare again. When this case came to argument, the Obamacare case, there was I think, a pretty strong sense that the Justices were just not willing to throw out the whole thing. Whether they take a piece of it or slice away at it, that's certainly an open question. I think it's unlikely they do the whole thing, but we never know until we see the opinion.

Hannah Gaber:

All right, well, we'll be watching to see if Chief Justice Roberts inches closer to being that infamous swing vote, that so many people have begun to call him. Thank you so much. We'll be watching.

Taylor Wilson:

For more of John's work, you can follow @JFritze on Twitter.

Russia and China took center stage at President Joe Biden's first NATO Summit, since taking office on Monday. At a news conference, Biden said, "Russia and China are both seeking to drive a wedge in our transatlantic solidarity." Biden will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, before the meeting, he said Monday that he's not looking for conflict with Russia, but Biden added that he spoke with foreign counterparts about recent aggressive Russian acts, including cyber attacks that have come from inside the country. And for the first time in NATO's history, China was singled out in a summit statement.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg:

There is strong convergence of views among allies, based on our interests, we see opportunities to engage on issues such as arms control and climate change, but China's growing influence and international policies, presents challenges to Alliance security. What you have to realize is that NATO has come a long way. The first time we mentioned China in a communique, in a document, in a decision from NATO leaders, was 18 months ago. This is very much about what we do at home. And this is about taking care of a core responsibility to be able to protect and defend all allies, against any threat from any direction. Because we see that China's coming closer to us in cyberspace. We see them in Africa, we see in the Arctic, we see them trying to control our infrastructure. We had the discussion about 5G and therefore, what we do in NATO 2030 is highly relevant also for how to address China with more resilience, with more technology, and all the things we are now going to do together.

Taylor Wilson:

China quickly shot back. The Chinese Embassy in the UK issued a statement saying that NATO deliberately slandered China, and that the NATO statement exposed the, "Sinister intentions of a few countries," including the US. President Biden will meet with European Union leaders on Tuesday. He said he wants to fix U.S. trade relations with Europe. Former President Donald Trump imposed new import taxes on foreign steel and aluminum in 2018, and leaders will likely press Biden to toss out those tariffs.

Taylor Wilson:

New cases of COVID-19 are falling in much of the country, but eight states are seeing increases, and seven of them have below average vaccination rates. Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming have seen their seven-day rolling averages for infection rates rise from two weeks before. All of them have lower vaccination rates than the national average of 43% fully vaccinated. Hawaii is also seeing case increases despite some of the highest vaccination rates in the country, 50% fully vaccinated, and 68% partially vaccinated there.

Taylor Wilson:

As we've mentioned on the show, many states are offering incentives, from lottery drawings to scholarships for vaccinated people. And California, which is reopening across the state on Tuesday, is the latest to offer some giveaways. A new program will give away vacations in the state, ranging from Disneyland to Lakers games, and even the Ritz Carlton in Palm Springs.

Taylor Wilson:

Tropical Storm Bill has formed. The system came alive Monday night and could continue to strengthen on Tuesday. It'll mainly create some choppy seas off the coast of North Carolina that could affect fishing and shipping. But the National Weather Service expects that Bill will eventually weaken and fade away by Wednesday. The storm comes two weeks into hurricane season, which runs through November 30th. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects the season to be above normal. This from the administration's Storm Prediction Center.

NOAA Spokeswoman:

Here at NOAA, we're predicting a 60% chance that the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season will be above normal. There is a 30% chance of the season being near normal and a 10% chance of it being below normal. Several climate factors that are conducive to increased hurricane activity, including the ongoing high-activity era that has been in place since 1995, are reflected in this year's outlook. We're now experiencing ENSO neutral conditions with the possibility of a return to La Nina later in the hurricane season. In addition, warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea reduced vertical wind shear. Weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced West African monsoon all contribute to the outlook for the season's above normal activity.

Taylor Wilson:

For more stay with the weather section on usatoday.com/news. And thanks for listening to 5 Things. You can subscribe for free and also rate us and review on Apple Podcasts and you can listen, wherever you find your pods. Thanks as always to Shannon Green and Claire Thornton for their work on the show. 5 Things is part of the USA TODAY Network.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kamala Harris on immigration, NATO goes after China: 5 Things podcast

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