Compiled by Caleb Kerr

Michael Doti started off the show with a breaking news segment on the House Bill to make Washington DC the 51st United State. The bill would allow Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, named after Frederick Douglass, to have two senators and a House representative.

DC Democratic Representative Elanor Holmes Norton argued before the committee, saying “Congress can no longer allow D.C. residents to be sidelined in the democratic process…”

Doti reported that there are currently over 700,000 tax paying residents in Washington DC. The majority of residents are Black. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser argues that they need more representation. In order for the bill to be passed, however, it will likely need more favor on the Republican side of Congress.

Ansleigh Edwards continued the show with a report on the reopening of nightlife in Athens. As governor Brian Kemp lessens COVID-19 restrictions, Athens bars return to 100% capacity. The latest COVID-19 executive order says that Georgia bars do not have to adhere to the capacity limits that were previously in place.

Edwards reported that according to The Red and Black, bars and nightclubs have been limited to 35% capacity or a maximum capacity of 50 patrons inside. Bars will now be “requiring workers to wear face covering when interacting with patrons, [and] redesigning seating arrangements for at least six feet between tables…”

The executive order went into effect on March 16 and will last until March 31 unless otherwise noted by Kemp.

Michael Doti returned to deliver a story on the race for Georgia Secretary of State. Republican Congressman Jody Hice announced his campaign for Georgia Secretary of State today. He will try to take it from current Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Doti reported that Hice was one of the leading Republicans in Congress who truly believed that there was election fraud in not only his state, but most other swing states.

Not too long after his announcement, he already gained support from former president Donald Trump. 

Trump said, “Unlike the current Georgia Secretary of State, Jody leads out front with integrity. I have 100% confidence in Jody to fight for Free, Fair, and Secure Elections in Georgia in line with our beloved US Constitution.”

Trump is currently under investigation by the Fulton County District Attorney after he was accused of pressuring Raffensperger to find votes and declare him the winner of Georgia.

Caleb Kerr continued the news with a report on US sanctions on China. Today, the US joined the European Union, the UK and Canada in introducing sanctions against top Chinese officials. CNN reports that these sanctions came in the wake of recent violations of human rights against the Uyghur Muslim population in China.

In a meeting between Secretary of State Michael Blinken and Chinese officials, Blinken hoped to assert the authority of the United States. The Chinese, however, deflected back to the United States in an effort to expose their own violations of human rights, such as with the Black Lives Matter movement, CNN reports.

As the Biden administration finds firm footing in Beijing, Biden’s cabinet has expressed hopes of working in tandem with US allies in targeting the Chinese violations. This strong global support could be vital to ensuring the success of the sanctions.

Ansleigh came back to report on the rapidly worsening situation in Australia. The Australian government has declared a natural disaster amid the widespread flooding in New South Wales. The torrential downpours are being described as “once in 100 year floods.”

The heavy rains began on Thursday and have since forced thousands to evacuate from their homes on Saturday after a major dam overflowed resulting in flash floods. At this time, no deaths have been reported. However, Elliot warned that fatalities are inevitable due to the conditions.

Australia’s federal government has responded by activating a disaster relief relief plan for New South Wales families affected by the flood. The plan will provide aid to those who were injured, received damage to their homes or lost homes altogether.

Sarah Train continued the show with a report on Governor Kemp’s newest tax bill. Today, Governor Brian Kemp signed a modest state income tax into law. It will reduce Georgia’s overall income taxes by an estimated $140 million.

The standard deduction for an individual will rise from $4,600 to $5,400, while the standard deduction for a married couple filing jointly will rise from $6,000 to $7,100. 

Kemp said, “Our fight to protect lives and livelihoods has paid off time and time and time again. It has certainly allowed us to be able to stand here today.”

The governor also says that the tax cut could help boost the recovery of small businesses following the pandemic. The tax cut passed unanimously in the House but faced opposition from the Senate from Democrats who argued that the state needs money to fulfill unmet service needs. The tax cut does not take effect until January 1st, and most Georgians are unlikely to notice it until 2023, when they file income tax returns for 2022.

Hunter Townsend delivered a story on the rapid development of the newest COVID-19 vaccine. According to USA Today, AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine was found to be 79% effective.

Despite USA Today reporting that nearly a fourth of all the US population have had at least one dose of the vaccine, “Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, warned that data on new cases and hospitalizations indicates numbers are again rising in the Northeast and Upper Midwest.”

Last week, we heard reports from Europe that the AstraZeneca Vaccine was positively linked with increased risk of blood clots. However, the New York Times is now reporting that this has been disproven.

A company spokesman said, “We are preparing… for the rollout of millions of doses across America should the vaccine be granted U.S. Emergency Use Authorization,” by the FDA.

Sarah Train came back to deliver an entertainment news update. Three women who have previously accused disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein have voluntarily dismissed their claims. Louisette Geiss, Sarah Ann Thomas and Melissa Thompson share a $17 million sexual misconduct claims fund by releasing their claims against Weinstein under a settlement plan. 

Geiss, Thomas and Thompson were the lead plaintiffs in an attempted class action against many individuals allegedly involved in the Weinstein scandal. Train reported that one complaint was targeted not just at Weinstein but also at board members of his former company.

In April 2019, Judge Alvin Hellerstein gutted the class action by rejecting 17 of 18 claims, all but a sex trafficing count against Weinstein, who was later convicted of sex crimes and sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Caleb Kerr gave an update on the recent protests in Atlanta. Over the weekend, hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the Georgia Capitol building to protest against Anti-Asian and Pacific Islander hate crimes. The protests followed just days after the deadly shooting in three Atlanta spas which killed eight people, most of whom were women of Asian descent.

FOX 5 Atlanta reports that when arrested, the suspected shooter told the police that his actions were not racially motivated, but on Saturday, Georgia Representative Bee Nguyen had her doubts. 

Nguyen said the “21-year-old white man targeted three Asian businesses, driving 40 minutes from one spa to another… This was an attack on the Asian community.”

Stop AAPI Hate, an organization which records hate crimes against the AAPI community, reported that over the past year, about 2,800 reports of Anti-Asian hate crimes were logged. The rise in cases mirrors the rise in the severity of the pandemic, but this violence will not stop even as the end of the COVID-19 pandemic seems near.

Michael Doti wrapped up the show with a Sports Power Minute, giving us an update on the many March Madness upsets. In the first round, we saw a 15 seed, a 14 seed and two 13 seeds all make it to the Round of 32. For starters, Porter Moser, Sister Jean and the Loyola Chicago Ramblers won the battle of Illinois, and busted many brackets, beating Illinois 71-58. Now only three no. one seeds remain.

Later on, the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles sent another top school packing as they beat Florida 81-78. They become the second 15 seed to ever make it to the Sweet 16. With the loss, there are now just three SEC teams left in the dance.

Arkansas is the first team to make it to the Sweet 16, as they survived a battle with Texas Tech 68-66. Both Alabama and LSU will try to join the Razorbacks as SEC representees in the Sweet 16 today. 

The Georgia Lady Bulldogs kick off their tournament run against Drexel. Georgia picked up their first tournament victory in three years, beating the Dragons 67-53. The Lady Dogs will await the winner between Oregon and South Dakota in round two. 

The Hawks winning streak moved to eight games on Saturday, as they defeated the undermanned Los Angeles Lakers 99-94. With this winning streak, Atlanta now moves to first place in the Southeast Division, and fourth in the overall standings in the eastern conference. Tonight, they will stay in Staples Center to play game two of an eight game road trip against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Georgia baseball team played their first SEC series this weekend against Tennessee. After losing 11-6 on Friday, the Dogs won yet another game via the walkoff on Saturday. The Vols would come back yesterday and take the series with a 4-1 win. Georgia is set to play Kennesaw State at Foley Field tomorrow.

Listen to the recorded show here