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5 things to know for April 2: Supreme Court, immigration, Brexit

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CNN's Chris Cuomo joins Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz of the US Border Patrol for a ride along the southern border and into the Rio Grande Valley to take a look at the realities of the crisis along the southern border.

Posted: Apr 2, 2019 7:20 PM
Updated: Apr 2, 2019 7:20 PM

Oh, you thought it was spring? Think again -- a cold snap is going to hit a large swath of the US, while the East Coast could get pummeled by a brewing strong coastal storm. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Immigration

Could President Donald Trump actually shut down the southern border? The administration is sending mixed messages. Yesterday, Trump tweeted a threat to close the Mexican border in the wake of the ongoing migrant crisis. However, White House senior adviser Stephen Miller says the President hasn't decided for sure yet, and will see how effectively the US can handle halting "meritless asylum claims" from Central American migrants in the coming days. And yes, it is politically possible for a president to shut down the border, but Trump would likely run into serious legal pushback from Congress if he were to try. Not to mention, such a closure would likely wreak havoc on trade and may make it harder for citizens and other people with legal status in the US to move around. White House officials have anonymously said that the economic and diplomatic effects of closing the border could be "catastrophic."

2. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court seems to be in the middle of a rare public feud over how the death penalty should be enforced. The justices have been bitterly divided over the execution of a Muslim inmate in Alabama, who claimed his religious rights were violated because he could not have an imam with him in the execution chamber. There have been two other recent death penalty cases that raised the question of a person's rights in their final hours: One involved a request for a Buddhist spiritual adviser in the execution chamber, and in another, an inmate claimed a lethal injection would cause him "severe harm and suffering" because he suffers from a rare disease. The debate among the justices has spilled over into unrelated legal conversations, and experts worry that the addition of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the general right-moving trend of the court may heighten future tensions around death penalty cases.

3. Brexit

Time for your Brexit update: Things are still a mess! On Monday, UK members of Parliament ended up rejecting four different alternative options to Prime Minister Theresa May's unpopular Brexit plan. The options included two proposals to keep Britain in a customs union with the European Union that narrowly missed out on a majority. Today, May will hold a mammoth five-hour meeting of her Cabinet to try to bust the deadlock and possibly get her Withdrawal Agreement back into consideration. Rumors have also swirled that the Prime Minister is considering a snap election as one way of getting more clarity on the whole situation. The UK government has denied that this could be an option, but hey, they're approaching serious crunch time. If no deal or agreement is reached, the UK will crash out of the European Union on April 12th.

4. Brunei

It is a tumultuous time for human rights in Brunei, a tiny nation on the island of Borneo in the South China Sea. Tomorrow, a new law goes into effect that will punish adultery and homosexual sex with death by stoning. It's one of a series of new laws that have been gradually rolled out in the country over the last few years. They are based on Sharia law, a strict Islamic legal system that outlines corporal punishments. Some of Brunei's LGBT citizens have fled, and a large sector of the global community has come out in forceful opposition of the laws. The US State department said they "strongly oppose human rights violations and abuses against LGBTI person." Other countries including Austria, Australia, New Zealand and the UK have made similar statements. Actor George Clooney has called for a boycott of nine hotels around the world that have ties to Brunei, and several other celebrities have supported the suggestion.

5. Algeria

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is going to step down just a few weeks before his term expires on April 28th. The announcement comes after weeks of protests and calls for the 82-year-old's resignation. Bouteflika came to power two decades ago, and he is widely believed to be incapacitated due to illness. As a result, critics say he has left the reins of Africa's biggest country in the hands of a civilian-military elite. Bouteflika was originally planning to run in the country's presidental election at the end of the month, but it appears that the people of Algeria will be choosing a new leader instead.


Burger King is testing out a meatless Whopper 

Because people who don't eat meat shouldn't be denied the chance to eat the same aggressively-named fast food as the rest of us.

NASA has named its top three designs for homes on Mars 

Step 1: Actually go to Mars.

Facebook may launch a curated section for 'high quality news'

Facebook is eventually just going to eat us all, isn't it?

Amazon and Whole Foods are slashing prices yet again

Good, you can keep sustaining your organic free-trade exotic nut butter habit without going broke.

Tourists in Iceland flee a wave caused by breaking glaciers

Nature, you scary.


Police have identified a suspect in the killing of Nipsey Hussle 

Los Angeles police are asking for the public's help in locating the 29-year-old suspect. Meanwhile, the city is on edge after violence broke out last night during a vigil for the slain rapper.


$88 billion

The amount Americans borrowed to pay for health care last year, according to a new study. Also, 65 million adults say they had a health issue but didn't seek treatment due to cost. Nearly a quarter had to cut back on spending to pay for health care or medicine.



Excuse me, coming through

"Hey boss. Yeah, why am I late? Well you see, there was this line of giant, extremely orderly turkeys in the road..."

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