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10 things you need to know today: March 14, 2021


Hundreds of people gathered to march through Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday, the one-year anniversary of the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot and killed by Louisville police during a raid of her apartment. Her mother, Tamika Palmer, led the Louisville rally, marching behind a large banner with an illustration of Taylor’s face, while chanting “No justice, no peace.” Taylor’s death was one of the main catalysts for a series of nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice last summer in the U.S. Of the three officers involved in the raid, only one is facing charges for endangering Taylor’s neighbors by firing into an adjacent apartment. The FBI on Saturday said it has “made significant progress” in an investigation into the shooting. President Biden said in a tweet Saturday that Taylor’s death was a “tragedy” and called for “meaningful” police reform. [Al Jazeera]


The Federal Emergency Management Agency will support the Biden administration’s effort over the next several months to receive, shelter, and transfer minor children who arrive at the United States’ southern border without a parent or other adult, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Saturday. DHS is supposed to transfer unaccompanied minor children to the Department of Health and Human Services within three days of their arrival at the border so they can either be placed with their parent or another sponsor while their cases are resolved, but HHS shelters are now nearly at capacity. “A Border Patrol facility is no place for a child,” Mayorkas said Saturday. So, it appears FEMA’s job will be to “find and expand suitable facilities” for the children. [The Associated Press, NBC News]


The United States has been reaching out to North Korea to no avail since mid-February, a senior Biden administration official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. The official provided few details, but said Washington has tried to get Kim’s attention through “several channels,” including Pyongyang’s mission to the United Nations in New York. “To date, we have not received any response from Pyongyang,” the official told Reuters, adding that it appears there has been no active dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea for more than a year, including the final months of the Trump administration. The Biden administration, meanwhile, has kept its North Korea plans mostly under wraps, saying only that a comprehensive policy review is underway. [Reuters]


Marvelous Marvin Hagler, boxing’s former undisputed middleweight champion, died Saturday, his wife, Kay Hagler, said. He was 66. Kay Hagler said her husband passed away “unexpectedly” at his home in New Hampshire. Hagler first took the middleweight crown in 1980 and successfully defended his title 12 times, including a memorable fight against Tommy Hearns in 1985 that became known as “The War.” He was eventually defeated in a 12-round split-decision by “Sugar” Ray Leonard in 1987 and announced his retirement from the ring a year later. Hagler won 62 fights in his career, 52 by knockout, and lost only three times, along with two draws. He was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993. [The Associated Press, CNN]


London’s Metropolitan Police Service is facing criticism after officers arrested multiple women who were attending a vigil for Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman who was kidnapped and murdered while walking home in London the night of March 3. A Metropolitan Police officer was arrested and later charged with both kidnapping and murder. Police said the arrests at the vigil were made for health and safety reasons, claiming it was “the only responsible thing to do” in light of a large group of people gathering in the same space during the coronavirus pandemic. The vigil’s organizers actually called off the official event because they said law enforcement failed to come up with a strategy to hold it safely. U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel said the footage of the arrests was “upsetting” and has asked the department for a full report on the incident. [The Guardian, BBC]


At least five more people have been killed across Myanmar on Sunday as protests continued for the sixth week in response to the military’s seizure of power in February. The previous day turned out to be one of the deadlier days since the movement began, with at least 13 fatalities. Per Reuters, videos showed the protesters confronting security forces in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, carrying handmade shields and wearing helmets. In some parts of the city, people reportedly put up barbed wire and sandbags to block the security forces. Mahn Win Khaing Than, the acting leader of Myanmar’s parallel civilian government, has said the civilian government is seeking to give people the legal right to defend themselves. In one central Myanmar township, civilians declared they had formed their own local government and police force. [Reuters]


Jeanine Áñez, Bolivia’s former interim president, was arrested Saturday on charges of “terrorism,” sedition, and conspiracy over an alleged 2019 coup. Áñez replaced former President Evo Morales, the leader of Bolivia’s socialist movement, after he was forced to resign amid allegations of election fraud and went into exile in Mexico. Áñez pushed the government’s policies to the right and sought to prosecute Morales, but he eventually returned and his chosen chosen successor, Luis Arce, was elected president in November, handing power back to Morales’ party. Áñez has accused the government of “political persecution,” arguing she lawfully succeeded Morales. Former President Carlos Mesa seemed to concur, saying “they are seeking to decapitate an opposition by creating a false narrative of a coup to distract from a fraud.” [Al Jazeera, The Associated Press]


The Sri Lankan government announced Saturday that it will ban women from wearing the burqa and shutter more than 1,000 Islamic schools in the Buddhist-majority country. The government had already introduced a temporary ban on burqas in 2019 following terrorist attacks that killed more than 200 people. Sri Lanka’s Minister of Public Safety Sarath Weerasekara said “the burqa has a direct impact on national security” because “it is a sign of religious extremism.” As for the schools, Weerasekara said they were not registered or following national education policy. Sri Lankan President Gotobaya Rajapksa added Saturday that the government would grant itself new powers aimed at the “deradicalization” of suspected extremists, which reportedly does not apply specifically to Muslims. The measures would allow authorities to detain anyone suspected of “acts of violence or religious, racial, or communal disharmony, or feelings of ill will or hostility between different communities.” [Deutsche Welle]


The 2021 Grammy Awards will take place on Sunday after being delayed almost two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many pundits are predicting Taylor Swift will score the Album of the Year prize for her hit quarantine album Folklore — though some think it might instead go to Dua Lipa for Future Nostalgia. If Swift wins, she would make history, becoming the first female artist to win that award three times after previously earning it for Fearless and 1989. Beyoncé is expected to have a big night, too. She leads the Grammy nominations with nine, and Gold Derby predicts she’ll become the “most awarded woman of all time” with a total of 29 Grammys after possibly taking five more on Sunday. The Grammys, which will be hosted by The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah, will air on March 14 on CBS at 8 p.m.. There will be live performances, but no audience because of the pandemic. [Gold Derby, The Week]


The 68-team men’s Division I NCAA basketball tournament field will be announced Sunday night at 6 p.m. ET on CBS. A few conference tournament championships, including the Big Ten and the SEC finals, will be played Sunday, but the bubble picture has become clearer, especially after Oregon State and Georgetown stunningly captured the Pac-12 and Big East tournament championships, respectively. Neither the Beavers or the Hoyas would likely have made the tournament without winning, making them so-called “bid stealers” who will knock two teams out. There is little question as to who will be the tournament’s no. 1 overall seed — the 26-0 Gonzaga Bulldogs rolled through the season and will head to Indiana, where the entire tournament will be played because of the coronavirus pandemic, as the heavy favorites. [NCAA, ESPN]

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