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Joel McCord, WYPR's news director, and Karen Hosler, of the WYPR news team, discuss the changed political of Chesapeake Bay restoration.

Photo by Getty Images

It's the Midday News Wrap, our weekly roundtable on the week's major local, national and international developments, with a rotating panel of journalists and commentators.

We're approaching the 100-Day mark in the Trump administration: Republicans hold the House, the Senate and the White House, and yet -- while the Senate did approve Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch --President Trump has had little to show for as far as legislative victories are concerned.  What’s next on the president’s agenda?  Another attempt to repeal and replace the ACA?  Or perhaps he’ll move his long-promised tax reform agenda to the front burner, although we’re still waiting to see a tax reform proposal of any kind.   

Bill O’Reilly has lost his job, but Fox has helped leaven the pain of that loss for him with a $25 million dollar check, despite more than a dozen complaints that he is an indecent creep.  Even creeps have contracts, it appears.

And in Georgia, a young filmmaker came within 2 points of an outright victory for a seat in Congress.  An untested Democrat, Jon Ossoff, got 48% of the vote in a field of 18 mostly Republican candidates, just short of what he needed to win without a runoff.  Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel got less than 20%.  They’ll face each other head-to-head in June.  Polls today have them tied. 

Speaking of elections, the French are set to begin voting this Sunday in their presidential election.  There are 11 candidates in that race, four of whom are polling close to each other.   

And in the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May, who is preparing the British exit from the EU, has called for a national election in June -- three years ahead of schedule.  

In Turkey, voters seem to have narrowly approved President Recep Tayip Erdogan’s bid to consolidate his power.  President Trump quickly congratulated the Turkish leader, but critics have called the vote an erosion of democracy.

Arkansas, amid protests and court rulings, last night, carried out its first execution in more than a decade.

Here in Baltimore, Wednesday was the second anniversary of the death of Freddie Gray. 

And Dallas Dance, Baltimore’s charismatic school superintendent still in the first year of a four-year contract, announced, surprisingly, that he will retire at the end of June.  

Joining Tom on the News Wrap panel today:

Dr. Zeynep Tufekci is contributing opinion writer at the New York Times and author of  the new book Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protests.  She joins Tom on the line from Chapel Hill, where she is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina.

Kamau High joins us in Studio A.   He is managing editor of the Afro-American Newspaper, based here in Baltimore, and a former reporter and digital producer in New York City for the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, among others.

Michael Fletcher is also here today.  He is a senior writer at ESPN’s The Undefeated.  He was for many years a national economics reporter and a White House reporter for The Washington Post, and before THAT,  he was a reporter for many years at The Baltimore Sun. 

On Thursday night, four Democratic members of Maryland's congressional delegation heard from their constituents. Senator Chris Van Hollen as well as Congressmen John Sarbanes, Dutch Ruppersberger, and Elijah Cummings took questions at a town hall meeting at the Baltimore War Memorial. 

John Lee

The three Republicans on the Baltimore County Council want to deputize county corrections officers to enforce federal immigration laws. And they say they're planning to introduce legislation to do that.

This is the latest in the ongoing debate in the county on how to deal with people living in the country illegally.

Baltimore County's school board bemoaned the loss of Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night. Dance abruptly resigned earlier that day. WYPR's Jonna McKone covered the meeting, and told Nathan Sterner some of what happened.

John Lee

Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance resigned unexpectedly Tuesday, leaving the county school board scrambling for a replacement. Dance said in a statement it was time for him to "transition to another chapter of my career."

Photo courtesy of movoto.com

Will is a second grader in Anne Arundel County schools, and already he’s on his third school since kindergarten; not because he moved, or his old schools closed, but because he has a disability that leads to behavioral problems. And the behavioral problems have led to suspensions.

He was suspended six times from Jacobsville Elementary in Pasadena as a kindergartner. His mother, Lori Cornwell, says the school didn’t recognize his disability.

Getty Images

We begin with State Senator Jim Rosapepe (D-MD 21st District), with his take on why lawmakers in Annapolis spent this year’s session with one eye on Capitol Hill. 

Then, the Midday News Wrap panelists join Tom to discuss the biggest stories of the week. Yesterday, President Trump dropped the "mother of all bombs" on ISIS targets in Afghanistan, this comes after the President launched a targeted airstrike in Syria in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad alleged use of chemical weapons. 

And, it's the video seen across the country; the footage of a 69-year old man being forcibly and violently removed from an overbooked United Airlines flight has caused a pr nightmare for the airline. Dr. David Dao's lawyer says he suffered a concussion and broken nose in the incident and lost two teeth, he plans to file a lawsuit. How did the incident escalate to violence and can United bounce back?

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s proposed $3.15 billion operating budget for the next fiscal year does not contain a tax increase. But it does include a two percent pay raise for county workers and plans for a new middle school in Perry Hall. 

Lawmakers approve drug "price gouging" bill

Apr 12, 2017
Photo by K. Whiteford

Hours before adjourning for the year, state lawmakers approved a first in the nation bill that would allow Maryland’s Attorney General to sue the makers of generic drugs over sharp rice increases—or price gouging.

It was part of an effort to hold down the sharply escalating prices of generic prescription drugs. 

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