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Politics: 2024Talks - April 2, 2024

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Politics and views in the United States.

Audio file

Maryland officials ask for bipartisan help to reopen the Baltimore harbor, a federal judge says a controversial New Jersey ballot design is unconstitutional and California fast food workers get a pay raise.


Welcome to 2024 Talks, where we're following our democracy in historic times.

This is not a Baltimore catastrophe, not a Maryland catastrophe.

This is a national economic catastrophe as well.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore says a prolonged closure of the Baltimore Harbor will have ripple effects across the U.S. and funding to rebuild the Key Bridge should be a bipartisan priority.

President Biden says the federal government will pay for the entire cost, but some lawmakers say the owners of the ship that hit the bridge should first be held accountable.

The Florida Supreme Court says a six-week abortion ban there is constitutional, since the state's right to privacy doesn't apply to the medical procedure.

However, justices also ruled that a ballot initiative to protect the right to an abortion can go before voters in November.

A federal judge has struck down a controversial New Jersey primary ballot design.

Democratic Congressman Andy Kim is running for Senate and says the design favored party-backed candidates by confusingly putting those without party endorsement on a separate part of the ballot.

I just think that's unfair.

You should not be able to put the thumb on the scale of our democracy for people who are well-connected, well-off.

Half a million fast food workers in California just got a pay raise.

A new law means workers at chains with more than 60 national locations will now earn $20 an hour.

A former organizer and Jack in the Box worker, Anisha Williams, says when workers organize, they win.

This is for my ancestors.

This is for all the farm workers, all the cotton pickers.

We ride on their shoulders.

Some chains, including McDonald's and Chipotle, have said they'll have to raise prices.

A Texas appeals court has overturned the conviction of a Black woman sentenced to five years in prison for once voting illegally.

Crystal Mason says she didn't know she couldn't vote while on supervised release from prison when a poll worker offered her a provisional ballot.

I lost jobs, lost insurance.

Every night, crying, praying, asking God when is the end.

I knew victory would be the outcome, I can tell you that.

Her attorney says Texas Republicans sought to intimidate other voters, especially people of color, by making an example of Mason.

Republican Congressman Tim Wahlberg of Michigan says his recent comments regarding the war in Gaza were not meant to be taken literally.

During a town hall last week, Wahlberg seemed to say Israel should use nuclear weapons.

We shouldn't be spending a dime on humanitarian aid.

It shouldn't be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Get it over quick.

Wahlberg says his comments were taken out of context and that the quicker the war ends, the fewer innocent lives will be lost.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister says he'll close the independent Qatari news network Al Jazeera in the country.

I'm Catherine Carley for Pacifica Network and Public News Service.

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