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Texas immigration law put on hold; Mississippi cops who tortured 2 men sentenced

Two members of the National Guard patrol an area of land behind the federal border wall Tuesday evening, March 19in Mission, Texas.
Valerie Gonzalez
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AP
Two members of the National Guard patrol an area of land behind the federal border wall Tuesday evening, March 19in Mission, Texas.

Good morning. You're reading the Up First newsletter. Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox, and listen to the Up First podcast for all the news you need to start your day.

Today's top stories

A whirlwind of court orders has left a controversial Texas immigration law on hold once again as many immigrants in the state wake up to a new day of anxiety. The law, known as S.B. 4, would give local and state authorities in Texas the power to arrest migrants they suspect to have crossed the border into the U.S. illegally and deport them to Mexico. A federal appeals court blocked the law just hours after the Supreme Court allowed it to take effect. They scheduled arguments for today to decide whether it should be kept on hold. (via KERA)

  • Julian Aguilar from the NPR network's Texas Newsroom tells Up First that local law enforcement officials say they will comply, but many note they don't have a lot of guidance for how to enforce it. Civil and immigrant rights advocates are concerned that S.B. 4 would lead to racial profiling. Mexico says it won't accept migrants who have been deported under this law, and it will file a debrief that highlights the challenges it presents to the U.S.-Mexico relationship.


Six former Mississippi police officers who pleaded guilty to torturing two Black men in an attack that lasted more than two hours are being sentenced this week. The officers were part of the so-called "Goon Squad." They raided a home last January, shot one of the men and planted drugs and a gun at the scene to cover it up. U.S. District Judge Tom Lee sentenced former sheriff's deputy Hunter Elward yesterday to 20 years in prison and former lieutenant Jeffrey Middleton, who devised the group's cover-up plan, to 17.5 years in prison. (via Mississippi Public Broadcasting)

  • NPR Network reporter Michael McEwen was in the courtroom, where he says prosecutors revealed Middleton told his fellow officers he would have them killed if they told anyone what happened. Jenkins, who was shot in the mouth, says he is desperate to put this period behind him. Eddie Parker, who was sexually assaulted and threatened, says he still struggles with the effects of that night and has trouble falling asleep or going out in public. 


Trump has until Monday to arrange a $454 million bond to comply with a New York Court ruling. A judge ordered him to pay that amount last month in a civil fraud case after finding that the former president, his sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr., and Trump Organization employees engaged in a decade-long conspiracy to lie about their assets' value. Trump doesn't have to pay the money now, but he says he can't find a company to put up the bond. Here's what his legal options are now.

  • The New York civil trial effectively gave New York Attorney General Letitia James "a roadmap to his financial assets," former New York Assistant Attorney General Adam Pollock tells Morning Edition. She can send law enforcement to go to a financial institution and empty Trump's bank account. If Trump wants to "stave off enforcement," he'll have to find a way to raise the bond.

Today's listen

Christine Blasey Ford speaks during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Michael Reynolds / AP
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AP
Christine Blasey Ford speaks during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

In the summer of 2018, all eyes were on Christine Blasey Ford as she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh denied the accusation and was ultimately appointed to the Supreme Court. She tells her own story, weaving together motherhood, friendships and politics in her memoir One Way Back.

Ford revisits the testimony that upended her life in a conversation with Morning Edition's Michel Martin. Listen here or read the interview highlights.

Life advice

A cherry blossom tree is pictured in Battersea Park, in London, on April 9, 2023 during a sunny spring day.
Justin Tallis / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
A cherry blossom tree is pictured in Battersea Park, in London, on April 9, 2023 during a sunny spring day.

Yesterday marked the first day of spring. As the weather warms up, it's the perfect time to shake off the winter blues and inject some energy into your day. Scientists and health care experts share their tips for putting a spring back into your step:

  • Make your daily walks whimsical by adding fun challenges, like taking pictures of different flowers in your neighborhood while walking.
  • Find ways to express gratitude by visiting someone you haven't seen in a while and/or telling them how much you appreciate them. 
  • Take an improv class – it can help you practice self love and build confidence by increasing our ability to tolerate uncertainty.

3 things to know before you go

A cicada perches on a picnic table in front of Nolde Mansion in Cumru Township, PA in May 2021. New research shows that these insects urinate in a surprising way.
/ Ben Hasty / MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images
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Ben Hasty / MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images
A cicada perches on a picnic table in front of Nolde Mansion in Cumru Township, PA in May 2021. New research shows that these insects urinate in a surprising way.

  • Did you know cicadas produce jets of pee? Scientists say this gross piece of trivia could help advance 3D printing, drug delivery, disease diagnostics and more.
  • Can't wait for April's solar eclipse? The 12P/Pons-Brooks comet, known as the "devil comet," is visible with a telescope or binoculars pointed at Pisces. It will soon be visible to the naked eye.
  • The U.S. dropped from the 15th spot in Gallup's annual World Happiness Report and now ranks 23rd. But one age group is faring well: Americans 60 and older reported higher levels of happiness than younger people.

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi. Mansee Khurana contributed.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: March 20, 2024 at 12:00 AM EDT
An earlier version of the newsletter included a typo that incorrectly identified 6 former Mississippi police officers as part of the "Good Squad" instead of the "Goon Squad."
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