Biden heads to Georgia, one day after delivering historic speech to Congress
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will spend most of Thursday in the state of Georgia. First, the Bidens will visit the 39th president, Jimmy Carter, and his wife, Rosalynn. Later, to mark the president’s 100th day in office Friday, they will attend a drive-in rally in Duluth, according to Biden’s official schedule. The trip comes a day after his first address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday evening. During the speech, Biden called out goals he has achieved such as his administration passing its goal of delivering 200 million COVID-19 vaccines in his first 100 days in office. He also called for police reform after the conviction of Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd, urged reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, pressed Congress to pass his comprehensive immigration legislation and implored lawmakers to raise taxes on the rich and corporations, saying they need to pay their fair share.
California governor facing recall election
Frustrated by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s liberal policies and approach to the pandemic, his opponents submitted signatures last month to force an election to recall the Democratic leader of the nation’s most populous state. On Thursday, county officials in California will complete the validation process for more than 1.6 million signatures collected by organizers. It’s not the first time Californians have tried to unseat the governor: In 2003, voters recalled Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and replaced him with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
NFL draft set to kick off with the first round
The 2021 NFL Draft will begin Thursday night with its first of seven rounds. Running until Saturday, the draft will be spread out across multiple venues in Cleveland and fans will be allowed to attend. Commissioner Roger Goodell and a select number of prospects will take the stage and the famous, albeit somewhat awkward, bro hugs will be back, despite questions about their safety. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is expected to be chosen No. 1 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars and BYU’s Zach Wilson is expected to go No. 2 to the New York Jets. The intrigue really begins when the San Francisco 49ers reveal who they will take with the third pick after making a big trade to move up. The draft will air live on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
Biden administration could push for ban on menthol cigarettes
A response could come Thursday from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to a citizen petition filed in 2013 by national public health advocates who are calling for the FDA to include menthol in its ban on cigarettes with “characterizing flavors,” which have long appealed to children. The Biden administration is planning to push for a ban on menthol cigarettes, which have been the target of anti-smoking advocates and civil rights activists who say the industry has aggressively marketed to Black Americans, according to a report published by The Washington Post. The cigarette ban would not require congressional approval, but the FDA would have to submit proposed rules and seek public comment. A final ban could take years and would likely be challenged in court by the tobacco industry, which has repeatedly sued the FDA to block anti-tobacco regulation.
Prince William and Duchess Kate celebrate 10th wedding anniversary
Thursday marks 10 years since Prince William, second in line to the British throne, now 38, wed his longtime girlfriend, the former Kate Middleton, now 39, in an extravagant ceremony on April 29, 2011, at the historic Westminster Abbey in London. New pictures of William and Duchess Kate were released to mark the occasion, which was watched by millions around the globe. The Cambridges, now the parents of three – Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 3 – are now full-time working royals, taking up more responsibilities to help William’s father Prince Charles as grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, 95, cuts back on public engagements.
Contributing: The Associated Press