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Texas Governor Gregg Abbott shakes hands with a U.S. Soldier after a news conference near the International Bridge between Mexico and the U.S., where migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. are waiting to be processed, in Del Rio, Texas, U.S., September 21, 2021.

REUTERS/Marco Bello

Texas doubles down on border challenge to Federal government

A major constitutional crisis is brewing down south as Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott bucks the Supreme Court, forcing a confrontation between the state and federal government over who controls the US-Mexico border.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled that the Biden administration had the right to clear razor wire that local Texas authorities had installed along the border. Abbott has also taken his own measures to police crossings of the Rio Grande and even used the Texas National Guard to block federal agents from entering the area.

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Biden challenges Texas immigration law

The Biden administration has said that it will sue Texas if it does not renounce its strict immigration law, SB4, by today.

SB4 is Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest challenge to Biden’s immigration policy, which he says fails to mitigate the surge of migrants entering at the southern border. It gives Texas officials the power to arrest, prosecute, and deport migrants suspected of entering the country illegally. In a state where 40% of the population is Latino, critics fear the legislation will lead to racial profiling.

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Russian reservists recruited during a partial mobilization of troops attend a ceremony before departing to the Russia-Ukraine conflict zone, in the Rostov region, Russia October 31, 2022.

REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov

What We're Watching: Russian draft goes online, abortion pill ruling, US inflation slows, Taiwan gets new presidential candidate, Biden bets big on EVs

Russia’s digital draft

If you’re a young male citizen of Russia, it just got harder for you to hide from the war in Ukraine. The State Duma, Russia’s parliament, approved legislation on Tuesday that allows the government to send a military summons online instead of serving the papers in person. The upper house swiftly passed it into law on Wednesday.

“The summons is considered received from the moment it is placed in the personal account of a person liable for military service,” explains the chairman of the Duma’s defense committee, though the Kremlin insists no large-scale draft is imminent. If the person summoned fails to report for service within 20 days of the date listed on the summons, the state can suspend his driver’s license, deny him the right to travel abroad, and make it impossible for him to get a loan.

The database that provides names of potential draftees is assembled from medical, educational, and residential records, as well as insurance and tax data. Thousands of young Russians have already fled their country. Many more may soon try to join them.

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Ari Winkleman

Latino dreams, NY States of Mind

Hi there! Welcome back to our new daily feature, Midterm Matters, where we pick a couple of red-hot US midterm stories and separate the signal (what you need to know) from the noise (what everyone is yelling about). Enjoy and let us know what you think.

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Demonstrators from across Ecuador march on the capital Quito

REUTERS/Johanna Alarcon

Hard Numbers: Indigenous protests in Quito, Russia bleeds troops, Texas school to be razed, Great Barrier Reef lawsuit

10,000: On Tuesday, roughly 10,000 Indigenous people took to the streets of Quito, Ecuador’s capital, to protest rising fuel prices and unemployment. The country’s 1 million Indigenous people – who are disproportionately impacted by poverty and joblessness – say that President Guillermo Lasso’s government has failed to make good on a promise to revive the country's ailing economy.

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Lessons from US midterm primaries in Georgia, Texas, and Alabama
Turnout in Georgia Broke Records for Midterm Primaries | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Lessons from US midterm primaries in Georgia, Texas, and Alabama

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, discusses Tuesday's primaries.

What happened in Tuesday's primaries?

Several states held primary elections on Tuesday of this week with the most interesting elections in Georgia, Texas, and Alabama. In Georgia, two incumbent Republicans who were instrumental in certifying the results of President Joe Biden's victory in 2020 won the nomination for governor and secretary of state against two Trump-backed opponents. The sitting governor who Trump had been targeting for months over his role in the 2020 election won by over 50 points, a sign that while Republican voters still love Donald Trump, his hold over the party is not absolute. This is going to create an opening for challengers in the 2024 presidential election cycle.

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People react after the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

REUTERS/Marco Bello

What We're Watching: Texas mourns, Boris caught red-handed, lethal weapons sent to Ukraine, China’s human rights abuses leaked

Will Texas school shooting move the needle on US guns debate?

Another mass shooting has rocked America, leaving 21 dead (19 of them children) at an elementary school in Texas on Tuesday — the second-worst school massacre in US history after Sandy Hook almost a decade ago. “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” President Joe Biden said in a nationwide address. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?” For one thing, stricter gun laws are vehemently opposed by most Republicans: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz controversially responded to the tragedy by calling for more armed law enforcement at schools. For another, 2nd Amendment die-hards like the National Rifle Association have deep pockets to fight legislation and fund campaigns (Cruz, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and former President Donald Trump are all slated to speak Friday at the NRA's annual conference in Houston). If a bipartisan gun bill failed to pass in 2013 in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, the odds are even longer now because US politics is even more polarized and we're less than six months out from the November midterms.

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Grading President Biden's first 100 days; 2020 US Census helps Sun Belt states
Grading President Biden's First 100 Days | US Census Helps Sun Belt | US Politics :60 | GZERO Media

Grading President Biden's first 100 days; 2020 US Census helps Sun Belt states

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

How would you grade President Biden's performance in his first 100 days?

Well, Biden's done pretty well in this first 100 days. He's done a good job on what's the number one most important issue facing his administration and that's the coronavirus response. He hit his goal of 100 million vaccinations within the first month or so of his administration. And they increased that to 200 million vaccinations, which they hit on day 92. So that's a pretty successful start. They inherited a lot of that from President Trump to be fair. Operation Warp Speed set the US up for success and Biden delivered after he came into office. And of course, the second thing is his COVID relief package, which the US has taken advantage of a favorable funding environment to borrow trillions of dollars and get them into the hands of American small businesses and families and has really helped the economy through what has been a very bad year but could have been a lot worse if the government hadn't intervened. The bill has been very popular, and it set the stage for a follow on bill that Biden wants to deliver for big priorities for democrats later this year, potentially as much as $4 trillion in spending.

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