Magnolia Mornings: April 16, 2024

Important state and national stories, market and business news, sports and entertainment, delivered in quick-hit fashion:

In Mississippi

1. Starkville teen’s run on American Idol ends

The Top 14 were announced on ‘American Idol’ Monday night and Starkville’s Jennifer Jeffries was not among them.

The 18-year-old Mississippi native’s run on the ABC show ends after making the cut into the Top 20.

On Monday, the Top 10 were announced with the others vying for 4 judges’ spots. Jeffries sang for her life trying to earn one of those 4 spots, performing Kodaline’s “All I Want.” However, judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie did not choose Jeffries to round out the Top 14 this season.

2. MDAH announces inaugural fellow for Religion in Mississippi History fellowship

Summer King, a graduate student at the University of Mississippi, has been selected as the inaugural fellow for the Religion in Mississippi History Research Fellowship. King will use archival holdings at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) to research the spread of Pentecostalism to interracial congregations during Jim Crow segregation.

Established by MDAH’s Religion Initiative and funded through Lilly Endowment Inc., the fellowship seeks to encourage research regarding the role of religion in Mississippi history.

“We are excited to announce Summer King as the inaugural Religion in Mississippi History Research Fellow,” said director of MDAH Katie Blount. “King’s examination of Bishop Charles Harrsion Mason’s pivotal role in establishing The Church of God in Christ will provide unique insight into the long-standing influence of religion on Mississippi history.”

National News & Foreign Policy

1. SCOTUS to hear January 6th appeal, Trump presidential immunity case

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in an appeal by Joseph Fischer, who was indicted on seven charges following the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot including corruptly obstructing an official proceeding, Reuters reports.

The Justices will then hear a case on April 25th where former President Donald Trump asserts presidential immunity from prosecution.

“Federal prosecutors brought obstruction charges against about 350 of the roughly 1,400 people charged in the Capitol attack including Fischer and Trump. A Supreme Court ruling dismissing the charge against Fischer could make it more complicated – but not impossible – to make the charge stick against Trump, according to experts. The charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, though Jan. 6 defendants convicted of obstruction have received far lesser sentences,” Reuters reported.

2. Israel discussing response to Iran’s Saturday strike

On Saturday, Iran sent more than 300 drones and missiles toward targets throughout Israel with all but a few being intercepted and shot down by Israeli forces and the U.S.

ABC News is now reporting that, “If Israel strikes back, the response speed from Iran ‘will be less than a few seconds,’ said Ali Bagheri Kani, the deputy foreign minister of Iran for political affairs.”

Israeli officials continue to discussion their response, with Herzi Halevi, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, saying, as ABC News reports, “We are closely assessing the situation. We remain at our highest level of readiness… Iran will face the consequences for its actions.”

Sports & Entertainment

1. Pearl River rolling through JUCO conference play

Pearl River Community College continues to dominate junior college conference play, now sitting at 22-0 with a 42-5 overall record.

On the other end of the spectrum, Coahoma Community College hasn’t been able to put the pieces together yet, going 0-22 in conference play at this point with a season record of 4-35.

East Central and Northwest Mississippi are sitting in second, with a 16-4 conference record.

2. Shuckers, Braves split 6-game series

The Biloxi Shuckers and the Mississippi Braves wrapped up a six-game series in Pearl on Sunday, with the two teams splitting the series at 3 games apiece.

The Braves won the first 3 contests while the Shuckers won the second set of 3.

The Shuckers return to home to Biloxi for a six-game series versus Chattanooga while the Braves go on the road at Birmingham for their six-game series. Both series start on Tuesday and run through Sunday.

Markets & Business

1. Biden Administration agrees to provide $6.4 billion for Samsung to locate chip manufacturing in Texas

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the Biden Administration has reached an agreement to provide up to $6.4 billion in direct funding for Samsung Electronics to develop a computer chip manufacturing and research cluster in Texas near Austin.

“The funding announced Monday by the Commerce Department is part of a total investment in the cluster that, with private money, is expected to exceed $40 billion,” the Dallas Morning News reported. “The government support comes from the CHIPS and Science Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law in 2022 with the goal of reviving the production of advanced computer chips domestically.”

The move could create at least 17,000 construction jobs and more than 4,500 manufacturing jobs, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on a press call.

2. Eyes on price of oil as Middle East conflicts worsen

Markets Insider is reporting that Ed Yardeni, a market veteran, says worsening Middle Eastern conflict could fuel a ramp-up in oil prices, catapulting Brent crude to $100 per barrel.

“This latest escalation of the regional war is likely to cause the price of a barrel of oil to jump closer to $100, the way it did when Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022,” he said, as reported by MI. “That would be very reminiscent of the 1970s when two energy crises fueled a decades-long wage-price-rent spiral.”

But, as MI noted, so far, Brent prices have only slid since the weekend clash, as investors bet on a de-escalation of tensions.

— Article credit to the staff of the Magnolia Tribune


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