Mar 28, 2019

Puerto Rico makes new bid for statehood as Gov. Rosselló slams Trump

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) plans to introduce legislation on Thursday for Puerto Rican statehood that would be the first legislation of its kind to automatically make Puerto Rico a state without conditional requirements, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: This legislative push, which follows an uptick of proposed bills for Puerto Rico's statehood in the past few years, comes as Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló strengthens his rhetoric against President Trump for threatening to cut federal aid to the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Soto's bill, supported by Rosselló, is unlikely to pass through the Republican-controlled Senate or the White House.

Buzz: In an interview with CNN this week, Rosselló said of Trump: "If the bully gets close, I'll punch the bully in the mouth."

Go deeper: "We are your citizens:" Rosselló rebukes Trump for suggesting relief cuts

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 42 mins ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins