Thursday Afternoon Update: Buttigieg Blunders In East Palestine, Tennessee Passes Bill Banning Sex-Change Surgeries On Minors, New Charges Against Crypto-Creep

This article is a companion piece to today’s Morning Wire Afternoon Update. To listen to the podcast version, click here.

Buttigieg Blunders In East Palestine

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg traveled to East Palestine, Ohio, on Thursday, 20 days after the Norfolk Southern toxic train derailment upended the Ohio town. Buttigieg has come under criticism for not responding to the incident publically sooner and for lacking transparency with the press. Here he is defending his response:

“Was it a mistake not to come here sooner?”

BUTTIGIEG: “What I tried to do was balance two things: my desire to be involved and engaged and on the ground, which is how I’m generally wired to act, and my desire to follow the norm.” 🤔

— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 23, 2023

National Transportation Safety Board Releases Preliminary Norfolk Southern Report

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Thursday saying that the catastrophic derailment was caused by an overheated wheel bearing on the 23rd of 149 rail cars.

Tennessee Passes Bill Banning Sex-Change Surgeries On Minors

A bill to ban sex-change procedures on minors in Tennessee passed in the state House today and now heads to the desk of Republican Governor Bill Lee. If signed, the bill will ban such procedures as mastectomies on minor girls who say they are boys and make it illegal to give children cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers.

Daily Wire host Matt Walsh is widely credited with bringing attention to the issue.


New Charges Against Crypto-Creep

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried faced four additional charges related to his allegedly fraudulent cryptocurrency empire. A superseding indictment unveiled on Thursday accuses the former crypto-king of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transfer business. Those charges come in addition to the eight charges to which SBF has already pleaded not guilty.

The Great British Salad Shortage Continues

The British government announced Thursday that its subjects could face shortages of salad staples such as cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes for at least another month. Industry experts blame supply chain disruptions in northern Africa and southern Europe, along with high energy costs that diminished producers’ ability to fund the greenhouse growth of the vegetables.

Murdaugh Trial Update

South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh took the stand on Thursday. He is charged with the double murder of his wife and son. Murdaugh denied killing his family, but did admit to lying about when he last saw them alive. If convicted, the 54-year-old could face 30 years to life in prison.

To listen to the audio version of this podcast, click here. And for more in-depth discussion of the biggest stories of the day, listen to the latest full episode of Morning Wire every morning.

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