Wednesday Afternoon Update: Pope Hospitalized, D.C. Crime Rate Under Scrutiny, Levi’s Will Use AI Fashion Models

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

Pope Francis Hospitalized

Pope Francis was hospitalized today with a lung infection, and according to the Vatican will remain admitted for several days of treatment. Vatican officials say the pope does not have COVID. A spokesman said the 86-year-old pope had been suffering breathing troubles in recent days and went to the hospital for tests. The hospitalization was the first since Francis had his colon removed in July of 2021.

Nashville Shooting Update

As Nashville reels from the Covenant School shooting, details of heroic action taken by students, teachers, and staff are trickling in. In one instance, the late Dr. Katherine Koonce, age 61, the head of the School, reportedly ran toward the shooter before she herself was gunned down. 

Koonce is being praised for her bravery after a witness said she ran toward the shooter to stop her on Monday. According to Nashville Councilman Russ Pulley, a witness said that Koonce “was on a Zoom call when she heard the first shot. She immediately ended the call, got up, and headed straight for the shooter.”

Pulley told Fox news that Koonce, “did what principals and headmasters do; she protected her children.” Koonce also prepared the children and staff with advanced-level active-shooter drills. That training is also being credited for saving lives.  

D.C. Crime Rate Under Scrutiny

On Saturday, a staffer for Senator Rand Paul was stabbed in broad daylight in Washington, D.C., allegedly by a former convict who was released from a city prison just days before. The staffer is expected to survive, but the attack highlights the growing crime in D.C. Congress held a previously scheduled hearing on crime in the city on Wednesday, hearing from city leaders as to what is behind the rising crime. 

Washington, D.C. Police Union President Gregg Pemberton outlines just SOME of the anti-police, pro-criminal legislation introduced by the Democrat-controlled D.C. Council over the past two years

— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 29, 2023

Rep. @JamesComer: “Carjackings in [Washington, D.C.] have increased 105% compared to this time last year — 56% of these carjackings are committed by juveniles. Totally property crime is up 28%. Homicides are up 37% since 2019.

“D.C. clearly has a crime crisis.”

— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 29, 2023

Senator Paul released the following statement on the attack: “I ask you to join [wife] Kelley and me in praying for a speedy and complete recovery, and thanking the first responders, hospital staff, and police for their diligent actions.”

Biden Wants More Banking Regulations

President Biden will reportedly seek stronger banking regulations in response to Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse. Republicans such as Senator Katie Britt of Alabama warn that rushing to give the federal government more power is premature. Here she is on Wednesday addressing Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Michael Barr during a hearing on the matter:

.@SenKatieBritt blasts regulators following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank:

“I think this is what people hate about Washington: we have a crisis and you come in here without knowing whether or not you did your job, and you say you want more [power/regulation]…”

— Will Hild (@WillHild) March 29, 2023

North Carolina Rpeals Permit Req. For Pistol Purchase

North Carolina lawmakers voted on Wednesday to repeal the permit requirement to buy a pistol, overriding Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s veto. 

Levi’s Will Use AI Fashion Models

And Levi’s has announced it will start using AI-generated fashion models as part of an effort to increase “diversity” for online shoppers of the denim company’s clothing. The company will partner with Levi’s human models will not be replaced, and instead, the AI will “supplement” them to create a more “personal” online shopping experience.

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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