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On eve of Putin meeting, Biden to discuss trade with European Union leaders

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President Joe Biden arrived to the NATO summit in Brussels, where he held a short bilateral meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. USA TODAY

President Joe Biden has vowed to mend The United States’ trade relations with its European allies, after they were stretched to breaking point by former President Donald Trump. Yet when he meets with European Union leaders in Brussels Tuesday, Biden may find that making up is hard to do. Trump’s 2018 decision to impose import taxes on foreign steel and aluminum – a decision that left European leaders furious and triggered retaliatory steps against the U.S. When asked about the tariffs Sunday, Biden pleaded for patience, saying, “A hundred and twenty days. Give me a break. Need time.” Biden used his first NATO summit since taking office Monday to warn of Russia and of China’s growing power. Speaking in Brussels, Biden said: “Russia and China are both seeking to drive a wedge in our transatlantic solidarity,” but added the NATO Treaty is “rock solid and unshakeable.”

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Vice President Harris to meet ‘Dreamers’ on anniversary of DACA 

Vice President Kamala Harris will host a roundtable Tuesday with a group of female immigrants who have temporary protection from deportation as the administration looks to revive a bipartisan push to grant them legal status through a pair of bills that have languished in the Senate. The gathering comes on the ninth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, an Obama-era policy that protected undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. DACA’s future is uncertain as a federal judge in Texas weighs a court challenge to strike down the program entirely. The roundtable will also take place after the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on a bill that would provide permanent legal status for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. 

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Biden promised immigration reform, but record numbers of migrants at the border, including many unaccompanied children, may signal a building crisis USA TODAY

Tensions high as Southern Baptists gather in Nashville

Thousands of Southern Baptists are gathering in Nashville on Tuesday and Wednesday, facing a host of contentious issues that threaten to fracture the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. Questions on critical race theory, the role of women in the church and who should be the next leader of the Southern Baptist Convention are likely to be debated in the church’s first annual meeting since the coronavirus pandemic hit. The meeting also comes in the wake of leaked letters of a departing Southern Baptist leader, Russell Moore, who detailed pushback he received on race and sex abuse issues.

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Among the millions of women belonging to the Southern Baptist Convention, the topic of gender became more volatile this month when popular Bible teacher Beth Moore said she no longer considered herself Southern Baptist. (March 24) AP Domestic

Doctors warn of burns from sidewalks as heat wave hits West

Doctors at western burn centers are warning people to stay off hot sidewalks as the first extreme heat wave of the year extends across the West. A high pressure system is expected to push temperatures above 115 degrees Fahrenheit in Las Vegas and Phoenix this week. Several cities in Colorado, including Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins, are expected to near or reach triple-digit heat Tuesday. Warnings also stretch from California’s central and inland valleys to as far north as Montana and Wyoming. The northern states should see relief by mid-week, but no such respite is expected for Arizona, Utah, Nevada and parts of California, where excessive heat warnings last through the weekend. “It doesn’t take much time to get a full thickness or third degree burn when exposed to hot pavement,” warned Dr. Kevin Foster of the Arizona Burn Center at a news conference last week. He said a hot pavement at 2 p.m. in direct sunlight was around 170 to 180 degrees. 

California reopening: State ending most COVID-19 restrictions

Most of California’s coronavirus rules will officially end, more than 15 months after they were first enacted in the nation’s most populous state. Starting Tuesday, there will be no capacity limits or distancing requirements for businesses, and people who are fully vaccinated won’t be required to wear a mask – including indoors. Counties and businesses can impose more restrictive rules, however, and the mask requirement remains in public transit and indoor school classes. Tuesday also is reopening day at California’s theme parks for out-of-state tourists. Admission was largely limited to California residents, with some theme parks making exceptions for out-of-state visitors with proof of vaccination. 

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Contributing: The Associated Press

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