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Biden to skip Notre Dame commencement after backlash over his abortion stance

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President Joe Biden is skipping his previously-planned commencement address at Notre Dame – breaking with recent tradition – after fierce backlash erupted among students and alumni over his abortion policies.

President George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as Vice President Mike Pence, all spoke at the Catholic college in their first year in office. Joe Biden, the second Catholic President, and his failure to speak at the commencement will break this streak.

Fox News reports that over 4,300 “members of the Notre Dame community” signed a petition calling for the college to disinvite the 46th president over his long record of advocating for pro-abortion policies.

Biden gave two commencement addresses this week, one in-person to the Coast Guard Academy and one virtually to Syracuse University. The White House said Biden has a scheduling conflict.

The petition said the writers are “dismayed by the pro-abortion and anti-religious liberty agenda of President Joe Biden.”  

“He rejects Church teachings on abortion, marriage, sex and gender and is hostile to religious liberty. He embraces the most pro-abortion and anti-religious liberty public policy program in history. The case against honoring him is immeasurably stronger than it was against honoring President Obama,” it states. 

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Biden frees Venezuelan President Maduro’s drug dealing relatives in prisoner swap

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Joe Biden

President Biden freed two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives Saturday in exchange for seven jailed Americans. The two nephews of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, had been convicted in the United States for drug dealing and sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the BBC.

According to the report, the swap was in exchange for five American oil executives. Those Americans were “exchanged for two of Mr Maduro’s wife’s nephews, who were serving 18-year sentences in the US on drug charges,” the officials told the BBC. Maduro’s nephews were convicted under the Trump administration and the Venezuelan government claims that they were “unjustly” jailed in the United States.

In a statement from the White House Saturday, Biden said the American’s were  “wrongfully detained.”  He said the American’s  would soon be reunited with their relatives, according to reports.

“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” the Biden statement added.

Meanwhile, 13 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more information on “the intelligence report” that alleges Maduro is emptying his prisons and allowing them to head to the United States in the caravans that crossing the porous border.

The letter states that the report warns Border Patrol agents to be on the look-out for “violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border.”

“It has been widely reported that the Venezuelan regime, under the control of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape, and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States,” the letter states.

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.

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