Here’s what you need to know to stay informed this Thursday:
Who can better advocate for immigrants? That was the main question during last night’s Democratic presidential debate. Both hoping to win Florida, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders argued over who can better represent Hispanics in America by accusing one another of not doing so. Clinton pointed out Sanders’ votes against a 2007 comprehensive immigration reform bill; while Sanders said Clinton opposed allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. The two candidates are fighting for a lead after Sanders surprised Clinton with a Michigan win upset. In the Democratic primaries so far 10 percent of voters have been Hispanic and Clinton has received about two-thirds of their votes. Sanders spoke for both candidates when he commented “we do not, as Donald Trump and others have done, resort to racism and xenophobia and bigotry.”
A marketing manager for an East Austin bar, Samantha Phelps, has asked the Texas Supreme Court to intervene in Austin’s May 7 election and require Austin City Council to rewrite ballot language that she says is designed to “mislead Austin voters,” the American-Statesman’s Ben Wear reports. The 21-page “writ of mandamus” was filed late Wednesday, less than a week before Monday’s “lock down” of the ballot language. In the writ Phelps argues that the ballot’s language doesn’t “substantially identify the amendment’s purpose, character and chief features,” a requirement of ballots decided in a case commonly identified as Dacus.
Although President Barack Obama has visited Austin seven times before, his visit has never coincided with the South by Southwest festival, Wear reports. Austin officials are concerned Obama’s seven-hour visit Friday, the first official day of the festival, might cause major traffic issues in the city’s core. Those who can are encouraged to telecommute that day, and the Austin school district will let students out at noon. Austin Mayor Steve Adler called Obama’s motorcade, which moves at 55 mph on empty freeways, a “pretty good reason to work from home.” Obama will arrive at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport a little after 1 p.m. Friday and leave around 8 p.m.
Pittsburgh police were searching Thursday morning for at least two suspects who opened fire on a backyard party, leaving five people dead and three others wounded, the Associated Press reports. Police say the gunmen rushed the backyard around 11 p.m. and began shooting in an ambush-style attack. Four of the victims were found dead on the back porch when police arrived and another died after being taken to the hospital.
Circuit of the Americas track officials announced Wednesday that the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix is officially set for Oct. 2016, and that superstar Taylor Swift will perform as the race’s musical guest, the American-Statesman’s Suzanne Halliburton reports. Chief Executive Officer Bobby Epstein said this year’s race is expected to garner more funding, restoring it to the level the race needs to carry on in the future. “If we’re wrong, it’s a bad miscalculation and I can’t assure you it’s going to go forward,” Epstein said. Prices for tickets, food and parking are all expected to be lowered to encourage attendance.