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Nation's oldest Latino civil rights group eyes revamp with next generation of members

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the nation's oldest Latino civil rights group, isn't getting any younger — but the people it represents are,a reality that's quickly reshaping its focus.

Why it matters: LULAC's median membership age is 66 and its meetings still open with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer. But the median age of today's U.S. Latino population is 19.

  • Many Latino Gen Z and Millennials are more likely than their parents and grandparents to identify with multiethnic coalitions fighting systemic racism.
  • Latinos' political influence is growing. The U.S. Hispanic population, now 61 million, could nearly double in the next four decades.
  • These factors are helping to drive the evolution of an organization that was founded in Texas in 1929 by Hispanic veterans of World War I, and whose early initiatives focused on court fights over desegregation, education, and minimum wage protections.

Driving the news: Today, Domingo Garcia, LULAC's national president since 2018, is speaking out against anti-Asian American violence, standing with the Black Lives Matter movement, and supporting Native American activists seeking the removal of public monuments to Spanish conquistadors.

  • He's encouraging the creation of LGBTQIA councils and pushing his group to open student councils on community college campuses.
  • LULAC also is active in opposing voter suppression proposals in Texas, Georgia, and Arizona.
  • He's seeking to attract younger members as the group's Mexican-American Baby Boomer base ages.

What they're saying: "This is not your grandfather's civil rights organization anymore," Garcia tells Axios.

  • "We have to make these changes to survive and continue to fight for our communities," he said. "The nation's changing. We have to, too."
  • The organization reports about 132,000 members across 50 states and Puerto Rico and says it's grown by about 15,000 over the last 15 years.

Between the lines: LULAC's national board and its local councils across the U.S. are still led by Baby Boomers who kept the organization alive through membership declines in the 1980s.

  • Women have gradually taken on more leadership in the organization, after some councils blocked women from being members as late as the 1990s.
  • The organization has become increasingly outspoken on immigrant rights.

What we're watching: Can a modernizing LULAC expand its core beyond a base in Texas and the American Southwest base and attract more Puerto Rican and Central American leadership?

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Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbetice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two named Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

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Of note: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's statement that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, bought the rifles last July and September comes a day after the FBI said in a statement to news outlets that a "shotgun was seized" from the suspect in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.

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Why it matters: The joint communique released Saturday evening commits the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases to work together to keep the most ambitious temperature target contained in the Paris Climate Agreement viable by potentially taking additional emissions cuts prior to 2030.

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President Biden on Saturday sought to explain why he didn't immediately lift the Trump administration's historically low refugee cap.

Driving the news: Several Democrats accused Biden Friday of not fulfilling his pledge to raise the limit after it was announced he'd keep the cap. The White House said later it would be raised by May 15. Biden told reporters Saturday, "We're going to increase the number."

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Children of color in rural areas battle deep health care disparities

Living in the nation's poorest, most rural communities can be a death sentence for African American and Native American children.

Why it matters: Lack of health care and healthy food make Black and indigenous childrenin the nation’s most disadvantaged counties five times as likely to die as children in other areas of the country,the advocacy group Save the Children found after analyzing federal data.

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How telehealth can narrow racial disparities

Data: CDC; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

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Why it matters: It's not a complete solution to the racial barriers women of color face. But some experts are optimistic that telehealth — long-distance health care through videoconferences and other technology — can help reduce those barriers by offering flexibility in appointments and better access to diverse providers.

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Capitol Hill's far right pushes Anglo-Saxon values, European architecture

Multiple far-right House Republicans have begun planning and promoting an America First Caucus aimed at pushing "uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions," Punchbowl News first reported.

The big picture: "The document was being circulated as the GOP is struggling to determine a clear direction as it prepares to try winning back control of the House and Senate in the 2022 elections," AP writes.

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Super Typhoon Surigae rapidly intensifies to a Cat. 5 near Philippines

Super Typhoon Surigae surged in intensity from a Category 1 storm on Friday to a beastly Category 5 monster on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 180 mph with higher gusts.

Why it matters: This storm — known as Typhoon Bising in the Philippines — is just the latest of many tropical cyclones to undergo a process known as rapid intensification, a feat that studies show is becoming more common due to climate change.

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