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Georgia GOP's restrictive new voting law, Biden's question time and a mysterious light show in the Pacific Northwest

At least five people were killed in tornadoes that swept through Alabama on Thursday.
Image: Rep Park Cannon
State Rep. Park Cannon is arrested at the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta, on Thursday, after she protested restrictive new changes to the state voting laws.Alyssa Pointer / Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

Good morning, NBC News readers.

Georgia's restrictive new voting laws prompted fierce protest, plus more on America's immigration policy and an unusual light show that streaked across the Pacific Northwest last night.

Here's what we're watching this Friday morning.

Georgia lawmaker arrested, pulled out of state Capitol as governor signs new voting law

Georgia state troopers arrested Democratic state Rep. Park Cannon on Thursday after she knocked on Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s statehouse office door as he signed a controversial election bill into law in a closed-door ceremony.

Video of the incident shows Cannon, who as a lawmaker also works at the statehouse, being handcuffed after she knocked on Kemp’s door, arguing for transparency at the bill signing.

Cannon was removed from the Capitol and taken to the Fulton County Jail where she was charged with two misdemeanors under state law, according to police.

She was released Thursday evening, but the incident drew attention to the sweeping regulations Georgia Republicans passed after weeks of debate about how to tighten voting laws.

The new law adds a host of restrictions, from requiring identification for mail voting and curtailing voting hours to making it illegal to take food or water to voters in line.

Georgia is one of the first states to pass major voting restrictions after last year's election, which saw Democrats take control of the U.S. Senate after two runoffs in the state. A flurry of bills have been introduced by Republican-controlled state legislatures to tighten voting laws after former President Donald Trump lost the election and baselessly challenged the outcome.

Georgia Democrats vociferously opposed the bill's passage, with Stacey Abrams calling the law "nothing less than Jim Crow 2.0."

Friday's top stories

Image: Asylum-seeking migrants from Central America, who were airlifted from Brownsville to El Paso, Texas, and deported from the U.S., in Ciudad Juarez
Jose Luis Gonzalez / Reuters

Analysis: America's immigration impasse is self-inflicted. It doesn't have to be.

Amid debates over the border, "Dreamers" and sweeping immigration bills, experts say politics ignores the obvious: Immigration laws must continually be adjusted, reformed and revised. "Immigration is going to keep happening, and frankly from an economic standpoint, you want it to keep happening," said one expert. By Suzanne Gamboa | Read more

Analysis: New title, same Biden in first White House news conference

During his first news conference as president, Joe Biden made a little news, aimed for the political middle and muddled through some answers, NBC News' senior national politics reporter Jonathan Allen writes in a news analysis. In other words: the Biden who showed up for his first major press grilling was exactly the one Americans have come to expect. By Jonathan Allen | Read more

If North Korea wanted to get America's attention, it seems to have worked

Some experts believe Pyongyang's attention-grabbing missile launches over the last week may have been aimed at reminding President Biden of North Korea's destructive power and warning him to make a strong offer if nuclear negotiations resume. He seems to have taken notice. By Alexander Smith | Read more

OPINION: HBO Max's 'The Runaway Bunny' is emotionally intense, beautiful and abstract.

A faithful adaptation of the beloved children's book has more than enough for kids to enjoy while giving parents a reason to watch, too. By Sam Thielman | Read more

'Don't buy!': Top fashion brands face fallout and fury in China over Uyghur statements

Fashion brands including Nike and H&M are facing growing calls for boycotts in China as Beijing pushes back with increasing ferocity against allegations of human rights abuses toward the country's Uyghur Muslim minority. The backlash shows the fine line international companies are attempting to walk between the Western market and China's 1.4 billion potential customers. By Adela Suliman | Read more

BETTER: It's tax time. 4 things to remember that are different this year

While the tax deadline has been moved from April 15 to May 17, the coronavirus pandemic has made filing more complicated. Here's what you need to know. By Kerry Breen | Read more

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One fun thing

A spectacular light show could be seen across several northwestern states Thursday night, to the shock and wonder of many viewers.

Some thought it was a meteor, but the National Weather Service said it was likely debris from the Falcon 9 rocket. What do you think?

Read the story and check out the video.

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Thanks, Petra