Wednesday morning news: March 21, 2018


Maryland school shooting » Another deadly shooting incident at a high school. This time in Maryland as a 17-year-old injured two fellow students.

CAMERON: The 14-year-old male student was transported to Medstar St. Mary’s Hospital, is in stable condition there. The 16-year-old female student is in ICU with life-threatening critical injuries.

St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron.

The gunman, identified as Austin Wyatt Rollins, was shot and killed at the scene inside Great Mills High School, about 70 miles south of Washington D.C. The school resource officer reportedly fired at Rollins, though it’s not yet clear if that bullet killed him.

Sheriff Cameron says police have reason to believe the shooter had a prior relationship with at least one of the victims, but they’re still trying to piece together a motive.

An emotional Maryland Governor Larry Hogan responded on Tuesday:

HOGAN: It’s tragic. Our hearts are broken. You know, no parent should ever have to worry about, when they send their kids off in the morning to school, whether they’re going to come home safely or not. 

Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer, who represents the district where the shooting took place, renewed his calls for more action to prevent gun violence.

HOYER: We sympathize, we empathize, we have moments of silence, but we don’t have action.


Latest on Texas bombing » 

Meantime, in Texas, investigators continue to sift through evidence, looking for for any clues that might them bring them closer to an apparent serial bomber.

At least one person was injured after opening a package containing an incendiary device at a Goodwill store on Tuesday, but there are conflicting reports about whether that was related to five recent package bombs.

But police have little doubt that a blast less than 24 hours earlier was related. A bomb exploded Tuesday morning inside a FedEx distribution center in the town of Schertz, near San Antonio.

HANSEN: A package had been traveling along the automated conveyor when it exploded. One employee standing near the explosion later complained of ringing in the ears. 

Schertz Police Chief Michael Hansen. He said there were no injuries.

All of the other recent bombings occurred in Austin and while the FedEx facility is 60 miles south, the package was in route to an Austin address.

President Trump spoke out about the bombings on Tuesday, telling reporters:

TRUMP: The bombings in Austin are terrible. Local, state and federal are working hand in hand to get to the bottom of it.

Officials are still investigating the motive behind the attacks and have offered a $115,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.


Facebook » British lawmakers are calling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the carpet. They want him to testify about his company’s connection to the political analysis firm Cambridge Analytica. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The Guardian recently reported that 50 million Facebook profiles were mined through an app, which then transferred the data over to Cambridge Analytica. The London-based firm reportedly used that information to create campaign ads for Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

British lawmaker Damian Collins on Tuesday accused Facebook officials of misleading the government about how companies acquire user data from their site and whether it had been taken without consent.

U.S.lawmakers also have questions for Facebook. Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia said Tuesday, “It’s time for Mr. Zuckerberg and the other CEOs to testify before Congress” about “social media manipulation in the 2016 election.”

Meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica’s board of directors on Tuesday suspended the firm’s CEO amid the data controversy.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.


Judge halts Mississippi abortion law » A federal judge has halted a new abortion law in Mississippi. U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order against the law, which protects the lives of unborn babies after 15 weeks gestation.

An abortionist at Jackson Women’s Health Organization filed suit on Monday after Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill into law.

Pro-life activists expected the law to face a swift court challenge, but hope it  eventually will change legal precedent at the Supreme Court.


Illinois primary results » Voters went to the polls for primary elections in Illinois on Tuesday. WORLD Radio’s Paul Butler reports.

AUDIO: Four more years! Four more years!

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: Supporters of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner last night celebrating a narrow win in a tough primary fight.

RAUNER: We have a chance to finish now what we started and accomplish the critical change Illinois so desperately needs. We can do this! Yes we can! 

Rauner held off GOP challenger Jeanne Ives by about three percentage points.

That sets up a November showdown with billionaire J.B. Pritzker, who easily defeated a handful of rivals for the Democratic gubernatorial nod.

And a couple of House races in Illinois remain too close to call.

Votes are still being counted in the 6th Congressional District, where Democrat Kelly Mazeski is clinging to a lead of less than two percentage points over Sean Casten early this morning.

And incumbent Congressman Dan Lipinski, one of only two pro-life Democrats in the House is trying to survive a political challenge from his left. Lipinski also up by less than two points as of this morning over progressive Democrat Marie Newman.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Paul Butler reporting from Arlington, Illinois.   


And I’m Jim Henry. Straight ahead: Mary Reichard on a major case argued at the Supreme Court yesterday. Plus, the U.S. economy’s roller-coaster ride. This is The World and Everything in It.


(AP Photo/Alex Brandon) A law enforcement officer walks in front of Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Great Mills. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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