Monday morning news: April 9, 2018

Syrian chemical attack » An apparent chemical weapons attack has killed at least 40 people in Syria.

The attack happened in the besieged town of Douma, just outside of Damascus. First responders said they found families suffocated in their homes and shelters with foam on their mouths.

Biological and chemical specialist Andy Oppenheimer says symptoms reported after the attack suggest the use of sarin gas.

OPPENHEIMER: Sarin and also possibly chlorine, because there have been burns to the eyes. There’s been suffocation, pinpointed pupils, which all kind of look towards Sarin or nerve agent. 

The White House says the Syrian government is to blame, and President Trump on Sunday condemned Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad and his allies. The president said Russian “President [Vladimir] Putin and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad.” And he added, there will be a “big price to pay.”

The Trump administration continues to review evidence and photos of the attack, and White House Homeland Security adviser Thomas Bossert said on Sunday the U.S. won’t rule out a military response.

BOSSERT: I wouldn’t take anything off the table. These are horrible photos. We’re looking into the attack at this point, and the president’s senior national security cabinet have been talking with him all throughout the evening and this morning, and myself included.

The U.S., France and Britain have called an emergency UN Security Council meeting to address that attack.

China bans online Bible sales » The Chinese government does not want its citizens accessing the Bible online. WORLD Radio’s Jim Henry has the story.

JIM HENRY, REPORTER: The ban started last week as internet searches for the Bible at major online Chinese retailers came up empty.

The new policy by the Communist regime makes Christianity the only religion in China whose primary book is no longer available online.

Despite that— a new government policy document says, “The state treats all religions fairly and equally, and does not exercise administrative power to encourage or ban any religion.” People can still buy the Bible in bookstores.

Under President Xi Jinping, China’s government has cracked down on Christian churches— removing 1,500 crosses in one province alone and arresting lawyers who take up human rights causes.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Jim Henry.

Brazil’s former president in jail » Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is behind bars today. The once wildly popular leader, began serving a 12-year prison sentence on corruption charges over the weekend. da Silva still maintains his innocence and has called the sentence “politically motivated,” simply a way for enemies to make sure he doesn’t run — and possibly win — re-election in October.

da Silva was convicted last year of trading favors with a construction company in exchange for the promise of a beachfront apartment. That conviction was upheld by an appeals court in January.

Box office »

SOUND (A Quiet Place trailer)

The new monster movie “A Quiet Place” was anything but quiet at the weekend box office.

SOUND (A Quiet Place trailer): We have to protect them. Promise me. I promise.

The PG-13-rated thriller hauled in $50 million in its opening weekend.

That made Ready Player One number two at the box office. The action sci-fi flick took kin another $25 million for the weekend.

You can find WORLD’s reviews of current films, along with ratings and content information, at

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Legal Docket. And Mary Coleman on caring for aging parents. This is The World and Everything in It.

(Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP) This image released early Sunday, April 8, 2018 by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, shows a child receiving oxygen through respirators following an alleged poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma, near Damascus, Syria.

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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