Wednesday morning news: April 11, 2018


President cancels South America trip » President Trump has canceled a South America trip. He’s staying home to oversee a likely American military response to Syria’s gas attack on civilians Saturday.

At the White House Tuesday— spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump is also talking with British and French leaders about a possible joint response. 

SANDERS: We’re working with our partners and allies and our national security team to look at all options and as we’ve said, all options are on the table, but I’m not going to get ahead of anything the president may or may not do.

Analysts believe a military response could range from a massive strike to wipe out Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad’s entire air force— to hitting only selected targets with cruise missiles. The guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook is currently in the eastern Mediterranean.

Meanwhile at the United Nations— Russia again vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning Syria for the use of poison gas banned by the Geneva Convention. Before the vote— U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called out Russia.

HALEY: Pictures of dead children mean little to governments like Russia, who expend their own resources to prop up Assad and this council has failed to act because Russia has stood in its way every single time.

Haley also affirmed the U-S would respond to the chemical attack— alone if need be.


Homeland Security Advisor out » Tom Bossert has become the latest official to exit the White House. The Homeland Security Adviser announced his resignation on Tuesday. In that role, he’s served as the point person on protecting the nation from terror and cyber threats. He also played a key role in directing the response to last year’s hurricane disasters.

The White House gave no reason for his departure, but his resignation came a day after John Bolton started his new job as National Security Adviser. President Trump said he’s grateful for Bossert’s service and feels he did a “great job.”


China signals willingness to ease trade tensions » Chinese President Xi Jinping waved a small white flag on Tuesday in the escalating trade war with the United States. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has that story.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: During a speech at a business conference, Xi promised to cut auto tariffs and he pledged to do more to prevent stealing of intellectual property. Those are two hot-button issues for U.S. companies trying to do business in his country.

The Chinese president did not mention President Trump or the recently imposed U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods but analysts saw the speech as a veiled attempt to ratchet down the trade tension between the two countries.

But China did signal its intention to fight U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs at the World Trade Organization, filing a formal complaint Tuesday, and requesting 60 days to negotiate a solution.

Most trade experts saw the proposed tariffs as a negotiating tactic designed to pressure China to rethink unfair trade practices.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.


Zuckerberg testifies » Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg fell on his proverbial sword on Capitol Hill Tuesday, telling lawmakers he’s to blame for Facebook’s privacy scandal.

ZUCKERBERG: And I’m sorry. I started Facebook. I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.

He added–quoting here: “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake.”

Zuckerberg answered questions from members of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees one day after the company unveiled a plan to restore user trust.

The controversy was sparked by Cambridge Analytica’s unauthorized use of Facebook user data. That’s a firm which works with political campaigns.

Facebook on Monday notified users who were likely affected and urged all members to update their privacy settings. Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify again today before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.


Yulia Skripal discharged » Yulia Skripal is going home. She’s the daughter of an ex-Russian spy who was poisoned with a nerve agent along with her father, Sergei Skripal in a park in the UK last month. She was discharged from a British hospital on Tuesday.

Salisbury Hospital Medical Director, Dr. Christine Clanchat says Yulia and her dad have been responding well to treatments.

CLANCHAT: Our job in treating the patients is to stabilize them.

Clanchat said they first had to ensure that the Skripals could breathe and that blood could continue to circulate.

CLANCHAT: We then needed to use a variety of different drugs to support the patients until they could create more enzymes to replace those affected by the poisoning.

Sergei Skripal remains in the hospital recovering more slowly than his daughter. But Clanchat said she’s hopeful that Sergei too, will be heading home “in due course.”

The U.S. and Britain have accused Russia of carrying out the attack.


I’m Jim Henry. Straight ahead: Washington Wednesday and a conversation on the administration’s efforts to secure the border. This is The World and Everything in It.


(AP Photo/Andy Wong) In this combination of Nov. 9, 2017 photos, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping speak during a business event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

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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