Tuesday morning news: May 8, 2018

Afghan cops thwart bombing » Police in Kabul, Afghanistan stopped yet another suicide bomber Monday…

AUDIO: Hospital sound

This one targeting a blood drive for victims of a Sunday bombing that killed 14 people and injured more than 30 others.

Police spotted the would-be bomber approaching a blood donation operation and fired at him. The bomber blew himself up without injuring others.

The Sunday explosion occurred inside a mosque where people had gathered for prayers and to register to vote. No group has claimed responsibility for either attack. 

ISIS and Taliban militants have stepped up attacks in Afghanistan as the country prepares for elections in October. Last month, an ISIS suicide bomber killed 60 people and injured 130 others at a voter registration center in Kabul.

Putin begins 4th term » Vladimir Putin took the oath of office on Monday to begin his fourth six-year term as Russia’s president.

PUTIN: (in Russian with translator) I assure you that my life and works goal will be as before, serving the people of our fatherland. This is above everything else for me.

During the inauguration at the Kremlin, Putin said he would use all existing possibilities to ensure economic and technological breakthroughs in the country.

AUDIO: Putin protesters sound

Protesters over the weekend challenged the credibility of Putin’s reelection victory in March. He won more than 75 percent of the vote without a major opponent. 

Authorities detained up to 1-thousand demonstrators and arrested Alexei Navalny yet again. He’s the opposition leader barred from running against Putin. 

Navalny says he was charged with organizing a rally and resisting police.

Schneiderman resigns after sexual assault allegations » New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman abruptly resigned last night— after The New Yorker magazine published allegations by four women that he physically assaulted them. 

Schneiderman,  a Democrat, was an outspoken critic of President Trump and a prominent voice in the #MeToo movement raising awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace. 

In a brief statement, Schneiderman denied the allegations but said they would prevent him from carrying out the duties of his office.

Haspel nomination on rocky ground » President Trump’s pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency faces tough questioning on Capitol Hill this week. WORLD Radio’s Kent Covington has details.

KENT COVINGTON, REPORTER: Acting CIA Director Gina Haspel goes before the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow— the first public hurdle in her confirmation process.

Senators are lining up to grill Haspel about the covert detention site she ran in Thailand after 9-11. Agents there used waterboarding to interrogate terrorism suspects.

Haspel has said she would oppose any effort to restart waterboarding in CIA interrogations. She reportedly offered to withdraw as the nominee, but President Trump continues to support her. 

If confirmed, Haspel would be the first female CIA director and would replace Mike Pompeo, who is now secretary of state.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kent Covington. 

Hawaii officials warn volcano sightseers » Officials on Hawaii’s Big Island are warning sightseers to stay away from the volcanic eruption that has destroyed dozens of homes in recent days.

But tourists like this man from San Francisco are still heading there—

TOURIST: We were a little bit worried that the trip might get canceled, so I reached out to Alaska and they said everything’s okay, there’s not much ash there, and all that good stuff, and the flight’s still on, so we’re very happy.

The Kilauea volcano has opened 10 fissures in a housing subdivision since Thursday, prompting officials to issue evacuation notices for 1,700 residents.

It’s unclear when they’ll be able to return. Geologists warn the eruption will continue as long as the volcano has lava to spew.

Kilauea has erupted continuously since 1983. It is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. 

Trump calls WV’s Blankenship “unelectable” » President Trump has weighed in on today’s GOP Senate primary in West Virginia.

Trump tweeted on Monday: “Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State…No way! Remember Alabama.”

That, a reference to scandal-ridden Republican Roy Moore losing to a Democrat in Alabama’s special Senate election in December. 

Blankenship has run campaign ads making light of his own scandals— 

BLANKENSHIP AD: Politicians are running a lot of crazy ads. They blew up the coal mine and then put me in prison. Now they’re runnin’ ads that say the coal mine blew up and I went to prison. There’s no surprise there.

Blankenship, a coal mine owner, served a year in prison after a 2010 explosion at his mine took the lives of 29 miners.

Recent polls suggested Blankenship was closing in on his mainstream Republican rivals—Congressman Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. Trump urged GOP voters to choose one of them over Blankenship.

The winner will take on incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin in November.

Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina also hold primary elections today.

First Lady launches “Be Best” initiative » Meanwhile, Melania Trump has announced her own “platform” for her husband’s term in office.

The First Lady launched her “Be Best” initiative at the White House on Monday. She says she wants to teach children how to function and grow up in a society where young people are constantly connected through social media. 

TRUMP: We can and should teach children the importance of social and self awareness, positive relationship skills and responsible decision making. 

Mrs. Trump says the Be Best initiative will focus on preventing drug addiction and online bullying. President Trump declared Monday “Be Best” Day.

I’m Jim Henry. Straight ahead: a battle over free speech and religious rights in California. This is The World and Everything in It.

(Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) Vladimir Putin walks during his inauguration ceremony as new Russia’s president in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 7, 2018. 

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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