Friday morning news: June 29, 2018


Mass shooting in Maryland newsroom » Five people died in Annapolis, Maryland Thursday after a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper.  

Police arrived at the scene within one minute after getting the call from dispatchers, arrested the suspect without exchanging gunfire. Police also found and disposed of what they thought might have been an explosive device inside the building.

Ryan Frashure, a spokesman for the the Anne Arundel County Police says this was not a random shooting.

FRASHURE: This was quite obvious and quite apparent that this individual had some type of vendetta against the Capital newspaper, and they were specifically targeted. 

The suspect has been identified as Jarrod W. Ramos. He’s white male, believed to be in his 30’s. Deputy Police Chief Bill Krampf said investigators continue to sift through evidence, including the social media accounts of the suspect and the newspaper.

KRAMPF: Threats were sent over social media. We’re trying to confirm what account that was, and we’re trying to confirm who actually sent them. 

Krampf said investigators were questioning the suspect, but no word yet on whether he is cooperating with police.


Deputy attorney general, FBI director testify » Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was on Capitol Hill Thursday. Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee pressed him for answers on the Justice Department’s actions surrounding the 2016 election.

In one heated exchange, GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida grilled Rosenstein on whether he had read a FISA surveillance application before signing it. A judged approved that application, allowing officials to listen in on members of then candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.

GAETZ: Did you read it or did you not read it? ROSENSTEIN: I’ll be happy to discuss the process with you. The process, sir, is that these FISA applications and renewals first come up through the FBI chain of command. They are sworn under oath by a career federal agent. I am not the [affait?]. GAETZ: You signed it. ROSENSTEIN: Well I’ll explain the process to you. GAETZ: Did you thoroughly review it, yes or no? ROSENSTEIN: I want to explain the process … 

Rosenstein said there was nothing improper about the FISA warrant. With regard to the FBI’s Clinton email probe, he told lawmakers he accepts the Justice Department inspector general’s conclusion that political bias did not affect the outcome of that investigation.

The committee also pressed FBI Director Christopher Wray about unfulfilled document requests. He insisted the bureau is fully cooperating with Congress.  

WRAY: For months we’ve been working with your committees to make witnesses available, answer questions, and produce or make available to you and your staff over now 880,000 pages. 

He acknowledged the FBI has not yet turned over everything the congressional panels have asked for and said the bureau is working overtime to comply.

But House Republicans are not convinced. They passed a resolution Thursday setting a July 6th deadline to hand over the rest of the subpoenaed documents.  


White House announces date and time of Trump-Putin summit » President Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland next month at the end of a planned NATO gathering. The White House and the Kremlin confirmed the planned summit on Thursday.

It won’t be the first time the two leaders have talked face-to-face, but other meetings have happened amidst global gatherings of world leaders, and those conversations were short. This will be the first in-depth meeting between the two presidents. The White House says they plan to discuss a wide range of topics.


First lady visits border facility » First lady Melania Trump on Thursday made a trip to the southern border for a second time this month. She toured a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in Tucson, Arizona, to learn what it’s like for those detained there.  

MELANIA: I’m here to support you and give my help, whatever I can, on behalf of children and the families. 

Meantime, the inspector general’s office of the Department of Health and Human Services has announced plans to review conditions at shelters for immigrant children.

The agency’s Office of Refugee Resettlement currently houses about 12,000  immigrant children. That includes more than 2,000 separated from their parents after their families illegally crossed into the U.S. The inspector general’s office said it planned to finish its probe and release a report by the end of the year.


Amazon buys online pharmacy while edging in on delivery business » Online retail giant Amazon is looking to shake up the prescription drug industry. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Amazon announced a deal Thursday to acquire PillPack. That’s an online pharmacy that caters to people who take multiple prescriptions each day. It delivers medications in pre-sorted dose packaging and simplifies refills and renewals. Amazon will reportedly pay about $1 billion for the company.

Regulators still have to sign off on the deal, but if all goes as planned, Amazon will have a path to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry the same way it’s shaken up just about everything else in retail.

News of the Amazon-PillPack deal shook Wall Street on Thursday. Stocks of major drugstore chains like Walgreens and CVS dropped sharply.

Thursday’s announcement comes as Amazon gears up to compete with package delivery companies like UPS and FedEx. Amazon is setting up a new delivery network offering incentives for people to establish small businesses, and lease Amazon delivery trucks.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.


(AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Police secure the scene of a shooting at the building housing The Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., Thursday, June 28, 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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