Wednesday morning news: June 13, 2018

Colorado wildfires rage on » Authorities have closed the San Juan National Forest as more than 900 firefighters continue to battle the so-called 416 wildfire in southwestern Colorado near the town of Durango. 

Resident Darlene Bliss says her brother nearly lost his home:

BLISS: The firefighters brought in a team and sprinklers, and the fire went right to his property line and they protected his home and many others that were in the same area.

The 416 fire is still raging out of control on more than 23,000 acres, and authorities have evacuated residents from 2,000 homes.

Fire information officer Cameron Echs says severe drought has helped the fire triple in size since Friday.

ECHS: We’re facing extreme conditions with very dry vegetation, hot temperatures, low humidity, high winds and rugged, inaccessible terrain. 

Several other smaller wildfires continue to burn in the area, fire officials say it could take up to two weeks to contain them. 

Italy refuses migrant ship » AUDIO: Sound of migrants

More than 600 migrants, including pregnant women and children, stranded on the aid ship Aquarius off the coast of Italy. 

Rescue teams picked up the migrants over the weekend off Libya and intended to take them to Italy—but the Italian government has denied them entry.

Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini tweeted: “Saving lives is a duty, turning Italy into a huge refugee camp is not.” 

French authorities have sharply criticized Italy for turning away the migrants, calling it irresponsible. 

PHILIPPE: [Speaking in French]

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe praised Spain for agreeing to take in the migrants and said France is willing to help as well. 

Spain’s new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said there was a moral “obligation to help to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.”

House GOP leaders miss discharge petition deadline » House Republican leaders have agreed to hold votes on measures to solve the DACA problem. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has details.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Moderate Republicans in the House were demanding votes on bills to protect nearly 700,000 people brought into the country illegally as children before the November elections. 

Joining with Democrats, they were nearing the 218 signatures needed to force votes on a series of bills on June 25th with something called a discharge petition. 

Late last night, Speaker Paul Ryan announced an agreement between moderate and conservative Republicans, paving the way for two votes next week to make the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program permanent. 

One of the measures, backed by conservatives and President Trump would likely enhance border security in addition to fixing DACA.

The other, a more moderate bill, would address DACA alone. 

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

J.D. Greear elected SBC president » Delegates at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Dallas elected J.D. Greear as SBC president on Tuesday.

Greear is pastor of the Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina. He won the post with 69 percent of the vote over former seminary head Ken Hemphill’s 31 percent.

At 45 years old, Greear becomes the denomination’s youngest president in nearly four decades.

The SBC is the nation’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 15 million members.

New Medicare scam targets seniors » Identity thieves have launched a new attack on seniors already plagued by scam calls. This Milwaukee man hangs out at his local senior center just to avoid them. 

AUDIO: During the day I think, I’m home, I’m getting 5 or 6 calls every day. 

The latest scam involves those receiving Medicare benefits. To prevent identity theft, the federal government is issuing new Medicare cards that do not show Social Security numbers.

Jim Temmer with the Better Business Bureau says that—ironically—has given scammers a new opportunity:

TEMMER: They may say, ‘Oh, we need your Social Security number to get your new card out, or can you give me your bank account information because we need to direct deposit some money. All of those are fake. 

Temmer says no one should give personal financial information over the phone.

George H.W. Bush celebrates historic birthday » Former President George H.W. Bush made history Tuesday, becoming the first ever U.S. president to celebrate his 94th birthday.

The increasingly fragile senior Bush has been hospitalized twice since the death of his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, in April. 

Bush marked his milestone birthday at the family summer retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine. Several his children, including former President George W. Bush, were on hand.

I’m Jim Henry. Straight ahead: President Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. Plus, recovering from wildfires in California. This is The World and Everything in It.

(Jerry McBride/Durango Herald via AP) In this photo taken Wednesday, June 6, 2018, the 416 Fire burns down Hermosa Cliffs above U.S. Highway 550 on the southeast side of the fire near Hermosa, Colo. 

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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