Monday morning news: July 23, 2018

NTSB investigates duck boat accident » AUDIO: Sound of bells 

Mourners held a memorial service Sunday at Missouri’s College of the Ozarks for 17 people who died in a boating accident.

AUDIO: Music, How Great Thou Art

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the Thursday incident on Table Rock Lake. The victims were taking a duck boat tour near Branson when an unexpected storm whipped up nearly hurricane-force winds and waves that capsized the vessel. Fourteen people survived.

Investigator Earl Weener says the federal agency will examine every aspect of the accident.

WEENER: We’ll look at the vessel, we’ll look at the operation of the vessel, we’ll look at the people involved, we’ll look at the environment. My purpose is to gather the facts. We will not be determining the probable cause while we’re here on scene.

Duck boats are popular for lake, river, and ocean tours across the country. They’re modified versions of World War II-era amphibious vehicles designed for beach landings. The U.S. Coast Guard said the boat that sank was built in 1944, but it passed inspection in February.

The victims included a couple celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary and nine members of one family from Indiana. Bishop Thomas Griffith is the family’s pastor.

GRIFFITH: It’s just an extremely emotional time for them. They’re not thinking about, you know, any kinds of other things, outside of really, I’m sure, really just trying to process this tragedy.

That audio courtesy of WRTV in Indianapolis.

More than 40 people have died since 1999 in accidents involving the hybrid boat-trucks.

Trump administration releases controversial FISA application » Over the weekend the Trump administration released previously top-secret documents related to the wiretapping of a former Trump campaign aide.

Despite major redactions, the records show that in October 2016 the FBI requested permission to wiretap Carter Page, based on alleged Russian contacts. The bureau believed Page—quote—“has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.”

On Sunday Page told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he did not know the Russians named in the application.

PAGE: “Well, the main one that they’re focusing on Jake, if you read through the full 400-plus pages [I did.] are these [Igor] Sechin and [Igor] Diveykin [Yeah.]—both of whom I’ve never met, spoke with, communicated with in my entire life.”

The wiretapping has been the subject of partisan clashes for months. Republicans accused the FBI of abusing its power and launching the Russia probe on false pretenses.

Democrats have rejected those claims and say Republicans are spreading misinformation to undermine the investigation into Russia’s 2016 election meddling.

Israel evacuates White Helmets from Syria » Israeli forces on Sunday evacuated 422 members of the Syrian Civil Defense force—also known as the White Helmets. The group had been working in a volatile border region between the two countries.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he authorized the humanitarian mission at the request of U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The White Helmets have worked for years to help victims of Syria’s long-running civil war.

Yaakov Lappin is an analyst at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He says the group has earned the international community’s help.

LAPPIN: It’s something that can be done for these people after all the years that they risked their lives to save many, many Syrian civilians who have been injured by the indiscriminate bombings throughout the war.

Hostile Syrian troops on one side and ISIS-affiliated militants on the other had trapped the rescue workers and their families, prompting the unique operation. Israeli forces transported the evacuees to Jordan. They are expected to resettle in Europe and Canada in the coming weeks.

Italian wins British Open » History at the British Open on Sunday.

AUDIO: One final birdie, and at last Francesco Molinari can give rein to his emotions.

Francesco Molinari became the first Italian to win one of golf’s four major tournaments. The 35-year-old finished eight-under to take the title by two strokes.

At one point in the final round, American Tiger Woods took the lead in pursuit of his 15th major. He finished tied for sixth—good enough to put him in the world’s top 50 rankings for the first time in three years.

I’m Jill Nelson. Straight ahead: Some heartfelt and unusual advice for graduates from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Plus, the latest financial news. And Paul Butler recounts the first salvage mission of one of the world’s most famous shipwrecks. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) Flowers left by mourners rest on the ticket counter at the closed Ride the Ducks attraction Saturday, July 21, 2018 in Branson, Mo. One of the company’s duck boats capsized Thursday night resulting in 17 deaths on Table Rock Lake. 

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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