Thursday morning new: July 26, 2018

Trump-EU trade deal » President Trump and European Union leaders declared a ceasefire Wednesday in their mounting trade war.

In a Rose Garden news conference, the president announced the U.S. and the EU have forged an agreement…

TRUMP: To work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods. Thank you. 

The president said the two sides will also work to reduce barriers and increase trade in, among other things, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products, and services.  

EU Chief Jean-Claude Juncker said it was time the two allies settled their major differences on trade.

JUNCKER: I had one intention. I had intention to make a deal today, and we made a deal. 

Juncker said after his lengthy meeting with Trump that the EU has decided to increase imports of American soybeans and liquefied natural gas.

Trump delays next Putin meeting » President Trump is holding off on a second in-person meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

National Security Adviser John Bolton made the announcement Wednesday, stating—his words—“The president believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over.”

That is a reference to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Bolton added their next meeting won’t happen until 2019.

Meantime, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday on a range of issues. But Democrats remained focused on the president’s first summit with Putin last week.

MENENDEZ: I hope the president laid out the consequences of interference in the 20-18 election but I know you can’t tell me that, so you’re not — POMPEO: Actually I can — MENENDEZ: That one you want to share with me? POMPEO: No senator I can tell you that because the president has disclosed that. MENENDEZ: Okay.

Pompeo said President Trump made clear to Putin that the U.S. won’t tolerate attempts to sway its elections.

Republicans move to impeach Rod Rosenstein » While Democrats say they have unanswered questions about President Trump and Russia, Republicans are demanding answers about the Russia probe and they say they’re being stonewalled.

With that in mind, 11 House Republicans introduced articles of impeachment Wednesday against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He’s the person who oversees the special counsel’s Russia probe, and Republicans say he’s not cooperating with congressional panels.

North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows and Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan introduced the articles. It’s unclear whether they will get an immediate vote.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has not yet signed on to the effort.

Russia utility hack » As Russia-related controversies rage in Washington, the Wall Street Journal is out with a new report on Russian threats to the U.S. power grid. Hackers working for Russia reportedly gained access last year to some U.S. utilities, where they could have caused blackouts. WORLD Radio’s Paul Butler has more.

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: A state-sponsored group known as Dragonfly or Energetic Bear reportedly orchestrated the attack. It penetrated the networks of tech vendors that had trusted relationships with power companies. From there the hackers stole credentials to gain access to the utilities.

A Department of Homeland Security official said the hackers “got to the point where they could have thrown switches” and disrupted power flows.

Last year, security company Symantec reported hackers had broken into systems of utility companies in North America over the past two years and speculated about Russia’s involvement. The Trump administration accused Moscow of the attacks in March. Russia insists it was not involved.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Paul Butler.

Trump slams Cohen over recording » President Trump slammed his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Wednesday over a secretly recorded conversation.

In the recording, Cohen and Trump discuss a hush money payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal to keep her claims of an affair under wraps.

COHEN: And I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up … TRUMP: So what are we gonna do? COHEN: … with funding… 

Cohen, who is under federal investigation for potentially breaking campaign finance law, secretly recorded the conversation two months before the 2016 election.

President Trump tweeted Wednesday, “What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad!” He also suggested Cohen carefully edited the recording before releasing it to CNN, which aired the tape Tuesday.  

The president’s current personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said the content of the recording makes clear Trump neither said nor did anything illegal.

Brunson placed under house arrest » AUDIO: Sound of Brunson release 

Onlookers cheering as American pastor Andrew Brunson pulled up in a car near his home in Turkey.

The Turkish government released Brunson from jail, but he is not a free man. The North Carolina native is now under house arrest as he awaits trial.

His release from jail comes after weeks of bipartisan pressure from leaders in Washington demanding his freedom.

The U.S. government called Brunson’s transfer welcome news but not good enough. It wants the charges dropped. Turkey accuses Brunson of participating in a coup attempt against President Recep Erdogan in 2016. The State Department called those charges bogus. Brunson’s next court appearance is scheduled for October.

Bombings in Syria, Pakistan » More than 200 people are dead in Syria after ISIS fighters ambushed a city and several villages, triggering fierce clashes. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen reports.

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: On Wednesday, a militant group with ties to ISIS attacked several villages at the same time. One suicide bomber drove through a busy vegetable market and detonated his explosive just after 5 a.m. A second attacker targeted another busy square. And two others blew themselves up as security forces chased them.

The onslaught prompted deadly battles between ISIS militants and pro-government fighters. Local residents also picked up weapons to defend their homes.

ISIS later claimed responsibility on social media. Though the group is largely defeated in Syria and Iraq, it still controls pockets of territory.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.

I’m Kent Covington. Up next, a report on the vaccination scandal in China. Plus, commentary from Al Mohler. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon) President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, accompanied by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, in Washington.

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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