Thursday morning news: July 5, 2018

President Trump to announce SCOTUS nominee Monday » President Trump says he’s close to picking a nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

TRUMP: I’ve spent the last three days interviewing and thinking about Supreme Court justices. Such an important decision. And we’re going to give you a great one. We’re going to announce it on Monday. And I think you’ll be very impressed. These are very talented people, brilliant people, and I think you’re gonna really love it.

The president heard there as he celebrated the 4th of July at the Salute to Service dinner in West Virginia.

This will be Trump’s second Supreme Court nomination, the first being Justice Neil Gorsuch. Under Senate rules, changed last year, he’ll need only 51 votes to confirm his nominee.

Some moderate senators say they won’t back a nominee who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. President Trump has said he’s not asking potential justices how they would rule on it.

Las Vegas officer investigated for inaction during massacre » AUDIO: Vegas shooting body cam sound

Officials have released more officer body-camera footage from Las Vegas police taken the night of last October’s massacre at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. And that video shows police hesitating to confront the gunman.  

Police and security officers are seen in a hallway on the 31st floor, one floor below the gunman’s position. Police radios can be heard describing the massacre…

AUDIO: Vegas shooting body cam

But the video shows the officers did not rush to the source of that gunfire. The veteran police officer leading the group, Cordell Hendrex, wrote in his report that from just below the gunman’s hotel room the shots—quoting here—“were like thunder all around and above us.”

Hendrex said he remembers being “terrified,” adding “I froze right there in the middle of the hall, for how long I can’t say.”

A police spokeswoman this week said “every officer’s actions that night are being evaluated.”

Counterterrorism police investigating poisoning in UK » British counterterrorism police are investigating what they’re calling a “major incident” after two people were found unconscious in Salisbury. Police say there were exposed to an unknown substance just a few miles from were a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent.

Friends named the couple as Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley—both in their mid-40s. Police did not confirm their names but did confirm they are British nationals from the local area. Both are now in critical condition.

Wiltshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said Wednesday:

MILLS: It was initially believed that the two patients fell ill after potentially using contaminated illegal drugs. However, further testing is now ongoing to establish the substance which led to these patients becoming ill.

He said 12 different agencies are working together to investigate the incident.

The response echoes that in the case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. They were poisoned in March with what British officials said was a Russian-made nerve agent.   

Ex-Malaysia leader Najib charged » Prosecutors in Malaysia have charged former Prime Minister Najib Razak with criminal breach of trust and corruption.

The charges came two months after Razak lost his reelection bid amid a massive scandal after billions of dollars went missing from a state investment fund he set up.

He now faces three counts of criminal breach of trust and one count of abuse of power leading to gratification under Malaysia’s anti-corruption laws. Each charge has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Razak pleaded not guilty to all charges. A judge set his bail at about $250,000 U.S. and ordered him to surrender his diplomatic passports.

A migrant ship carrying 60 people arrived in Spain » Dozens of migrants rescued from the Mediterranean have landed in Spain, after days at sea. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen reports.

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: A group of 60 migrants arrived at a port in Barcelona Wednesday after being turned away by other countries. A rescue ship found the group floating in a rubber boat north of Libya.

Both Italy and Malta blocked the rescue ship from entering their ports. The Italian government says charity rescue boats encourage people to launch unseaworthy ships, knowing they’ll likely be picked up.

But aid groups are outraged. They say Italy’s policy forces them to make the longer voyage to Spain, leaving hundreds of migrants at risk on the Mediterranean.

One relief group says almost 1,500 people have died in the crossing this year.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Kristen Flavin reports on how the Republican tax law is hitting churches. And Marvin Olasky on where to find true security. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon) President Donald Trump speaks during an afternoon picnic for military families on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, July 4, 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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