Tuesday morning news: July 3, 2018

Cleveland terror plot » Federal authorities have foiled a terrorist attack on tomorrow’s Fourth of July parade in Cleveland.

Police arrested Demetrius Pitts on Monday and charged with attempted support of a terrorist organization. U.S. attorney Justin Herdman said his alleged plot was horrifying.

HERDMAN: He looked for locations to park a van that would be packed with explosives. He talked about taking targets like St. John’s Cathedral off the map, and just yesterday he discussed giving remote control cars packed with explosives and shrapnel to the children of our military uniform  members. 

The FBI says Pitts, an American citizen, spoke unknowingly to an undercover agent for weeks prior to his arrest. But agent Stephen Anthony said his desire to attack American targets wasn’t really a secret. Anthony said the suspect espoused radical views on social media.

ANTHONY: Facebook pic posts, quite frankly, were disturbing. They included verbiage that had words to the effect: We as Muslims need to start training like this every day. We need to know how to shoot guns, throw hand grenades, hand-to-hand combat.

An affidavit filed in the case said Pitts started expressing anti-American sentiments three years ago.  

Trump calls out NATO allies on defense spending » President Trump is putting renewed pressure on some NATO member nations to start picking up more of the tab for their own defense.

The New York Times reports that the president sent sharply worded letters last month to leaders of several NATO allies, including Canada, Belgium, Germany and Norway.

According to The Times, one of those letters, to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, was especially pointed. Trump reportedly wrote —quote—“Continued German underspending on defense undermines the security of the alliance,” adding that Germany is setting a poor example for other allies who then believe it’s acceptable to not meet their military spending commitments.

President Trump will meet face to face with leaders of NATO allies at a summit next week in Brussels.

Fulani attack » An attack on Christians in Nigeria’s Plateau state killed more than 200 people last month. That according to Christian leaders, disputing earlier reports from officials that far fewer people died in the assault. WORLD Africa Reporter Onize Ohikere reports.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: In an attack that began on June 23rd, armed herdsmen targeted majority Christian villages. At the time, state officials said the attackers killed 86 people and burned down more than 50 houses. But the state leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria has placed the death toll at 238 people.

The Nigerian government condemned the attack and pledged financial support for the affected communities. But Christian leaders are calling for more concrete action against the attackers.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports violent herdsmen killed more than a thousand people across central Nigeria in the first quarter of this year alone.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere.

Soccer team found safe in cave » All 12 members of a boys soccer team and their coach have been found alive in the cave where they went missing more than a week ago in northern Thailand.

AUDIO: We are coming. It’s okay. Many people are coming. We are the first. 

Sounds of rescue divers finding the boys and their coach alive on Monday.

The boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach went missing when flooding trapped them in a cave in Chiang Rai province ten days earlier.

The floods slowed rescue efforts to reach the group, which sought refuge in a sandy chamber on higher ground inside the cave. Waters receded enough Sunday for divers to make a more thorough search.

The rescue team included medical staff who could treat the boys in place since they were expected to be severely weakened by hunger.

Harvey Weinstein faces new charges » Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is facing several new sexual assault charges. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen has more.

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: On Monday, a grand jury in New York indicted Harvey Weinstein on three new charges of sexual assault. The former film tycoon already faced accusations of first-degree rape and other incidents involving two women.

Now a third woman has come forward. The latest indictment accuses Weinstein of sexually assaulting her in July of 2006. The new charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

So far, more than 75 women have accused Weinstein of inappropriate sexual behavior. The allegations range from harassment to rape.

Weinstein continues to deny all wrongdoing.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.

Study shows coffee may help you live longer » Good news for coffee lovers! A new study of nearly a half-a-million British adults suggests that drinking coffee may help you live longer.

The study showed coffee drinkers were about 10 to 15 percent less likely to die than abstainers during a decade of follow-up. And the apparent benefits apply to instant, ground and decaffeinated coffee results that echo U.S. research.

While researchers say drinking coffee might affect longevity, they don’t know why. Erikka Loftfield, a researcher at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, said coffee contains more than a thousand chemical compounds including antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage. Other studies have shown that substances in coffee may reduce inflammation and help the body in using insulin, which can reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

I’m Kent Covington. A view from the education beat after the Supreme Court’s Janus decision last week. Plus, Cal Thomas on the Supreme Court vacancy. This is The World and Everything in It.

(North Olmsted Police Department via AP) This Sunday, July 1, 2018, photo provided by the North Olmsted Police Department in North Olmsted, Ohio, shows Demetrius Pitts, of Maple Heights, Ohio, who was charged with trying to support terrorism. 

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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