Friday morning news: August 17, 2018

Brennan fires back at Trump » Former CIA Director John Brennan fired back at President Trump Thursday, one day after the White House stripped him of his security clearance.

Brennan said Trump drew a connection between his clearance and the Russia probe and made the move because he’s desperate to end the investigation. He told MSNBC…

BRENNAN: I have seen this type of behavior and actions on the part of foreign tyrants and despots. I never,  ever thought I would see it here in the United States. 

In an opinion piece in The New York Times Thursday, Brennan wrote that Trump’s claims of no collusion with Russia are—quote—“hogwash” and that the only question remaining is whether the collusion amounts to a “constituted criminally liable conspiracy.”

Brennan also accused the president of trying to silence him and suggested revoking his security clearance amounted to an infringement of his First Amendment rights.

China sends trade envoy to US » President Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow confirmed Thursday that China is sending a trade envoy to Washington in hopes of stemming a growing trade war.

KUDLOW: Talking is always better than not talking. We haven’t really had a sit down with them in quite some time at any level. So who knows but it’s gotta be a good thing. 

Both governments are set to impose a new round of tariff hikes next week on each other’s goods to the tune of $16 billion.

During his monthly cabinet meeting Thursday, the president said tariffs imposed on China and the European Union will lead to better trade deals for the United States.

Drug overdose deaths » President Trump also addressed the U.S. opioid crisis, calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take action against any corporations that may have contributed to the drugs’ overuse.

TRUMP: So highly addictive; people go into a hospital with a broken arm, they come out, they’re a drug addict. And I’d like us to look at some of the litigation that’s already been started with companies. Rather than just joining them I’d like to bring a federal lawsuit against those companies. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates a record number of Americans almost 72,000 died from drug overdoses last year.

That’s an increase of almost seven percent from the year before.

A number of insurers and pharmacy chains have launched new initiatives to help stem the overuse of opioids. Walmart just announced new measures like limiting prescriptions for acute opioids to no more than a 7-day supply.

300 editorials defend free press » Meanwhile, hundreds of newspapers responded Thursday to President Trump’s repeated jabs at the mainstream media. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has more.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Mainstream media coverage of President Trump has never been kind. An analysis last year by conservative media watchdog group the Media Research Center found 91 percent of network media coverage of the Trump White House took a negative stance.  

For his part President Trump has pulled no punches, repeatedly calling the mainstream press the fake news media.” Some within his own party say he went too far by calling the mainstream press the enemy of the people.

On Thursday, newspapers from Maine to Hawaii pushed back with a coordinated series of editorials. The Boston Globe set the campaign in motion, urging a unified voice and 300-plus newspapers participated.

The president responded Thursday via Twitter, stating once again that—his words—“THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

Refugee arrested in California, accused of terrorism » The FBI arrested a man in Sacramento, California this week who is accused of committing acts of terror in Iraq as an ISIS and al-Qaeda operative.

45-year-old Omar Abdulsattar Ameen is accused of killing a police officer, planting improvised bombs, robbing supply trucks, and other crimes.

Court documents show Ameen arrived in Turkey in 2012 and applied to the U.S. for refugee status by claiming to be a victim of terrorism. He was granted that status in June of 2014, but allegedly returned to Iraq to murder the police officer before traveling to the U.S. in November 2014.

The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Ameen Wednesday on a warrant issued in May by a Baghdad court. U.S. officials plan to extradite him to Iraq. Only three refugees admitted to the United States between 2001 and 2015 have been convicted of planning terror attacks.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Remembering Aretha Franklin. And later, the latest in our Destinations series. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks to the media after finishing interviews on the North Lawn of the White House, Thursday, Aug. 16, 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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