Thursday morning news: August 16, 2018

President Trump revokes former CIA director’s security clearance » The White House announced Wednesday that President Trump is revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters…  

SANDERS: The president has a constitutional responsibility to protect classified information and who has access to it, and that’s what he’s doing is fulfilling that responsibility in this action. 

Sanders added the president is also reviewing the security clearances of other former Obama administration officials, including James Clapper, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Andrew McCabe, Susan Rice, and Bruce Ohr.

Some Democrats quickly blasted the move. Virginia Senator Mark Warner said it’s another example President Trump targeting anyone who would criticize him.

WARNER: This is one more norm just being swept aside, what appears to be an enemies list. And the closest thing I can think on a historical basis is what Mr. Nixon did.

The White House began reviewing John Brennan’s security clearance last month after Republican Kentucky Senator Rand Paul questioned whether Brennan was inappropriately profiting from his clearance by—quote—“divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on [President Trump].”

Jack Phillips latest » The Colorado Civil Rights Commission is once again taking aim at Christian-owned bakery Masterpiece Cakeshop.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the commission earlier this year saying it treated the bakery’s owner, Jack Phillips, differently because of his Christian faith.

Less than a month later, the commission again ruled against Phillips in a similar dispute stemming from his 2017 refusal to make a cake celebrating someone’s decision to change genders. The commission ordered Phillips to undergo mediation with the customer, who identifies as transgender.

Phillips and Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents him, filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the commission for again violating the baker’s First Amendment rights.

Turkey imposes new tariffs » The government of Turkey threw another counterpunch Wednesday in its ongoing feud with the Trump administration,  announcing new tariffs on some U.S. imports. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Turkey will double tariffs on passenger cars to 120 percent. It’s also increasing tariffs on everything from alcohol and tobacco products to coal, rice, and cosmetics.

Those tariffs are retaliation for U.S. sanctions and increased tariffs against Turkey over its refusal to release American pastor Andrew Brunson. He remains under house arrest in Turkey, awaiting trial on what the State Department calls trumped up espionage charges.

A Turkish court Wednesday rejected another appeal by Brunson’s lawyer to release him. That according to a state-run news agency, which noted that a higher court is scheduled to review the appeal.

The latest U.S. sanctions were a big blow to Turkey’s already embattled economy. But one of Turkey’s closest allies is coming to its aid. Qatar on Wednesday vowed to invest $15 billion dollars in Turkish markets.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Bridge collapse update » Rescue efforts continued on Wednesday at the site of a bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy as emergency crews cut though mangled piles of steel and concrete.

Italian fire rescuer Richard Biordoni… 

BIORDONI: We are now searching for people under debris in big voids, and we are carrying on with the rescue operations until we finish the job.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Wednesday called the collapse an immense tragedy and said the status quo is no longer acceptable.

CONTE: It’s necessary that the maintenance is even more strict and the checks are even more punctual and rigorous. We must prevent such tragedies from happening. 

At least 35 people died when a 260-foot section of the Morandi Bridge gave way in a storm Tuesday. Officials expect that death toll to rise further still.

Afghanistan bombing kills dozens of students » A suicide bomber killed at least 48 people Wednesday in Afghanistan, many of them high school students. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen has more.

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: A group of young students had gathered at a college prep center to prepare for entrance exams when a man walked in and detonated his bomb belt.

The strike targeted a neighborhood of mostly Shia Muslims. Officials said the bomber may have chosen the prep center because it had young men and women studying together.

Both ISIS and the Taliban have targeted Shia Muslims in the past, calling them heretics. However, the Taliban denied any involvement in the bombing, and no other terror group has claimed responsibility.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.

Colyer concedes » We finally have a winner in last Tuesday’s GOP gubernatorial primary in Kansas.

Governor Jeff Colyer conceded to his Republican challenger, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. The latest vote count showed the Trump-endorsed Kobach had a razor-thin lead of 345 votes. That’s out of more than 311,000 ballots cast.

Kris Kobach will face off against state Senator Laura Kelly in November, who easily secured the Democratic nomination for governor.

I’m Kent Covington. Up next—Paul Butler reports on the scandal that has rocked one of America’s largest churches. Plus a notable speech from Congressman Steve Russell. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) In this May 23, 2017, file photo, former CIA Director John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Task Force.

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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