Thursday morning news: August 9, 2018


Congressman arrested on insider trading charges » Federal authorities arrested a sitting U.S. congressman on Wednesday, charging him with insider trading and lying to the FBI.

U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman said New York Republican Congressman Christopher Collins gleaned privileged information from sitting on the board of a biotech company …

BERMAN: First he tipped his son to confidential corporate information at the expense of regular investors, and then he lied about it to law enforcement to cover it up. 

Berman said authorities have also charged his son, Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, who is the father of Cameron’s fiance.

According to the indictment, Collins was attending the Congressional Picnic at the White House last summer when he got a call informing him that a drug the company developed was a clinical failure. Prosecutors say he immediately phoned his son and the defendants quickly sold off enough stock to avoid nearly $800,000 of losses.

Stephanie Avakian, co-director of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission said the congressman also faces penalties from the SEC.

AVAKIAN: The SEC’s complaints seek disgorgement of the defendants ill-gotten gains, interest, penalties and permanent injunctions.

She said the SEC also wants to bar Collins from serving as an officer or director of a public company.

Collins has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. The Republican was first elected to Congress from upstate New York in 2012.


US to hit Russia with new sanctions over nerve agent attack » The Trump administration announced Wednesday it will impose new sanctions on Russia.

That after the State Department determined this week that Russia directed the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain earlier this year. The State Department said it will notify Congress, and the new sanctions will take effect on or around August 22nd.

In March, the Trump administration ordered 60 Russian diplomats to leave the U.S. and closed Russia’s consulate in Seattle in response to the March attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal with a Soviet-era nerve agent.  


China announces more tariffs on US goods » China threw another counterpunch Wednesday in the growing trade war with the U.S. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen reports.

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: China announced a new round of tariffs on $16 billion worth of U.S. goods, including medical equipment, paper, bikes, and cars. The new taxes are set to take effect two weeks from today.

The move comes just a day after the Trump administration completed plans for tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods. Those will also take effect in two weeks.

The Trump administration says China has been cheating on trade for decades, while Beijing accuses the U.S. of trade bullying.

Over the weekend, President Trump said of mounting trade wars—quote—“We are winning, but must be strong!”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.


No resolution from US-Turkey meetings on Brunson » Senior Turkish officials traveled to Washington for high level meetings this week, in hopes of easing tensions between the two nations. The White House recently announced sanctions against several Turkish officials over the continued detainment of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also spoke with Turkey’s foreign minister over the phone earlier this week.

Still no resolution on the matter, but State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said “the conversations continue.”

When asked earlier this week if diplomats are making progress, Nauert said the U.S. government will only define progress one way.

NAUERT: The kind of progress that we want is for Pastor Brunson, our locally employed staff and our other American citizens to be brought home. That’s the real progress that we’re looking for, and obviously we’re not there just yet. 

Brunson remains under house arrest in Turkey. He’s awaiting trial on espionage and terror-related charges. The U.S. government calls the charges baseless.


WV court justice articles of impeachment » In West Virginia, a panel of state lawmakers has approved articles of impeachment against four state Supreme Court justices. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has that story.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The move to impeach the justices stems largely from a controversy over lavish office renovations.

One of the those justices, Allen Loughry, is currently suspended after his June indictment on numerous federal charges. He’s accused of misusing state resources for personal reasons and misleading investigators.

The state’s House Judiciary Committee sent 14 articles to the full House of Delegates, which meets Monday. The House can accept or reject the articles. Any trial would be held before the state Senate.

If lawmakers remove a justice from office after August 14th, Republican Governor Jim Justice would appoint a replacement to serve until a special election in 2020.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.


I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead—Jim Long is back for the second part of WORLD’s investigation into pot legalization. And on the tech beat—the latest in medical technologies. This is The World and Everything in It.


(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) Republican U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins, center, leaves federal court, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, in New York. 

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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