Wednesday morning news: August 15, 2018


Bridge collapse » A massive rescue and recovery operation is still underway in Italy after a bridge collapsed in the port city of Genoa Tuesday.

AUDIO: Sound of helicopter

Helicopters, tractors, and fire trucks swarmed the scene, rushing the injured to area hospitals. At least 26 people died when a 260-foot section of the Morandi Bridge gave way in a storm, sending cars plummeting nearly 150 feet.

The Morandi Bridge sits on the major highway connecting France and Milan. One Genoa resident who lives near the bridge said it’s almost always packed with cars and he started trembling when he realized what happened.

AUDIO: I was in my kitchen and I heard this amazing big roar.

Transportation Minister Danilo Toninelli called it an “enormous tragedy” and said the government will investigate the collapse. He added that if negligence played a role, “whoever made a mistake must pay.”


Terrorist attack » Police flooded central London streets and blocked off the city’s government district Tuesday, after a speeding car plowed into cyclists.

A rooftop camera recorded a silver Ford Fiesta driving past Parliament before veering sharply left, and striking cyclists before crashing into a barrier. Armed police surrounded the car within seconds, pulling a man from the vehicle. Police said the man, who’s believed to be in his 20’s, was alone and had no weapons inside his car.

Neil Basu is Assistant Commissioner for Special Operations at Scotland Yard. He said investigators are treating the incident as a terrorist attack.

BASU: Our priority now is to firmly establish the identity of the suspect and establish his motivation if we can. He is not currently cooperating. 

The accident left three people injured, but none critically.


Voters cast ballots in four states » Voters in four states went to the polls in primary elections Tuesday. Among the notable races… 

In Vermont, Christine Hallquist became the Democratic party’s first transgender nominee for governor. Phil Scott won the GOP nomination.

In Wisconsin, several Democrats lined up for a shot to take on Republican Governor Scott Walker, but Tony Evans easily won the nomination.

And with House Speaker Paul Ryan leaving Congress at the end of his term, Democrats are gunning for his seat in Wisconsin’s 1st District. Randy Bryce won the Democratic nod. Bryan Steil the winner on the GOP side.

Meanwhile in Minnesota, former Governor Tim Pawlenty’s political comeback fell short. Jeff Johnson edged him out for the GOP nomination. Tim Walz will represent the Democrats.

Also in Minnesota, Ilhan Omar won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House seat in the 5th District. If elected in November, she would be the first Muslim woman in Congress.  


Erdogan boycott, Brunson appeal » Turkish President Recep Erdogan Tuesday appeared to escalate an ongoing dispute with the U.S. that has helped plunge Turkey into a currency crisis. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports.

ERDOGAN: [Speaking in Turkish]

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Erdogan said his country will boycott American electronic goods like iPhones. That an apparent response to U.S. sanctions and tariffs designed to punish Turkey for its refusal to release American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Meanwhile, an attorney representing the North Carolina native has appealed again to a Turkish court to release him from house arrest and lift his travel ban. The court has up to seven days to decide on the appeal. The Turkish government accuses him of participating in a failed coup attempt in 2016. The State Department calls the charges baseless.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.


Trump campaign Omarosa » President Trump’s campaign organization filed an arbitration action Tuesday against former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman. Sources told the Associated Press that the campaign claimed she breached a 2016 confidentiality agreement by writing a book about her tenure in the White House.

Newman is promoting her book, Unhinged, which portrays Trump as mentally unfit. She also released secretly recorded audio from inside the White House and claimed to have other recordings, including one of Trump using a racial slur before he entered politics. The president said that tape does not exist, adding that he does not have that word in his vocabulary.

And the Trump team is firing back. Former Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said Newman is contradicting herself with charges of racism.

PIERSON: She went on an ABC News interview defending the president, saying—quote—that she is not a racist, so how could that be possible if she heard the tape already that she’s using as her excuse to change her tone with the president. 

And President Trump followed up with a controversial tweet, calling Newman “a crazed, crying lowlife,” and adding—his words—“Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!”

White House chief of staff John Kelly fired Newman from her position as director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison last December.


All WV high Court justices impeached » State lawmakers in West Virginia have voted to impeach all four state Supreme Court justices. The justices were embroiled in a spending controversy with one of those justices, Allen Loughry, facing a 23-count federal indictment.

The articles of impeachment said Loughry, Beth Walker, Margaret Workman, and Robin Davis failed to control office expenses, including more than $1 million in renovations to their individual offices.

Republican Governor Jim Justice will appoint new justices to replace any who are impeached. But to avoid that, Robin Davis told reporters Tuesday that she quickly retired from the court.  

DAVIS: Now the citizens of West Virginia will be afforded their constitutional right to elect my successor in November. 

Davis said the move to impeach the entire court was politically motivated and set a dangerous precedent.


Grand jury report lists hundreds of ‘predator priests’ in PA » The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has released a grand jury report on sexual abuse by Catholic priests. It found evidence of more than 300—quote—“predator priests” and more than a thousand child victims.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro headed the 18-month investigation that led to the report’s release. He told reporters Tuesday …

SHAPIRO: Church officials routinely and purposefully described the abuse as horseplay and wrestling and inappropriate contact. It was none of things. It was child sexual abuse… including rape. 

The grand jury said the “real number” of sexually abused children might be “in the thousands” since some records were lost and many victims were reluctant to come forward.

Bishop David Zubik of the Roman Catholic Church of Pittsburgh responded Tuesday to the report.

ZUBIK: To those of you who have in any way been the victim of any abuse, sexual or otherwise, I ask you; the church asks you for forgiveness.


I’m Kent Covington. Up next, Mindy Belz on the Trump administration re-imposing sanctions on Iran. And Joel Belz on WORLD’s history and mission. This is The World and Everything in It.


(Luca Zennaro/ANSA via AP) Rescuers search the crumbled hulk of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge in Genoa, northern Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018.

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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