Wednesday morning news: September 19, 2018

Florence relief efforts continue » President Trump will visit North Carolina today to survey the impact of Hurricane Florence and the catastrophic rains that lingered well after the winds died down.

At the White House on Tuesday the president praised the rescue workers on the ground in the Carolinas.

TRUMP: Getting people to safety in horrible, horrible conditions. And I want to just salute all of the people who are working so hard: The first responders, law enforcement, the military, FEMA. The job they’re doing is incredible. 

Rescuers continued to pluck people from flooded areas on Tuesday as some rivers continued to swell into the afternoon.

The death toll from the storm has climbed to 32 in the region. Twenty-five came from North Carolina where Governor Roy Cooper said despite the tragic loss of life, he’s been inspired by the people of his state.

COOPER: To watch neighbors helping neighbors, and to see volunteers and people of faith stepping up to do the their part. This is the North Carolina that I know in my heart, and it is the reason we will make this state whole again. 

Relief workers continued to hand out supplies Tuesday from pallets brought in by military trucks and helicopters.

What remains of the storm is moving through the Northeast and could dump four inches of rain there before moving offshore once again.

China vows to retaliate for U.S. tariffs » The U.S./China trade war escalated further Tuesday, as China declared it’s hitting back once again against the latest round of U.S. tariffs. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Beijing announced tax increases on $60 billion in U.S. imports, including coffee, honey, and industrial chemicals.

The increases are in response to new U.S. tariffs just announced on $200 billion of Chinese-made goods. The tariffs will start at 10 percent, then rise to 25 percent in January.

President Trump threatened to add additional tariffs of nearly $270 billion in Chinese imports if China retaliated for the latest U.S. taxes. If the president follows through, that would raise the total affected by U.S. penalties to $517 billion, covering nearly everything China sells to the United States.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Korean leaders unite again at summit » AUDIO: [Sound of Korea summit]

A warm welcome for South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang on Tuesday as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greeted him for the start of the third summit this year between the two nations.  

Kim thanked Moon for brokering his June meeting with President Trump in Singapore. He said that meeting helped stabilize regional security.

Moon Jae-in hopes to restart stalled nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea. The U.S. says it wants to see more concrete action from North Korea toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons.

The meetings will continue today before Moon returns to Seoul tomorrow.

Russia blames Israel for downed plane in Syria » Russia is blaming Israel for the downing of a Russian military plane. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has more.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: The Russian Defense Ministry said a Syrian missile shot down a Russian military aircraft with 15 people on board late Monday.

Russia says its plane got caught in the crossfire as four Israeli fighter jets attacked targets in northwestern Syria. Moscow says Israel failed to warn the Russian military of its operation and that the Israeli jets used the Russian plane as a shield.

Russia is a key Syrian ally with two military bases in the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday vowed to boost security for troops in Syria, saying they will be “the steps that everyone will notice.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

Senate passes spending bill » The U.S. Senate took another step Tuesday to avoid a government shutdown ahead of the  midterm elections. Lawmakers passed a wide-ranging spending bill that would fund the government through December 7th.

The bill would raise spending in some areas. It boosts the defense budget by $20 billion and provides nearly $3 billion more to fight the opioid crisis.

Notably, however, the bill puts off a battle over a border wall until after the November elections.

President Trump jabbed his own party on the issue over the weekend, tweeting, quote—“When will Republican leadership learn that they are being played like a fiddle by the Democrats on Border Security and Building the Wall?”

The Senate passed the spending bill overwhelmingly on a vote of 93-to-7. But it still has to pass the House, which is expected to take up the measure next week.

American Academy of Pediatrics sets new policy on transgenderism among children » The American Academy of Pediatrics this week recommended new measures in support of transgenderism among children. WORLD Radio’s Paul Butler has that story.

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: The academy previously issued controversial statements urging physicians to support so-called gender transition among children but this is its first such policy.

The recommendations, published in the journal Pediatrics, include giving hormone treatment to suppress puberty and even surgery for some teens with gender dysphoria.

The academy claims children are more likely to have better physical and mental health with such measures. It also called on doctors to push for stronger anti-discrimination laws.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Paul Butler.

Brooklyn Diocese pays massive settlement to sex abuse victims » Amid continued fallout from the sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church, the Brooklyn Diocese has paid one of the church’s largest-ever settlements to four victims.

The New York Times reports the diocese paid more than $27 million to four men sexually abused as children by a religion teacher in Brooklyn.

That payment followed a statewide investigation announced two weeks ago by the New York state attorney general into abuses and a cover-up within the Catholic Church.

Kavanaugh accuser calls for FBI investigation before testifying » The Times also reported Monday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Ford, may be not testify before a Senate panel on Monday after all.

Her attorney indicated this week that was willing to testify. But echoing Senate Democrats on Tuesday, Ford reportedly stated through her lawyer that an FBI investigation should be the first step before she submits herself for public questioning.

However, her attorney did not rule out the possibility that she may still testify on Monday.

Ford claims Kavanaugh assaulted her at a high school house party in the early 1980’s. Kavanaugh says the allegation is completely false.

I’m Kent Covington. Up next—coverage of the surprisingly competitive Senate race in Texas. And Janie Cheaney on taking the most helpful perspective. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh) President Donald Trump talks about Hurricane Florence during a briefing in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 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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