Monday morning news: December 24, 2018


More than 200 dead after tsunami in Indonesia » A sudden tsunami in Indonesia killed more than 200 people over the weekend. Waves smashed into houses, hotels and other beachside buildings Saturday night along Indonesia’s Sunda Strait.

This recording captured the moment the waves swept away a stage as a rock band was performing a concert at Tanjung Lesung beach.

AUDIO: [Sound of Tsunami]

Officials say volcanic activity at Anak Krakatau—one of the world’s most infamous volcanic islands—may have caused an underwater landslide. That, in turn, caused the tsunami along the coasts of the western Java and southern Sumatra islands.

AUDIO: I was at home watching television at the time. Then I heard a rumbling sound and I thought it was the wind. After I opened the door water came in quickly and dragged me out. When I saw the sea was receding, I decided to run and go as the water came again for a second time.

It was the second deadly tsunami to hit Indonesia this year. Unlike the tsunami on the island of Sulawesi in September, the ground did not shake before the waves struck on Saturday giving those along the coast no advance warning.

Rescuers are still searching for dozens who remain missing.


Defense Sec. Mattis to depart Jan. 1 » Defense Secretary James Mattis will leave the Pentagon earlier than planned.

After announcing his resignation last week in protest of the president’s planned troop pull-out in Syria, Mattis said he would remain on the job for now departing by the end of February.

But the White House said Sunday that Mattis will leave on January 1st. Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will take over as acting secretary at the first of the year.

Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told ABC’s This Week…

MULVANEY: Mattis and he just could never get on the same page. The president has told people since the campaign that he wanted to get out of Syria. He’s entitled to have a secretary of defense who is committed to that same end. 

In his resignation letter, Mattis made clear he did not see eye-to-eye with the president on a range of issues, including President Trump’s criticism of NATO and his doubts about keeping troops in Asia. Mattis was also unhappy with Trump’s order to develop plans to pull out up to half of the 14,000 U.S. troops now in Afghanistan.


Government shutdown could stretch into the new year » Mulvaney also said on Sunday that the partial government shutdown, which is now in its third day could stretch into the new year. That as the White House and Democratic lawmakers continue their standoff over funding for a border wall.

MULVANEY: The Democrats offered us—I think they offered us $1.6 billion a couple weeks ago. Then they offered the president $1.3 billion this week. That’s a negotiation that seems like it’s going in the wrong direction. We have insisted on 5, but the discussions now are between 1.6 and 5.  

Mulvaney signaled that the White House is willing to negotiate within that range, potentially accepting far less than the $5 billion the president’s demanded.

But so far top Democrats are not budging. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer repeated over the weekend…

SCHUMER: President Trump, if you want to open the government, you must abandon the wall, plain and simple.

A stopgap funding bill passed in Senate last week did not include any additional funds for a border wall. And without that, President Trump said he would not sign it.  


Investors hoping for close to 2018 after another rough week » Wall Street is hoping for a smoother ride this week. Stocks ended last week on a miserable note, down 7 percent. All of the major indexes have lost 16 to 26 percent from their highs this summer and fall—with several entering the definition of a bear market.

More signs point toward an end to the decade-long rally on Wall Street.

Analysts say trade disputes with China and other trading partners have likely played a role. Another reason: rising interest rates. Last week the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the fourth time this year.  


(AP Photo/Fauzy Chaniago) People inspect the damage at a tsunami-ravaged village in Sumur, Indonesia, Monday, Dec. 24, 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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