Thursday morning news: December 6

Family, friends, leaders honor George H.W. Bush at funeral » AUDIO: [Hail to the Chief]

A presidential send off in the nation’s capital Wednesday for former President George H.W. Bush.

AUDIO: [Hail to the Chief]

Hail to the Chief played to firing cannons as members of the armed services carried his casket out of a hearse en route to Houston, Texas, where his body lies in repose this morning.

AUDIO: [Choir]

Hours earlier, some 3-thousand people packed the National Cathedral in Washington for his funeral service. His eldest son, former President George W. Bush honored his father with an emotional eulogy.

BUSH: So through our tears, let us know the blessings of knowing and loving you, a great and noble man, the best father a son or daughter could have. And in our grief, let us smile knowing that dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom’s hand again. 

Longtime friend and former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson remembered Bush as an effective president and a powerful leader but he also recalled his sense of humor.

SIMPSON: He loved a good joke, the richer the better, and he threw his head back and gave it a great laugh. But he never, ever could remember a punchline, and I mean never. 

Another service will take place today at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where the late president lived. His body will then be laid to rest at the Bush Library  alongside his wife, Barbara and daughter, Robin.

China, White House express optimism on trade deal » President Trump is expressing optimism that China will to push forward with a cease-fire on trade. He tweeted Wednesday that Beijing is sending “very strong signals” about a new trade framework since returning from talks over the weekend in Buenos Aires.

And the president’s chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters this week…

KUDLOW: I think we’re going to make great progress. I can’t be more specific than that. But this is a bigger discussion, deal, commitment than anything we’ve had before.

China’s Commerce Ministry issued a positive but vague statement Wednesday, saying it will begin—quote—“implementing specific issues on which consensus has been reached, and the sooner, the better.”

Turkey issues arrest warrants for Saudi aides » Turkish officials Wednesday issued arrest warrants for two former aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the death of Jamal Khashoggi. WORLD Radio’s Leigh Jones has more.

LEIGH JONES, NEWS EDITOR: A Turkish court approved arrest warrants for former royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and former deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri. Both are former aides to the crown prince, who were dismissed in the aftermath of Khashoggi’s death.

Turkey has sought to extradite 18 suspects, including 15 members of the alleged team of assassins.

U.S. senators briefed this week by CIA Director Gina Haspel said they’re convinced the crown prince was involved in the killing.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Leigh Jones.

Brexit debate continues ahead of crucial vote in Parliament » British lawmakers on Wednesday opened Round 2 in their bruising battle with Prime Minister Theresa May’s government over her Brexit deal.

May’s Conservative government is struggling to win over lawmakers ahead of a vote in Parliament on Tuesday that could sink the agreement and possibly cost May her job.

May’s deal is in trouble because politicians on both sides of Britain’s EU membership debate oppose it.

Conservative lawmaker and former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said Wednesday…

RAAB: The prime minister is at her best when she stands tall and stands strong, and we should go back to the E.U., stop being blackmailed and bullied, make our best final offer—the terms that would be palatable to this country, that would give effect to the referendum. 

Many pro-EU politicians are still calling for a second referendum on Brexit. They criticize May’s deal for offering too few specifics about the country’s relationship with the EU going forward.

Allegations of voter fraud throw results of N.C. House race into question » One of the last unresolved congressional races in the U.S. from last month’s midterm elections is still up in the air. WORLD Radio’s Paul Butler has that story.

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: Allegations of flagrant absentee ballot fraud in North Carolina’s 9th District have thrown the Election Day results into question.

Unofficial ballot totals showed Republican Mark Harris ahead of Democrat Dan McCready by about 900 votes. But the state elections board refused to certify the results last week in view of irregularities and—quote—“concerted fraudulent activities” involving mail-in ballots.

The elections board has subpoenaed documents from the Harris campaign. Investigators seem to be concentrating on activities linked to a longtime political operative from Bladen County. Allegations about mail-in absentee ballots also surfaced there two years ago during a tight election for governor.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Paul Butler.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Former President George W. Bush speaks during the State Funeral for his father, former President George H.W. Bush, at the National Cathedral, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, in Washington.

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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