Wednesday morning news: December 5, 2018

Americans pay tribute to late president / Wed national day of mourning » Today is a national day of mourning, as Americans honor the memory of former President George H.W. Bush.

His son, former President George W. Bush, will delivery his eulogy this morning at the National Cathedral in Washington. Numerous longtime friends will also share words.

At the Capitol on Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan honored the nation’s 41st president.

RYAN: Here lies a great man. To the Bush family, on behalf of the whole House, we are profoundly sorry for your loss, and we are honored to celebrate this wonderful life with you. 

Everyday Americans from across the country visited the Capitol on Tuesday, where President Bush’s body lay in state. One visitor to Washington said she postponed her flight home to Massachusetts to pay her respects.

AUDIO: He comes from a generation of people that treat people like people, and it’s just wonderful, and we cancelled our flight home so we could stay here.

This evening, President Bush’s body will be transported to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where the late president lived. A second memorial service will be held there tomorrow.

CIA director meets with committees about Khashoggi murder » Senators leaving a briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel on Tuesday said they’re even more convinced that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Republican said he believes if the crown prince were put on trial, a jury would find him guilty in—quote—”about 30 minutes.”

And fellow Republican, Senator Lindsey Graham said as long as the crown prince is calling shots in Saudi Arabia, he cannot support continued arms sales to the kingdom.

GRAHAM: I find it very difficult to be able to do business, because I think he’s crazy. I think he is dangerous, and he has put the relationship at risk. 

The U.S. has sanctioned Saudi officials accused in the killing, but the White House says it will take no further action. The Trump administration stresses that Saudi Arabia is an important ally and has urged lawmakers not to seek any additional punishment.

The Senate is currently considering a resolution to withdraw U.S. support for Saudi Arabia in the war in Yemen.

Dozens of migrants arrested at border » Border Patrol agents apprehended more than two dozen migrants who tried to squeeze through or climb over the border fence near Tijuana, Mexico, this week.

Some reportedly tried to to evade capture, but others turned themselves in to claim asylum. The illegal crossing attempts follow growing unrest among thousands of caravan migrants waiting in Tijuana to apply for asylum in the U.S.

Some hope being arrested on U.S. soil will speed up their asylum cases.

President Trump recently issued an executive order denying asylum to anyone who enters the country illegally but a federal court halted that order.

NATO joins U.S. in declaring Russia in violation of nuclear treaty » NATO joined the U.S. on Tuesday in declaring Russia has violated a landmark nuclear arms treaty with the United States.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Brussels on Tuesday to meet with NATO leaders. He told reporters…

POMPEO: The United States and our NATO allies stand vigilant that Russia’s lawless conduct will not be tolerated in the realm of arms control or anywhere else. 

He said in 60 days the U.S. will suspend its own obligations under the 1987 treaty unless Russia changes course.

That announcement came after Russia tested a new missile system that could be used to launch a nuclear strike in Europe with little or no notice.

France holds off on fuel tax increase in wake of protests » In a major U-turn by France’s government, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced in a live televised address…

PHILIPPE: [Speaking in French]

…that the government is suspending its new fuel tax and utility price hikes. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has that story.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The prime minister said Tuesday that the tax increases planned for next month will be postponed until the summer.

Philippe called for calm in the wake of the worst unrest on the streets of Paris in decades. He said “No tax is worth putting the nation’s unity in danger.”

French President Emmanuel Macron’s government says the new taxes are intended to wean consumers off polluting fossil fuels.

But protest organizers called the postponed tax only a “first step,” and demonstrations continued around the country Tuesday. Protesters wearing their signature yellow vests continued blocking several fuel depots. And on a highway near the southern city of Aubagne, protesters took over a toll booth to let vehicles pass for free. They put up a sign by the side of the road reading, “Macron dictator.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 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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