Friday morning news: January 18, 2019

Partial government shutdown set to enter week five » The partial government shutdown enters week five just hours from now, with no end in sight.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still says Democrats will not negotiate funds for a border wall.

PELOSI: Insistence on the wall is a luxury the country can no longer afford.

And President Trump maintains he will not sign a government funding bill that does not include funding for the barrier.

TRUMP: While many Democrats in the House and Senate would like to make a deal, Speaker Pelosi will not let them negotiate.

Trump said the Democratic party has been hijacked by the open borders fringe.

But some Senate Democrats are negotiating with Republicans, trying to find a solution. GOP Senator Lindsey Graham said Thursday…

GRAHAM: I would urge the White House to sit down and meet with the bipartisan group of senators, who I think are in a different place than the speaker of the House.

Meantime, some 800,000 federal workers remain furloughed or are working without pay. President Trump signed legislation this week to ensure backpay for all employees when the shutdown ends.

Republicans push back against Pelosi’s call to postpone SOTU » Republicans are pushing back against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s call to postpone the upcoming State of the Union address, amid the shutdown.

Pelosi said the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security could not provide adequate security for the event until the government reopened.

But DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that is not the case, and both departments are fully prepared to secure the event.  

Pelosi then said it would be unfair to hold the January 29th address while those securing it are unpaid.

PELOSI: I’m not denying him a platform at all by saying let’s get a date when government is open. Let’s pay the employees. 

Republican lawmakers say Pelosi is just playing politics, and GOP Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said if Pelosi closes the House chamber, the president should simply relocate.

PAUL: It’s a real affront to the American people, and what I would suggest is that, Senator McConnell’s in charge of the Senate. Let’s host it in the Senate. 

Following Pelosi’s call to delay his address, President Trump on Thursday appeared to deny her use of military aircraft for a foreign trip.

In a letter the president wrote, quote—“Due to the shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the shutdown is over.”

Trump: U.S. to develop space-based missile defense system » President Trump says the United States will develop a space-based missile defense system to protect against increasingly advanced weapons.

TRUMP: Our goal is simple: to ensure that we can detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States anywhere, anytime, anyplace. 

The president spoke at the Pentagon Thursday on the results of the administration’s missile defense review.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan spoke just before the president, explaining why the new missile defense system is needed.

SHANAHAN: America’s competitors, including China and Russia, are increasing their existing missile system capabilities, adding new and sophisticated missiles to their arsenals.

Shanahan also said that while the United States “is forging a new path to peace on the Korean Peninsula,” North Korea’s missile arsenal remains a concern, as does Iran’s.  

Cohen says he paid to rig polls for Donald Trump » President Trump’s estranged former lawyer claimed Thursday that he paid a technology company to rig Trump’s standing in two online polls before the presidential campaign. WORLD Radio’s Leigh Jones reports.

LEIGH JONES, NEWS EDITOR: Michael Cohen tweeted Thursday that his actions were—quote—“at the direction of and for the sole benefit of” Trump.

Cohen was responding to a report by The Wall Street Journal that said he stiffed the owner of the tech company out of thousands of dollars. That payment was for work that included using computers to enter fake votes for Trump in a 2014 CNBC poll.

The company owner, John Gauger, told the newspaper that Cohen promised him $50,000 for the work but instead gave him a blue Walmart bag stuffed with between $12 and $13,000 in cash, plus a collectible boxing glove.  

Cohen disputed he paid cash, telling the Journal that “all monies paid to Mr. Gauger were by check.” In addition to running an IT consulting firm, Gauger works full time as Liberty University’s chief information officer.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Leigh Jones.

More families likely separated at border than previously reported » It appears likely the government separated thousands more migrant children from their families than previously reported. A government watchdog group announced those findings Thursday. That could be in part because officials were stepping up family separations before the administration put the controversial border policy in place last spring.

Ann Maxwell, assistant inspector general for evaluations, said the number of children removed from their parents was certainly larger than the roughly 2,700 listed in court documents. But it’s unclear just how many family separations occurred. Immigration officials are allowed under longstanding policy to separate families under certain circumstances.

At least 10 dead in car bombing in Bogota » At least 10 people are dead and more than 20 others injured after a car bombing Thursday at a Colombian police academy. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Officials say a car rammed into the General Santander National Police Academy in southern Bogota before the explosion. Witnesses said the blast shattered windows in nearby apartments.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The bombing recalled the horrors Colombians experienced during decades of violence by guerrilla rebels and drug lords. But security has improved in recent years. In the last major attack one year ago, rebels from the National Liberation Army killed five police officials in the northern port city of Barranquilla.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. 

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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