Wednesday morning news: January 2, 2019

Trump’s New Year message and latest shutdown drama » President Trump rung in the New Year with a message on Twitter Tuesday morning.

TRUMP: Happy new year! And let’s enjoy the next year. And then we’re going to enjoy the following year. And then we have four more, and everything is going to be so beautiful.

The president touted the country’s economy and gave a nod to the upcoming effort to end the partial government shutdown.

TRUMP: We have to have a wall as part of border security, and we’re working on it.

Trump invited congressional leaders to a White House briefing on border security today. After issuing the invite he tweeted, quote—”Let’s make a deal?” The White House has not released a possible agenda for the meeting.

But Democrats already have their first plan of attack in what could be a long battle to reopen the government. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi returned to Washington and announced plans to promptly pass a bill to fund non-immigration enforcement departments. It would not include any money for a border wall. President Trump says he won’t sign a bill without funds for a wall.

The new Congress convenes Thursday.

Manchester stabbing » Police in the English city of Manchester are searching for clues in a New Year’s Eve stabbing that injured three people at a train station. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said police quickly detained the attacker.

HOPKINS: We are treating this as a terror investigation, which is being led by counterterrorism officers with support from Greater Manchester police. They were working throughout the night to piece together the details of what happened and to identify the man who was arrested.

The suspect reportedly shouted Islamic slogans during the attack. A man and woman suffered serious but non-life threatening stab wounds. They remain hospitalized. The attacker also stabbed a British Transport Police sergeant who was treated and released from a local hospital.

Mayor Andy Burnham said the stabbing brought unwelcome reminders of the 2017 attack that killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert.

BURNHAM: I’m sure that there are many people who have been reminded of painful memories. And indeed, of course, we know there were many people at the scene last night who were also very seriously affected by what they saw.

Police have not named the attacker in Monday’s incident. But they do know his identity and are searching his home for clues about the attack.

Car attacks in Tokyo and Germany » Meanwhile, police in Germany and Japan are also investigating New Year’s Eve attacks.

AUDIO: [Sound of first responders in Tokyo]

A 21-year-old man drove a minivan into crowds gathered to celebrate the new year in downtown Tokyo, injuring eight people. Police found a large tank filled with kerosene in the vehicle, suggesting the suspect planned to blow it up. Investigators believe the attack was deliberate but haven’t yet offered a possible motive.

In Germany, police say a man repeatedly drove his silver Mercedes into crowds of revelers in two different cities. Four people including a child suffered injuries.

Based on comments made during his arrest, police believe the 50-year-old driver intentionally targeted foreigners.

Latest on American arrested in Russia » The family of an American accused of spying in Russia says he was visiting Moscow to attend a wedding. Paul Whelan was arrested Friday on espionage charges. His twin brother David told MSNBC the family grew concerned when he didn’t show up for the wedding.

WHELAN: We learned about Paul’s detention from online news wires that had re-published the Russian ministry’s announcement about his detention. We have been speaking to people at the State Department since then, and we have gotten some very strong help from people at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, although…no one as far as I know has seen or spoken to him yet.

The 48-year-old former Marine has traveled widely and did multiple tours in Iraq. He now works as head of global security for a Michigan-based auto parts supplier. But the company has no facilities in Russia.

David Whelan called his brother’s innocence, quote—“undoubted” and said the family is deeply concerned for his well-being.

Russian spying charges carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) In this Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump makes a statement on the possible government shutdown before signing criminal just reform legislation in the Oval Office of the White House, 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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