Thursday morning news: February 28, 2019

President Trump kicks off summit with N.Korea’s Kim » Today is day two of President Trump’s summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Hanoi.

On Wednesday, the two leaders shook hands as flash bulbs lit the backdrop of U.S. and North Korean flags.

TRUMP: Well, I want to just say, it’s an honor to be with Chairman Kim. It’s an honor to be together in, really, a country, Vietnam, where they’ve really rolled out the red carpet. 

The president said he has a special relationship with Kim. He told the North Korean leader that his country has tremendous economic potential and a bright future.

TRUMP: I look forward to watching it happen and helping it to happen. And we will help it to happen.

President Trump and Kim Jong Un later met briefly one-on-one, with only their interpreters present and later talked over dinner. The White House described it as a “social dinner.”

Trump, Kim and top advisors have a full slate of meetings today, when the leaders are expected to dig into the meat of their nuclear talks.

Michael Cohen takes aim at President Trump in House testimony » Meantime, back in Washington, the president’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, unloaded on Trump in testimony Wednesday on Capitol Hill. He called him a racist conman, and accused him of numerous immoral and illegal acts.

For his part, Cohen told members of the House Oversight Committee he has accepted responsibility for his crimes, but insisted he did it all for the president.

COHEN: I am ashamed of my weakness and my misplaced loyalty, of the things I did for Mr. Trump in an effort to protect and promote him. 

Cohen will report to prison in May to serve a three-year sentence. He pleaded guilty to tax evasion, violating campaign laws and lying to Congress.

But on Wednesday, Cohen said he had no reason to lie now and brought documents to back up some of his claims. Among them, a check for $35,000 from Donald Trump allegedly written to partially reimburse Cohen for hush money paid to Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels.

COHEN: He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair and to lie about it to his wife, which I did. 

And Cohen said Trump knew ahead of time that WikiLeaks would release emails stolen from Democrats in 2016.

President Trump accuses Cohen of lying to try and get a lighter sentence.

House approves bill to expand gun-sale background checks » The Democratic-controlled House on Wednesday passed a bill requiring federal background checks for all firearms sales and transfers.

AUDIO: On this vote, the yeas are 240 and the nays are 190.  

The measure was the first major gun control legislation considered by Congress in nearly 25 years.

It is the first of two bills the House is voting on this week as Democrats move to tighten gun laws following eight years of Republican control. The other bill would extend the review period for background checks from three to 10 days.

Both bills face dim prospects in the GOP-controlled Senate and veto threats from President Trump. The White House said the bills would impose unreasonable requirements on gun owners.

Data shows thousands of sexual assault complaints at migrant children shelters » Federal documents released this week show thousands of accusations of sexual abuse and harassment of migrant children in government-funded shelters. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: The data from the Department of Health and Human Services revealed at least 4,500 abuse complaints from 2014 to 2018. Officials said most of the allegations were—quote—”inappropriate sexual behaviors” between minors at the facilities.  

But nearly 200 complaints alleged abuse and harassment by adult staff members. Those cases include everything from allegations of inappropriate touching to staff members allegedly watching minors while they bathed and showing them pornographic videos.

Officials have reported allegations to law enforcement, though it’s not clear whether anyone was charged criminally. In many cases, staff members were suspended and eventually fired.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

Tensions rise after Indian, Pakistani airstrikes » Amid increasing tension with India, Pakistan on Wednesday closed the country’s airspace to all commercial flights.

That after Pakistan shot down two Indian jets that entered its airspace and captured one of the two pilots.

GHAFOOR: It is a demonstration of our capability, capacity and will.

Major General Asif Ghafoor of the Pakistani army said Wednesday that Pakistan does “not want to escalate the situation.”

GHAFOOR: It is up to India now whether they go for the way which we have suggested, and which is the requirement of this region, which is peace. 

India said it targeted a terrorist training camp in Pakistani territory with a pre-dawn airstrike that eliminated members of the Pakistan-based extremist group Jaish-e-Mohammed.

That group took credit for a car bomb in Kashmir that killed 40 Indian police officers earlier this month.

Officials: fight between conductors caused deadly Cairo train crash » Officials in Egypt say a fight between two train conductors caused a fiery crash that killed dozens. WORLD Radio’s Leigh Jones has that story.

LEIGH JONES, NEWS EDITOR: Railway officials say the single railcar was traveling too fast when it collided head-on with a barrier, killing at least 25 people. The explosion and fire blasted through the platform at the busy downtown Cairo station. About 50 other people were injured, some critically.

Investigators said the locomotive’s conductor left the car to fight with another conductor whose railcar was blocking his. But he left without putting on the brakes and the other car began moving backward, freeing the locomotive. It then gathered speed and hit the concrete-and-metal barrier before exploding.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Leigh Jones.

(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) U.S. President Donald Trump meets North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Hanoi.

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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