Friday morning news: March 22, 2019

Floodwaters continue to swamp parts of Midwest » Some communities along the Missouri River have started to shift their focus to flood recovery, but many more remain in danger.

In parts of Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri, it may be next week before the flood waters subside. Craig, Missouri, resident Laura Mutchler is one of thousands forced from her home.

MUTCHLER: Heartbreaking to leave your home and everything you’ve got, because you don’t know if you’ll go back to it or not.

Holt County, Missouri, presiding commissioner Tom Bullock said water has topped or destroyed every levee in his district.

BULLOCK: We’re standing here on Hwy 159 looking at big Lake Missouri behind me. It’s totally flooded. All around me is flooded. [sic] Missouri over here, farm grounds all underwater. It’s a terrible mess. 

Officials estimate about one-and-a-half billion dollars in damage already. And at least three people have drowned in the floodwaters.

Rescue workers scramble to save cyclone victims » Meanwhile in southeast Africa on Thursday, with a break in the weather, rescue workers scrambled to save more victims stranded by Cyclone Idai before the rains set in once again. WORLD Africa reporter Onize Ohikere has more.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: In Mozambique’s port city of Beira, treetops rise out of the water where homes once stood. The flood water covers a 31-mile expanse of farmland and villages.

Celso Correia is the Mozambican land and environment minister. He said teams pulled almost 1,000 people to safety on Wednesday. But rescue crews estimate 15,000 people remain stranded.

Correia said “They’re alive, we’re communicating with them, delivering food, but we need to rescue them and take them out.”

More than 500 people are confirmed dead with the death toll expected to rise.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere.

Mississippi governor Signs heartbeat bill » Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant on Thursday signed a bill into law that will protect babies from abortion once a heartbeat is detected. That usually happens at about six weeks gestation.

The law says an abortionist who ends a pregnancy after that point could lose his or her medical license. The law includes exceptions if a pregnancy endangers a woman’s life or one of her major bodily functions.

Abortion rights groups say they’ll sue to stop the law. But Bryant told Fox News the law has science on its side.

BRYANT: So the the sonograms that have been developed over the last several years clearly show the development of that fetus far beyond anything we could imagine at very earlier ages. This is a human being. 

Republican Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky signed a heartbeat law last week, but a federal judge temporarily blocked it. Last year, a judge in Iowa halted a heartbeat bill from taking effect, saying it violated the state Constitution.

FAA faces more scrutiny following deadly jetliner crashes » More scrutiny for the Federal Aviation Administration in the wake of two deadly plane crashes involving American-made jetliners. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has that story.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: On Wednesday lawmakers on a Senate panel will grill acting FAA administrator Dan Elwell and other officials.

Lawmakers want answers about the chain of events that led to the FAA certifying Boeing’s 737 Max 8 jetliner. That’s the aircraft involved in both crashes. This will be the first of multiple hearings.

And the FBI this week reportedly joined a probe of the Max 8’s approval process. The Department of Transportation’s watchdog was already investigating.

Boeing is working on safety fixes for the planes. But even when those changes are in place and the jets are deemed entirely safe, Canada and the European Union say they will not take the FAA’s word for it this time. They plan to launch their own reviews of the Boeing jet.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Report suggests Illinois Catholic officials kept quiet about abuse » A law firm representing sex abuse victims has released a report naming almost 400 Catholic clergy members accused of sexual misconduct in Illinois. But Catholic officials haven’t told churchgoers about most of those cases.

Minnesota-based law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates released the nearly 200-page report this week. It includes the names, photos, and other information about each of the people accused.

But some Catholic officials are pushing back. The Chicago archdiocese denied a systemic coverup, insisting “It reports all allegations to the civil authorities.”

A spokesman for the Springfield Diocese, suggested the law firm is just trying to capitalize on the media buzz surrounding the Catholic scandal. He dismissed the report as an impressive “marketing brochure.”

Ichiro Suzuki retires from baseball » One of baseball’s all-time greats is calling it quits. Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki walked off the field for the final time Thursday at Japan’s Tokyo Dome.

AUDIO: And the Mariners players are going to gather. This will be the moment. [Crowd sound]

He came off the field in the 8th inning to a standing ovation.

AUDIO: Please join Major League Baseball as we salute Ichiro Suzuki! 

Audio courtesy of ESPN.

The Mariners played a pair of games in Japan this week against the Oakland A’s. Suzuki went hitless, but the Mariners won both games. He announced his retirement hours later.

Ichiro was a 10-time All-Star, an American League MVP and Rookie of the Year. He also won 10 Gold Gloves. And that’s after spending the first eight years of his career in Japan.  

Suzuki also set a record with 262 hits in a season and finished with a career .311 batting average.

(Jeff Bundy/Omaha World-Herald via AP) Dodge street is closed from flood waters on Saturday March 16, 2019 in Omaha Neb.

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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