Friday morning news: March 8, 2019


Democrats in turmoil over anti-Semitism resolution » The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and other acts of hate. But it wasn’t enough to quell the ongoing controversy over anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party.

DEUTCH: Anti-Semitism is worthy of being taken seriously on its own. It’s worthy of being singularly called out.

Florida Congressman Ted Deutch, a Democrat, took to the House floor to blast what he and others saw as a weak statement.

The action came after freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota—also a Democrat—questioned the national loyalty of those who support Israel. But the resolution did not name Omar, as lawmakers like Deutch wanted.

DEUTCH: There is too much hatred, too many other people who are targeted, and we need to support all of them. But we are having this debate because of the language of one of our colleagues. Language that said Jews like me who serve in the United States in Congress—and whose father earned a Purple Heart fighting in the Battle of the Bulge—that we are not loyal Americans?

Omar, who is Muslim, has a history of controversial comments about Jews.


Huawei sues over ban on cellphones » Chinese telecom giant Huawei on Thursday confirmed it has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government. The suit challenges a U.S. ban on government agencies using the company’s equipment. It claims the ban is unconstitutional.

And the company has the Chinese government’s backing.

AUDIO: [Man speaking in Mandarin]

A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs told reporters Thursday it was, quote—“entirely legitimate and understandable for enterprises to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests through legal means.”

Huawei is a leading developer of 5G technology and is among the world’s top smartphone manufacturers. But Western nations worry the company could use its equipment to provide data to Chinese officials.

Beijing recently passed a law that requires Chinese companies to aid the government in national security efforts. In December Canadian authorities arrested Huawei’s CFO for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran.


Manafort sentenced » A Virginia judge sentenced President Trump’s former campaign chairman Thursday to nearly four years in prison. A jury convicted Paul Manafort last year of tax and bank fraud related to his work advising Ukrainian politicians before he joined the Trump campaign.

After the sentencing hearing Manafort’s attorney Kevin Downing emphasized what his client did not do.

DOWNING: He made clear he accepts responsibility for his conduct. And I think most importantly what you saw today is the same thing that we had said from day one. There is absolutely no evidence that Paul Manafort was involved with any collusion with any government official from Russia.

Although Manafort’s case stemmed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, his crimes did not have any connection to President Trump.

Manafort still faces sentencing in the District of Columbia where he pleaded guilty in a separate case involving illegal lobbying.


Florida officer convicted of shooting black motorist » A Florida jury on Thursday convicted a former police officer of manslaughter and attempted murder for shooting a stranded African-American motorist in 2015. It was the first time in 30 years a Florida officer has been convicted of an on-duty shooting.

The victim’s father, Clinton Jones Sr., celebrated the decision.

JONES: The truth will always prevail. And this is what happened today. It was the truth that convicted him. It was the truth that brought him to justice. It was the truth that sent him to jail. It was the truth!

Corey Jones was stopped on the side of a Palm Beach County highway when Officer Nouman Raja approached his SUV. Raja was not wearing a uniform, did not show his badge, and was not driving a vehicle with police markings.

Jones had a legal permit to carry a handgun, and prosecutors said he likely thought he was being car-jacked when Raja ordered him to get out of his vehicle. Prosecutors believe Jones pulled his gun and tried to get away. Raja shot him in the back as he ran.

Raja will be sentenced in April. He faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years and could spend the rest of his life in prison.


Parkland sheriff sues governor over removal after shooting » Meanwhile, another former Florida law enforcement officer is suing to get his job back. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for failing to prevent the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland last year.

In his lawsuit, Israel claims DeSantis ousted him for political reasons and failed to prove he acted improperly.

DeSantis suspended Israel in January using a Florida constitutional provision that allows the governor to remove elected officials from office for “neglect of duty and incompetence.” Before the Parkland shooting, Israel had changed his department’s guidelines to say deputies “may” confront an active shooter, instead of “shall.”


Cardinal resignation and conviction » Cardinal Philippe Barbarin said Thursday he will offer his resignation to Pope Francis after a French court convicted him of failing to report child sexual abuse.

BARBARIN: [Speaking in French]

In a brief statement, Barbarin expressed his “compassion” for the victims.

The court gave Barbarin a six-month suspended sentence for failing to alert authorities of accusations against a known pedophile priest in 2014 and 2015. Barbarin’s lawyer said he plans to appeal the conviction.


(AP Photo/Andy Wong) A logo of Huawei retail shop is seen through a handrail inside a commercial office building in Beijing, Friday, March 8, 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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