Thursday morning news: March 14, 2019

President Trump issues order grounding some Boeing jets » President Trump has issued an executive order grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft.

TRUMP: Boeing is an incredible company. They are working very, very hard right now, and hopefully they’ll very quickly come up with the answer. But until they do, the planes are grounded. 

Most of the jetliners have already been grounded elsewhere across the globe. But until now, the Federal Aviation Administration had been saying that it didn’t have any data to show the jets are unsafe.

Boeing has maintained that the planes are airworthy, though it’s working on a software update and other changes.

Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia was the second involving a Max 8 jet in five month’s time.

British lawmakers vote against a no-deal Brexit » Britain’s Parliament voted last night to reject leaving the European Union without a divorce agreement in place. Many fear that a so-called crash out of the EU would wreak havoc on the British economy.

Lawmakers passed an amended version of Prime Minister Theresa May’s measure by a final tally of 321 to 278. The vote lowers the odds of a no-deal Brexit, but does not preclude it. The prime minister addressing lawmakers said the legal default has not changed.

MAY: The U.K. will leave the E.U. without a deal unless—unless, unless something else is agreed. The onus is now on every one of us in this house to find out what that is. 

British lawmakers now plan to vote today on whether to ask the EU to delay the country’s March 29th departure.

Pentagon moves forward with transgender restrictions » The Pentagon has approved a new policy that will not bar transgender service members in the military, but will require most to serve in their biological sex. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: After April 12th, no one with gender dysphoria who is taking hormones or has taken other steps to try and change their gender will be allowed to enlist. And any currently serving troops diagnosed with gender dysphoria after that date will have to serve in their birth gender. The policy also bars them from taking hormones or getting surgery to change their gender.

However, most current transgender troops will be grandfathered in. And service secretaries can waive the policy on a case-by-case basis.

The final legal injunction blocking the new policy was lifted last week, allowing the Pentagon to move forward. But transgender military rules are likely to face ongoing legal challenges.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

CA governor halts capital punishment » California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday halting capital punishment in his state. Newsom said—quote—“The intentional killing of another person is wrong and as governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual.”

The order gives a reprieve to more than 700 death row inmates.

Professor David Levine of University of California-Hastings College of Law argues that setting aside the moral argument, capital punishment is impractical.  

LEVINE: Running a mechanism of death, whether it’s the prisons—the death row itself, whether it’s the legal formalities that are there, it’s wildly expensive. 

But president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County, Michele Hanisee, disagreed.

HANISEE: This is a slap in the face to the victims of these horrible murderers. It’s a slap in the face to their families.

In 2016 California voters approved a ballot measure to speed up capital punishment. But the state hasn’t executed anyone since 2006.

Manafort sentenced to additional prison time » A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to an additional three-and-a-half years in prison. The 69-year-old is already behind bars, serving a four-year sentence for financial crimes he committed years ago. The new sentence is for crimes related to Manafort’s political consulting work in Ukraine.

Lawmakers chimed in yesterday, with Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, saying Manafort “caught a break today.” He said the sentence…

BLUMENTHAL: In many respects fails to measure the severity of how he defied the justice system.

Other Democrats disagreed—including California Senator Dianne Feinstein.

FEINSTEIN: Seven years is a substantial and certainly adequate sentence. 

And Manafort’s legal woes aren’t over yet. He was charged in New York City on Wednesday with mortgage fraud, conspiracy, and other counts. The state charges are outside the reach of any potential presidential pardon for Manafort.

(Mark Duffy/UK Parliament via AP) Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to lawmakers in the House of Commons, London, Wednesday March 13, 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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