Tuesday morning news: March 26, 2019

British lawmakers vote to take control of Brexit process » British lawmakers seized a measure of control over the Brexit process from Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday.

The House of Commons voted to give itself control of the parliamentary timetable starting tomorrow so lawmakers can vote on alternatives to May’s Brexit deal.

AUDIO: The ayes to the right, 329. The nos to the left 302. So the ayes have it. The ayes have it.

That vote sets up a series of votes that could dramatically shift the course of the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Lawmakers who backed Monday’s motion hope to narrow the Brexit options down to one that can secure majority support. Possible options include a “soft Brexit” that maintains close economic ties with the EU or scrapping Britain’s departure altogether.

The government said it was disappointed in the vote, but it also conceded that the new votes might be a way to break the months-long Brexit impasse.

White House takes Democrats, media to task after Russia probe » The White House went on the attack Monday, calling out Democrats and media outlets after special counsel Robert Mueller’s report found no Trump collusion with Russia. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders…

SANDERS: It’s not just that they reported and spread a slanderous, malicious lie, but they hoped for the takedown of the president of the United States.

And President Trump’s reelection campaign team sent out a memo to reporters listing remarks by top Democrats, who predicted Mueller would find collusion.

Democrats say the president has not been cleared of wrongdoing, and they want to see the full Mueller report — not just cliff notes. A half-dozen House committee leaders sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr yesterday demanding to see the full report by next Tuesday.

But Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said Monday…

GRAHAM: By any reasonable standard Mr. Mueller thoroughly investigated the Trump campaign. You cannot say that about the other side of the story.

Graham said he wants answers about the people who set the Russia probe in motion and about the Justice Department’s handling of the Clinton email probe.

Midwest flooding claims two more lives » Two more people have died in flood waters in the Midwest. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The search for two South Dakota men swept away in a garbage truck in the James River ended tragically on Monday.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol says authorities have pulled the bodies of the 61-year-old driver and 46-year-old passenger from the river.

The men were last seen Thursday driving away from a landfill in Mitchell. Crews spotted a damaged guardrail Saturday on a highway along the James River and later found the truck.

Three deaths have been blamed so far on flooding near the Missouri River. Two men remain missing in Nebraska.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Michael Avenatti arrested, charged with extortion, fraud » Police in New York arrested Michael Avenatti Monday on charges of extortion and bank and wire fraud.

Avenatti is the attorney who represented pornographic film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, in lawsuits against President Trump.

Among his alleged crimes, trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike. U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said Avenatti claimed to have damaging information about misconduct by Nike employees.

BERMAN: Avenatti threatened to hold a press conference at which he would make these allegations public if the company did not agree to his financial demands. 

Prosecutors revealed the charges against him about 45 minutes after Avenatti announced that press conference.

Avenatti also stands accused of, among other things, embezzling a client’s money to pay his own expenses. His arrest stems from separate cases in New York and California.

Israel vows to strike back after Gaza rocket attack » Gaza’s Hamas rulers say Egypt has brokered a ceasefire to end the latest round of fighting with Israel and that the ceasefire went into effect last night.

The announcement came shortly after several rockets were fired into Israel setting off air raid sirens throughout the south.

Israeli forces carried out a series of airstrikes across Gaza on Monday…

AUDIO: [Sound of airstrike]

Those strikes in response to an earlier rocket attack that struck a home and wounded seven people in Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington when that rocket hit and vowed to hit back hard.

NETANYAHU: Israel is responding forcefully to this wanton aggression. I have a simple message to Israel’s enemies. We will do whatever we must do to defend our people and defend our state. 

He said he would return to Israel to handle the crisis shortly after the White House meeting.

New Zealand to launch top level investigation into mass shooting » New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Monday that her country will launch a top-level investigation into the recent mass shooting at two mosques.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry is the country’s highest investigative authority. Ardern said it “will look at what could have or should have been done to prevent the attack.” She said she wants to know if any warning signs went unnoticed.

ARDERN: New Zealand is not a surveillance state, and that’s been a pretty clear directive, I think, from members of the public. But questions, of course, need to be answered around whether or not these were the activities about someone we could or should have known about. 

The inquiry will also examine the role of guns and social media.

(Jonathan Brady/PA via AP) Protestors for opposing views face off against each other, with pro-Brexit split from Europe at right, and pro-Europe anti Brexit at left, outside parliament in London, Monday March 25, 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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