Friday morning news: April 26, 2019


Kim and Putin meet in Russia » Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is satisfied with his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

AUDIO: [Sound of camera shutters and voices]

The two men met for the first time Thursday in Vladivostok.

After the meeting, Putin told reporters he is more than happy to share what he learned with President Donald Trump. He also offered some advice on U-S efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

PUTIN: [Speaking in Russian]

Putin said North Korea needs, quote—“guarantees of its security” and “the preservation of its sovereignty.” He also said Russia shares the U.S. goal of getting Kim to abandon his nuclear ambitions.

U.S. talks with North Korea ended abruptly in February over a disagreement about sanctions relief. Kim has since met with both China and Russia in what many see as an attempt to gain leverage against the U.S.


Sri Lanka searches for more attackers » The U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka is urging people to stay away from churches this weekend amid fears of more terror attacks. Church leaders had already canceled several public prayer gatherings.

Sri Lankan officials have deployed thousands of troops across the country. They’re searching for at least five militants who may still have explosive devices.

Security officers have already arrested 58 suspects in the Easter Sunday attacks on three churches and several luxury hotels. The country’s prime minister confirmed that those arrested include the father of two alleged suicide bombers.

WICKREMESINGHE: He is a leading businessman and the leading dealer in spices. He’s known around the business community. Active in politics. He was on the list of one of the political parties. But I do not know whether he knew what his sons were doing.

Meanwhile, officials have lowered the death toll by one-third, to 253. A top Health Ministry official said the level of destruction made it hard at first to tell how many victims were involved.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. International terror experts are still trying to confirm the extent of the group’s involvement.


Attack on pedestrians in California » Police in California have ruled out terrorism in an incident that sent eight people to the hospital. Three of them were children.

Sunnyvale Police Chief Phan Ngo said authorities do know the incident was not an accident.

NGO: The information that we have from the witnesses at the scene and the physical evidence led us to believe that it was a deliberate act by the suspect.

Officers arrested 34-year-old Isaiah Peoples after he drove his car through a group of people walking across a street. One 13-year-old girl remains in critical condition.

The former U.S. Army sharpshooter was reportedly on his way to Bible study when he drove into the crowd. Family members say he suffered from PTSD.


Joe Biden enters Democratic primary  » Former Vice President Joe Biden has finally made it official.

BIDEN: The core values of this nation, our standing in the world, our very democracy, everything that has made America America is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.

Biden made that announcement in a campaign video released early Thursday morning.

The 76-year-old joins an already crowded primary field: 20 other Democrats are vying for the party’s presidential nomination. But Biden becomes the instant frontrunner.

A recent poll of Democratic voters found 27 percent supported a would-be Biden bid. Senator Bernie Sanders came in second, with 20 percent.

Biden brushed off concerns that he does not have the endorsement of his two-time running mate, Barack Obama.

BIDEN: I asked President Obama not to endorse. Whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merit.

The former president’s office issued a statement praising Biden but stopping short of an official endorsement.


Tornado devastates Louisiana town » A tornado killed two people early Thursday morning when it plowed through the northern Louisiana town of Ruston. Governor John Bel Edwards surveyed the devastation by helicopter.

EDWARDS: I can tell you, from the air, if anything it is more remarkable than it is from the ground. And the damage is extensive.

The powerful storm downed trees and ripped roofs from buildings in the town of 24,000 residents. About one-third remain without power today.

Louisiana Tech University canceled classes due to damage around the campus.


Chemical spill outside Chicago » Thirty-seven people were hospitalized after a chemical leak sent a toxic plume over a northern Chicago suburb Thursday morning. A firefighter and six other people remain in critical condition.

Lake County Sheriff’s spokesman Christopher Covelli said investigators are still trying to figure out why the anhydrous ammonia began leaking from two separate two-ton containers.

COVELLI: The No. 1 priority in this situation was getting the chemical spill and the plumes of toxic gas that were in the air under control. That’s first and foremost. That comes before any investigation that we launch.

The toxic plume lingered over Beach Park, about 40 miles north of Chicago, for several hours. Officials issued a shelter in place order and closed area schools for the day.

Covelli described anhydrous ammonia as a dangerous chemical that can be deadly in large quantities. Farmers use it to add nitrogen to soil.


(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP) In this Thursday, April 25, 2019, photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok, Russia. 

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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