Tuesday morning news: April 9, 2019

Secret Service director stepping down » Another top Trump administration official is out. U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles is stepping down amid a shake-up in the upper echelon of the Homeland Security Department.

The president has selected career Secret Service official James Murray to lead the agency. He’ll assume the role next month.

That news came just one day after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced that the she is leaving. On Monday Nielsen said she’s meeting now with government officials and members of Congress to ensure a smooth transition.

NIELSEN: As you know, DHS has a vast array of missions. I want to make sure we continue to execute them all with excellence through this transition. 

Nielsen said she’ll stay on the job at least through tomorrow. U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAleenan will take over as acting head of the department.  

U.S. designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group » For the first time ever, the U.S. has designated a part of another country’s military a terrorist group. President Trump said Monday that’s exactly what Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained…

POMPEO: For 40 years, the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guard Corp has actively engaged in terrorism and created, supported and directed other terrorist groups. The IRGC masquerades as a legitimate military organization, but none of us should be fooled. 

The guard is an elite military force that answers directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

The designation will freeze the organization’s assets and bar Americans from doing business with the group. Anyone who supports the Revolutionary Guard could be deported from the U.S. or barred from entering.

Iran responded by saying it will designate the U.S. Central Command—or Centcom—as a supporter of terrorism.

Boeing facing growing number of lawsuits » Boeing is facing a growing number of lawsuits in the wake of two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max jetliners.

A pair of Houston-based attorneys just announced wrongful death suits against the company on behalf of the family of a Minnesota man killed in last month’s crash in Ethiopia.

HUSAIN: In my 20 years of working on aviation cases, I’ve never seen such egregious and greedy conduct on behalf of a company. 

Attorney Nomaan Husain heard there.

Families of victims from last year’s Lion Air crash in Indonesia are also suing. Their attorneys say an admission last week by Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg helps their case.

He conceded that an anti-stall system on the Max jets played a major role in the crashes.  

MUILENBURG: It’s apparent that in both flights, the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system, known as MCAS, activated in response to erroneous angle of attack information. 

Muilenburg said engineers are nearing completion on a software fix to correct the problem.

13 parents to plead guilty in college entry scheme » Actress Felicity Huffman and a dozen other prominent parents have agreed to plead guilty in the sweeping college admissions cheating scam.

Prosecutors say the scheme involved rigging standardized test scores and bribing coaches at prestigious schools, including Yale and Georgetown.

Huffman will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and other crimes punishable by up to 20 years in prison. But the plea agreement indicates prosecutors will seek a sentence of four to 10 months.

Experts have said they expect some parents will avoid prison time if they quickly accept responsibility.

U.K. proposes tough regulations on social media » The UK is proposing tough new regulations on social media that could have an impact around the globe. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: British media secretary Jeremy Wright said the new proposal is the first of its kind anywhere. The plan, unveiled Monday, would require platforms like Facebook and Twitter to block content like terrorist propaganda or images of child abuse. And if they fail to do that, the new rules would hit executives of those companies with fines or even ban companies all together.

The government will publish the draft legislation after three months of public comment. Critics say such laws could turn Google and Facebook into censors and stifle free speech.

Australia last week banned social media platforms from allowing—quote—“abhorrent violent material” to remain on their sites. Violations are punishable by three years in prison and steep fines.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Trump administration ends MLB baseball deal with Cuba » The Trump administration is moving to end a deal that would allow Cuban baseball players to sign contracts directly with Major League Baseball clubs.

The Obama administration first negotiated the deal. It was designed to keep Cuban players hoping to play in the big leagues from having to make risky escapes from their home country, often hiring human traffickers.

Under that deal, the major leagues could pay the Cuban Baseball Federation a release fee to allow the player to leave. But the Treasury Department says that federation is part of the Cuban government, so the payments are not allowed.

Barring payments appears to make the deal unworkable.

Virginia defeats Texas Tech in NCAA championship » The Virginia Cavaliers are the college basketball national champions. The knocked off Texas Tech in overtime last night—winning 85 to 77.

AUDIO: And Virginia with the all time turnaround title!

Audio courtesy of CBS.  

It was dramatic one-year turnaround after Virginia became the first No.1 seed ever to lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year. But this year, Virginia guard De’Andre Hunter led the way with 27 points helping the Cavaliers win their first ever national title.  

(AP Photo/David Goldman) In this Feb. 1, 2018 file photo, Director of the United States Secret Service, Randolph “Tex” Alles, speaks at the Atlanta Press Club in Atlanta. 

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.

Like this story?

To hear a lot more like it, subscribe to The World and Everything in It via iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or Pocket Casts.







Pocket Casts

(Requires a fee)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.