Friday morning news: May 24, 2019


Tornadoes strike Missouri, killing three » Officials are still surveying the damage after tornadoes tore across parts of Missouri, killing at least three people.

In the capital of Jefferson City, debris covered city streets on Thursday. Trees and power lines lay toppled on the ground in front of mangled houses and buildings without roofs.

Jared Lee hardly recognized the Chevrolet dealership where he works.

LEE: The glass is in the walls. The shards are in the walls. These cars were brand new hours ago, and now they’re completely totaled.

Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin said she’s just glad that as of Thursday there were no reports of serious injuries there.  

TERGIN: We’re very thankful because when you see the amount of devastation, it’s really – it’s pretty significant, and it’s a wide area of the city. 

But a twister around Golden City in the state’s southwestern corner proved fatal. An elderly couple was found dead 200 yards from their home. Another woman died when the tornado struck her mobile home.  

And flooding remains a major concern in parts of the state.


White House announces more aid to farmers amid trade war » President Trump is delivering another $16 billion dollars in aid to farmers hurt by the trade war with China.

The latest bailout comes atop $11 billion in aid to farmers last year.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Fox Business that as the Trump administration sees it, China is ultimately footing the bill for the relief package in the form of new tariffs.

PERDUE: It’s a transfer coming in, and we’re doing it again through the CCC program, which was authorized as we used last year. But actually, the tariff money that we’re receiving, the revenue we’re receiving is what the president has intended to fund the farmers who are being hurt by these retaliatory tariffs. 

Perdue said the government will likely make the first of three payments in July or August. He suggested it was unlikely that a trade deal would be done by then.


Early release of “American Taliban” sparks outrage » President Trump voiced disgust on Thursday over the release of John Walker Lindh from prison hours earlier. Lindh became known as the “American Taliban” following his capture in 2001 after he took up arms for the terror group.  

TRUMP: We’ll be watching him. We’ll be watching him closely. What bothers me more than anything else is that here’s a man who has not given up his proclamation of terror. And we have to let him out. 

He said lawyers have gone over the case “with a fine-toothed comb,” and if there were any way he could have blocked Lindh’s release, he would have.

A court granted parole to the 38-year-old after 17 years behind bars.

Republican Florida Congressman Michael Waltz said even if Lindh had served his full 20-year sentence, it wouldn’t have been enough.

WALTZ: Lindh is a traitor. He didn’t just fight with the Taliban. He met with Bin Laden. He assisted al-Qaeda, and he was training with al-Qaeda and the Taliban when 9/11 occurred.  It has always been outrageous to me that he only received 20 years in prison.

Lindh was present when CIA agent Mike Spann died during a prisoner uprising in Afghanistan. Spann’s family on Thursday also condemned his release.


Second judge rules against President Trump on financial records access » A second federal judge this week ruled against President Trump’s efforts to block House Democrats from accessing his financial records. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos told President Trump’s lawyers that he will not grant an injunction. Trump’s legal team asked the New York judge to stop Deutsche Bank and Capital One from handing over years of the president’s financial records to House Democrats.  

The Intelligence and Financial Services committees have subpoenaed the documents. They say they need the records to determine whether Trump had inappropriate financial ties that could lead to “foreign influence in the U.S. political process.”

And Judge Ramos ruled that the subpoenas, though broad, are—quote—“clearly pertinent.”

The president’s attorneys say the requests lack a “legitimate legislative purpose” and are likely to fight the ruling. On Tuesday they appealed a separate ruling that the Mazars USA accounting firm must comply with a congressional subpoena.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.


New York passes bills to ensure access to Trump financial records » Meanwhile, lawmakers in New York passed two bills this week aimed at ensuring access to the president’s financial records. The legislation obligates the state to hand over Trump’s state tax returns if congressional panels request them for any “legitimate legislative purpose.” Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is expected to sign the measures into law. New York is the president’s home state and where his business is headquartered.


D-Day veterans return for France for invasion’s 75th anniversary » As the nation prepares to celebrate Memorial Day, some veterans of D-Day are preparing to return to France ahead of the invasion’s 75th anniversary on June 6th.

Ninety-three-year-old Dennis Trudeau now lives in Grovetown, Georgia. He joined the Canadian military at the age of just 17. He said it’s gotten easier to look back, but even decades later, some memories are still difficult. He recalled the moment a fellow paratrooper was fatally wounded during their initial jump.  

TRUDEAU: He kept calling for his mother, and I told him you’re gonna be alright. Then he died. 

German forces later captured Trudeau, and he spent the rest of the war in a prison camp. Barely fed, he wasted away to just 85 pounds but eventually, he was freed and reunited with his family.

TRUDEAU: I ran up and hugged them and kissed them, you know and I looked up in the heavens and said Lord, thank you! I was free. I was well, and I was going home. 

Trudeau returned to Normandy in 1955 to visit the graves of eight platoon members who didn’t survive. This time, he’ll say a prayer over their graves.


(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) This aerial image shows severe storm damage in Jefferson City, Mo., Thursday, May 23, 2019, after a tornado hit overnight. 

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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