Tuesday morning news: May 7, 2019

U.S. dispatches aircraft carrier to counter Iranian threat » The U.S. military has deployed an aircraft carrier and a bomber task force to the Middle East amid threats from Iran.

While flying to Finland on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters he didn’t want to get into specifics about the Iranian threat. But he insisted America is sending a clear message.

POMPEO: We will hold Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests.

The secretary said the U.S. has seen “escalatory action from the Iranians.” And he added, the U.S. will hold its government accountable if any group like Hezbollah acts as a “third-party proxy” for Iran against U.S. interests.

U.S. warns Russia, China over Arctic aggression » After arriving in Finland for an Arctic Council conference, Pompeo took Russia and China to task over aggressive moves in that part of the world. The secretary warned Russia against militarizing the region.

POMPEO: Provocative actions are part of a pattern of aggressive Russian behavior here in the Arctic. Russia is already leaving snow prints in the form of army boots. 

He also took aim at China, accusing its government of making illegitimate territorial claims and trying to create another South China Sea-type controversy.

Critics panned Pompeo’s speech for being short on specifics. They also noted he did not utter the phrase “climate change.” Some environmental activists claim the Trump administration is focused on extracting oil and other resources from the Arctic instead of protecting the environment.

U.S.-China trade talks still on following Trump tariff announcement » Trade talks with China are still on track after president Trump said he would raise tariffs this Friday. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has details.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Chinese envoys are still planning to fly to Washington this week to continue trade talks. Some speculated President Trump’s weekend tweet threatening to increase tariffs on Chinese goods might endanger those talks.

Those fears made Wall Street jittery Monday morning. Stocks dropped in early trading. But the markets pared those losses after getting word that the trade talks are still on.

The president announced over the weekend that he would raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent. Many analysts saw that warning as an effort to ramp up pressure on Beijing to strike a trade deal.

A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said his government is “trying to get more information” about the planned increase.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

House panel to vote on holding Barr in contempt of Congress » Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote tomorrow to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.

That after Barr did not meet the committee’s May 6th deadline to hand over an unredacted version of the Mueller report.

The Justice Department on Monday invited Judiciary Committee staff to meet tomorrow to discuss to a “mutually acceptable” way to provide the full report to lawmakers.

Treasury secretary denies Democrats’ request for Trump tax returns » Meantime, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday told Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee that the Treasury Department will not hand them President Trump’s personal tax returns.

Mnuchin cited legal guidance from the Justice Department and said the committee’s request “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.”

That means the Democrats’ pursuit of the president’s personal records will likely head to the courts.  

U.S. to add 30,000 seasonal worker visas » The Trump administration plans to give temporary work permits to 30,000 more foreign workers. WORLD Radio’s Leigh Jones has that story.

LEIGH JONES, NEWS EDITOR: The plan would allow the workers to stay in the U.S. through September. It would benefit oyster shucking companies, fisheries, loggers, and seasonal hotels.

The visas, known as H-2Bs, will only go to foreign workers who have had them before within the last three fiscal years. Many of the visa holders return to the same employers year after year. Officials say they’ve already vetted those workers who can largely be trusted and are not likely to overstay their visas.

Employers can begin submitting applications on behalf of the workers once the temporary rule is published in the Federal Register. That’s expected tomorrow.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Leigh Jones.

Royal baby born to Duke, Duchess of Sussex » AUDIO: [Bells ringing] Oyez!

England’s royal family has added one more member.

AUDIO: Buckingham Palace proudly announce the birth of a newly born royal baby boy to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. God bless America and God save the queen! 

A town crier heard there outside Windsor Castle.

The baby weighed in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces, and will be seventh in line for the British throne. He is the first child of Prince Harry and wife Meghan, who married a year ago. Harry said he’s “incredibly proud” of his wife and that they’ll share more details soon. But they still haven’t chosen the baby’s name just yet.

HARRY: We’re still thinking about names and … that’s that’s the next step.

Meghan Markle is originally from the United States, and their child could have dual U.S.-U.K. citizenship if the parents apply for it.

(Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael Singley/US Navy via AP) In this May 3, 2019 photo released by the U.S. Navy, An F/A-18E Super Hornet from VFA 25 launches from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

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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