Friday morning news: June 21, 2019

Iran shoots down US drone » President Trump said Thursday that the U.S. “will not stand” for Iran shooting down an American surveillance drone.

An Iranain missile took down the drone off the Strait of Hormuz, marking the first time Iran has directly attacked a U.S. military asset amid ongoing tensions.

Asked how the U.S. will respond, the president told reporters, “You’ll find out.”

TRUMP: Obviously, you know, we’re not going to be talking too much about it. You’re going to find out. They made a very big mistake. 

But he added that he thinks somebody down the chain of command may have been responsible.

The attack was unusually brazen for Iran, which often works through military proxies.

TRUMP: I think it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.  

But Iran is defending the incident, claiming the drone violated Iranian airspace. But Lieutenant General Joseph Guastella said the drone plunged into international waters.

GUASTELLA: This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset that had not violated Iranian airspace at any time during its mission. 

He said the attack was “an attempt to disrupt our ability to monitor the area following recent threats to international shipping.”

Roy Moore announces another U.S. Senate bid » Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is planning another campaign for  the U.S. Senate.

Democrat Doug Jones defeated Moore in a 2017 special election to fill the seat that had belonged to Jeff Sessions. The Democratic upset victory followed accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore.

But on Thursday, he said he was the victim of a smear campaign.

MOORE: They targeted 650,000 Alabamians with false information. It’s naturally going to have—They brought people in from out of state. There are many reasons I could say it’s not correct. 

The White House urged Moore not to run. The announcement upends an election that Republicans see as a top priority in 2020.

Ex-congressional staffer sentenced for “doxing” U.S. Senators » A former congressional staffer was sentenced to four years in prison Wednesday for going after GOP senators who backed Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Jackson A. Cosko is a former computer systems administrator in the office of Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan.

He admitted to illegally posting online the home addresses and phone numbers of five senators. He pleaded guilty to five federal offenses, including computer fraud, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.

Cosko’s sentencing came as prosecutors charged a second former Hassan aide with helping to reveal the private information—a practice known as “doxing.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

RI passes controversial pro-abortion bill » Rhode Island is now the latest blue state to pass a controversial pro-abortion law. Democratic Governor Gina Raimondo signed a bill this week that strips the state government of the power to protect unborn children up to the moment of birth.

Rhode Island’s so-called Reproductive Privacy Act says abortion must be allowed throughout a pregnancy, if it’s necessary for the life or health of the mother. But the bill does not define “life” or “health.”

Appeals court allows rules to restrict taxpayer funds from abortion industry » Meantime, a federal appeals court said Thursday that new Trump administration rules that could partially defund Planned Parenthood can take effect for now. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has that story.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: The new rules ban taxpayer-funded health clinics from making abortion referrals. They also bar clinics that receive federal money from sharing office space with abortion providers. That could have a big impact on Planned Parenthood, which currently rakes in as much as $60 million dollars in Title X funding each year.

Several Democratic states and other groups sued and lower courts halted the rules. But a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the rules are a reasonable interpretation of a federal law. That means they can take effect while the court battle continues.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

Chinese president visits North Korea » Chinese President Xi Jinping is in North Korea today for meetings with Kim Jong Un. He is the first Chinese leader to visit the country in 14 years.

Kim welcomed Xi and a delegation of Chinese leaders with a ceremony.

AUDIO: [Sound of ceremony]

Thousands gathered and waved flags and chanted slogans as Xi arrived.

The U.S. faces deteriorating relationships with both countries. Negotiations between Kim and President Trump have stalled in recent months.

Meanwhile, China is locked in a trade battle with the United States. President Trump plans to meet with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Japan.

(AP Photo/Julie Bennett) Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore announces his run for the republican nomination for U.S. Senate Thursday, June 20, 2019, in Montgomery, Ala. 

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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