Monday morning news: June 24, 2019

U.S. drops new sanctions on Iran » The United States is imposing more sanctions on Iran beginning today.

The move comes four days after the Islamic Republic shot down a U.S. military drone over international waters. Iranian leaders claimed it violated their airspace.

The U.S. military was initially prepared to hit back with airstrike. But President Trump called it off at the last minute. He said 150 Iranians could have died in the strike, and that would not be a proportional response.  

TRUMP:  I don’t want to kill 150 of anything or anybody unless it’s absolutely necessary. 

Meanwhile, citing unnamed sources, the Associated Press reports the U.S. launched a cyberattack attack against Iran’s military computer systems.

National Security Adviser John Bolton warned Iran not to—quote—“mistake U.S. prudence and discretion for weakness.”

BOLTON: No one has granted them a hunting license in the Middle East. As President Trump said on Friday, our military is rebuilt, new and ready to go, by far the best in the world. 

On Sunday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. remains ready to join Iran’s leaders at the negotiating table.

Pompeo is embarking this week on a long trip to discuss the threat from Iran—starting in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He said they’ll talk strategy and discuss how best to build a coalition to keep Iran nuke-free.

POMPEO: A coalition not only throughout the gulf states but in Asia and in Europe that understands this challenge and is prepared to push back against the world’s largest state sponsor of terror. 

Kim Jong Un responds to letter from President Trump » Meantime in East Asia, the White House is still working to rekindle stalled nuclear talks with Pyongyang.

North Korea’s state-run news agency reported Sunday that President Trump sent Kim Jong Un a letter. The agency said Kim praised the—quote—“extraordinary courage of President Trump.” It also reported Kim will seriously contemplate the quote-unquote “excellent” letter, but did not elaborate on the contents.

Formal talks between the U.S. and North Korea broke down after a failed summit between Kim and Trump in February.

President Trump delays ICE operation » President Trump has delayed a nationwide immigration sweep to deport people living in the country illegally.

He said he would give lawmakers two weeks to work out solutions for the southern border. And he told NBC’s Meet the Press…

TRUMP: If the Democrats would change the asylum laws and the loopholes, which they refuse to do because they think it’s good politics, everything would be solved immediately, but they refuse to do it. 

The delay came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked him to call off the raids. But he said if lawmakers don’t find solutions, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will move ahead with large-scale deportations.

ICE officers also expressed safety concerns about the operation because too many details about the raids had been made public. ICE Director Mark Morgan said that was part of the president’s reasoning.  

MORGAN: The men and women of ICE are true American heroes. And so, what the president did – he recognized that, and so he postponed, one to protect them, but also to give Congress another chance at a bipartisan method. 

The planned operation sparked outrage and concern among immigrant advocates. It had been expected to start Sunday—targeting migrants, including families, with final orders of removal.

NTSB assisting with deadly accident in New Hampshire » The National Transportation Safety Board is assisting the investigation of Friday’s deadly accident in New Hampshire. Seven motorcyclists died when a pickup truck collided with a group of bikers on a rural highway. The accident occurred in the tiny North Woods community of Randolph.

The crash involved members of Marine JarHeads MC, a motorcycle club that includes Marines and their spouses.

Chris Wagner is with the New Hampshire State Police. He said the investigation will be a lengthy one.

WAGNER: I had my most senior investigators out last night and they had never seen a tragedy like they saw last night. 

The driver of the truck was an employee of a transport company in Massachusetts. He was not seriously hurt.  

Demand for gasoline hits record high » Transportation officials are urging motorists to drive safely this summer as more people hit the roads.

According to the Energy Information Administration, gasoline demand in the U.S. hit an all-time record high this month. The agency began listing the data almost 30 years ago.

Still, with crude oil prices down, gas prices around the country have dropped. According to AAA, the national average is down 2 cents over the past week to $2.66 a gallon.

Toy Story 4 tops weekend box office » At the weekend box office, a big open for the long-awaited Toy Story 4.

AUDIO: Forky is the most important toy to Bonnie right now. We all have to make sure nothing happens to him! Woody, we have a situation! 

Buzz, Woody and the gang took in $118 million over the weekend.

The R-rated horror reboot Child’s Play came in a distant second with $14 million.

Disney’s Aladdin placed third with $12 million.

You can find WORLD’s reviews of current films—along with ratings and content information—at

(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP) In this undated photo provided on Sunday, June 23, 2019, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reads a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump. 

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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