Wednesday morning news: June 5, 2019


Trump, May talk trade in London » President Trump met with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday on day-two of his state visit to England.

The two leaders talked over a range of issues including a future trade deal between the U.S. and a post-Brexit UK.

MAY: Mr. President, you and I agreed the first time we met that we should aim for an ambitious free trade agreement when the U.K. leaves the E.U.  And from our positive discussions today, I know that we both remain committed to this. 

They also discussed relations with China and the threat posed by Iran.


Republicans push back on Mexico tariff plans » But while in London, the president found himself fending off criticism from Washington. And that came from within his own party over plans to hit Mexico with new tariffs.

Many Republicans say tariffs against Mexico are not the answer to curbing the migrant surge at the southern border.

Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa said she’s worried the move could interfere with finalizing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.  

ERNST: Mexico and Canada are very good trade partners to the United States, especially when it comes to our agricultural goods. So we do want to move forward with this, and we are very concerned about the additional tariffs that have been proposed. 

And Texas Senator Ted Cruz noted that his state imports more than $100 billion of goods from Mexico each year.  

CRUZ: There’s no reason for Texas farmers and ranchers and manufacturers and small businesses to pay the price of massive new taxes. 

A Mexican delegation is in Washington for talks this week, trying to head off the tariffs.


Judge sides with Trump in border wall battle » President Trump won a legal victory on Monday in his efforts to use Defense Department money to pay for a border wall. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has more.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: A federal judge rejected a bid by House Democrats to stop the president from transferring the Defense funds.

Trump redirected the money after declaring a national emergency in February. He requested a total of $6.1 billion from the Pentagon. But acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has yet to decide whether to transfer about half that total. The money was originally designated for military construction.

District Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, said the judicial branch should only intervene in separation-of-powers disputes as a last resort. And he added—“Congress has several political arrows in its quiver to counter perceived threats to its sphere of power.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.


U.S. tightens restrictions on travel to Cuba » The Trump administration is tightening restrictions on U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba.

The Treasury Department removed the “people-to-people” travel exception on Tuesday. That had allowed many Americans to book travel to Cuba as part of culturally educational group trips.

The Commerce Department will also stop many recreational aircraft and ships from going to Cuba. Those will include private and corporate aircraft, cruise ships, sailboats, and fishing boats. The list does not include commercial airliners.

This is the latest in a series of moves against Cuba—largely due to its support for Nicholas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela.


China warns against U.S. travel » Meantime, the Chinese government is moving to cut down on travel to the United States.

China’s latest shot-fired in the ongoing trade war may be to curb Chinese tourism. Its government issued a travel warning for the U.S. on Tuesday, claiming U.S. law enforcement is interrogating and harrassing Chinese visitors.


China blasts Pompeo over Tiananmen Square remarks » China on Tuesday also blasted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over his remarks on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has that story.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: In a statement Tuesday, Pompeo expressed sympathy for the families of protesters killed in the violent crackdown. He said “The events of 30 years ago still stir our conscience, and the conscience of freedom-loving people around the world.”

TheChinese government responded saying that statement “grossly intervenes in China’s internal affairs, attacks its system, and smears” its policies. China also called it—quoting here—“a serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations.”

China has long downplayed the bloody crackdown and has never released a death toll. Some outside groups estimate thousands died.

In Hong Kong, tens of thousands of people gathered for a candlelight vigil to mourn those killed in Tiananmen Square. The Chinese government does not allow public remembrances in China.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.


Trudeau responds to report on violence against indingenous women » Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has responded to a new government report showing rampant violence against indiginous women in Canada.

Officials handling the inquiry spoke with more than 2-thousand family members and experts. And they reported that the problem was so serious it amounts to a “genocide.”

TRUDEAU: Time and again, we have heard of their disappearance, violence of even death being labeled low priority or ignored. We have heard of their human rights being consistently and systematically violated. 

A Royal Canadian Mounted Police report before the inquiry was formed, found that while indigenous women represent just over 4 percent of the total female population, they account for 16 percent of all female homicide victims.

Trudeau called the culture of violence against indigenous women “shameful” and said “it must end.”


(Stefan Rousseau/Pool via AP) Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump take part in a joint press conference at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, in London, Tuesday June 4, 2019. 

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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