Monday morning news: July 22, 2019

Tensions high following Iran seizure of British tanker » The UK is now weighing its next steps after Iran seized a British oil tanker called the Stena Impero last week in the Strait of Hormuz. 

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said his country is working to de-escalate tensions with Iran. But he also said the UK will—quote—“do what it takes to ensure the safety of British and international shipping.” 

HUNT: The Stena Impero was seized in Omani waters in clear contravention of international law. It was then forced to sail into Iran. This is totally and utterly unacceptable. 

Security risk firm Dryad Global provided audio of the seizure to the press. One recording apparently captures an Iranian naval officer giving orders to the British tanker. 

AUDIO: You are ordered to change you course to 360 degrees immediately. If you obey, you will be safe, over. 

Another recording captures a British naval officer unsuccessfully warning Iranian forces from a distance. 

AUDIO: You must not impair, impede, obstruct or hamper the passage of the MV Stena Impero.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has released video showing several of its boats surrounding the larger tanker. A military helicopter then hovered over the ship as several men wearing black masks rappelled onto the deck of the tanker.  

An Iranian spokesman said seizing the Stena Impero a—quote—“reciprocal action.” The British government recently detained a tanker carrying Iranian crude, over suspicions it was violating EU sanctions. 

P.R. governor to resign as party leader but not as governor » Puerto Rico’s embattled Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced Sunday will not seek re-election and will step down as head of his pro-statehood party. However, he will not resign as governor. 

Some lawmakers in Puerto Rico have taken the first steps to push for his impeachment. 

Rosselló is facing public outrage over an obscenity-laced online chat that showed the governor and his close advisers making offensive comments and insulting various groups. That led to protests in the streets of San Juan demanding the governor resign. 

Police and protesters clash once more in Hong Kong » Meantime, in the streets of Hong Kong, police launched tear gas at protesters Sunday after a massive pro-democracy march continued into the night. Hundreds of thousands marched once again.   

Demonstrations started more than a month ago to protest an extradition bill and call for electoral reforms.

Many marched past police barricades on Sunday into government and business districts. Then they headed for the office that represents China’s Communist central government. 

Protesters threw eggs at the building and spattered China’s national emblem adorning the office with black ink.

Oppressive heat wave almost over » Forecasters have some good news for many people who have been sweating out an oppressive heat wave—especially on the East Coast. 

Bob Oravek of the National Weather Service says relief is on the way. 

ORAVEK: Definitely some improvement. Cool air is going to be spreading eastward and by the middle part of the week, Tuesday-Wednesday, temperatures are actually going to be below average across a good part of the central and eastern United States. 

But Sunday was still plenty hot. Some spots from the Carolinas up to Maine saw temperatures well into the 90s and with high humidity, it felt as hot as 110 degrees in some places. 

The New York Police Department urged residents to play it safe,  jokingly tweeting “Sunday has been canceled. Stay indoors, nothing to see here.”

Baseball Hall of Fame inducts six new members » Many of baseball’s living legends gathered in Cooperstown, New York, on Sunday to welcome six new members into baseball’s Hall of Fame. 

Longtime Yankees closer Mariano Rivera headlined the 2019 class as the first-ever unanimous inductee. Also enshrined—starting pitcher Mike Mussina and designated hitter Edgar Martinez.

The most emotional moment came when Brandy Halladay spoke on behalf of her late husband Roy Halladay. 

HALLADAY: Roy was blessed in his life and in his career to have some perfect moments. But I believe that they were only possible because of the man that he strived to be, the teammate that he was and the people he was  so blessed to be on the field with. 

He became the sixth player inducted posthumously. Halladay died in a plane crash in 2017 at age 40.

Former outfielder Harold Baines and closer Lee Smith round out the Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2019. 

Disney’s Lion King roars at weekend box office » The box office has a new king! 

TRAILER: While others search for what they can take, a true king searches for what he can give.

Disney’s reboot of The Lion King hauled in $185 million in its opening weekend. That’s a record for a July opening. 

Spider-Man: Far from Home ran a distant second with $21 million. 

And the box office has another king of sorts.

TRAILER: We’re the Avengers. We’ve gotta finish this.

Avengers: Endgame has officially surpassed Avatar as the highest-grossing movie of all time— now at about $2.8 billion.

You can find WORLD’s review of The Lion King and other current films—along with ratings and content information—at

(Hasan Shirvani/Mizan News Agency via AP) A speedboat of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard moves around a British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which was seized on Friday by the Guard, in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, Sunday, July 21, 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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