Friday morning news: August 9, 2019

Ohio governor, Dayton mayor pledge bipartisan reforms following shooting » Ohio’s Republican governor and Dayton’s Democratic mayor pledged Thursday to work together in a bipartisan push for gun and mental health reforms. 

DEWINE: A tragedy like this has the result of focusing you and saying look, we’ve got to get this out, we’ve got to move, we’ve got to get it done. It creates a sense of urgency, which I think is certainly very helpful.

Governor Mike DeWine announced a 17-point package of new proposals following last weekend’s shooting. It includes requiring background checks for nearly all gun sales in the state. 

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley joined the governor at a Thursday press conference. 

WHALEY: This terrible, tragic incident in Dayton may not have to happen in other places.

Meantime, lawyers for the family of the man suspected of carrying out the El Paso shooting told reporters that his mother called local police weeks earlier.  They said she was concerned that her son owned a semiautomatic rifle. 

CNN reports that she told police she was worried about her son owning the firearm given his age and lack of experience. But an officer reportedly told her that because her son was 21, he was legally allowed to purchase the gun. A police spokesperson said the department has no record of the call. 

The report states she voiced concerns over the gun but did not express worries that her son might harm anyone.

Officials release hundreds of immigrants detained in ICE sweep » Immigration officials have released more than 300 people arrested in a large-scale immigration enforcement sweep in Mississippi. More than 300 others remain in custody. 

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said Thursday that the agency released many due to “humanitarian factors.” 

ICE said it would release detainees who met certain conditions such as pregnant women or those who hadn’t faced immigration proceedings previously.

On Wednesday, about 600 ICE agents fanned out across five food processing companies. Officials arrested 680 immigrants at seven different facilities. 

Democrats sue over McGahn subpoena as they weigh impeachment » Democrats in the House have taken another step toward possible impeachment proceedings. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The House Judiciary Committee filed a federal lawsuit this week—aimed at forcing former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify.

McGahn was a star witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. But, under White House orders, he has refused to testify before lawmakers. 

The Democratic lawsuit challenges the Trump administration’s claim its past and present officials have “absolute immunity” from House subpoenas.

The lawsuit says the Judiciary panel is “now determining whether to recommend articles of impeachment” based on Mueller’s report. And it adds that McGahn is—quote—”the most important witness, other than the president, to the key events” the panel is investigating. 

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Appeals court: Pennsylvania county can keep cross on seal » A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that a Pennsylvania county may keep the image of a cross on its 75-year-old official seal.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said the cross did not amount to a government endorsement of religion. The court noted that it appears on Lehigh County’s seal with many secular symbols and that it has taken on historical significance over time.

The court applied a new Supreme Court precedent about the display of religious symbols on public property. 

State Department issues travel warning for Hong Kong » The State Department issued a travel warning Thursday for Hong Kong as mass pro-democracy protests continue in the city. It urged travelers to avoid the protests and exercise caution “due to civil unrest.” 

Australia, Britain, Ireland, and Japan have issued similar warnings. 

Hong Kong police have detained about 600 people since demonstrations started last month.   

Government lockdown continues in Kashmir » In Kashmir, residents holed up in their homes for a fourth day on Thursday—after India effectively locked down the region. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johnansen reports. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: Thousands of Indian government forces in riot gear patrolled Kashmir Thursday. They have reportedly arrested more than 500 people since the lockdown began.

Shuttered storefronts line deserted streets—as steel barricades and barbed wire block off areas usually packed with shoppers.

And the government has almost entirely cut off communications. One activist told reporters he’s been organizing ambulances to carry sick people to hospitals because local residents can’t call for medical help.

The clampdown followed India’s move this week to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. It downgraded the region from statehood to a territory. Rebels in Muslim-majority Kashmir have been fighting Indian rule for decades.

The move angered neighboring Pakistan, which has a competing claim to the region. Pakistan responded by suspending trade with India and train service to the country and said it will recall its ambassador to India. 

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo) A Dayton Police officer performs a grid search beside a makeshift memorial for the slain and injured in the Oregon District after a mass shooting that occurred early Sunday morning, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in Dayton. 

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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