Monday morning news: August 26, 2019

Top Iranian official makes surprise appearance at G7 summit » World leaders are wrapping up three days of high stakes meetings in France today at the G7 summit. That’s a gathering of some of the world’s top economic powers. 

Iran, typically, is not on the guest list. But on Sunday Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif paid an unannounced visit to the G7. 

French President Emmanuel Macron invited Zarif. For several months, Macron has taken a lead role in trying to rescue the 2015 nuclear deal after the U.S. pulled out. Macron and President Trump reportedly discussed Iran at length in a Saturday meeting. 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin emphasized again on Sunday that the door remains open for Iran.

MNUCHIN: The president has said before that to the extent Iran wants to sit down and negotiate, he would not set preconditions to those negotiations. 

Zarif arrived as fissures emerged among G7 leaders over how to handle Iran. Macron’s office said G7 leaders agreed he should serve as a go-between with Tehran.

Many saw Macron’s invitation to Zarif as a risky move, which could have angered the White House. But a French official said France “is working in full transparency with the U.S.” and European partners.

President Trump wishes Justice Ginsberg well following cancer treatment » President Trump said he wishes Justice Ruth Bader Gisberg well following her treatment for a cancerous tumor.

TRUMP: Our thoughts and prayers are with her. It’s a very serious situation. I’m hoping she’s going to be fine. She’s pulled through a lot. She’s strong, very tough. 

Ginsburg recently completely radiation treatment for a tumor on her pancreas. 

The Supreme Court announced Friday that she received three weeks of radiation therapy starting August 5th and that doctors installed a bile duct stent. No evidence of cancer remains, but doctors will continue to watch her closely.

The 86-year-old justice has survived three previous bouts with cancer. Most recently, she had surgery for lung cancer in December.

Clashes between Hong Kong protesters, police escalate » In Hong Kong, friction between police and pro-democracy protesters escalated on Sunday night. Police brought out water cannon trucks for the first time and drew their guns after demonstrators attacked officers with sticks and rods. 

AUDIO: [Sound of Hong Kong protests]

And as in other recent clashes, they fired tear gas at demonstrators. 

AUDIO: [Sound of Hong Kong protests]

While a large crowd rallied in a park, a group of hard-line protesters took over a main street. Some even threw bricks and gasoline bombs toward the police. The result was a surreal scene of small fires and scattered bricks on the pavement—all as police laser lights cut through clouds of tear gas. 

Some protesters said they’re resorting to violence because the government hasn’t responded to their peaceful demonstrations.

Billionaire businessman David Koch dies » Billionaire businessman David Koch died over the weekend. He was 79. 

Koch was known for his staunch support of conservative politics. He and his brother Charles have donated extensively to mostly conservative or libertarian politicians and groups. Koch ran as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for vice president with Ed Clark in 1980. 

He was vice president of Koch Industries and had a net worth of more than $50 billion. 

Koch became an active philanthropist after surviving a plane crash in 19-91. He battled prostate cancer for 20 years and donated to cancer research and medical centers—among other nonprofit causes. 

Former GOP congressman launches White House campaign » Former Republican congressman turned conservative talk radio host Joe Walsh will challenge President Trump for the GOP presidential nomination. 

He announced his campaign on Sunday, saying he believes the president is “unfit” for office. 

WALSH: Somebody needs to step up and there needs to be an alternative. The country is sick of this guy’s tantrum. 

That from ABC’s This Week. He called Trump cruel, erattic, and incompetent. Walsh said many in the party are opposed to Trump but are “scared to death” to say so publicly. 

The former Illinois lawmaker served one term in the House from 2011 to 2013. He joins former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld as the president’s only Republican primary challengers thus far. 

His announcement comes as the Democratic field is shrinking. Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton dropped out of the race last week.

(Iranian Presidency Office via AP) In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a conference in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Aug. 26, 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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