Thursday morning news: August 29, 2019


Dorian now forecasted to hit U.S. as major hurricane » Dorian is now on track to slam the eastern coast of Florida, and possibly Georgia, as a major hurricane. 

The storm has, for the most part, avoided the biggest land masses in the Caribbean. That was particularly good news for Puerto Rico, which avoided a direct hit. 

But with the storm spinning freely over warm water, Dennis Feltgen at the National Hurricane Center said it will have “more time to grow in size and strength.” 

FELTGEN: And right now we’re looking at a strong hurricane, at least a category 2 hurricane, taking aim at the Southeastern United States as we go into the weekend and into Labor Day.

And Dorian could very well hit the coast as a category 3 storm. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Wednesday for many eastern counties.

While south Florida remains in the cone of uncertainty, most models now show the storm taking aim at the central and northern part of the state. 

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry…

CURRY: We’re prepared. We’ve been through this together, and we’re going to work together. We’re going to be steady and we’re going to get — if this is an event we’re going to get through this together and we’re going to be fine. 

Officials are urging residents along the coast to prepare in advance and make evacuation plans now before the storm approaches. 


Hospital cited for violating conscience rights » A hospital in Vermont violated federal regulations by forcing a nurse to participate in an abortion. That according to the Department of Health and Human Services. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen has that story. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: The Office for Civil Rights at Health and Human Services announced on Wednesday that The University of Vermont Medical Center knowingly violated a nurse’s rights of conscience. 

It said hospital officials knew about her moral objections to abortion but scheduled her to help with one anyway—and didn’t tell her about it until she arrived in the procedure room. At that point, she feared she could lose her job or even her nursing license if she didn’t do what the doctors said.

The Office for Civil Rights ordered the medical center to change its policies to avoid putting nurses in that position again. If the hospital voluntarily complies, nothing else will happen. But if HHS isn’t satisfied with the response, it could withhold future grant money. The hospital received $1.6 million in a recent three-year funding period.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen. 


Epstein accuser says Prince Andrew should “come clean” » A woman who said she was a victim of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking operation at the age of 15 is challenging Prince Andrew’s claim of innocence. 

The middle son of Queen Elizabeth II was a years-long friend of the billionaire financier who killed himself while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. But the prince says he did not know about Epstein’s alleged criminal behavior and took no part in it. 

But standing in front of a Manhattan courthouse, Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre answered Prince Andrew’s denial this way…

GIUFFRE: He knows exactly what he’s done and I hope he comes clean about it. 

Giuffre said in a sworn affidavit that she was flown around the world on Epstein’s private planes and that she had pre-arranged sexual encounters with Prince Andrew.

A photo in court records shows Andrew with his arm around Giuffre’s waist. She claims she first met the prince when she was 17.

Giuffre has targeted similar allegations of abuse against several other rich and powerful men, including a former U.S. senator, and a former governor. All those accused say her claims are fabricated. 


Senator Johnny Isakson to retire over health issues » Republican Senator Johnny Isakson announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of this year.

The 74-year-old Georgia lawmaker said he is leaving the job he loves because of “mounting” health issues, including Parkinson’s disease. He won a third term in 2016 and would have faced reelection in 2022.

His exit makes Georgia a must-watch battleground next year by ensuring both of the state’s Senate seats will be on the ballot.


Gillibrand ends presidential campaign » Meantime, another Democratic presidential contender is dropping out of the race.

GILLIBRAND: Why not have a green energy race with China? Why not have a clean air and clean air and clean water for all Americans? 

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, heard there, took the stage at last month’s presidential debate on CNN, but she was set to miss next month’s debate. 

Candidates have to meet certain polling and fundraising thresholds in order to appear in the third debate on September 12th. Gillibrand did not make the cut and decided it was time to pull the plug on her first White House bid. 

The 52-year-old junior senator told the New York Times she plans to endorse another candidate but has not yet picked a favorite. 


British prime minister suspends Parliament » British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took a bold step on Wednesday—one many believe is aimed at preventing lawmakers from blocking Britain’s exit from the EU. 

Johnson suspended Parliament until Queen Elizabeth II opens a new session in October. 

Members were scheduled to return from summer break on Tuesday. But Johnson’s decision, approved by the queen, gives members who oppose a no-deal Brexit very little time to act. The UK is set to leave the EU on October 31st.

 Johnson insisted the move had nothing to do with protecting Brexit. 

JOHNSON: We need new legislation. We’ve got to be bringing forward new and important bills, and that’s why we’re going to have a queen’s speech, and we’re going to do it on October the 14th. 

But lawmaker Anna Soubry blasted the move and said Johnson isn’t fooling anyone. 

SOUBRY: This man does not have a mandate to take us out of the European Union without a deal, and that is exactly what he intends to do now. 

The prime minister is still pressing European leaders to reopen Brexit talks and rework the deal Johnson’s predecessor struck with the EU. But he said deal or no deal, the UK is leaving at the end of October.


(NOAA via AP) This GOES-16 satellite image taken Wednesday, Aug. 28, 209, at 17:20 UTC and provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Dorian, a Category 1 hurricane, crossing over the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. 

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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