Monday morning news: September 9, 2019

Peace talks with Taliban called off for now » President Trump has called off peace talks with the Taliban. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the militant group made a big mistake when it carried out an attack last week in Kabul. The car bombing killed an American soldier and 11 others. 

POMPEO: We’ve made real progress, but in the end the Taliban overreached. They forgot that America is always going to protect its interests, that the commander of resolute support and NATO forces there are still this hard.

President Trump revealed on Twitter that his administration had planned to meet secretly with Taliban and Afghan leaders at Camp David on Sunday. But he cancelled those meetings after the attack.  

Secretary Pompeo said the U.S. is willing to reopen peace talks, but the Taliban must first “change their behavior.” 

Demonstrators call on Trump to ‘liberate’ Hong Kong » In Hong Kong on Sunday, thousands of demonstrators marched to the U.S. Consulate while calling on President Trump to intervene.

AUDIO: [Sound of demonstration]

Demonstrators flooded a park—many waving American flags and carrying posters that read “President Trump, please liberate Hong Kong.” 

One of the organizers of the march said “Hong Kong is at the forefront of the battle against the totalitarian regime of China.” He added, “Please support us in our fight.”

The march was peaceful, but violence again broke out later in the business and retail district. A small group of protesters wearing black shirts and masks can be heard here shattering glass as they vandalized a subway station.

AUDIO: [Sound of vandalism]

They also set fires and blocked traffic. Police again responded by firing tag gas. 

Hong Kong’s government promised last week to formally scrap a controversial bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to China. But demonstrators also want direct elections and an independent probe into alleged police brutality against protesters.

Dorian lashes Canada as relief efforts continue in Bahamas » The storm that already decimated parts of the Bahamas and clipped the Carolinas, hit eastern Canada with hurricane-force winds for much of Sunday.  

Dorian knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people before weakening late in the day. 

There were no reported deaths in Canada. But the storm killed at least 50 people elsewhere—including at least 44 in the Bahamas.

One Bahamas resident who made it through the storm is among the 70,000 people left homeless, but she said she’s just grateful to be alive. 

MOS: When my home collapsed I felt like I almost died, because a lot of people died, and I thought I was going to be one of them. But we just started praying and everything, and then we survived.  

At the airport and dock on Sunday, crowds clamored for seats on airplanes and ships arriving with aid and departing with people who lost their homes. 

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Lines has turned a cruise ship into a rescue vessel. Some 1,100 evacuees stepped off the ship in Florida over the weekend. 

MOS: We don’t have power. We don’t have any water, so you just got to do what you have to do. I’m a mom and I have to put their needs first. That’s why we’re here. 

Rescue teams are still trying to reach some Bahamian communities cut off by floodwaters and debris.

Mark Sanford announces White House bid » Another Republican is set to challenge President Trump for the presidential nomination. Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford spoke with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. 

SANFORD: I’m here to tell you now that I am going to get in.
WALLACE: You’re going to run for president against Donald Trump in the Republican race?
SANFORD: I am. I am.
SANFORD: Because I think we need to have a conversation about what it means to be a Republican. 

Sanford said his campaign will focus mainly on Washington’s reckless overspending. He said the GOP under President Trump has lost its way, spending like Democrats and piling on debt. 

Sanford made national headlines in 2009 when—as a sitting governor—he secretly traveled to Argentina for an extramarital affair. He says voters forgave him for that, and that’s why they later elected him to Congress.

Sanford joins former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld and former Congressman Joe Walsh as GOP primary challengers.

DNC chairman defends Democratic debate criteria » Meantime, the head of the Democratic National Committee is defending the criteria it’s used to qualify candidates for the party’s third presidential debate.

Numerous candidates who appeared in the last debate will not be at Thursday’s debate in Houston because they fell short on either polling or fundraising numbers. 

Montana Governor Steve Bullock is one of them.

BULLOCK: I think well intentioned the Democratic rules were to say we need to show we have small donor – you know, small one-dollar donors. But what’s actually happened then is more and more money gets shifted to Facebook ads, Google. 

That strategy appears to have helped billionaire Tom Steyer qualify for his first debate. Critics like Bullock say that illustrates the bad process.

But on Sunday DNC Chairman Tom Perez told ABC This Week’s George Steaphanopoulos everyone’s playing by the same rules. 

PEREZ: Well, it’s always been up to the voters, and what we’ve done, George, from the outset is set transparent rules, set a fair bar for people, communicate it to the candidates well in advance so they know the rules of engagement. 

Tom Steyer brings the total number of candidates in the third debate to 11.

(AP Photo/Kin Cheung) Protesters destroy at an entrance to the Central MTR subway station in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 8, 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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