Tuesday morning news: September 17, 2019

Energy prices spike in wake of Saudi drone attack » Global energy prices spiked Monday by 15 percent after armed drones attacked key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia over the weekend. 

Energy Secretary Rick Perry stressed on Monday that Saudi Arabia is not the only victim here. 

PERRY: Make no mistake about it, this was a deliberate attack on the global economy and the global energy market. 

The attack caused the worst disruption to world supplies on record. It halted more than half of the country’s daily exports. That knocked out about 5 percent of the world’s crude oil output. 

President Trump has authorized the release of oil from the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve if needed. And petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy.com said that’s good news for the global market. 

DEHAAN: That’s a good first step that the White House is taking and that should help limit the amount of the rally in the price of oil as a result. 

DeHaan said the impact on gas prices should be manageable—so long as the Saudis are able to restore output within a week or so. He said we may be able to measure the impact in pennies rather than dimes. 

Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attack. But U.S. intelligence officials aren’t buying that claim. President Trump said Tuesday that Iran’s fingerprints appear to be all over the drone attack.

Times admits to critical omission in Kavanaugh story » The New York Times is under fire today after admitting that it left out a critical fact in a new story about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  

The Times reported on a claim that Kavanaugh exposed himself at a Yale University party as a freshman. 

But the original Times story omitted the fact that the woman supposedly involved in the incident declined to be interviewed and reportedly told friends she has no memory of the alleged incident. The paper added an editor’s note admitting that omission. 

But not before Democratic presidential candidates seized on the report. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar said Sunday… 

KLOBUCHAR: I strongly opposed him based on his views on executive power, which will continue to haunt our country, as well as how he behaved, including the allegations that we are hearing more about today.  

Other candidates called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment. 

But even if Democrats regained control of the Senate next year, it’s unlikely they would have the two-thirds majority needed to remove him. 

The Washington Post revealed Monday that it passed on the very same story last year, saying it couldn’t corroborate the claim.

Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy » The pharmaceutical company that makes the painkiller OxyContin has filed for bankruptcy. It’s the first step in a multibillion-dollar plan to settle thousands of lawsuits over the drug’s connection to the opioid crisis. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: This week’s bankruptcy filing may not get either Purdue Pharma or the Sackler family, which owns the company off the legal hook.

About half the states and lawyers representing at least a thousand local governments have agreed to the tentative settlement. But other states say they’ll object to the deal in bankruptcy court and will push to continue their lawsuits against members of the Sackler family.

The company says the settlement could be worth $10 to $12 billion dollars over time and would include at least $3 billion from the Sacklers. Under the settlement, the family would give up control of the company. And Purdue Pharma would transform into a sort of hybrid between a corporation and a charity. It would continue to sell opioids but its profits would go to fight the opioid crisis.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Arizona Supreme Court upholds rights of conscience for Christian business owners » The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Monday that the city of Phoenix cannot force artists to design wedding invitations that conflict with their religious beliefs. 

Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski own Brush & Nib Studio, which creates hand drawn designs for special occasions. They say they gladly create messages for all people, but can’t create all messages. After seeing businesses sued across the country for declining to service same-sex weddings, Duka and Koski preemptively sued the city to assert their First Amendment rights. 

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled last year they could not decline to make invitations for LGBT ceremonies. But on Tuesday, the state’s highest court overturned that decision in a 4-to-3 ruling.

Israeli voters head to the polls for historic repeat election » Voters in Israel are heading to the polls for an unprecedented repeat election today. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has details.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed to have a clear path to power in April. His Likud party and its traditional Jewish ultra-Orthodox and nationalist allies appeared to give him a governing majority in parliament. But when that alliance fell apart, he dissolved parliament and called another election.

But there’s no guarantee today’s do-over vote will be any more decisive than the last one. 

Polls show Netanyahu’s Likud and his main challenger, the centrist Blue and White, in a tight race. Both parties could struggle to form a majority coalition with their smaller allies.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) In this Oct. 8, 2018, file photo, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh stands before a ceremonial swearing-in in the East Room of the White House in Washington. 

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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