Friday morning news: October 4, 2019

President Trump says China should investigate Bidens » President Trump on Thursday called on China to investigate the business dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son. 

TRUMP: Because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with – with Ukraine. 

His remarks come even as Democrats say his July phone call to the president of Ukraine asking him to investigate the Bidens … may be grounds for impeachment.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told reporters …

SCHIFF: Once again to have the president of the United States suggesting, urging a foreign country to interfere in our presidential elections … 

He said that shows a president who believes “he can do anything with impunity.”

Several House committees on Thursday deposed former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker as part of the impeachment inquiry. That happened behind closed doors, but the top Republican on the Oversight Committee said they struck out with Volker. 

JORDAN: Not one thing he has said comports with any of the Democrats’ impeachment narrative, not one thing. 

Meanwhile, Adam Schiff, has confirmed reports … that the White House whistleblower spoke to staffers on his committee before filing his complaint … with the intelligence community inspector general. 

Staff members said they redirected the whistleblower to the proper channels and did not review the complaint in advance.

NTSB investigating deadly crash of WWII-era bomber » The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a deadly plane crash on Wednesday at an airport in Connecticut. 

At least seven people died when a WWII-era bomber crashed and burned at Bradley International Airport. The plane began having engine trouble on takeoff … and slammed into a maintenance building. 

The vintage B-17 bomber was used to take history buffs and aircraft enthusiasts on short flights. And the NTSB’s Jennifer Homendy said the board wants to know more about the plane’s maintenance schedule. 

HOMENDY: We are looking at how these were regulated right now, under what part, and what the inspection requirements are. That’s part of the investigation. We’ll have more information on that as this goes along. 

NTSB investigators will remain on the scene for another week or so, combing through evidence.

Six of the 13 people aboard the plane survived, though some remain in serious or critical condition.

Hong Kong may invoke emergency powers amid protests » Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam will hold a special meeting today to discuss invoking emergency powers amid ongoing protests. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen has more. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: Local media reported that leaders at the Executive Council will consider using a colonial-era emergency law … to impose tough new measures. Those would include banning face masks. 

Activists and some lawmakers warned that imposing new restrictions could prompt a more ferocious backlash.

Meantime, authorities in Hong Kong have charged the teenager who took a police bullet to the chest on Tuesday … with rioting and attacking police. He’s accused of striking a police officer with a rod just before being shot. 

Thousands of people rallied in several areas Thursday night for a second straight day to demand police accountability for the shooting.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.

Violent clashes continue amid anti-government protests in Iraq » Meantime, in Iraq … deadly clashes continue amid anti-government protests. 

SOUND (Iraq NATS-1): [up for a couple seconds, then under and crossfade with next bite]

Iraqi officials on Thursday imposed an around-the-clock curfew in Baghdad and other cities. Hundreds of protesters crowded into Baghdad’s Tahrir Square anyway. 

Police responded with live bullets and tear gas. 

SOUND (Iraq NATS-2): [Up for 2-3 sec, then under and very slowly out]

At least 33 protesters have died so far. 

The streets of Baghdad were littered with tear gas canisters and empty bullet casings on Thursday. Police strung barbed wire and used armored vehicles to block demonstrators. 

Authorities also cut internet access in much of Iraq starting late Wednesday … in a desperate move to curb the protests. 

The mostly peaceful rallies have been spurred by young people calling for greater job opportunities and improved services like electricity and water. They’re also demanding an end to government corruption in the oil-rich country.

Casino giant reaches settlement with victims of Mandalay Bay Resort shooting » It’s been two years since a gunman opened fire on country music fans from a high-rise Las Vegas hotel. This week the owners of the Mandalay Bay Resort reached a settlement with victims and families. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has that story. 

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Attorneys announced the settlement Thursday … just two days after the second anniversary of the 2017 massacre.

MGM Resorts International could pay up to $800 million to families of the 58 people who died … as well as the hundreds of others who were injured. 

The settlement resolves hundreds of lawsuits in multiple states that seek compensation for a range of physical and psychological injuries. 

Victims say the casino giant failed to protect the thousands gathered around the concert stage … or to stop the shooter from amassing an arsenal in his hotel suite. 

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

EU leaders “unconvinced” by British prime minister’s Brexit offer » Leaders in the European Union are replying to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest Brexit proposal … with a lot of folded arms and polite responses. Not much more. 

European Union Council President Donald Tusk says he is “still unconvinced.” And Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told reporters Thursday …

VARADKAR: The proposals that have been put forward by the U.K. are certainly welcome in the sense that we now have written proposals that we can engage on, but they do fall short in a number of aspects. 

Avoiding customs checkpoints between Ireland and Northern Ireland remains a critical issue. EU leaders aren’t sold on Johnson’s plan to ensure an open border there. But he’s still working the phones to seal a deal … with his country scheduled to leave the EU at the end of this month. 

JOHNSON: We have made a genuine attempt to bridge the chasm, to reconcile the apparently irreconcilable and to go the extra mile as time runs short. 

Johnson has said he plans to leave on October 31st with or without a divorce agreement. But the British Parliament has passed a law requiring him to seek an extension from the EU if he can’t strike a deal.

California Congressman Adam Schiff delivers remarks titled “The Threat to Liberal Democracy at Home and Abroad,” to the Leopold Lecture at Northwestern University Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in Evanston , Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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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