Monday morning news: October 7, 2019

Second whistleblower complains about Trump Ukraine dealings » A second whistleblower has come forward with information about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. 

Attorney Mark Zaid, who represents both whistleblowers, said the second person has direct knowledge and can confirm information in the original whistleblower complaint. 

The Trump administration has dismissed that complaint as hearsay because it was based on second- or third-hand information. 

Democrats say the new complaint may bolster the case for impeaching the president. But Republicans, like Utah Congressman Chris Stewart, are shrugging it off. He noted that the president already released a rough transcript of his call to the president of Ukraine. 

STEWART: This person is going to come forward and say yup, the president had this phone call, and yup, that’s the transcript. I mean, why should I care at all what his opinion or judgment of this transcript is.  

That transcript has already corroborated the complaint’s central claim that Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate possible wrongdoing by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. 

Meantime, Republican Senator Mitt Romney criticized the president for publicly saying that China should investigate the Bidens. He called it “wrong and appalling.”

President Trump responded on Twitter, calling the Utah Senator “pompous” and “a fool who is playing right into the hands of the Do Nothing Democrats!”

More protesters killed in anti-government protests in Iraq » In Iraq, protesters continued to take to the streets around Baghdad over the weekend. 

AUDIO: [Sound of protests in Iraq] 

On Sunday, soldiers fired in the direction of about 300 anti-government protesters, killing at least seven people. 

The demonstrators were trying to break through a military barricade. 

At least 19 people died the night before—when security forces used live ammunition to break up protests. 

Baghdad has been at the center of protests that quickly spread to the country’s south. At least 84 people have been killed since Tuesday, including more than 50 in Baghdad.

The protests began with demands for jobs and an end to corruption. They now include calls for justice for those killed in the protests.

North Korea criticizes U.S. stance in talks » North Korea said Sunday that it will not meet with the United States for more—quote—“sickening negotiations” unless it makes big changes. 

The two sides resumed nuclear talks for the first time in more than seven months in Stockholm on Saturday. 

U.S. officials sounded optimistic afterward. But North Korea came away saying the talks broke down because the United States “has not discarded its old stance and attitude.” The North’s Foreign Ministry said Washington needs to reverse its “hostile policy toward” the North.

The statement did not specify which policies Pyongyang is talking about. 

Supreme Court to hear Louisiana abortion law » As the Supreme Court returns to the bench today, one of the cases it plans to tackle in the new term could impact protections for the unborn across the country. 

Vice President Mike Pence noted the case at a campaign event in Louisiana over the weekend. 

PENCE: Just yesterday the Supreme Court agreed to hear Louisiana’s strong pro-life law, and they’ll make a decision this year. Thank you, Louisiana. Thank you for your stand. 

It’s not clear whether the justices will in fact decide the case by the end of this year. The law requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. A federal judge originally struck it down, saying it imposed an “undue burden” on abortion access. 

Opponents of the law say it could result in the closure of one or two of Louisiana’s three abortion facilities. The state argues the law is necessary to protect women. 

The Supreme Court struck down a similar law in 2016. That was before Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the court and, more notably, before Justice Brett Kavanaugh succeeded Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy often sided with the liberal justices on social issues. 

Joker sets October opening record » At the weekend box office, Joker set a new October record. 

TRAILER: Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there? 

The R-rated origin story of Batman’s arch-rival scored an estimated $94 million in its opening weekend. That’s the biggest domestic opening ever in the month of October. 

The animated adventure Abominable came in second with $12 million in ticket sales. 

You can find WORLD’s review of the Joker movie and other current films—along with ratings and content information—at

(AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed) Protestors wave flags and hold a poster of Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi during a protest in Tahrir Square, in central Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 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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