Thursday morning news: October 17, 2019

Pence, Pompeo meet with Turkish president, as Trump defends pullout » Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are in Turkey today to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Pence is leading a delegation—hoping to broker a ceasefire in northern Syria. 

Pompeo said they are clear on the objective. 

POMPEO: Most importantly for the United States to ensure that the work that has been done to reduce the risk to the American people—which after all is our first and foremost priority, to reduce the risk to the American people—is fully addressed. 

But President Trump on Wednesday suggested the conflict in northern Syria poses very little risk to Americans. He called it a “semi-complicated problem” and said it’s—quote—“very nicely under control.”

TRUMP: If Turkey goes into Syria, that’s between Turkey and Syria. It’s not between Turkey and the United States like a lot of stupid people would like us to—would like you to believe. 

As the president again defended his decision to pull U.S. troops out of the region, Capitol Hill continued to push back. Lawmakers in the House approved a non-binding resolution Wednesday condemning the move on a vote of 354 to 60. 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate is considering similar action. 

GM, union strike tentative deal to end strike » Negotiators for General Motors and the United Auto Workers union have reached a tentative deal that could end a month-long strike. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Union officials say the deal offers “major gains” for employees, but won’t bring an immediate end to the strike by 50,000 hourly workers. They will likely stay on the picket lines for at least another day or two as union committees vote on the deal. After that, members will have to approve it. 

Neither side made terms of the deal public, but it’s likely to include pay raises, lump sum payments to workers, and requirements that GM build new vehicles in U.S. factories.

Analysts say the strike likely cost GM about $2 billion in lost production. 

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Parents of U.K. crash victim appeal to Trump » President Trump met Tuesday with the parents of a 19-year-old British man who died in a crash involving a U.S. intelligence official’s wife in August. 

Anne Sacoolas pulled onto the wrong side of the road when leaving a military base in Croughton, England, and crashed into Harry Dunn’s motorcycle. The mother of three claimed diplomatic immunity from prosecution and returned to the United States.

Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, has been calling on Sacoolas to return to the UK and own up to her actions. 

CHARLES: Just do the right thing. She needs to set an example to her own children that you can’t run away when you’ve done something so terribly wrong. 

During the Oval Office meeting, Trump surprised the parents by telling them that Sacoolas was waiting in the next room to meet them. They told the president they would only meet with her after she turned herself in to police in Britain. 

Ruling protects healthcare conscience rights » A federal judge has partially overturned regulations in the Affordable Care Act that critics say trampled on conscience rights. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen reports. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that “sex discrimination” as defined in Obamacare does not include limits on abortion or gender transition services.

The ruling is another legal blow to the Obama-era regulations mandating that insurers or providers that receive federal money offer those services. 

O’Connor issued an injunction in 2016 blocking enforcement of the regulations. This week’s ruling solidifies that injunction. 

The Trump administration proposed a new healthcare rule earlier this year to erase “gender identity” from the definition of sex discrimination.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen. 

Hong Kong lawmakers shout down chief executive » In Hong Kong…

AUDIO: [Sound from Hong Kong] 

Pro-democracy lawmakers Wednesday heckled and shouted down Chief Executive Carrie Lam as she tried to deliver her annual state of the union-style address. They held up posters depicting Lam with blood on her hands. 

Lam left the chamber and posted a video recording of her address instead. She later told reporters…

LAM: I do not agree or submit to the view that Hong Kong’s rights and liberties and freedoms have been eroded in whatsoever way. Hong Kong is still a very free society. We have freedom of speech, freedom of journalism and so on. 

Pro-democracy lawmakers say Lam has been working on behalf of the Chinese central government to chip away at Hong Kong’s liberties. And lawmakers like Claudia Mo once again called on Lam to resign. 

MO: I wish Carrie Lam would understand that her sweetened, lacquered political gobbly-gook, her political propaganda is not going to work to appease the society. 

Mo said Lam is conducting “political PR” while “conducting the biggest sell-out of Hong Kong.”

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Yolanda Jacobs, a United Auto Workers member, walks the picket line at the General Motors Romulus Powertrain plant in Romulus, Mich., Wednesday, Oct. 9, 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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