Tuesday morning news: October 8, 2019

Republicans revolt over Trump’s troop pullout in Syria » Republicans on Capitol Hill are publicly blasting President Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria. 

Many Republicans say with this move, the United States is turning its back on a key ally in the fight against ISIS. The Kurdish forces have fought alongside the U.S. military. But neighboring Turkey calls them terrorists. And with American troops leaving, the path is open for a Turkish invasion.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy… 

MCCARTHY:  If you make a commitment and somebody is fighting with you, America should keep their word, because you want other people with you. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also urged the president to reconsider. 

GOP Senator Lindsey Graham has been a staunch defender of the president amid the impeachment inquiry. But he called the move “a disaster in the making.” 

GRAHAM: This impulsive decision by the president has undone all the gains we’ve made, thrown the region into further chaos. Iran is licking its chops. And if I’m an ISIS fighter, I’ve got a second lease on life. 

The withdrawal came after President Trump spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by telephone on Sunday.

Trump tweeted Monday that it’s “time for us to get out of these ridiculous endless wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.” 

He added that if Erdogan does anything he considers off limits, he will—quote—“totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey.” 

N.Y. investigators denied access to Trump tax returns for now » An appeals court on Monday temporarily blocked the release of President Trump’s tax returns to New York investigators. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the delay, just hours after a district judge said Manhattan’s district attorney could access Trump’s returns. 

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero had ruled that Trump could not block access to his tax documents with—quote—”limitless assertion of presidential immunity.”

But the circuit court effectively froze that ruling, until it can consider the issue. 

House committees subpoena top Trump admin officials » House Democrats leading an impeachment inquiry issued subpoenas Monday to two top officials in the Trump administration. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The chairmen of three House committees subpoenaed Defense Secretary Mark Esper and acting White House budget director Russell Vought.

The House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees want documents related to dealings with Ukraine. And they want Esper and Vought to turn over those documents by next Tuesday. 

Democrats want a closer look at the chain of events surrounding the White House’s decision to delay aid to Ukraine.

The subpoenas come as a new whistleblower stepped forward with what the person’s lawyer said was firsthand knowledge of key events.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Hong Kong protesters defy ban on face masks » In Hong Kong, thousands of protesters continue to pack the streets… 

AUDIO: [Sound of protesters]

…many defying a ban on face masks. The government issued an emergency order over the weekend to enact that ban. 

And on Monday, the government charged the first two people with violating it.

The charges carry a possible sentence of up to a year in prison. The two protesters, an 18-year-old student and a 38-year-old woman, also face charges of unlawful assembly. That could land them in jail for up to five years. 

Some hardline protesters have continued this week to vandalize China-linked businesses and throw gasoline bombs. Riot police responded again with tear gas. 

NBA under fire for China apology » Meantime, the NBA is under fire for an apology it made this week to China after one team executive tweeted support for Hong Kong demonstrators. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen reports. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: In a now-deleted tweet, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey posted an image that said “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” 

That angered China, a huge market for the league. 

The NBA’s Chinese social media account posted a statement in response on Monday. Some translated it to say the league wasextremely disappointed” by Morey’s tweet—calling it “inappropriate.”

The English version of the statement said the league recognizes that Morey’s views—quote—”have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.”

GOP Senator Ben Sasse blasted the league on Monday. His office stated that there is “no doubt about what is happening here: The NBA wants money, and the Communist Party of China is asking them to deny the most basic of human rights.” And he said the league quickly complied.

Critics noted that the NBA has spoken out on numerous social issues in the past. Several years ago it boycotted North Carolina over the state’s so-called bathroom bill. 

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johnansen. 

Scientists win Nobel Prize for discovering how human cells react to varying oxygen levels » Two Americans and a British scientist have won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. 

The three scientists discovered how the body’s cells sense and react to varying oxygen levels. That response is key to things like producing red blood cells, generating new blood vessels, and fine-tuning the immune system.

The Nobel Committee said that work has paved the way for new strategies to fight anemia, cancer, and other diseases. It said the scientists are working to develop drugs that can treat diseases by either activating or blocking the body’s oxygen-sensing machinery.

The Nobel winners are William G. Kaelin Jr. of Harvard, Gregg L. Semenza of Johns Hopkins University and Peter J. Ratcliffe at the Francis Crick Institute in Britain and Oxford.

(AP Photo/Vincent Thian) A protestor wearing a mask raises his hand at Tamar Park in Hong Kong, Saturday, Sept. 28, 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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