Wednesday morning news: October 16, 2019


Democrats face off in Ohio for 4th presidential debate » Twelve White House hopefuls packed a crowded stage in Ohio last night. 

AUDIO: Ladies and gentlemen, the candidates for president of the United States! 

The candidates roundly supported the impeachment inquiry in the House. And most said Congress should remove the president from office. Billionaire Tom Steyer made his first debate appearance last night. He started and funded the Need to Impeach campaign. 

STEYER: Every candidate here is more decent, more coherent and more patriotic than the criminal in the White House. 

But the impeachment inquiry has also called attention to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter’s, foreign business dealings. CNN moderator Anderson Cooper noted Biden’s pledge that if he’s elected president, no one in his family will be involved in foreign businesses.

COOPER: If it’s not okay for a president’s family to be involved in foreign businesses, why was it okay for your son when you were vice president?
BIDEN: Look, my son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. 

Biden deferred to a public statement his son made before the debate. 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was back in the spotlight and appeared energetic after a health scare, suffering a heart attack earlier this month. 

And Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was back on the debate stage after failing to qualify for the third debate last month. Gabbard, an Iraq War combat veteran, criticized President Trump’s handling of the troop pullout in northern Syria, but also chided members of her own party.

GABBARD: Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand, but so do  many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime change war in Syrian that started in 2011. 

And she clashed with another military veteran on the stage, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. 

BUTTIGIEG: No, you can embrace — or you can put an end to endless war without embracing Donald Trump’s policy as you’re doing.
GABBARD: Will you end the regime change war is the question. What is an endless war if it’s not yet another regime change war?

Buttigieg said he believes the president destroyed America’s credibility by abandoning the Kurds.

Democrats will next converge in Georgia next month for the fifth presidential debate. 


Democrats question witnesses in provide over GOP objections » As Democratic candidates debated impeaching President Trump, Democrats on Capitol Hill continued to question witnesses as part of the House impeachment inquiry. 

On Tuesday they questioned George Kent, who oversees Ukrainian policy at the State Department. They spoke with him in another closed-door session and Republicans complain they’re being locked out. GOP Congressman Michael McCaul…

MCCAUL: We should have open hearings on this. The American people should be able to watch this.

On Monday, Democrats questioned Fiona Hill, the president’s former Russia expert, also behind closed doors. She reportedly told lawmakers that former national security adviser John Bolton found information about attorney Rudy Giuliani’s work for Trump in Ukraine alarming. So much so that he recommended Hill consult White House lawyers about it. 

Bolton reportedly told Hill that Giuliani was a—quote—“hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”

Democrats are set to hear from Michael McKinley today. He resigned last week from his role as adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 


Russian troops fill vacuum left by departing U.S. soldiers in northern Syria » Russia moved to fill the void left by the U.S. military in northern Syria on Tuesday.

Russian soldiers are now patrolling between invading Turkish forces and Syrian government troops. 

Though Russia is closely allied with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Moscow says it’s trying to keep Syrian and Turkish forces apart to avoid a bloody battle. 

The Kurds this week announced that with its American allies pulling out of the region, they’ve stuck a deal with the Syrian government. That deal reportedly allowed government forces to take control of security in several areas near the Turkish border.

The Trump administration on Monday announced economic sanctions against Turkey over the invasion. Vice President Mike Pence is leading a delegation to Turkey today to try and broker a ceasefire. 


Death toll climbs from Typhoon Hagibis » In Japan, the toll of death and destruction from Typhoon Hagibis climbed on Tuesday. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the number of deaths tied to the typhoon has climbed to 53. Another nine people are presumed dead. Japan’s Kyodo News agency, citing its own tally put the death toll at 69.

Hagibis battered Japan’s main island on Saturday with strong winds and torrential rains that pushed more than 200 rivers beyond their banks. 

The storm flooded or damaged thousands of houses. And as of Tuesday, more than 30,000 homes remained without power, while more than a 100,000 lack running water.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.


(AP Photo/John Minchillo) From left, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, businessman Tom Steyer, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and former Housing Secretary Julian Castro participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN/New York Times at Otterbein University, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio. 

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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