Democrats pass ground rules for impeachment inquiry » Democrats pushed a package of ground rules for their impeachment inquiry through a sharply divided House on Thursday.
AUDIO: On this vote the yays are 232, the nays are 196. The resolution is adopted.
Two Democrats sided with Republicans on the vote. Independent Congressman Justin Amash, who recently left the GOP, voted “yes.”
Democratic leaders say the vote kicks the legs out from under Republican complaints that the process is too secretive. House Judiciary Chairman Jarrold Nadler…
NADLER: This resolution that we passed today lays the groundwork for open hearings in both the Intelligence Committee and the Judiciary Committee. The House and the American public must see all the evidence for themselves.
Republicans like Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole say it’s too little, too late—and that the resolution does not address many concerns about the fairness of the inquiry.
COLE: A legitimate process is one that offers protections for everyone involved, and without those protections, this will be seen as just another partisan exercise.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise accused Democrats of running a “Soviet style” inquiry—ignoring due process and minority rights.
Pentagon reveals new details, images of al-Baghdadi raid » Top U.S. military officials are revealing new details about the raid that killed the leader of ISIS last weekend.
The Pentagon released photos and video clips of the nighttime operation. One shows Delta Force commandos creeping up on the walls of the compound where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was hiding.
General Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie said U.S. forces surrounded the compound and ordered everyone inside to move outdoors.
MCKENZIE: Five ISIS members inside the compound presented a threat to the force. They did not respond to commands in Arabic to surrender, and they continued to threaten the force. They were then engaged by the raid force and killed. There were four women and one man.
Several non-combatants did obey commands. They were later released.
Other videos show airstrikes at the compound. McKenzie said the U.S. forces completely destroyed it to ensure it would not become a shrine to al-Baghdadi.
MCKENZIE: It looks pretty much like a parking lot with large potholes right now.
He said the military buried al-Baghdadi’s remains at sea.
Meantime, ISIS declared a new leader Thursday. In an audio release, a spokesman for the terror group identifies the successor as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi. The spokesman called him a well known warrior and urged followers to pledge allegiance to the new “caliph.”
At least 71 dead in Pakistan train fire » A massive fire erupted Thursday on a train in eastern Pakistan—killing at least 71 passengers. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Flames roared through the cars as the train traveled through Punjab province. Survivors recounted horrific scenes of fellow passengers screaming as they jumped through windows and off the speeding train. Some said it took 20 minutes for the train to finally squeal to a stop.
Pakistan’s minister for railways said a passenger was cooking breakfast with a gas cylinder when it exploded, and the flames quickly spread. But other reports suggest an electrical problem may have sparked the blaze.
It was the latest tragedy to hit Pakistan’s dilapidated rail system. Eleven people died in a rail accident there in July.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Twitter removing all political ads » Twitter announced this week that it is removing all political ads from its platform.
CEO Jack Dorsey said the reach of a message should be “earned, not bought.”
He said political ads force—quote—“highly optimized and targeted political messages on people.” And he added, “We believe this decision should not be compromised by money.”
Meantime, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shows no signs of backing down from his decision to allow political ads. In a call with investors, he said, “I don’t think it’s right for private companies to censor politicians or the news.”
Kentucky Supreme Court sides with print shop owner in religious liberty case » The Kentucky Supreme Court handed a legal win to the owner of a print shop in a highly public religious liberty case. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports.
SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: The court ruled unanimously that an LGBT group did not have the legal right to sue Blaine Adamson for declining to print messages that violate his religious beliefs.
The case started in 2012 when an LGBT group asked Adamson’s Hands On Originals print shop to make promotional t-shirts for a pride festival.
Adamson did serve LGBT customers and only declined to print certain messages.
But the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization filed a complaint with the county’s Human Rights Commission. And the commission said Adamson must set aside his faith and print the shirts.
But after that, all three levels of the state court system ruled in his favor.
Kentucky Supreme Court Justice David Buckingham said Thursday that—quote—“Hands On was in good faith objecting to the message it was being asked to disseminate.”
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.
Chrysler, Peugeot agree to form auto giant » Fiat Chrysler and France’s PSA Peugeot have agreed to merge to create an automotive giant.
Matteo Caroli is an international business professor at Italy’s LUISS University. He said merging into the world’s fourth-largest automaker will benefit both companies.
CAROLI: It will increase competitiveness in the American market, and I think also in Europe.
Italian-American Fiat Chrysler has a strong footprint in North America, where it makes at least two thirds of its profits. And Peugeot is the second biggest automaker in Europe.
Analysts say the move will position the new larger company to play catch up in developing electric vehicles and other new technology.
The combined company would produce nearly 9 million cars a year—just behind Toyota, Volkswagen, and the Renault-Nissan alliance.