Monday morning news: November 25, 2019

Navy secretary fired over SEAL scandal » Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday fired the secretary of the Navy.

The move stems from a case involving Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher—a Navy SEAL whom President Trump pardoned. Spencer had allegedly gone behind Esper’s back to propose a deal with the White House to resolve the matter. 

On Saturday, Spencer spoke at a security conference and denied reports that he threatened to resign over Gallagher’s pardon. 

SPENCER: Contrary to popular belief, I am still here. I did not threaten to resign. But let’s just say that we’re here to talk about external threats, and Eddie Gallagher is not one of them. 

A military jury convicted Gallagher of posing with a dead ISIS fighter in Iraq in 2017. The Navy then demoted him. But earlier this month, the president pardoned him and restored his rank. 

A few days later, the Navy notified Gallagher that he would face a review board hearing to determine if he should be allowed to remain in the elite force.

Gallagher told Fox News that higher ups were angry over the president’s pardon. 

GALLAGER: This is all about ego and retaliation. This has nothing to do with good order and discipline. 

In a written statement, Secretary Esper said of Richard Spencer—quote—“I am deeply troubled by this conduct shown by a senior DOD official.” He added that Secretary Spencer no longer had his confidence.

Esper also said it’s clear to him Gallagher cannot get a fair shake from the Navy. He had directed officials to cancel the review board hearing and allow him to retire at the end of this month at his current rank.

Pence visits Kurds, U.S. troops in unannounced Iraq visit » Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced visit to Iraq over the weekend—where he told Kurdish allies that America is still on their side. 

PENCE: The United States is prepared to partner with them further to ensure that their governance and meeting the needs of their people is achieved and those objectives for long-term security and prosperity. 

The vice president met with Kurdish leader Nechirvan Barzani in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region. 

Hours later, the Pentagon announced that U.S. troops and Kurdish commandos carried out a joint operation against ISIS militants in Syria. Coalition officials say they captured dozens of militants. 

It was the biggest joint mission since President Trump ordered a pullback of U.S. forces in northern Syria. That move opened the door for Turkey’s cross-border assault on Kurdish forces there.

Pence also delivered an early Thanksgiving message to U.S. troops at Al Asad Air Base. 

PENCE: You’re the best of us. You volunteered to serve. And every American is proud of you and more thankful for your service than you’ll ever know. 

The vice president and his wife Karen also served turkey and stuffing to hundreds of soldiers. 

Justice Ginsberg released from hospital » The Supreme Court says Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been released from a Baltimore hospital where she was treated for a possible infection.

A spokesperson for the court said the 86-year-old has returned to her home in Washington, D.C., and is “doing well.”

Ginsburg spent two nights at Johns Hopkins Hospital after experiencing chills and fever.

Ginsburg has had four occurrences of cancer, including two in the past year. 

Bloomberg announces presidential campaign » Another candidate has jumped into the big Democratic presidential field. 

AUDIO: Mike Bloomberg for president: jobs creator, leader, problem solver… 

The former New York City mayor formally declared his White House bid on Sunday, ending weeks of speculation. 

Bloomberg is one of the world’s richest men, and his deep ties to Wall Street could be a liability with the party’s liberal base. 

Bloomberg has vowed to spend at least $150 million of his fortune on his campaign. And a Bloomberg adviser said the candidate will not accept any political donations or take a salary if elected.

Already some rivals are accusing Bloomberg of trying to buy the Democratic nomination. 

Pro-democracy candidates gain in Hong Kong elections » In Hong Kong, partial returns early Monday from Hong Kong’s local elections showed that pro-democracy candidates making significant gains. 

Sunday’s vote drew a massive turnout. Former student leaders are among the winners. Rally organizer Jimmy Sham also won—after suffering injuries from hammer-wielding assailants last month. 

Early results showed pro-democracy candidates winning 159 out of 452 seats in 18 district council races.

Hong Kong’s largest pro-Beijing political party suffered the biggest setback. More than a hundred of its 182 candidates lost. 

Frozen II shatters box office record in opening weekend » At the weekend box office, a record-breaking debut for Disney’s Frozen II.

TRAILER: Elsa, the past is not what it seems. You must find the truth.

The sequel to the 2013 blockbuster hauled in $127 million domestically. Worldwide, it took in $350 million in its opening weekend. That’s the biggest global opening for an animated film ever

Another weekend debut, the Mr. Rogers biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks, took in $14 million. 

TRAILER: It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor …

That was good for third place. Ford v Ferrari finished second with another $16 million. 

You can find WORLD’s reviews of Frozen II, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and other current films—along with ratings and content information—at

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File) In this Tuesday, July 2, 2019, file photo, Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher leaves a military court on Naval Base San Diego. 

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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