The World and Everything in It — November 28, 2019

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

A breakthrough in drug therapy for people living with cystic fibrosis is already changing lives. We’ll hear from patients and doctors.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Also, the annual presentation of the Presidential turkey. We’ll learn more about this light-hearted tradition.

TRUMP: In keeping with that tradition, today I will issue a pardon to a pair of very handsome birds. “Butter” and his alternate, “Bread.”

And WORLD commentator Les Sillars on the value of feasting together.

REICHARD: It’s Thursday, November 28th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Happy Thanksgiving!

REICHARD: Now news. Here’s Kent Covington.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Winter storms threaten holiday plans » A powerful winter storm rolled across the Midwest on Wednesday, threatening to scramble Thanksgiving plans for millions of travelers. 

The storm forced airlines to cancel hundreds of flights. It also shut down major roads in Colorado. Most of those roads have reopened. But Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Tamara Rollison says more winter weather is on the way. 

ROLLISON: We are expecting some more snow in the state toward the latter part of the week in the southeast and the southwestern part of Colorado, and so we certainly urge people to be watchful of the weather. 

A winter front dropped close to a foot of snow in some parts of the Rust Belt even as the system weakened and pushed toward New York and Pennsylvania.

And with the winds blowing into the Big Apple, officials may be forced to ground the iconic floats during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

But Chief Terence Monahan of the NYPD said there’s plenty of other entertainment. And besides, the same fears were raised right before last Thanksgiving… 

MONAHAN: And there were no issues whatsoever with the balloons, so come out and enjoy this parade. It’s going to be a great day. 

Another weather system, a so-called “bomb cyclone,” is still battering the West Coast. Drivers on Interstate 5 near the Oregon-California border spent 17 hours or more in stopped traffic as blizzard conditions whirled outside. Some slept in their vehicles.

Iran reports widespread damage amid uprising » Iran’s interior minister reported this week that protesters destroyed more than 700 banks, 70 gas stations, and 50 police stations in a recent uprising. 

Protesters took to the streets two weeks ago, after officials announced a 50 percent increase in gas prices.

Amnesty International late on Monday said at least 143 people died in the clashes. And the government reportedly arrested thousands. 

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei blamed the United States. 

KHAMENEI: [Farsi] 

He said the American government participated in the “conspiracy” to damage Iran, but the “move was destroyed by the people.”

Trump admin push to designate Mexican cartels terror groups » President Trump said the United States may soon designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups.

In an interview, media host Bill O’Reilly asked the president if he would designate cartels as terror groups and “start hitting them with drones.” Trump responded that he has “been working on that for the last 90 days.” He added that—quote—“designation is not that easy, you have to go through a process, and we are well into that process.”

Trump said has informed the president of Mexico. 

TRUMP: I’ve actually offered him to let us go in and clean it out, and he so far has rejected the offer. But at some point something has to be done. 

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said he’s concerned that a terror designation could lead to the U.S. military moving against cartels in Mexico unilaterally. He said Mexico cannot accept violations of its sovereignty. 

If a group is designated as a terror organization, its members are banned from entering the United States. And any financial institutions that have funds connected to the group are required to block the money and alert the U.S. Treasury. The terror designation would also mean stiffer sentences for people who provide weapons to the cartels. 

Massachusetts bans sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products » Massachusetts is the first state to permanently ban the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes. That after Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed new restrictions into law. 

BAKER: Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the federal government is not going to act decisively. So we’re going to do whatever we can with state level authority that remains to us. 

For months, the Trump administration pushed toward a national ban on most flavored e-cigarettes. But in recent weeks, President Trump has backtracked on the plan, saying he will meet with the vaping industry and medical professionals to find a solution. 

The new law bans the sale of flavored vaping products immediately. It also outlaws the sale of menthol cigarettes starting in June. 

Amid an increase of vaping related illnesses and teen vaping on the rise—some states have temporarily banned or restricted flavored tobacco or vaping products to different degrees. But Massachusetts is the first state with a permanent ban in place. 

Nacogdoches beats top-ranked Duke in stunning NCAA basketball upset » An unranked Texas college basketball team this week pulled off one of the biggest upsets ever. Stephen F. Austin University defeated the No. 1 ranked Duke Blue Devils in dramatic fashion.

With the score tied at 83, just ahead of the 4th quarter buzzer, Lumberjacks forward Nathan Bain broke away from Blue Devil defenders. And with a fraction of a second left, he kissed the ball off the glass as time expired.  

AUDIO: Bain … YES! The Lumberjacks have done it! 

Bain is a fifth-year senior who grew up in Freeport, Bahamas. In September, Hurricane Dorian damaged his family’s home and nearly destroyed the church where his father serves as pastor. In an interview after the game, he said he just wanted to make his country proud. 

BAIN: I’m trying real hard not to get emotional. You know, my family lost a whole lot this year—now I go crying on TV—my family lost a whole lot this year, and I’m just playing this game for them, you know. 

Duke’s stunning defeat snapped its almost 20-year winning streak against non-conference opponents at home.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: the new drug giving Cystic Fibrosis patients hope for the future. Plus, pardoning turkeys and expressing national gratitude. This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD: It’s Thursday the 28th of November, 2019. Glad to have you along for the Thanksgiving edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up today: A breakthrough treatment.

Cystic Fibrosis, or CF, is a rare genetic disease that affects about 75,000 people worldwide. The disease leads to chronic lung infections and long-term damage.

REICHARD: And a short life. The life expectancy for someone with CF is about 37 years. But just last month, a new treatment hit the market. And it’s a game changer. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen has our story.

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: Every day, Jackie Miller has a routine.

MILLER: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. There’s definitely a time consuming regimen.

That regimen includes using a nebulizer two or three times a day. Handfuls of pills. Regular injections. Enzymes, antibiotics, insulin. A vibrating vest to help break up mucus in her lungs. If she gets a cold, she could end up in the hospital.

Jackie Miller has Cystic Fibrosis.

MILLER: It is a genetic disease that affects anywhere in the body that produces mucus, which turns out to be a lot of the body.

There’s a certain protein that’s in charge of getting salt through your cell membranes. If you have CF, you have a genetic mutation that botches that specific protein. It can’t do its job. Salt stays trapped inside the cell.

MILLER: And so it draws all the moisture into the cells. And because of that you get really thick and sticky mucus.

That thick and sticky mucus builds up and affects the liver, the kidneys, the intestines, the pancreas, and the lungs. It leads to lung infections, lung damage, and lung failure.

RAMSEY: It was a ghastly disease to be very honest with you.

That’s Bonnie Ramsey. She’s a pulmonologist and she’s spent a lot of her career figuring out ways to treat CF.

RAMSEY: How could you develop treatments that wouldn’t, maybe not correct the underlying defect, but could help with the secondary consequences. So that even though we didn’t have a quote cure, the quality and duration of life was improving steadily.

But instead of just treating the symptoms, researchers wanted to fix the root of the problem—the actual botched protein. And that is where Trikafta comes in.

O’SULLIVAN: So Trikafta is a combination of three medications.

That’s Brian O’Sullivan. He’s a pediatric pulmonologist at Dartmouth.

O’SULLIVAN: Two of these medicines work on helping the protein fold properly.

He’s talking about the protein in charge of moving salt out of cells. O’Sullivan says that protein is like a gate in a fence. The cows in one pasture want to get to the other side, but the gate is broken. One medicine fixes the gate, another moves it into the right position. Then the third medication comes into play.

O’SULLIVAN: The third medicine is the WD40 of the cell.

It oils up the gate so it can swing wide open and let the cows through. Or, in this case, let the salt out of the cell.

It’s the first time researchers have tried combining all three pieces. They tested it in two clinical trials on more than 500 patients. Jackie Miller was one of them.

She took the medication for 30 days. It was a double blind study, so she didn’t know if she was getting the active drug or a placebo. But she could feel the difference almost instantly. And she knew she had the real thing.

MILLER: If I laugh really hard at anything, it just sends me into a coughing fit. So that was one thing that changed, that I noticed immediately is I was laughing and then I would just stop. So that was bizarre. And then, um, when I take a deep breath, I hear it and I feel crackles in my chest. So really early on with the drug, I would notice the crackles were not there. 

Brian O’Sullivan says the Trikafta trials were enormously successful.

O’SULLIVAN: Their breathing tests went up by 10 percent, which is a huge amount. Their need for hospitalization or added antibiotic therapy went down by about 70 percent compared to the group that didn’t get the Trikafta. So there was a huge improvement. 

Trikafta is expected to help 90 percent of people with CF. Researchers are still working to find a treatment for the other 10 percent. But this is a huge step forward.

Bonnie Ramsey has been part of the research effort for years. She recalls a moment early on in the process.

RAMSEY: And I looked at the data and I thought, this can’t be real. You can’t have this kind of change…I mean, it happens almost immediately. And I remember thinking…this will be life changing.

The FDA approved Trikafta in late October. Brian O’Sullivan says he’s already writing prescriptions for it.

But people who need Trikafta also need some really good insurance. Estimates put the cost of the drug somewhere north of $300,000 per year. But because not many people have the condition, not many will need the medication. O’Sullivan expects most health insurers will be willing to cover the cost.

And even with the steep price tag, Jackie Miller says it’s worth it. Before, she wouldn’t let herself think about the future. But now that’s changing.

MILLER: I feel like I’ve been given permission to think more about like if my kids ever have kids and I have a chance to be a grandma…So it’s just been a really, really sweet gift.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.

NICK EICHER: An intruder in Rochester, New York picked the wrong house to break into. 

Inside that wrong house was Willie Murphy, 82 years old, a grandma. 

She was home alone when a guy pounded on her door, claiming to need an ambulance. Of course, he didn’t really need it, but shortly after he kicked her door down, he would need it. I’ll give you the details in a minute.

You see, Murphy was no easy target. 

As she explained to WHAM TV…

MURPHY: I’m alone and I’m old, but guess what, I’m tough.

Tough doesn’t quite capture it. Too small a word for the toughness that is Willie Murphy.

She’s a bodybuilder. While she’s only 5 feet tall and weighs just over a hundred pounds—she can still deadlift 225 pounds! 

And she was ready to defend herself. When she saw the intruder, she grabbed the closest object, a small table.

MURPHY: And it had metal legs, and I’m juking him, juking him, juking him. And when he’s down, I’m jumping on him – umph, umph!


Good for her. Police thought so, too. They posed for a picture with Murphy and posted it to the Rochester Police Twitter account—calling Murphy “tough as nails”!

It’s The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER: Today is Thursday, November 28th. You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we’re glad you are! Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Next up, presidents and turkeys.

In 1873, a Rhode Island farmer sent a turkey to Ulysses S. Grant at the White House. He continued to send a turkey for the next 40 years, through 10 presidents. In 1947 the National Turkey Federation picked up the tradition. And every year since, presidents have welcomed turkeys to the White House—some as dinner, others as guests.

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: Earlier this week, two massive white turkeys checked into Washington D.C.’s Willard InterContinental Hotel. 

“Butter” and “Bread” are the latest birds to carry on a 72 year tradition. 

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States and Mrs. Trump…

On Tuesday afternoon, the “toms” showed up on schedule as President Donald Trump and first lady Melania welcomed them to the Rose Garden. 

DONALD TRUMP: The first lady and I are delighted to welcome you all to the White House on this magnificent autumn day…As we gather this week with loved ones across our beautiful land, we thank God for the many gifts He’s bestowed upon us. Today we also come together to honor the beautiful feathered friend, the noble turkey. And that’s a beauty.

White House archives indicate that both Harry Truman and Dwight Esienhower ate at least some of their annual turkey visitors. In 1963 JFK sent his turkey back to the farm to “keep growing.” 

Records are unclear about Lyndon Johnson’s habits, but Richard Nixon seems to have spared most of his featured presents. Jimmy Carter wouldn’t even accept the turkeys, so the first lady arranged to send them to various petting zoos. An example that Ronald Regan followed. 

Every president since George H.W. Bush has gone a step further and actually issued a “Presidential Pardon” for at least one of the turkeys. 

DONALD TRUMP: In keeping with that tradition, today I will issue a pardon to a pair of very handsome birds. “Butter” and his alternate, “Bread.” Their names were chosen by the students of Harrells Christian Academy in North Carolina…

In 1989, President Bush started the ceremony on a more serious note…

BUSH: 200 years ago, George Washington signed the original proclamation for a day of Thanksgiving.

But then the turkey stole the show. 

BUSH: A day of thanks for the bounty we enjoy…[GOBBLE] And above all, the blessings of freedom. That’s why I’m so pleased to welcome the young Americans, recent newcomers to our country, who are here today. Like every American [GOBBLE]…come on, this is serious stuff!  

Over the last 25 years, presidents just can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to making puns. Here’s President Clinton from his first Turkey Pardoning Ceremony in 1993:

CLINTON: Somebody pointed out this morning that this may not be the only turkey I’ve had in my administration, but this is one I will certainly set free…

President Barack Obama went into full “dad joke mode” in 2015.

OBAMA: As you may have heard, for months there has been a fierce competition of a bunch of turkeys trying to win their way into the White House. Some of you caught that. Well today, I can announce the American people have spoken. We have two winners. Their names are “Honest” and “Abe.” Abe is now a free bird. He is TOTUS. The turkey of the United States. Yeah. Oh, boy. Okay, that’s funny. It is hard to believe this is my seventh year pardoning a turkey. Time flies, even if turkeys don’t…

Many presidents have also used the opportunity to take jabs at the press or political opponents. Again, Barack Obama…

OBAMA: I know some folks think this tradition is a little silly. I do not disagree. I’ve got to listen to my critics. Say I’m too soft on turkeys. And I’m sure the press is digging into the turkey’s I’ve pardoned have really rededicated their lives to be good turkey citizens…

During this week’s event, Donald Trump alluded to the impeachment hearing:

TRUMP: Thankfully Bread and Butter have been specially raised by the Jacksons to remain calm under any condition, which will be very important because they’ve already received subpoenas to appear in Adam Schiff’s basement on Thursday…it’s true…

While school children and White House staff enjoy the light-hearted turkey presentation and pardon each year, there is a less celebrated duty that often precedes the Rose Garden ceremony.

From the beginning of our nation, every president has issued a Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation, calling the nation to set aside a day for more than just turkey. 

George Washington declared in 1789: “[May we] then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions…”

In 1947, Harry S Truman wrote: “Older than our nation itself is the hallowed custom of resting from our labors for one day at harvest time and of dedicating that day to expressions of gratitude to Almighty God for the many blessings which He has heaped upon us.” 

And George W. Bush, wrote on November 16th, 2001: “In thankfulness and humility, we acknowledge, especially now, our dependence on One greater than ourselves…May Almighty God, who is our refuge and our strength in this time of trouble, watch over our homeland, protect us, and grant us patience, resolve, and wisdom in all that is to come.”

Happy Thanksgiving. 

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Paul Butler.

NICK EICHER: Coming up next, an excerpt from Listening In. This week, a conversation with Kay Warren, co-founder of Saddleback Church with her husband, Rick. She’s a speaker, a best-selling author, and a vocal advocate for those living with mental illness.

MARY REICHARD: She’s also a survivor of childhood abuse. In this excerpt of her conversation with Warren Smith, Kay Warren speaks of the long process of healing.

WARREN SMITH: Did the church intervene and say: “You guys need to get some counseling?” Did friend intervene or was this just something y’all were dealing with yourselves? 

KAY WARREN: No, we were dealing with it ourselves. I’d been open about the fact that I’d been abused so it wasn’t a secret by that time that I had experienced abuse, but I just didn’t talk about it. So, what we said was, that it’s come to the place that Kay in particular, Kay and Rick feel like this is something they need to focus on and there’s some healing that needs to happen.

So we didn’t make an announcement to the church but, you know, there were quite a few people close to us who knew. 

SMITH: Yeah, so keep talking. Walk us through what was happening there.

WARREN: It just took such a long time to really understand that what had happened to me was not my fault. Saying those words, even after all this time, sometimes saying the words: “It’s not your fault” is so powerful. Because I think we tell ourselves that really it was our fault in some way. I know some women feel incredibly responsible for the abuse that they’ve endured, and to have somebody say to you: “No, it wasn’t your fault and you don’t bear responsibility for that…” 

That’s a message that takes a really long time to penetrate into our souls and bring the healing. So that one took a really long time, to also then to move from that to: “No, what was done was evil.” That’s another level, because then you have to grapple with the reality of evil—and its not out there, and it’s not in the news— no, the evil was done to me, and that is a stark reality to begin to accept. 

And then to know that even some of the ways that some of the choices I made…they were acting out, by—

SMITH: They were consequences…

WARREN: —they were consequences of evil that had been done to me. And I didn’t have the cognitive ability as a twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen year old girl to know all of that. And then grieving the losses. Grieving the loss of innocence. Grieving the loss of sexuality that’s not tainted by evil. Grieving the loss of my own view of myself. Grieving the loss in marriage. So there’s just so much grief, and that takes time to process, to feel. To recover. To heal.

MARY REICHARD: Today is Thursday, November 28th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Happy Thanksgiving.

Many of us may be feasting together, but “eating alone” has caught the attention of some media in recent weeks. The Wall Street Journal says, for example, that eating alone has lost its stigma as something for the sad and lonely.

REICHARD: But WORLD Radio’s Les Sillars wonders whether eating alone gives up more than we think it does.

LES SILLARS, COMMENTATOR: Eating alone may indeed be losing its stigma. But that doesn’t change the fact that eating together builds relationships. When we forget that, we lose chances to get to know friends and strengthen family bonds. But even more than that.

HARTOG: The Scriptures are pretty clear in my opinion, that God has called us to dine. He’s called us to dine with each other, and He’s called us to dine with Him.

That’s one of my pastors, Don Den Hartog. He recently taught a class on Genesis 1. He described a theology of food and drew some fascinating parallels between Genesis 1 and the Gospel of John.

God could have designed us to get the energy and nutrients we need from dirt. Instead, God blessed us with an incredible variety of tasty fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and spices. Not to mention brownie sundaes. And we are to enjoy them together.

HARTOG: Rather, dining relates to the concept of fellowship, engagement, of interaction, a coming together of spirits, as well as body and in centered around food, that food is an integral part of that … and there is a Biblical and theological reason for that.

To the Israelites He gave manna in the wilderness. He is the true bread from heaven that gives life to all who believe. “Give us this day, our daily bread,” as Jesus taught us to pray. In a way, if you really recognize what you’re doing, to eat is to pray.

HARTOG: Why did He make food? Why are we dependent on food? Because dependency and love are interconnected. A love relationship with total independence cannot happen.

It’s no coincidence that in the garden, food, choice, and love all came together in one earth-shattering event.

HARTOG: Food was a central point of love, because it was a central point of choice. Eat God’s provision, respect God’s prohibition.

Dining is not about fine china, celebrity chefs, or fancy recipes. If you need to roast your own coffee beans, OK, whatever. There’s nothing wrong with knowing how to prepare good food. 

But let us not eat alone. Let us eat to draw near to others, and draw near to God. And as we eat, let it remind us of our dependence on Him.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Les Sillars.

Sidewalk Prophets: Come to the Table  [first verse and chorus]
We all start on the outside
The outside looking in
This is where grace begins
We were hungry, we were thirsty
With nothing left to give
Oh the shape that we were in
Just when all hope seemed lost
Love opened the door for us
He said come to the table
Come join the sinners who have been redeemed
Take your place beside the Savior now
Sit down and be set free
Come to the table

NICK EICHER: Tomorrow is Black Friday, and we’ll talk about that on Culture Friday. 

And, Megan Basham reviews a movie about car racing.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

Jesus said,  “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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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