Tuesday morning news: November 26, 2019


Judge orders McGahn to comply with House subpoena » A federal judge ruled Monday that former White House counsel Don McGahn must comply with a subpoena from House Democrats. They’re demanding that he testify in the impeachment inquiry. 

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s ruling comes three months after the House Judiciary Committee sued to enforce the subpoena. Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler predicted the courts would reject the Trump administration’s claim that current and former White House officials are immune from testifying. 

NADLER: The excuses that the White House gives for McGahn not testifying, the nonsense about absolute immunity, etc., are the same excuses for all the other fact witnesses. 

Following Monday’s ruling, House Democrats may look to force other high-ranking officials to testify. 

The Justice Department said the administration will appeal Jackson’s ruling and seek to put it on hold for now. But an attorney for McGahn said without a court-imposed stay, his client will comply with the subpoena.


Pro-democracy candidates score landslide in Hong Kong elections » Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Monday she will “seriously reflect” on the stunning results of this week’s elections. 

Voters sent a clear message with prodemocracy candidates sweeping nearly 90 percent of 452 district council seats.  That seemed a clear rebuke of Carrie Lam, her government’s policies, and its handling of ongoing protests. 

Voters in Hong Kong cannot vote directly for the chief executive. A 1,200 member committee chooses the leader. But District Council members name about a tenth of the people on that committee. 

WORLD’s East Asia reporter June Cheng was in Hong Kong and spoke to voters. Many said they were voting to give pro-democracy forces more sway in choosing Hong Kong’s next leader.

AUDIO: It’s important to get more people from the Democratic side to get into the system, because in the district election, we have more than a hundred votes in the chief executive election. That’s very important.

The next chief executive election is in 2022. 

China’s central government reacted on Monday, making clear that the city will always be under Beijing’s thumb. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said “No matter how the situation in Hong Kong changes, it is very clear that Hong Kong is a part of Chinese territory.”


Leaked document reveals workings of China’s reeducation camps » Meantime, a new report reveals that China prepared a manual for how to secretly run forced reeducation camps for religious and ethnic minorities. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: A group of news organizations published a leaked classified blueprint that shows how the Chinese government runs the camps in Xinjiang.

Guards in watch towers, double-locked doors, and video surveillance “prevent escapes.” Uighurs and other minorities receive scores on everything from how well they speak Mandarin—down to bathing and using the toilet.

The secret documents lay out the government’s strategy to lock up ethnic minorities even before they commit a crime to rewire their thoughts and change the language they speak.

The papers also show how Beijing is pioneering a new form of social control using data and artificial intelligence. Drawing on data collected by mass surveillance technology, computers issued the names of tens of thousands of people for interrogation or detention in just one week.

China has condemned the documents as a “fabrication and fake news.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin. 


Anti-doping panel recommends 4-year ban for Russian athletes » A committee at the World Anti-Doping Agency is reportedly calling for a four-year ban on Russian athletes in global sports. 

The New York Times reported Monday that the panel is recommending the ban as punishment for the brazen Russian doping program that came to light four years ago.  

The proposed penalties would bar Russian athletes from next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo and other major events like World Cup soccer. 

The World Anti-Doping Agency is expected to announce a final ruling next month after a board meeting in Paris. If it approves the panel’s recommended punishment, Russia can still appeal the decision. 


Thieves steal “priceless” 18th century jewels from museum » Thieves broke into one of the world’s oldest museums on Monday, making off with three “priceless” sets of 18th century jewelry. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen has that story. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: The heist happened at the Green Vault at Dresden Castle in eastern Germany. Unarmed security guards spotted the thieves on surveillance cameras. They alerted authorities, who arrived within minutes, but the suspects had already fled in a getaway car.

The thieves broke open a glass case containing three sets of Baroque jewelry—including dazzling brooches, buttons, and buckles. 

Museum officials said they couldn’t place a dollar value on the stolen items, because they would be—“impossible to sell.” But a German newspaper estimated the value to be just over a billion dollars. 

The museum was established in 1723. It contains about 4,000 objects of gold, precious stones, and other artifacts.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen. 


White House Christmas tree arrives » First lady Melania Trump opened the holiday season in the nation’s capital Monday—accepting delivery of the official White House Christmas tree.

Members of the U.S. Marine Band played as a pair of horses trotted up the White House driveway pulling a green carriage that carried an 18-foot Douglas fir.

The towering tree is the centerpiece of Christmas in the White House Blue Room.

The first lady greeted and posed for photos with the Pennsylvania farmer who donated the fir. 

President Trump is scheduled to honor another holiday ritual today when he issues a presidential pardon to the National Thanksgiving Turkey.


(Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP, File) Sept. 27, 2018, file photo, then-White House counsel Don McGahn on Capitol Hill in Washington. 

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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