Monday morning news: December 16, 2019

House braces for impeachment vote this week » Battle lines are drawn as Washington braces for this week’s expected vote to impeach President Trump. 

The Democratic-controlled House planned to vote Wednesday on two articles of impeachment. 

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler once again stated the Democrats’ case on Sunday. He told ABC’s This Week

NADLER: This president conspired—sought foreign interference in the 2016 election. He is openly seeking foreign interference in the 2020 election, and he poses a continuing threat to our national security. 

The impeachment vote is expected to split the House chamber down party lines, but Democrats should have more than enough votes. 

It will likely be a different story in the Senate, where Republicans have the numbers to acquit. GOP Texas Senator Ted Cruz said Democrats clearly failed to justify their case against the president. 

CRUZ: I think this is the beginning of the end of this show trail we’ve seen in the House. I think it’s going to come to the Senate. We’re going to have fair proceedings, and then it’s not going anywhere because the facts aren’t there. 

Cruz said the Senate will allow the president every opportunity to call witnesses and defend himself. 

Democratic rep. reportedly set to switch parties » Meantime, one House Democrat who has been very critical of the impeachment push is reportedly planning to switch parties. 

Freshman Blue Dog Democrat Jeff Van Drew was one of two Democrats who broke ranks back in October and voted “no” on formalizing the impeachment inquiry. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Sunday…

MCCARTHY: I want to tell Jeff Van Drew that he is welcome in the Republican Party, not just by me but by our conference, and we would support him, and we would welcome him to join. 

Van Drew represents a purple district in New Jersey and if he remains in the Democratic party, he would likely face a stiff primary challenge from candidates to his left. 

Mother fights to keep baby on life support » The mother of a 10-month old girl on life support in a Fort Worth hospital will have a few more weeks to fight for her life.

A Texas judge has given the mother more time to find different doctors for her daughter before allowing the hospital to take her off life support. 

Tinslee Lewis was born prematurely on February 1st and has been in the hospital ever since with a rare heart defect and chronic lung disease. Doctors at Cook Children’s Medical Center placed her on a ventilator after she stopped breathing in early July. 

They say there’s nothing more they can do, that the baby is in pain, and that continuing treatment only prolongs her suffering.

The judge said she would decide the matter by January 2nd.

Death toll rises from New Zealand volcano amid search for missing victims » New Zealand’s White Island volcano claimed another life over the weekend. A 16th person died at a hospital in Sidney, where numerous victims are receiving treatment for severe burns.  

On Sunday, a helicopter landed on the island carrying two four-person search teams. They scoured part of the island for the bodies of the last two victims but came up empty. Deputy police commissioner Mike Clement told reporters…

CLEMENT: Everyone went out there absolutely desperate to find bodies and return them to loved ones. In terms of probability, I guess we were probably thinking that since one was in the water that so would two, but we are always hopeful. 

The island is still awash in toxic ash and gases. So members of the search teams each wore heavy protective clothing and a breathing apparatus that allowed them to search for only 75 minutes.

Jumanji sequel tops weekend box office » At the weekend box office Jumanji: The Next Level roared out the gate. 

TRAILER: Wait, we’re in the wrong bodies! I came back and things actually got worse!

The comedy sequel hauled in $60 million in its opening weekend. That bumped Frozen II to second place with another $19 million. But worldwide, Frozen II has now crossed the $1 billion mark. 

A disappointing debut for Hollywood’s retelling of the falsely accused ‘96 Olympics bomber. Richard Jewel took in just $5 million for the weekend. That despite strong reviews, including one from our own Megan Basham. 

You can read that review and others at

(Michael Schade via AP) In this Dec. 9, 2019, photo provided by Michael Schade, tourists on a boat look at the eruption of the volcano on White Island, New Zealand. 

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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