MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
Today, we’ll gain some perspective on the current impeachment of a president from someone who was around for the last impeachment efforts.
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Washington Wednesday.
Also WORLD Tour with Africa reporter Onize Ohikere.
Plus, dealing with loss during the holidays.
WELLS: When I married my husband, I thought that was my lifetime partner. That’s my soul mate. But obviously God saw fit, you know, for me to have a second, um, chapter to my, to my story.
And Janie B. Cheaney on the physical side of the spiritual Christian life.
REICHARD: It’s Wednesday, December 11th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Democrats unveil articles of impeachment » House Democrats made it official on Tuesday—presenting articles of impeachment against the president.
NADLER: The House Committee on the Judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment against the president of the United States Donald J. Trump with committing high crimes and misdemeanors.
Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, heard there. Democrats charge that the president abused his power and obstructed Congress.
Several party leaders joined Nadler at a Tuesday press conference, including House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, who said the president left them no choice.
SCHIFF: To do nothing would make ourselves complicit in the president’s abuse of his high office, the public trust, and our national security.
Republicans again fired back, saying it is Democrats who are abusing their power. And GOP Congressman Doug Collins said the case against Trump is unprecedented in its weakness.
COLLINS: Political impeachments are partisan when they are based on not-facts. The Clinton and Nixon impeachments actually had real crimes. Clinton actually committed a crime. Nixon actually committed a crime. The president has not committed a crime.
Attorney General William Barr pushed back on the charge that the president obstructed Congress. He argued that a branch of government—his words—“asserting a legal privilege” that it “has under the law” does not constitute obstruction.
The Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the articles of impeachment in a matter of days. The full House will likely vote before Christmas.
Pelosi announces agreement USMCA trade deal » The same day Democrats announced impeachment charges against the president—a rare display of unity in the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a deal to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade.
PELOSI: It’s a victory for America’s workers. It’s one that we take great pride—great pride in advancing.
Texas GOP Congressman Kevin Brady agreed.
BRADY: This agreement means more jobs, more customers for made-in-America goods, and a stronger economy for the United States.
This agreement would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, handing a big win to President Trump. He panned NAFTA for years, calling it a terrible deal.
Pelosi said the USMCA is unquestionably better than NAFTA—though, she credited Democratic negotiators for winning stronger provisions.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will begin hearings on the agreement after impeachment proceedings come to a close.
Russian foriegn minister visits White House » Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with President Trump at the White House on Tuesday. It was his first visit to Washington since 2017.
Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with his Russian counterpart. He said they talked about a range of issues.
POMPEO: We touched on counterterrorism, counternarcotics. Our intelligence, law enforcement professionals cooperate in these areas on a daily basis and will keep doing so. And we’ll aim to make that cooperation even more refined and better.
He said they discussed North Korea and agreed on the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
He also, once again, warned against Russian interference in U.S. elections. And Lavrov again denied that Moscow has ever interfered.
Death toll rises from volcanic eruption in New Zealand » At least six people are now confirmed dead after tourists got caught in a volcanic eruption in New Zealand Monday. A sixth person died at a hospital in Auckland yesterday.
Officials believe another eight people died on the island, but it’s still too dangerous to recover their remains.
Many more were injured, burned by the scalding steam. And New Zealand Health Ministry spokesman Pete Watson said some of the injured are clinging to life.
WATSON: We’re doing all we can, and we’re really confident of the expertise we have. It is possible that not all of the patients will survive, but at this stage, everybody is receiving the care that they require.
It’s unclear why tourists were still allowed to visit the island after seismic monitoring experts raised the volcano’s alert level last month. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said “These questions must be asked and they must be answered.”
At least six dead after gunman opens fire in Czech hospital » A gunman killed six patients at a Czech hospital on Tuesday. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Around 7 a.m. on Tuesday, a 42-year-old man walked into a hospital waiting room and began shooting people at close range with an illegally obtained gun. The shooter then fatally shot himself in his car as police closed in.
The Czech government said the suspect had been treated in the hospital, but didn’t offer details. And right now, authorities have no idea why he opened fire in the waiting room. Police say he did have a criminal record and that he acted alone.
Six other people suffered bullet wounds. All of the victims were adult patients awaiting treatment.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.
COVINGTON: I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: a historical perspective on the current impeachment effort. Plus, finding joy despite loss during the Christmas season. This is The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD: It’s Wednesday the 11th of December, 2019. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. It’s Washington Wednesday. Today, the impeachment inquiry.
REICHARD: House Democrats are preparing for a historic vote next week. This will be only the fourth time in U.S. history that the House has considered removing a president from office.
The first impeachment inquiry took place in 1868. House lawmakers convicted President Andrew Johnson of violating the Tenure of Office Act. The Senate acquitted him.
EICHER: In 1973, the House convened the second-ever round of presidential impeachment hearings. That time, against Richard Nixon. It dragged on for nearly a year. Nixon maintained support from fellow Republicans throughout much of the proceedings.
But as evidence of his role in the Watergate scandal became public, most of the president’s political allies abandoned him. Facing widespread, bipartisan opposition, Nixon resigned before lawmakers could vote.
REICHARD: The third impeachment inquiry began in 1998. That’s when Republicans accused President Bill Clinton of lying under oath and obstruction of justice. The GOP-controlled House approved two articles of impeachment by narrow margins.
Republicans also held a slim majority in the Senate. But they didn’t have the 67 votes they needed to convict and remove Bill Clinton from office. So he joined Andrew Johnson on the impeached presidents list, although neither had to leave office.
EICHER: Paul McNulty had a front-row seat to the Clinton impeachment proceedings as chief counsel for the House Judiciary Committee. He went on to work as a deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush and now serves as president of Grove City College in Pennsylvania.
Paul McNulty joins us now to talk about the current impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Good morning!
PAUL MCNULTY, GUEST: Good morning. Nice talking to you.
EICHER: Let’s start with your thoughts on the impeachment hearings so far. What’s stood out to you?
MCNULTY: Well, I think at the very top of that list would be the partisan divide and the toxicity of the environment. The confrontation that is existing. The lack of any cooperation. And the view of the Democrats that the bipartisan support that we saw—to some extent—back in the Nixon impeachment and which was a problem for the Republicans not to have in the Clinton impeachment, is not important to them in this go round.
That has actually surprised me because they are seen in the public reaction just exactly what we could have predicted when you try to go through an impeachment process without some meaningful bipartisan support.
EICHER: Do you feel like there’s any there there to this at all?
MCNULTY: Well, in the substance of it, I think what’s problematic for the Democrats is two things. Number one, the nature of the violation itself. And number two, the evidence supporting the violation.
So, with regard to the violation itself, it’s something that is going to strike a lot of people in the public as not rising to the level of egregiousness that an impeachable offense would appear to require. And that’s why there is a clear divide in public opinion about whether or not the impeachment process should proceed.
The nature of the offense is one where you’re talking about a phone conversation where the language being used can be interpreted in some different ways. The evidence relating to the quid pro quo—which goes to my second point—has some holes in its, or at least some weaknesses, to it.
You’ve got a lot of commentary or a lot of statements that are not first-hand knowledge but hearsay and so forth. And as the law professor from last week described, it’s a thin case in relation to that evidence and that creates a very significant problem.
EICHER: You’re talking about the law professor the Republicans called from George Washington Law School. That was Jonathan Turley.
MCNULTY: That’s right. And Jon Turley’s not a Republican himself. He said he didn’t even support President Trump. I’ve known him for a long period of time, and he has a reputation for being a very fair-minded, straight-shooter type of guy.
And so he was providing, I thought, really insightful commentary about what is necessary, the magnitude of an offense that needs to be present in order for the case to kind of garner larger public support and bring in more bipartisan congressional support to the process. And he was pointing out something that I think is a rather clear conclusion at this point.
EICHER: We hear a lot about how this proceeding highlights the deep partisan divisions in our country. You used the term toxic.
But I’m wondering are they really are more toxic or more partisan than the last time we went through this, during the Clinton administration? You were there. So, tell us what you remember and how it contrasts with what you’re seeing today.
MCNULTY: Sure. Well, I was there, and Henry Hyde was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. I was the chief counsel of the Judiciary Committee and the spokesperson for the impeachment process. So I was right in the middle of that debate every day.
And even though there was a clear divide—and it went down pretty much along party line, although there were some Democrats who did support the articles of impeachment when they came to the House floor—the tone of the disagreement was very different. And that’s because Henry Hyde set a very fair and balanced tone as the chair.
And that meant that there could be, actually, more of a discussion about the issues and the merits about whether it should go forward or not. And, again, the Republicans learned through that process that without Democrat support, it was not something that was going to, you know, pull the American people in in such a way that would bring about, eventually, the removal of the president from office.
EICHER: We’re in the news business, we’re not the prediction business. But it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to believe that it’s a bit of a foregone conclusion. The House is going to vote for impeachment, probably next week. And absent some dramatic changes, the Senate will probably acquit. So what’s the takeaway from all of this?
MCNULTY: Well, I think we’re going to have to spend some time really thinking about that. I think the Democrats are going to hope that they’ve been able to vindicate their position and stir up their political base as they go into the election year because they’ve followed through on something that they said they were going to do.
I think they will have turned off a lot of independents in the process and they’ll hope that those independents don’t remember that as much by the time we get to November.
But on the Senate side, one of the things that’s particularly intriguing right now is what this Senate proceeding will look like, how long it will last, what witnesses will be called.
In ‘98, as you may remember, we were dealing with a very limited amount of Senate action. So, it wasn’t really a Senate trial. Chief Justice Rehnquist presided, but instead it was a series of just statements and presentations that were made on the Senate floor. But witnesses were not called and it wasn’t something similar to, say, the 1868 version or ‘67 version of what Andrew Johnson went through.
So, that’s I think the most interesting issue right now as to whether or not that trial will actually, in a sense, backfire on the Democrats because of the issues that might come forward and the type of testimony that would be heard, the length of the proceedings, the disrupting effect it might have with regard to the primaries, and other things that could come out of that.
EICHER: Thinking through how the Senate might approach this, if the Senate does put on a full-blown trial, do you think that’s an indicator that the Republicans feel like they can actually turn this to their benefit politically?
MCNULTY: I think there’s some thinking along those lines. I think that’s beginning to reveal itself more and more in the last couple of weeks that there may even be an opportunity and there may be some regrets on the Democrat side that they’ve created that opportunity.
So let’s specifically look at what happened with regard to the Judiciary Committee presentation on the evidence where the Republican counsel spent time talking about Hunter Biden and the contract he had in Ukraine and the potential conflict of interest that might have been involved with his father as vice president. Well, that issue could receive more attention in a Senate trial right at the very same time that Joe Biden is trying to get the nomination.
So, yeah, I do think that there is a growing sense that some twists and turns are going to emerge here that might be politically harmful for Democrats and in particular Joe Biden.
EICHER: Paul McNulty is a former deputy U.S. Attorney General and current president of Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania. Mr. McNulty, thank you so much for joining us today.
MCNULTY: My pleasure. Thank you.
NICK EICHER: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with Africa reporter Onize Ohikere.
ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: China claims ‘reeducation’ courses complete—We start today in Asia.
AUDIO: [Chinese official defends camps]
All of the Uighur Muslims detained in so-called “reeducation camps” in China’s Xinjiang province have completed their courses. That according to the regional chairman who spoke to reporters on Monday.
AUDIO: [Man speaking Mandarin]
He said all of the former detainees have found stable work and are leading “happy” lives. He also said the Xinjiang government would continue regular training programs in local villages for residents who do not have jobs.
Human rights groups estimate more than a million Uighurs and other minority groups were detained in the camps. Officials have rejected that claim without providing any official counts of their own.
The camps have drawn widespread, international condemnation. Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill calling for sanctions against Chinese officials involved in creating and running them.
Myanmar at the Intl. Court of Justice—Next we go to Europe.
The International Court of Justice began hearings in The Hague on Tuesday. It will determine whether Myanmar is guilty of genocide against the Rohingya people.
The tiny African country of Gambia brought the charges. Its minister of justice made his country’s case.
TAMBADOU: All that The Gambia asks is that you tell Myanmar to stop these senseless killings, to stop this genocide of its own people.
Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, will answer the charges against her country today.
Myanmar’s military began a crackdown on Rohingya communities in 2017. The violence forced three-quarters of a million Rohingya to flee into neighboring Bangladesh.
Russia-Ukraine summit—Next to France.
AUDIO: [Zelensky Putin meeting]
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Paris on Monday for landmark peace talks. The two leaders agreed to a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine and the full withdrawal of troops by March. They also agreed to release all prisoners detained in the five-year conflict by the end of the year.
PUTIN: [Speaking Russian]
Putin described the agreement as an important first step to easing tension in the region. The conflict in eastern Ukraine began when Russia invaded the Crimean Peninsula.
Putin came to Paris hoping to secure promises of autonomy for areas now controlled by Moscow-backed separatists. But Zelensky wants to regain control of his country’s borders before agreeing to regional elections.
They left without an agreement on those issues. Zelensky described the outcome as “a tie.”
Finland gets a new prime minister—And finally, we end today in Finland.
Sanna Marin became the world’s youngest head of state Tuesday when she took the oath of office as prime minister.
AUDIO: [Sanna Marin speaking]
The 34-year-old told reporters she never thinks about her age or gender—just the reasons she got into politics. Marin will lead a center-left government of four parties. All of them are headed by women—another governmental first.
That’s this week’s World Tour. For WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere reporting from Abuja, Nigeria.
MARY REICHARD: Doctors tell us to reduce stress in our lives.
But what about cows?
A farm just outside of Moscow is fitting cows with virtual reality headsets. It’s all part of an experiment.
You see, Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture points to research that suggests calmer, happier cows produce more milk. And they’re hoping that just maybe high-tech will make for a herd of blissed-out bovines.
It’s not clear just yet if dairy production is up, but overseers “noted reduced anxiety and improved overall emotional mood in the herd.”
So what are the cows watching on their VR headsets? Well, it’s a sort of cow version of old reruns of Green Acres!
They’re seeing a simulation of a “summer field” where the weather is always sunny and the grass is always green. A virtual paradise for a Moscow cow!
It’s The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD: Today is Wednesday, December 11th. You’re listening to WORLD Radio, and we are so glad you are. Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Dealing with grief during the holidays.
For many people who mourn, December is the hardest month of the year. WORLD reporter Kim Henderson recently met a young widow who has learned to trust God in the midst of her grief. Here’s her story.
AUDIO: [SOUND OF WELLS AND STAFF MEMBER]
KIM HENDERSON, REPORTER: Optometrist Channing Wells is 31, with a stylish curled afro and knee-high boots that peek out from under her white lab coat. Her dark eyes keep a steady gaze, even when she describes her worst day—the day she greeted a U.S. Marshal outside her examination room in Jackson, Mississippi.
WELLS: He said, “Mrs. Wells, there’s been an accident. I can’t give you details. We just need to rush you to Baton Rouge.”
Something had happened. Something terrible, 200 miles away at an aging roadside motor court.
AUDIO: [SOUNDS OUTSIDE THE ELM GROVE MOTEL]
On March 10th, 2015, Channing’s husband, Deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells, arrived here at the Elm Grove Motel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It’s set in a tangle of oaks and enclosed by a crumbling fence—a good hideout. Wells was part of a task force attempting to arrest double-murder suspect Jamie Croom.
Today at the door to Room 9, there’s a cat and a maid making rounds. No signs of the shootout between the Marshals and Croom. But that day, one of the bullets found a space between Wells’ helmet and vest. His wife raced to Baton Rouge.
WELLS: While we were in the car after, on our route there, they pulled me over on the side of the road and gave me the news that he didn’t make it…
At the coroner’s office, she learned about her husband’s ride to the hospital, that he asked his fellow marshals to pray with him. Officials gave her his broken phone.
WELLS: He says, I love you too. We’ll talk tonight. And that was my last text message around 11. And then of course they presented him dead upon arrival at 12:01. So, that was, your life literally, you know, is turned upside down within a matter of seconds.
Wells was four months pregnant with the couple’s first child. She determined to focus on the baby’s wellbeing, and she says that helped her get through the funeral.
CLIP: [AUDIO FROM FUNERAL]
She even managed to listen dry-eyed as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gave a eulogy.
Focusing on her son helped her that first Christmas, too. She could have gotten bogged down, thinking of December 25th a year before, when a pregnancy test revealed the couple was expecting.
WELLS: So 2014 was the best gift that I could give my husband, especially after two-and-a-half long years of trying to conceive and different fertility treatments. In 2015, that was the Christmas that I got to hold that Christmas gift that I wanted to give to my husband. So it was bittersweet…
Wells’ twin sister and their mother moved in after the baby was born and helped around the clock. But she’s on her own now with an active 4-year-old who likes dinosaurs and his mother’s chess set.
WELLS: It’s hard raising your child by yourself. There are some nights where in the beginning I was still angry with my husband because he left…
Wells says she’s learned to trust in God to take care of her.
WELLS: When I married my husband, I thought that was my lifetime partner. That’s my soul mate. But obviously God saw fit, you know, for me to have a second chapter to my story.
Wells went to Washington D.C. to receive her husband’s purple heart. She displays it in a special room at her home…
WELLS: We also have the medal of honor, his badge, the proclamation of the city of Baton Rouge…
The walls are covered floor-to-ceiling with plaques and mementos from Josie’s career.
WELLS: If you turn around there, there’s actually the picture of us at his graduation…
It’s her favorite photo in the whole room. She and Josie are all smiles, posing in front of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Wells didn’t know she’d return there. Alone.
WELLS: He was actually standing in front of that wall that his name was put on, um, three short years later. So yeah. So I remember this day like it was like it was yesterday…
Even though Wells now shares her story as a motivational speaker, she says grief still comes in waves. Her husband laid a foundation in their family that helps: prayer.
WELLS: Every morning he would wake me up at four AM before he left to get on the road, and we would say what we called the watchword: “May the Lord watch between me and thee, um, while we’re absent one from another.”
AUDIO: [SOUND OF WELLS AND SON CALLING TO HORSE]
Wells still has Josie’s horse, a Tennessee Walker named BeBe. She keeps her in a fenced pasture beside her driveway.
And this Christmas, she’ll keep his favorite holiday foods—Oreos, ice cream, and his mother’s pound cake—on the table. That’s the approach she and the extended family chose their first Christmas without Josie.
WELLS: So everything that he loved, that’s what we indulged in. And we spent more time laughing at the memories versus crying for his absence.
Wells says relatives and friends should encourage that kind of joyful remembering this season.
WELLS: It’s a blessing to have such an impact on this world that your family loves you so much that they can mourn you . . . but you would do more benefit for your loved ones by celebrating the good times.
AUDIO: [SOUND OF WELLS AND SON OUTSIDE]
WELLS: You know, celebrate life. Celebrate them.
For WORLD Radio, I’m Kim Henderson reporting from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Raymond, Mississippi.
NICK EICHER: Today is Wednesday, December 11th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. What is the nature of the Christian life? Here’s WORLD Radio’s Janie B. Cheaney.
JANIE B. CHEANEY, COMMENTATOR: What is “a life”?
We know, sort of, what life is: the force of change, growth, and decline. A life, though, is a mystery. A life is associated with a single being: a daffodil, a dragonfly, a horse, or a man.
Depending on who you ask, “Life” is a force, or a spirit, or a pool of random particles that somehow converge. But a life is a consequence.
Life either happened randomly and without intention, or it didn’t. I believe it happened with intention. I believe it’s intentional and dynamic, an energy generated by the relationship of Father, Son, and Spirit.
We’re told the first human being was formed from dust, and the next with a bone from the first, and together they made complementary music that echoes the triadic nature of God Himself: 1+1=1. Multiplying lives, each one noticed and named, each one consequential.
But we forget. There are so many of us, for one thing, and so many of us seem to have no clue how consequential we are. The strong make the weak feel helpless and insignificant.
Nature overpowers, circumstances overwhelm, and if we’re not at war with each other, we’re at war with ourselves. But that, too, is a consequence. We forget. And it’s partly because we forgot that Jesus, who himself is life, became a life, and the light of men.
We speak of significant people, of those who “made a difference,” like Buddha, Moses, Confucius, Beethoven, and Leonardo.
But everyone makes a difference, positive or negative. If they only knew.
Jesus says: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” But how?
“Look,” he says: “here’s my life. I’m the only man who ever lived with the authority to take it up. And now watch: I will lay it down. And I’ll take it up again.
“Watch carefully, and then you do the same. You have a life—I gave it to you. And now I ask you to lay it down—that is, give it back to me—and take it up again as something new and eternally consequential.
“Watch me; don’t try to do this on your own. Lay it down, and take it up. Lay it down . . . take it up.
“This is hard, and it may take some practice. Some of you won’t get the hang of it until your life is almost over. But the only way to matter eternally is to hand your life to me and let me give it back. With my light shining through it.”
For WORLD Radio, I’m Janie B. Cheaney.
JANIE CHEANEY: And while you’re still listening, here’s one thing that makes my life consequential.
Back in 1991, I was thinking about relativism, which was, at that time, the guiding principle of most university education. I decided to write about it, I sent my 700-word essay to Joel Belz, the founder and editor-in-chief of WORLD Magazine. And he published it.
My family were already devoted WORLD readers. We were drawn to biblically-informed journalism: reporting that wasn’t based on a particular political stance or passing fad—or relativism—but relied on the enduring truth of God and his word. It was an honor to be published in those pages—and a thrill that hasn’t faded, even after all these years.
And that’s because the aim and purpose of WORLD has not changed, in all these years. The dreaded infection of “mission creep” has not nibbled away at the original calling. WORLD is still dedicated to “biblically objective journalism,” and we need that, now more than ever.
Since my first column appeared, WORLD has branched out to multiple websites and this radio broadcast, picking up new listeners every day. As the audience expands, so do the expenses. As new reporters, fresh from the WORLD Journalism Institute, take up their calling, the need for support grows.
This is Janie B. Cheaney, inviting you to WORLD’s December giving drive. Please join me in helping WORLD continue its mission, if the Lord tarries, well into the twenty-first century. Just visit wng.org/donate and pledge your gift today. Thank you.
NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: Several families are challenging a law that gives priority to Native Americans to adopt Native children. We’ll hear about that.
And, we’ll take you into a Texas living room where musicians are sharing classical music with really small audiences.
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.
The final verses of Ecclesiastes say to fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Go now in grace and peace.