Friday morning news, January 10, 2020

U.S. officials: “Highly likely” that Iran shot down commercial jetliner » Mounting evidence suggests it was not a mechanical failure that brought down a Boeing jetliner in Tehran late Tuesday. That according to officials from the United States, Canada, and the UK. 

All 176 people aboard the plane died in the crash—including at least 63 Canadians. On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wants answers. 

TRUDEAU: We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. 

The flaming jetliner plunged to the ground shortly after takeoff—just hours after Iran fired a barrage of ballistic missiles at Coalition bases in Iraq. 

Iran state news immediately reported that a mechanical problem caused the crash. President Trump said he’s not buying it. 

TRUMP: It was flying in a pretty rough neighborhood, and somebody could have made a mistake. Some people say it was mechanical. I personally don’t think that’s even a question. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said the evidence points to an
“Iranian surface to air missile.”

The Boeing 737 was reportedly only about 3 years old and had recently been serviced. It was not part of the manufacturer’s troubled Max series of jets and has an outstanding safety record. An Iranian official conceded that the pilots never reported a mechanical problem to air traffic control. 

House passes symbolic measure to limit president’s war powers » Lawmakers in the House on Thursday passed a symbolic measure to limit President Trump’s authority to take further military action against Iran without the okay from Congress.    

AUDIO: The yeas are 224 and nays are 194. The current resolution is adopted. 

Democrats have criticized President Trump’s decision to authorize the airstrike that killed an Iranian military commander accused of coordinating terror attacks. 

The House measure is not binding, but the White House condemned the vote, saying it sends the wrong message to Iran and emboldens the regime. 

Democratic Senator Tim Kaine is pushing a similar measure in the Senate. But that effort faces an uphill fight, despite the backing of at least two Republicans.

Pelosi will submit articles of impeachment to Senate “when I’m ready” » House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brushed aside criticism from Republicans and even members of her own party on Thursday for withholding articles of impeachment from the Senate. It’s now been more than three weeks since the House voted to impeach the president. But Pelosi said she won’t hold onto the charges indefinitely. 

PELOSI: I’ll send them over when I’m ready, and that will probably be soon. 

She said she’s waiting to—quote—“see the arena” and “terms of the engagement” the Senate will use—before sending her House managers to present the articles.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called that unacceptable, and quoted a remark from Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. 

MCCARTHY: She said the longer it goes on, the less urgent it becomes. So if it’s serious and urgent, send them over. 

Pelosi has complained that Senate Republicans are rushing to acquittal without a fair trial. 

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the speaker has no more say in how the Senate conducts its proceedings than he had in how House Democrats conducted theirs. 

British lawmakers approve Brexit bill » Britain has passed a major milestone on the road to Brexit. The House of Commons approved a bill Thursday authorizing the country’s exit from the European Union.

AUDIO: The ayes to the right, 330. The Noes to the left, 231. So the ayes have it. The ayes have it!

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill sets the terms of Britain’s divorce from the 28-nation bloc. 

That after Prime Minister Boris Johnson gambled by pushing for an early election and won. 

Conservative victories in last month’s vote paved the way for the bill’s passage.

The bill still has to pass through Parliament’s unelected House of Lords, which can delay but not overturn the result in the Commons. But even then, Brexit is far from finished. 

After securing its exit from the EU, the two sides will launch into negotiations about their future relationship. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier said Thursday that the two sides will have to work fast.  

BARNIER: The time frame is hugely challenging. Once again, I’ve already said, a new clock, a new clock is ticking. 

Britain is scheduled to leave the EU at the end of this month. 

Harry and Meghan cutting royal purse strings » But Brexit isn’t the only drama in England right now. Prince Harry created an uproar this week with the surprise announcement that he and his family would step back from royal duties. He and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex said they plan to become financially independent. And they will focus on their own charity work, and split their time between the UK and North America. 

In a statement, Buckingham Palace called the situation “complicated,” and said “Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage.”

Meghan is an American who had a successful acting career before marrying Harry in 2018. The British press has an almost bloodthirsty obsession with the royals and she’s admitted to struggling with the media pressure.

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File) In this Tuesday, July 10, 2018 file photo Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, and Meghan the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry watch a flypast of Royal Air Force aircraft pass over Buckingham Palace in London. 

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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