Monday morning news – January 13, 2020

Demonstrators flood streets of Tehran after Iran government admits to shooting down passenger jet » Demonstrators flooded the streets of Tehran on Sunday after Iran’s government admitted to mistakenly shooting down a commercial airliner last week.

AUDIO: [Sound of Iran protest]

Many protesters called on senior leaders to resign, calling them liars. For days, the government denied that its own missiles brought down the passenger jet. But on Saturday, the Iranian military admitted that an officer mistook it for an enemy missile and gave the order to shoot it down.  

All 176 people aboard the jet died in the crash—including 82 Iranians. 

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CBS’ Face the Nation that the United States stands with the Iranian people

ESPER: They want prosperity. They want the ability to live their lives, to raise their children. We do support those same aspirations for people wherever they are. I just think you see a very corrupt regime that the Iranian people are finally standing up and trying to hold them accountable.  

President Trump tweeted his support for the protesters on Sunday, and added—quote—“To the leaders of Iran – DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching.”

Pelosi to seek vote on appointing impeachment managers » House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she’s ready to set a vote to appoint impeachment managers and send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

Pelosi told ABC’s This Week…

PELOSI: We have confidence in our case, that it is impeachable, and this president is impeached for life, regardless of any gamesmanship on the part of Mitch McConnell. 

She’s held onto the charges for several weeks, hoping to give Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer some leverage in shaping the Senate rules for the trial.

But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said last week that he has enough votes from Republicans to pass a rules package without Democratic support.

Texas governor to reject new refugees » Texas Governor Greg Abbott says his state will no longer accept the resettlement of new refugees. The governor officially announced the decision on Friday. It could have major implications for refugees coming to the United States. 

According to the UN, Texas took in more refugees than any other state during the 2018 governmental fiscal year. And the Pew Research Center says that since 2002, Texas has resettled an estimated 88,000 refugees, second only to California.

Abbott said Texas—his words—“has been left by Congress to deal with disproportionate migration issues resulting from a broken federal immigration system.” He added that Texas has done “more than its share.”

President Trump announced in September that resettlement agencies must get written consent from state and local officials in any jurisdiction where they want to help resettle refugees beyond June 2020. 

The White House has already slashed the number of refugees allowed into the country for the 2020 fiscal year to a historic low of 18,000. 

Severe storms kill 11 in Midwest, South » Severe storms ripped through parts of the South and the Midwest over the weekend—killing 11 people. 

Liz Leitman with the National Weather Service…

LEITMAN: They’ve produced damaging winds, anywhere from 50 to 70 mile per hour gusts. And then we’ve probably had about a dozen or so tornado reports. 

The storms knocked out power to thousands, overturned train cars, uprooted trees, and damaged or destroyed hundreds of buildings. 

One tornado packing winds of at least 134 mph hit Alabama’s Pickens County on Saturday, killing three people. 

And in Louisiana, officials are blaming high winds for five deaths.

Australia fire crews go on offense amid break in weather » Crews battling Australia’s wildfires said Sunday that they have been able to turn from defense to offense for the first time in weeks. That’s thanks to a break in the weather. 

New South Wales State Rural Fire Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons…

FITZSIMMONS: We really want to take advantage of the more mild conditions that are before us over the next five to seven days, to see if we can get as much consolidated and as much contained as we can before we see a return to warmer conditions. 

A fire crew in New South Wales bulldozed small trees and burned scrub over the weekend ahead of the fire’s projected path. They’re hoping to starve the fire of brittle fuel before it reaches a major highway. 

The fires have now scorched an area larger than the state of Indiana—killing 27 people and destroying more than 2,000 homes. 

(AP Photo) In this photograph taken Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, protesters hold flowers as tear gas fired by police rises at a demonstration in front of Amir Kabir University in Tehran, Iran, to remember victims of a Ukrainian airplane shot down by an Iranian missile. 

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