The World and Everything in It — January 9, 2020

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

As Venezuela collapses and its citizens escape, nearby countries struggle to cope with the influx.

FREIER: They’re afraid of losing control and having to accept essentially however many Venezuelans decide to come to their countries.

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Also California passed new legal protections for online information. We’ll talk about why they’ll likely to impact all Americans.

Plus, a forgotten abolitionist minister from Northern Illinois.

LOVEJOY: …some folks would get up and leave and his famous comment…you know, I’m going to preach this until you like it and then I’m, and then I’m going to preach it because you like it.

And Cal Thomas on the conflict with Iran.

REICHARD: It’s Thursday, January 9th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. Good morning!

REICHARD: Up next, Kent Covington has today’s news.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: U.S. to hit Iran with more sanctions but Iran appears to be “standing down” » The White House and the Pentagon are watching Iran closely today, but it appears the next shot fired between the two countries might be an economic one. 

TRUMP: The United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. 

President Trump speaking from the White House Wednesday morning. He blasted Iran’s sponsorship of terror, its proxy wars, and attacks against U.S. interests. 

But he said, at the moment, “Iran appears to be standing down.” And he noted that “no American or Iraqi lives were lost” in Iran’s missile attack on Coalition bases in Iraq.

Many analysts believe that was by design that Iran wanted a show of force without triggering a large scale battle with the U.S. military. 

The president ended his address by telling Iran…

TRUMP: The United States is ready to embrace peace will all who seek it.

The Trump administration briefed nearly the entire Senate yesterday about the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. 

Democratic lawmakers, and at least one Republican, said they did not get the answers they were looking for, regarding the intelligence that led to the strike and its legal justification. 

And a furious GOP Senator Mike Lee told reporters… 

LEE: It was probably the worst briefing I’ve seen, at least on a military issue, in the nine years I’ve served in the United States Senate. 

He said the officials who briefed lawmakers urged them not to debate or publicly discuss whether further military action would be appropriate because that could embolden Iran. 

Lee said he found that insulting and disrespectful to the powers and role of Congress. He said as a result, he plans to support Democratic Senator Tim Kaine’s bill to limit the president’s war powers without consent from Congress.

Iran won’t share data from black boxes » Iran says it has the black boxes from a Boeing jetliner that crashed just after takeoff in Tehran, but will not share the data. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen has more. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: Iran says it will not hand over the black boxes to Boeing or the U.S. government. Nor will Ukrainian investigators be a part of the process, even though the doomed plane was operated by Ukraine International Airlines. 

The plane and its 176 crew and passengers went down early Wednesday morning just hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at coalition bases in Iraq. 

Iranian state news immediately reported that mechanical problems caused the crash. But on Wednesday, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority said … “The cause of the accident will not be discovered or announced until the black box is analyzed.” He did reveal that the pilot did not report any problems to air traffic control.

The 737 jetliner did not operate with the same troubled flight system blamed for tragedies involving Boeing’s Max series of jets.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen. 

McConnell: No haggling with House over Senate impeachment process » Senate Republicans says it’s time for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Pelosi is still withholding the charges and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says she’s trying to influence how the Senate handles its constitutional duties.

MCCONNELL: There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure. We will not cede our authority to try this impeachment. The House Democrats’ turn is over. 

McConnell said he has enough Republican votes to set the rules for the trial to be modeled after President Bill Clinton’s 1999 proceedings. They would allow the House to present its case against Trump and the president’s legal team to respond. 

After that, any Republican could move to end the trial and call for a final vote on the charges. Democrats could also ask to introduce new evidence or call witnesses.

But Minority Leader Chuck Schumer argues…

SCHUMER: The evidence should inform arguments in a trial. Evidence should not be an afterthought. 

Schumer voted in favor of the rules for Clinton’s impeachment proceedings, but he says the circumstances of this trail are different. 

Rep. Duncan Hunter resigns amid corruption scandal » Republican California Congressman Duncan Hunter handed in his resignation this week—one month after being convicted of corruption. 

Hunter pleaded guilty last month to a single charge of conspiring with his wife to illegally spend at least $150,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses. He is scheduled to be sentenced in March.

Hunter is a combat Marine veteran, who has served 11 years in Congress.

Governor Gavin Newsom has not said whether he’ll order a special election or leave the seat open until November elections.

CNN settles defamation lawsuit with Covington High School student » CNN has settled a defamation lawsuit with Covington High School student Nicholas Sandmann. He sued the network over misleading coverage of a well-publicized confrontation involving him and a Native American elder at the Lincoln Memorial. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has that story. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Shortly after the January 2019 confrontation, pictures and short video clips of the incident emerged. They showed Sandmann in a red “Make America Great Again” ballcap, smirking as a demonstrator shouted, but the images told an incomplete story. 

And Sandmann alleged CNN made no effort to accurately tell that —instead portraying him as a racist. The lawsuit accused CNN of targeting Sandmann due to reporters’ bias against supporters of President Trump.

A longer video added context and revealed that the students were being harassed by Phillips and a group of Black Hebrew Israelites, leading them to respond with school chants. 

CNN has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to settle the suit. 

Sandmann and his family also sued NBC Universal and The Washington Post for their coverage of the confrontation.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

COVINGTON: I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Venezuelan refugees face uncertain futures in their new homes.

Plus, new California regulations aim to protect your personal information online.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MEGAN BASHAM: It’s Thursday the 9th of January, 2020. You’re listening to The World and Everything in It. And we’re so glad you are! Good morning, I’m Megan Basham.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. First up: the Venezuelan diaspora.

Despite having the highest proven oil reserves in the world, the policies of socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro have created a financial crisis. Venezuela is now one of the poorest nations in the world. 

To escape poverty, violence, and food shortages, more than 4-and-a-half-million Venezuelans have fled the country in the past 6 years.

BASHAM: Most of those fleeing went to nearby countries like Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Brazil, and Peru. But the welcome extended by these nations may be wearing out. 

Here’s WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Pucallpa, Peru sits on the banks of the Ucayali River near the country’s border with Brazil. 

AUDIO: [Sound of Pucallpa market]

The city’s sidewalks spill over with vendors selling fruit. Mangos, camu camus, and granadillas—all grown in the surrounding Amazonian jungle. 

This place is very different from Douglas Herrara’s home town of Cumana—a historic city on Venezuela’s north coast. 

HERRARA: I love my sea. I love the beach. 

Herrara fled to Pucallpa, Peru two years ago. He talks to me from his kitchen as his family prepares dinner. 

Before Venezuela’s downward spiral, he worked for a Chinese oil company. He owned two houses, four cars, and a motorcycle.

When inflation and supply shortages set in, Herrara began selling his possessions to buy bread, chicken, and gas. Eventually having money didn’t matter. There was nothing to buy.

HERRARA: I decide to, to get out of Venezuela because one day my daughter asked me for bread, “Daddy give me bread,” And I remember I told her, I cannot give you bread. 

But buying a way out of the country also proved difficult. The family had passports, but bus and plane ticket prices soared. It was hard to know who to trust and where to go. 

Finally, an old acquaintance in Peru offered to help Herrara find work and housing in Pucallpa. Herrara left first and four months later sent for his family. Twenty other relatives have now followed them to Peru. 

HERRARA: God has work in my life.. Very clear. I can see that here. I can see that here and I see him everyday. 

Feline Freier is a professor at the Universidad del Pacifico in Lima, Peru where she studies Latin American immigration. She says millions of other Venezuelans have made similar journeys.

FREIER: Talk about 1.6 million Venezuelans in Colombia. The second most important destination of the region is Peru. Again, the real number of people residing is probably at least 1 million. And then we have Ecuador. And after that, Chile, Argentina and Brazil… 

Feline Freier says South American nations have some of the world’s most generous policies toward refugees and immigrants. 

But there’s a gap between what’s written and what’s practiced. When the refugee crisis first began six years ago, governments granted Venezuelan migrants some sort of legal status when they arrived. For example, the Herrara family is in Peru under tourist visas.

But some estimates project another 4 million people could flee Venezuela in the coming years. Governments in neighboring countries fear that could be too many people for their economies—and public opinion—to support. 

FREIER: They’re afraid of losing control and having to accept essentially however many Venezuelans decide to come to their countries. Imagine the United States receiving within one and a half years, a million people? That would be a challenge in both logistic and political terms for any country in the world, right? 

In 2017, Panama started requiring Venezuelan refugees to have a valid passport and visa to enter the country. Last year, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia followed suit. But Feline Freier says those documents are nearly impossible for poor Venezuelans to obtain. 

FREIER: Getting a new passport right now in Venezuela amounts to between 800 and thousands of dollars because of corruption.

And the lines to apply for visas are long. In Peru, the next available visa interview appointment is in 2021

But stricter immigration laws won’t stop refugees from coming, says Geoff Ramsey. He’s a human rights advocate at the Washington Office on Latin America. Ramsey says it will just mean there are more undocumented refugees in countries vulnerable to exploitation. 

RAMSEY: They won’t be able to get a health insurance. They’re not able to work in the formal sector, so they’re stuck working in the informal economy, you know, selling cigarettes and coffee in the streets and things like that. There’s difficulty for children as well.

Ramsey says to keep this from happening, the international community needs to intervene. The United States has provided half of the financial aid given to 17 South and Latin American countries to help them respond to the refugee crisis. But Ramsey says America should increase the number of refugees it takes in to help ease the burden on other countries. 

And, he argues, international aid given to host countries should be contingent on them giving Venezuelans a legal status. 

RAMSEY: I think it’s in the region’s interest to register these Venezuelans.

As for the Herrara family, while life is still hard, they’ve found peace in their new home. 

HERRARA: Every day I can eat, I can rest.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg reporting from Pucallpa, Peru.

MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: online privacy.

That’s been an oxymoron for decades now. Your data—everything from your shopping habits to your name and location—is a commodity. Your information is used in ways you never agreed to or even know about. And trying to stop it? Not possible.

MEGAN BASHAM: But that may change. A new law went into effect last week in California. It regulates how technology companies collect, store, and share your personal data. Lots of technology firms are headquartered in California, so the new regulations will affect nearly everyone.

REICHARD: Joining us now to talk about the California Consumer Privacy Act is Jason Thacker. He’s an associate research fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Good morning, Jason!

JASON THACKER, GUEST: Good morning! Thank you for having me, Mary.

REICHARD: Let’s start with what the California law actually says. What new requirements did it put in place for tech companies?

THACKER: Yeah, the California Consumer Privacy Act, as you said, went into effect on January 1st. It has six major components. One is to know what data has been collected on you. To know if this data has been sold and to whom. That you can say no to the sale of data, which is a big point. You can access this data, you can request it to be deleted, and you cannot be discriminated against for using these rights.

REICHARD: How does that compare to privacy requirements in other states and countries?

THACKER: Yeah, in the United States, we don’t have a federal privacy law and so as you said earlier, this is going to become in many ways the de facto law of the land with many states following on the heels of the California law. In terms of other countries, there haven’t been kind of comprehensive privacy legislation outside of the GDPR, which is the European regulation about a data protection board put together. And that law is much more expansive. So this is a very weakened version of what a lot of privacy advocates—within California but even in the nation—wanted. But it does kind of set the tone for what might be coming here in America.

REICHARD: Does it seem likely California’s law will prompt federal lawmakers to enact legislation to cover the whole country?

THACKER: That’s really the big question right now. There is a lot of chatter in Washington about a federal privacy law, but in the divisive time that we live in with a lot of the major kind of international happenings but also domestic happenings right now, I don’t have a ton of hope that there’s going to be a federal privacy law anytime soon. But there is a lot of conversation around that and the hope is that some of these kind of more stringent parts of this CCPA will actually be rolled back. Because if a federal privacy law is enacted, it would trump the state laws.

REICHARD: Are there any drawbacks to these particular privacy regs?

THACKER: Yes and no. I mean, on the outset if you read the regulation, it doesn’t seem to be overly burdensome. It is extremely complicated to put together. I mean, companies are spending millions and millions of dollars to implement—they’re kind of having to retrofit their data collection systems and storage in order to give people access to this. And so on the lay level, you’ll see new privacy policies. You’re getting a lot of emails now probably from various companies saying we’ve updated our privacy policies or this is if you’re a California resident, this is how you can access your data. So, to retrofit their systems, there’s a really high cost, which a lot of folks who are not supportive of these types of laws see this as overly burdensome on markets and on businesses because of the such a high cost to implement these tools. So mainly it’s going to hit your larger companies like Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. Kind of your larger technology companies where the majority of the users are.

REICHARD: Are privacy advocates satisfied with these regulations or are there other areas they would like to see covered by future laws?

THACKER: Yeah and that’s where kind of the verdict’s still out. A lot of privacy advocates don’t see this as far-reaching enough. There are some that want to monetize your data. So, if a company has your data and uses it to make money that you should be able to profit from that as well—the sale of your data—as a property right. There are some that want the right to be forgotten. A lot of those type of larger pieces of legislation that we see in the GDPR. I think that this is definitely a start for a federal privacy law and even state laws, but it’s definitely not making everyone exactly happy.

REICHARD: Jason Thacker is an associate research fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Thanks so much for joining us today!

THACKER: Yeah, thank you for having me, Mary.

MEGAN BASHAM: Well it’s officially 2020, and if you ask any kid who grew up watching the Jetsons, we’re all supposed to have flying cars by now!

Well, Uber and Hyundai announced this week that they’re teaming up to build a fleet of flying taxis.

They won’t look much like George Jetson’s get around car—picture more of a cross between a helicopter and a small plane.

Hyundai’s head of of this division, Jaiwon Shin, unveiled the design at tech show this week.

SHIN: It can carry up to four passengers with a pilot, and it’s ideal for inner city travel, but can also serve rural residents.

Uber said for a while, the all-electric “Air Taxi” will have a pilot, but over time the taxis will fly themselves. 

Uber says it wants to start selling the vehicles commercially in 2023.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD: Today is Thursday, January 9th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.

MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: the Underground Railroad. 

Escape routes for slaves to free areas began in the late 1700s. By the time of the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s,  as many as 100,000 people travelled along the network. Non-slaves put their own safety at risk to help those in bondage escape. Many of their stories are unknown.  

REICHARD: We go now to Illinois where WORLD Radio Intern, Michelle Schlavin tells of one man’s fight against slavery.

AUDIO: [Sound from Highway 6]

MICHELLE SCHLAVIN, INTERN: Driving along Highway 6 into Princeton, Illinois, you can’t miss the Lovejoy Homestead. The white farmhouse is just off the road. Luscious grass and white fencing surround property. Tall trees sway in the breeze, inviting passersby to stop in and take a look. 

PETERSON: Hi. Hey, are you good? Let’s try my little doorbell. See if it works. 

Lois Peterson is a docent. She greets visitors to the Lovejoy Homestead and guides them through the house. Peterson has volunteered here for almost a decade. 

PETERSON: The people that started this, um, some of them are retired teachers…And I got involved because my sister was involved and she was involved because another teacher friend of hers was involved. We’re not all teachers don’t get me wrong.

Actually they are. Each docent is an educator. Each year about 1,000 visitors learn about this important period of Abolition history. 

The house was a stop on the underground railroad. The homestead museum preserves the history of one of it’s station masters, Owen Glendour Lovejoy. Owen came to Princeton as a minister and is known for his fiery sermons. He later entered into politics.

The seeds for Owen’s strong beliefs started in his God-fearing New England home. He was the 6th of eight children. His mother taught him using the Bible. In his twenties, Owen went to college for a year. But returned home after his father died.

PETERSON: So he went back to the farm and he was very, very restless…He was kind of lost and he hadn’t really taken Christianity to a higher level.

Owen looked up to his oldest brother, Elijah Lovejoy. An abolitionist minister and newspaper editor in a slave state. Elijah boldly published his anti-slavery beliefs, and his readers threatened him for it. Owen Bryant Lovejoy, is Owen’s great, great, grandson. He says, Elijah ignored their hostile words. 

OWEN B. LOVEJOY: He was martyred, called the first martyr to the freedom of the press…So it was in trying to protect his right to print his abolitionists views, uh, that he was murdered by a mob. 

After Elijah’s death, Owen swore he would never abandon the cause. The tragedy ignited his Christian convictions and fiery passion to end slavery. He took every opportunity he could to speak out. Along with fellow abolitionists, he once published an ad in the newspaper for the Underground Railroad. He also regularly preached his beliefs from the pulpit. With mixed results.

OWEN B. LOVEJOY: Some folks would get up and leave and his famous comment…you know, I’m going to preach this until you like it and then I’m, and then I’m going to preach it because you like it. 

Since Illinois was a free state, he and his family did not face the persecution Elijah endured. He was arrested numerous times for harboring slaves, but each time released on technicalities. Still, Owen felt he could do more. The further north slavery spread, the harder it would be to control and eventually abolish. Owen wanted to stop that expansion. 

OWEN B. LOVEJOY: He saw that it was through the legal system and through legislative action…To become part of that very process, that legislative process. And that happened to be running for Congress, in the U.S. Congress.

Owen continued condemning slavery through bold speeches in Congress. One address captured national attention after Owen announced he would help every “fugitive” that came to his door. He challenged people to spread the news of his involvement. 

Owen also worked closely with Abraham Lincoln. They introduced bills to end slavery in the nation, and stop it from entering the territories. Owen kept fighting until his death in 1864. 

AUDIO: Our most prized possession is a picture of him…

For all the good Owen Lovejoy did in his lifetime, his story was almost lost. After years of neglect, the homestead fell apart. Princeton city planners considered tearing it down to build apartments. 

PETERSON: Many citizens in Princeton took it upon themselves to organize and maintain this, how to restore the house and maintain the house. And it’s been open since 1970.

Each year, Princeton, Illinois, celebrates The Homestead Festival to honor Reverend Owen Lovejoy’s contributions to freedom. Although a prominent man in the community, he as not the only abolitionist in town. Many residents opened their homes to fleeing slaves long before Owen Lovejoy ever arrived. His story, is just one of many. 

LOVEJOY: And even though that kind of slavery isn’t the issue [anymore] there’s still many injustices, and I’m not, I’m not proposing that there’s some simple solution. I’m just saying that this idea of justice versus injustice is an everyday thing in our world, not just a 200 year old problem. So I think it’s important to remember that people have fought those kind of issues in the past. And maybe it will, uh, embolden us and encourage us to not shy away from those issues of which we are passionate.


For WORLD Radio, I’m Michelle Schlavin. Reporting from Princeton, Illinois.

MEGAN BASHAM: Today is Thursday, January 9th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Here’s commentator Cal Thomas now on the conflict with Iran.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: A day before Iran attacked U.S. bases in Iraq, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said—quote—“We are not seeking war with Iran, but we are prepared to finish one.”

Esper said the U.S. prefers a “diplomatic” solution—and of course we all would. But a diplomatic solution would require Iran to stop funding terrorism and developing nuclear weapons. Good luck with that. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi criticized the president in a mixed message. She said—quote—“We must ensure the safety of our service members, including ending needless provocations from the administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence. America and the world cannot afford war.”

Pelosi said nothing of Iran’s endless provocations. This is world’s No. 1 sponsor of terrorism, which spent last year seizing foreign ships in the Persian Gulf.

In an appearance at the White House, President Trump said: “As long as I am President of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.” He called for a greater involvement by NATO in the Middle East without spelling out what that would look like. And he promised more “punishing” economic sanctions on Iran’s economy.

I have written this before, but it bears repeating. Iran’s theocratic leadership believes war is the path to revealing the “12th Imam,” their version of the Christian second coming. The Mullahs of Iran are true believers who appear willing to die for their cause—or at least have others die in their place.

Here is the formula the “no more war” crowd doesn’t get or refuses to accept. Iran and its proxies kill U.S. troops, along with Iranian and foreign civilians, and we are supposed to take it. If America responds to Iran, as President Trump has done, we are the enemy of peace and guilty of “escalating” the conflict. 

War is never a one-way street, unless one side pre-emptively surrenders. Victory must be our goal and should be defined.

But when it comes to fighting this 21st century war, there are numerous options short of armed conflict. They include cyberattacks, computer viruses, targeting missile sites, and more sanctions. So is supporting those inside Iran who hate their government and wish to replace it.

Perhaps Iran’s retaliatory attack this week was about “saving face.” Since no Americans were killed, we can hope this is the end of the latest conflict. But is most assuredly not the end of this war. 

Iran and its extreme leaders are in it to win it. The ultimate question is, are we? 

For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas. 

MEGAN BASHAM: Tomorrow: The Babylon Bee is a popular satire site with many Christians. But some in the media, including some religious publications, are accusing it of spreading misinformation. We’ll ask the Bee’s Editor-in-Chief about that criticism.

And, I’ll review the new war film 1917.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Megan Basham.

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.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.

Go now in grace and peace.

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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