Thursday morning news, January 9, 2020

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.

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File) In this Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, file photo, California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter speaks after leaving federal court in San Diego. 

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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