Tuesday morning news, January 14, 2020

Iran protest reportedly turn violent » Anger swelled once again in the streets of Tehran Monday as protesters demanded that Iran’s leaders be held accountable for the accidental shootdown of a passenger jet. 

Online videos appeared to show security forces firing tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the crowds. 

AUDIO: [Sound of Iran protests]

Protesters heard there shouting that a woman had been shot. 

Demonstrators once again condemned top Iranian officials for initially claiming a mechanical problem caused the crash. The government only admitted the truth days later in the face of mounting evidence. 

Iran is being more transparent now. Canada’s Transportation Safety Board Chair Kathy Fox said Monday that Iran has invited Canadian officials to help analyze the voice and flight data recorders.

FOX: In this investigation, and I want to be clear about this, we do not yet fully know what the scope of our role will be. 

But she said Iran is being cooperative. Nearly 60 of the 176 people killed in the crash were Canadian citizens. 

U.S. expelling Saudi cadets following shooting » The United States is expelling nearly two dozen Saudi military students. That follows a Department of Justice investigation into the deadly shooting last month by a Saudi trainee at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. 

Attorney General William Barr said they did not find that any other Saudi cadets aided the shooter in his attack, but…

BARR: We did learn of derogatory material possessed by 21 members of the Saudi military who were training in the United States.  

Officials said those trainees had jihadist or anti-American sentiments on social media pages or had “contact with child pornography.” 

Barr said the evidence showed the Saudi gunman in the December 6th attack was motivated by jihadist ideology. The attacker killed three U.S. sailors and injured eight other people.

Pentagon identifies soldiers killed in Afghanistan » The Pentagon has identified two U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan on Saturday. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: A roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan took the lives of 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Ian P. McLaughlin of Virginia; and 21-year-old Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon of Illinois. 

The Taliban took responsibility for the attack. A spokesman for the group said the attack happened in the southern Kandahar province.

More than 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Last year was the deadliest for American troops since 2014 with 23 U.S. casualties.

The latest attack is likely to stall fresh efforts to restart the on-again, off-again peace talks with the Taliban.

U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been pressing the insurgents to declare a cease-fire. That would give a window in which the U.S. and the Taliban could forge an agreement.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Democrats prep for debate without Sen. Booker » White House hopefuls will face off tonight for the first time in 2020. 

But on the eve of the Iowa debate, the Democratic field got a little smaller. 

BOOKER: Today I’m suspending my campaign for president with the same spirit with which it began. It is my faith in us—faith in us together as a nation. 

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker pulled the plug on his campaign after failing to qualify for tonight’s debate. Booker announced his presidential bid last February, but it never really gained traction. In the latest national average, he was polling at about 2 percent. 

Only six Democrats will be on the stage this evening. They are former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senators Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer. 

CNN will broadcast the debate at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

MLB lowers boom on Astros amid cheating scandal » Major League Baseball has lowered the boom on the Houston Astros amid a major cheating scandal.

A league investigation found that the Astros electronically stole the pitch signs of opposing teams during its 2017 World Series championship run and again in 2018. And Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday announced consequences. 

The team will pay a $5 million fine and will lose its next two first- and second-round draft picks.

MLB also suspended General Manager Jeff Luhnow and Manager A.J. Hinch for one year. Following that announcement, the Astros fired them both. 

Team owner Jim Crane told reporters that Luhnow and Hinch were not involved in devising the sign-stealing scheme. 

CRANE: It really came from the bottom up. It’s pretty clear in the report how that happened.  But neither one of them did anything about it, and that’s unfortunate. And the consequences are severe. 

The league did not punish any players involved in the scheme, but the league may still punish other coaches

CFB championship » There’s a new king of the hill in college football. Louisiana State University dethroned last year’s national champs last night—beating Clemson at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

No. 1 ranked LSU started slow, but finished strong.

AUDIO: [Game call]

That touchdown pass from Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow put LSU up by the final score of 42 to 25. 

The victory gave the program its third championship since 2003. And it made LSU just the second team in more than a century to go 15-0 in a season. Clemson did it in 2018.

(AP Photo) In this photograph taken Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, Iranian police officers take position while protesters gather in front of Amir Kabir University in Tehran, Iran, to remember victims of a Ukrainian airplane shot down by an Iranian missile.

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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