The World and Everything in It — June 30, 2020

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

The Supreme Court handed down three rulings Monday. One throws out abortion precautions put in place by Louisiana.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Also a look overseas at the way schools are reopening with new precautions. 

Plus newlyweds have to get creative with plans for their honeymoons.

And commentator Ryan Bomberger on the need for fathers.

REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, June 30th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

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

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Beaches, bars close amid coronavirus surge » With the coronavirus surging in the south, many Florida beaches are shutting down ahead of the July 4th weekend.  

Broward County Mayor Dale Holness told reporters…

HOLNESS: Miami Beach has closed their beaches. Miami-Dade County has closed their beaches. Palm Beach is closing theirs. We know that if we stay open we’ll have a crowd here and that would lead to further spread of the COVID-19 disease.

And the county is now mandating the use of masks at indoor businesses. 

Florida is also shutting down bars. And Texas is doing the same. Governor Greg Abbott said—quote— “it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars.”

The state is also cutting back restaurant capacity from 75 percent to 50 percent and placing new restrictions on large outdoor gatherings. 

Florida and Texas were among the first states to reopen many businesses, including restaurants and bars. Some critics blasted the early re-openings as irresponsible. But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Monday…

PAXTON: It’s easy to second guess, but the reality is we’ve only had around 3,000 deaths, which is 3,000 too many. But we have 28 million people. We can’t keep the economy shut down forever. We don’t have a cure for this and so there’s going to be a constant balance. 

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that shopping malls can only reopen if they have or install HEPA air filtration systems. 

Maker of COVID-19 drug announces treatment price » The maker of the drug Remdesivir has announced the price for a typical treatment course of the drug. Remesivir is delivered through an IV and is shown to help severely ill COVID-19 patients recover more quickly. 

Gilead Sciences said Monday that it will cost about $2,300 for people covered by government health programs in the United States and other rich nations. And it will be about $3,100 for patients with private insurance. The amount that patients pay out of pocket will depend on insurance, income, and other factors.

Gilead’s CEO Dan O’Day suggested that because of the pandemic the company is pricing the drug lower than it would otherwise to “ensure wide access.” But some critics say the drug is overpriced, given the amount taxpayers invested toward the drug’s development.

In more than a hundred poorer nations, Gilead is allowing generic makers to supply the drug at a steep discount. 

Boeing Max jets begin certification test flights » Boeing’s troubled 737 Max jetliners are one step closer this week to returning to service. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has that story. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Boeing Max jets took to the air on Monday as the FAA began certification test flights. 

The Federal Aviation Administration grounded the planes for more than a year following two deadly crashes. This week’s flights with FAA test pilots are a key step to returning the planes to service. 

The company has revamped a faulty flight control system that pushed the planes into nosedives and led to crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

If and when the FAA deems the jetlines airworthy, it’s likely to take at least a month to get pilots trained … and to get mothballed planes upgraded, inspected, and serviced. 

Boeing delivered nearly 400 Max jets to airlines before they were grounded, and the company has built several hundred more.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

White House: Top officials confirm Trump not briefed on Russian intel » The White House on Monday addressed a recent New York Times report about a U.S. intelligence assessment. 

The report referenced intelligence suggesting Russian military operatives secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops. And The Times reported that President Trump had been briefed on that intel. 

President Trump called that fake news and White House Press Secretary Kaleigh McEnany said Monday…

MCENANY: The CIA director, NSA, national security adviser and the chief of staff can all confirm that neither the president nor the vice president were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence. 

She said that—even now—Trump has not been briefed on the allegations because the intelligence—quote—“would not be elevated to the president until it was verified.”

She added that there is “no consensus within the intelligence community on these allegations” and that some intelligence officials have their doubts. 

But some Democrats say they’re not buying the White House explanation because it’s rare for intelligence to be confirmed with absolute certainty before reaching the White House. 

Report: China subjects Uighers to forced birth control, abortion » A new report claims the Chinese government is subjecting Uighur Muslims to forced abortions and birth control. WORLD’s Leigh Jones has that story. 

LEIGH JONES, REPORTER: An Associated Press investigation found a sweeping campaign by the Chinese government to curb its Muslim population in the Xinjiang region. The investigation cites state documents and interviews with 30 ex-detainees and others. 

They show the state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization, and even abortion on hundreds of thousands of woman. 

China backs the control measures with mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply. The AP report stated that having too many children is a major reason people are sent to detention camps. Parents of three or more are often ripped away from their families in police raids unless they can pay huge fines. 

Across the Xinjiang region, birth rates continue to plummet, falling nearly 24 percent last year alone—compared to just 4.2 percent nationwide.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Leigh Jones.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Pro-lifers lose a big case at the Supreme Court.

Plus, Ryan Bomberger on the difference a father makes.

This is The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER: It’s Tuesday, the 30th of June, 2020. You’re listening to The World and Everything in It and we’re so glad to have you along. Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. This is our last day for the June Giving Drive, but as you probably know, you have exceeded the goal we set out. 

Thank you so very much. I’m so humbled by the response!

We hit it around noon yesterday and we’re just so grateful. It’s such a shot in the arm that this mission of Biblically objective journalism means as much to you as it does to us. That’s the message we take away from the generous response we’ve seen during this drive.

EICHER: And that’s what we hear time and again from friends who contribute to our work: Just do more. Here are some more resources, just keep going, and then just do more.

I’ll echo Mary on this. It’s a privilege to do this work, and each time we have a drive, it’s just another reminder of the incredible responsibility you’ve entrusted to us.

We’re leaving up the banner online for the rest of the day today, so if you did want to be part of the June Giving Drive, you can and whatever you send our way that’s what we’ll do with it, we’ll just do more. Because, you know, there’s so much to do. 

So, let’s get to the work:

REICHARD: Absolutely! We’ll start today with analysis on three decisions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday. 

And we’ll begin with the one that was a bit of a surprise. Another shocker of a decision. This is a split ruling strikes down an abortion law in Louisiana. It required abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. That requirement is no different than for all other ambulatory surgical centers in the state. Yet the majority justices found the rule unduly burdens abortion access.

Challengers to the law were abortionists and abortion businesses who sued to stop the law before it took effect. 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg formed part of the 5-justice majority. She made her position clear during oral argument in March:

GINSBURG: What sense does the 30-mile limit make, considering that certainly for medication abortions and for the overwhelming number of other abortions,  if a woman has a problem, it will be her local hospital she will need to go to for the care. Not something 30 miles from the clinic which has no necessary relationship to where she lives.

EICHER: Back in 2016, five justices decided a nearly identical case out of Texas, striking down its admitting privileges law.  In that case, Chief Justice John Roberts dissented and would have upheld some of the restrictions.

But in this Louisiana case, he joins the liberal majority to uphold the restrictions on the basis of that precedent. That, even though he still says the decision in the Texas case was wrong.

REICHARD: The four dissenting justices:  Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh. They argued the majority bent the rules of judicial scrutiny to reach a favored outcome.

Justice Alito wrote that Louisiana adopted the law after the Kermit Gosnell atrocities came to light. Lack of oversight allowed Gosnell for years to kill infants born alive.

And Justice Gorsuch wrote that the majority brushes aside established rules. And that, he wrote, quoting here, “is a sign we have lost our way.”

EICHER: In a second opinion, the court upholds the congressional requirement of an anti-prostitution pledge for overseas groups that receive American funding for HIV/AIDS.

In 2003, the United States created the biggest global health program to fight a single disease. Congress conditioned funding sent overseas to organizations with an explicit policy opposing prostitution and sex trafficking. 

But in 2013, the high court decided that policy requirement violated the free speech rights of American organizations that use the money here at home.

REICHARD: Foreign affiliates of American organizations wanted that same standard. But the court said no. It found that these foreign affiliates have no First Amendment rights. Therefore, the policy does not violate the Constitution.

Congress frequently conditions overseas funding to ensure US foreign aid serves American interests. 

This ruling was 5-3 with conservatives in the majority. 

Justice Elena Kagan recused.

EICHER: And finally, a third ruling finds the consumer watchdog agency that grew out of the 2008 financial crisis violates the Constitution.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau remains standing after this ruling, but the structure must change. The Dodd-Frank Act set up the agency, but it left the director largely unaccountable. It placed limits on the president’s ability to fire the director, limiting those reasons only to inefficiency, malfeasance, or neglect.

That’s what the High Court rejected.

You can hear that very argument put forth in March by lawyer Kannon Shanmugam. He argued on behalf of a law firm that objected to one of the agency’s investigations.

SHANMUGAM: The structure of the CFPB is unprecedented and unconstitutional. Never before in American history has Congress given so much executive power to a single individual who does not answer to the president.

REICHARD: Article II of the U.S. Constitution vests executive power in the President, who in turn keeps federal officers accountable with the power to fire them for any reason or no reason. No exceptions. The agency made an exception,  and now it can’t do that.

MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: going back to class.

After an abrupt transition to online learning in the spring, schools across the country are grappling with the safest way to reopen in the fall. Distance learning worked well for some students, but many others fell behind.

NICK EICHER: School administrators are looking for answers to a host of questions. And one of the best places to find them could be overseas, in countries that have already transitioned back to in-class instruction.

Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Finland began reopening schools in April. Israel began on-site classes in May and will continue its school year through mid-July or early August. WORLD’s Jill Nelson reports now on how the lessons they learned can inform our own move back to the classroom.

JILL NELSON, REPORTER: Guy Faigenboim didn’t mind having his four kids learning from home during Israel’s two months of quarantine. They range in age from 6 to 15, and they all kept up with their lessons.

But when their Tel Aviv schools reopened in May, they packed up their backpacks and went back to school. Faigenboim signed a form each day verifying his kids’ health. And their schools implemented social distancing to keep kids and families safe:

FAIGENBOIM: Sixty percent of the kids in one classroom. In order to do it, if they didn’t have enough class size, the kids came to school only a few days a week and the other kids came on the other days.

Online learning has been challenging for many students and parents. During a May press conference, President Trump said we need to get kids back into the classroom.

TRUMP: The schools should open. And one thing you should be careful of is when instructors are over 60, especially if they have a problem. But the schools should definitely open in my opinion. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus poses a very low risk to kids under 19, and deaths are rare. But some disease experts are concerned children could transmit the virus to others and create a resurgence of COVID-19.

Others disagree. According to the American Enterprise Institute’s John Bailey, kids aren’t the super-spreaders we once feared. Bailey recently wrote a follow-up report to the think tank’s Blueprint for Back to School. He says we should watch for emerging research in the coming months concluding that transmission does not dramatically increase when schools reopen.

BAILEY: I don’t think it points to greater spread. I think what you see in countries that have reopened is that there’s been localized hot spots that have popped up and what has been used in each of those individualized cases is that they’ve closed the schools. But they don’t do it across the whole country, they don’t do it across the whole state. They do it in the area where the hot spot has emerged. And I think that will be the rhythm we need to get used to going into next school year.

Some schools abroad quickly shut down after identifying positive cases among students and teachers. In early June, Israel’s Ministry of Education claimed more than 200 students and school personnel were infected with the virus. South Korea encountered similar challenges. But none of these countries have reported a significant resurgence.

Still, Bailey said many parents are not sending their children back to school despite assurances from government officials that classrooms have been modified and their kids will be safe.

BAILEY: We’ve seen it in France. It definitely happened in the U.K. where after opening for two weeks they had to close it all down because parents just weren’t sending their kids back to school. And a lot of teachers were concerned as well that they may be vulnerable and things weren’t quite as safe.

This mirrors what Faigenboim experienced in some of his kids’ classrooms in Israel. But after a few weeks, the trend reversed.

Bailey says these trends point to an important lesson for American school preparations.

BAILEY: I think the lesson for U.S. schools is to over-index on engaging parents.

We should also be polling teachers, Bailey adds.

If teachers don’t feel safe returning to the classroom, schools need to know that now so they can reassign them to different roles and fill vacant positions. A recent study by the American Enterprise Institute concludes that more than half a million teachers in the United States fall into the high risk category due to age or underlying health problems. Bailey says few states and teachers unions are addressing this looming crisis.

But many schools are hustling to provide better online platforms for parents who prefer distance learning. Some larger schools are considering hybrid models similar to Israel’s. And around the world, administrators are redesigning schools.

BAILEY: There’s remarkable consistency across all the countries about physically distancing kids from one another during the school day. So that often means spacing out desks by 6 feet, turning hallways into sort of one-way directional, it’s minimizing student movement so often students will eat in a class as opposed to going to a cafeteria, there’s frequent hand washing throughout the day, they’re cleaning the classes throughout the day…

Some schools across the country will have few if any interruptions next fall, while others may experience numerous closures throughout the year. And Bailey notes one more lesson from abroad we could apply when outbreaks force schools to send students home:

BAILEY: What Israel did is they brought back their special needs students to school, because with the school being empty, they could space out those students and give them more individualized instruction. Super smart and something every school in the U.S. should be thinking about as part of next year.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Jill Nelson.

NICK EICHER: Today is Tuesday, June 30th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Earlier this year we told you the story of how the shut-down responses to COVID-19 forced brides and grooms to change their wedding plans. Some elected online ceremonies. Others opted for very small, intimate celebrations without guests.

EICHER: The hectic and often tearful change of plans taught some couples to rest in God’s grace. That lesson has served them well as the newlyweds learn to navigate life together 24/7.

Two couples shared their stories with WORLD Journalism Institute graduate Joshua Schumacher and WORLD correspondent Bonnie Pritchett.

OFFICIANT: Now Spencer and Sarah have given themselves to each other by solemn vow…
REEVES: People have sort of joked about the whole idea of Corona vacation, but we sort of had a Coronamoon in its own sort of way… 

BONNIE PRITCHETT, REPORTER: Government closures sent Spencer and Sarah Reeves’ April 17th wedding from their home state of Virginia to Spencer’s parents’ house in Cincinnati, Ohio. Their honeymoon in Boston will have to wait.

AUDIO: [Piano music from wedding]

Mariko and Nile Engelhardt traded island hopping in Hawaii for an Airbnb in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They exchanged vows March 21 at Mariko’s parents’ house in Boise, Idaho.

Their pastor, fearing he had been exposed to the coronavirus, officiated via Zoom.

PASTOR’S VOICE: So many months spent planning the wedding that you had in mind and then God said, “Nope, that’s not what I had planned for you…

Looking back, the Engelhardts and Reeves wouldn’t have it any other way. Sarah Reeves explains.

SARAH: Because we didn’t have all the other kind of fancy trappings of a wedding, it really allowed me to focus on what was really going on and what really mattered…

Mariko Engelhardt shares that perspective.

MARIKO ENGELHARDT: We say that we got the wedding that we prayed for but didn’t ask for…

Stripping down the wedding ceremony and celebration to the bare minimum allowed Sarah and Spencer to focus on their marriage more than the wedding.

SPENCER: It allowed me to see things about myself and to understand, in my own heart, the commitment I was making to Sarah in a way that I don’t think I would have if everything had gone about in the way that we had planned it…

The Reeves settled into an apartment in Virginia where Spencer interns—from home. Sarah is looking for a job while nursing sourdough starter to life. The couple graduated in May from Patrick Henry College.

The transition to married life amidst shelter-in-place orders has its challenges. Instead of connecting with a new church and finding favorite hang-outs in their neighborhood, the Reeves spend most of their time in their apartment—some days, not leaving at all.

That’s starting to take its toll on Sarah.

SARAH REEVES: I will eventually get stir crazy if we don’t have anything to do. I am enjoying getting to rest after senior year. So, just sitting around doing nothing for me at least. I’m feeling the stir craziness coming.

Mariko and Nile are appreciating life’s slower pace imposed by Idaho’s stay-at-home orders. Nile, a computer programmer, had already begun working from their Boise townhome before the wedding. He set up his desk in a small open area just outside the upstairs bedroom. It seemed a reasonable location when he lived alone. 

NILE ENGELHARDT: So, when I’m on Zoom with my teammates, Mariko has to wait for a super long time or crawl underneath the chair out of the view of the Zoom call in order to get past…

It’s a small trade-off for Mariko. She’s an educational therapist and had to complete the semester teaching online.

MARIKO ENGELHARDT: Being married to a tech dude has its perks. Because when I have technical difficulties on Zoom I just march right over and get my help ticket [laughter] Much to his dismay. Right? He has to stop his work. But it works great for me…

Nile said the help tickets and random conversations distract from his work. But Mariko makes up for it.

NILE ENGELHARDT: So, one good thing is she’ll bring me up snacks, repeatedly throughout the day. It’s pretty nice.

Without the so-called “normal” cycle of home, work, church, and social life to distract from their time together, the Reeves and Engelhardts have filled their evenings with other pursuits: Reading, listening to classical music, learning to Salsa dance and moonwalk.

MUSIC: [Salsa dance lesson]

Work—and its commutes—school, and other obligations will eventually compete for their time. But their “corona-moons” have taught these newlyweds that time alone with each other is a precious commodity that they will guard closely throughout their marriage.

Spencer Reeves anticipates struggles on that front when he begins law school in August. 

SPENCER REEVES: I’m going to feel a lot more pressure to make sure that I’m not falling prey to toxic student tendencies to making sure that I’m there for Sarah in the way that she needs me to be there….

Mariko and Nile are grateful for this unique time.

MARIKO ENGELHARDT: I kind of feel like, in a way there’s almost a hedge of protection because we don’t have some of the outside, um, outside sources that are normally influencing your marriage, you know…

Nile Engelhart suggested returning to the office each day may have a silver lining.

NILE ENGELHARDT: It might be good because when I’m off to work for the day it’ll be fun coming home and spending time together again because we’ve been away from each other for a little bit…

MUSIC: [God Gave Me You — Blake Shelton]

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Bonnie Pritchett.

MARY REICHARD: Today is Tuesday, June 30th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Next up, commentator Ryan Bomberger with some thoughts on the importance of fathers.

RYAN BOMBERGER, COMMENTATOR: I was once a child without a father. I was six weeks old when my dad (and mom, of course) chose to adopt and love me—and subsequently nine other children—that other men abandoned. As a Christian father with four beautiful kiddos—two of whom were adopted—I embrace a Biblical perspective on God’s framework for family. 

Our increasingly Godless culture today, however, works so hard to deny that there is intentional design all around and within us. Some have invented multiple genders, for instance, to satisfy a brokenness that can never be filled by emptiness. 

We’re constantly told our society is evolving; I think they mean revolving. We keep repeating the same mistakes of the past, denying our Divine design and embracing a sociological evolution rooted in nothing but the loose rubble of relativism. Our broken culture resists basic truths and constantly ends up confused about what went wrong. Sadly, there are too many casualties in communities across America in this eventual discovery process. 

A pastor recently told me, in a national conference call, that racism is America’s biggest sin. I didn’t realize, aside from apostasy, that there was a hierarchy of sins. Not loving the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind and strength—the sin that is common to all of us—is where we fail. Sin is vile; all of it separates us from God. 

Yet, recently, we hear this refrain of the “ultimate sin of racism” driving so many of our conversations. It has become an altar unto which many bow, literally, with no real Biblical approach to remedy it. Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy genuflected to some of this madness, kneeling down to shine millionaire rap artist Lecrae’s shoes. Cathy then told other white people to shine other black people’s shoes.

What in the ever-lovin’ world? Do not, for any reason, shine my shoes. Thanks, but no thanks.

We are teaching America’s youth to obsess over pigmentation, to herd themselves into (unbiblical) racial categories, and to pursue justice without righteousness. Kids are led to believe that we can somehow achieve a worldly understanding of justice without Truth. 

But Psalm 89:14 declares: “Righteousness and Justice are the foundations of your throne, Oh God. Unfailing love and truth precede you.” This means we can’t even get to justice without unfailing love and truth first. The truth is, racism isn’t our biggest problem.

This brings me back to fatherhood. America is devastated by an epidemic of fatherlessness. Eighty-six percent of this country’s more than 860,000 annual abortions are among unmarried women. Forty percent of our nation’s precious children are born to unmarried mothers. 

That’s a staggering 70 percent among black children. A black or brown child’s worst threat is not racism. It’s not police brutality. It’s not a statue. Every child’s greatest threat is not having a loving father in his or her life. 

Spiritually, of course, it’s not having the Father to the fatherless in their hearts. Children who grow up without a father in the home are five times more likely to grow up in poverty and twice as likely to commit suicide. They will also experience higher instances of violent crime, high school dropout rates, drug usage, and incarceration rates. Girls are seven times more likely to be pregnant as teens.

Dads matter. No amount of societal redesign or denial of design changes that. Until we get to the root of America’s deeply spiritual and moral problems, we’ll keep fighting the same weeds of sin that obscure the intact family framework God intended as the strength of every community.

I’m Ryan Bomberger.

NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: President Trump has announced plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Germany. That’s caused a bit of a kerfuffle among NATO allies. We’ll talk about that on Washington Wednesday.

And, we’ll take you to a ballet studio where students learn about more than just dance.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

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.

I want to thank you again for coming alongside us during the June Giving Drive. It’s going on through tonight, and we’re grateful for your part in helping advance Biblically objective journalism. Thank you so much! 

The Bible reminds us that God has demonstrated his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

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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