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Friday morning news: December 8, 2023

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WORLD Radio - Friday morning news: December 8, 2023

News of the day, including Hunter Biden has been indicted on tax charges and Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand condemns Hamas’ sexual violence


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) at the U.S. Capitol Drew Angerer/Getty Images News via Getty Images

Hunter Biden indicted » Hunter Biden has been indicted on nine tax charges — three felonies and six misdemeanors.

In a statement, special counsel David Weis said, Hunter “spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills.”

If convicted, the president’s son could face up to 17 years behind bars. And the special counsel probe into his business dealings remains open.

He also faces separate federal firearms charges in Delaware.

Impeachment inquiry » Meantime, House Republicans say Hunter Biden will testify on Capitol Hill next week, or else.

Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer:

COMER: My investigation will be finished when we do those depositions. That’s why the president’s son is going to show up here next week or he will be held in contempt of Congress.

Republicans allege that the president had improper ties to his son’s business dealings — something the White House denies.

The House Rules Committee says it will put a measure to a vote on the House floor next week to make the ongoing impeachment inquiry of President Biden official

It’s a procedural move that pushes the process one step closer to actual impeachment hearings.

Gaza civilians» Israeli forces continue to target Hamas terrorists in southern Gaza.

SOUND: [Airstrike]

Israel is providing evacuation notices to civilians in advance of airstrikes, but aid groups insist there’s nowhere safe to go.

Secretary of State Tony Blinken:

BLINKEN: Israel has to make maximum efforts to avoid civilian casualties, even as Hamas continues to use civilians as human shields..and as well to sustain and indeed increase the humanitarian assistance that’s going to people who need it.

President Biden spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday. The White House said the president expressed deep concern over the Israeli hostages still held by Hamas…and underscored the need for continued humanitarian aid in Gaza.

Sen. Gillibrand on UN » And as more details emerge about Hamas’ sexual violence against Israeli women and children, some U.S. lawmakers are calling out the United Nations over its relative silence on the matter. Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said using rape as a weapon of war must be condemned.

GILLIBRAND: The fact that the UN has not called Hamas a terrorist organization and condemned the horrific violence of October 7th is unacceptable.

She said UN leaders are “not even enforcing international law” and calling out the sexual violence “as a violation of war,” even as they have accused Israel of war crimes.

Surveillance Act » Lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee have advanced a bill for a full vote on the House floor that allows the U.S. government to spy on foreign terror threats without a warrant. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.

JOSH SCHUMACHER: The bill would renew section 702 of the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act which is slated to expire at year’s end. Top law enforcement officials have urged Congress to extend it, calling it critical to national security.

But some lawmakers have expressed concern that government agents have abused its powers. They’ve also noted that Americans could be incidentally spied on, if they’re in contact with a targeted foreigner.

The current bill would grant only a temporary extension until April, buying more time to debate those concerns.

For WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.

UNLV Shooting » Detectives are investigating a deadly shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The gunman killed three faculty members on the UNLV campus and wounded another. He died in a shootout with police.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre:

JEAN-PIERRE: At the President's direction we have federal officials on the ground supporting local response efforts, and providing all necessary assistance.

The shooter was reportedly a former business professor who had applied for a position at the school but was turned down.

Disney audit » In Florida, a government oversight board says Disney may have committed serious violations of state and federal law. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN: A 72-page report examines Disney’s decadeslong influence over the local government of Reedy Creek.

The state created the special Reedy Creek tax district In the 1960s when Mr. Walt Disney. planned to build a city near Orlando.

WALT: By far the most important part of our Florida project, in fact the heart of everything we’ll be doing at Disney will be our Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow, EPCOT.

The district was given city-planning powers over roads, power, and infrastructure to work closely with Disney.

But after Walt’s death, the company built a theme park instead of a city. Yet it continued to benefit from the original arrangement.

The audit lists potential violations including: Bribery and corruption, securities fraud, and misuse of public funds.

It says Disney treated the government body like an arm of the company, blurring legal and ethical lines.

The report details lavish perks for Reedy Creek employees and asserts a grossly improper level of control over the district.

Disney dismisses the probe as political targeting by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis.

For WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

I'm Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Culture Friday with Katie McCoy. Plus, the music of Advent.

This is The World and Everything in It.


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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