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Friday morning news - June 11, 2021

WORLD Radio - Friday morning news - June 11, 2021

President Biden in the U.K., rising prices, JBS’s ransom payment, El Chapo’s wife pleads guilty, and North Carolina lawmakers approve pro-life law

US President Joe Biden, left, poses for a photo with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during their meeting ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall, Britain, Thursday June 10, 2021 Toby Melville/Pool Photo via Associated Press

For WORLD Radio, I'm Kristen Flavin. 

Biden meets with Boris Johnson » AMBI: [Sound of camera shutters]
BIDEN: I’m very pleased to be here.

President Joe Biden arrived at the site of the G7 meeting in Cornwall, England, on Thursday. He got a warm welcome from his host, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

JOHNSON: It’s a great pleasure, Mr. President, to welcome you to Cornwall.
BIDEN: It’s a great pleasure to be here.

The two leaders highlighted their commitment to strengthening ties between the United States and Great Britain. And in a symbolic nod to that unity, they signed an updated version of the Atlantic Charter.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first charter in 1941. It set out common goals following World War II, including freer trade, disarmament, and the right of all people to self-determination.

BIDEN: Today, we build on that commitment, with a revitalized Atlantic Charter updated to reaffirm that promise while speaking directly to the key challenges of this century: cyber security, emerging technology, global health, and climate change.

The new charter promises to promote free trade, human rights, and a rules-based international order. In a veiled reference to Russia and China, it also aims to counter “those who seek to undermine our alliances and institutions.”

The G7 summit kicks off today and runs through Sunday. Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan will join Biden and Johnson for the talks. Invited guests this year include Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indian President Narendra Modi, South Korea’s Moon Jae-in, and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.

Labor Department reports consumer price hikes » The cost of food, cars, and just about everything else is going up, according to a Labor Department report issued Thursday. WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Consumer prices surged again in May, rising 0.6 percent over the previous month. That brings overall inflation during the past year to 5 percent, the biggest spike since 2008.

Rising prices are partly due to demand. More people are shopping, traveling, and eating out as pandemic restrictions end.

But a shortage of supplies is also driving up prices, everything from lumber and steel to chemicals and semiconductors. Airline fares and hotel prices also jumped ahead of the summer travel season. Some analysts blame loose policy from the Federal Reserve for the price hikes.

Among the most expensive items to purchase right now? Cars and trucks. Prices for used vehicles rose more than 7 percent in May, on top of a 10 percent increase in April. The price of new cars rose 1.6 percent—the largest one-month increase since 2009.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

JBS confirms ransomware attack payment » FBI Director Christopher Wray is warning U.S.-companies not to pay hackers who take over their computer systems and demand a ransom.

Wray addressed the issue during a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Thursday.

WRAY: It is our guidance from the FBI that companies should not pay the ransom, for a number of reasons. One … that it encourages more of this kind of activity. But then there’s a second, more practical issue, which is sometimes the encryption, or the locking up of the system that the hackers engage in may not be undone. You could pay the ransom and not get your system back. And that’s not unknown to happen.

On Wednesday, the world’s largest meat processing company confirmed it paid hackers $11 million following a ransomware attack. Brazil-based JBS said it decided to pay up to avoid any further disruption to its systems.

Earlier this week, the Justice Department announced it had recovered a majority of the ransom Colonial Pipeline paid hackers last month. Wray said the company’s decision to involve law enforcement immediately helped agents trace the cyber criminals and recover the funds.

El Chapo’s wife pleads guilty » The wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman pleaded guilty Thursday to helping her husband run his multibillion-dollar criminal empire.

Emma Coronel Aispuro admitted to conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine. She also pleaded guilty to money laundering and working with a foreign narcotics trafficker.

Jeffrey Lichtman is her attorney.

LICHTMAN: She was a very minimal participant in this, as noted in the plea agreement. Minimal participant. She was a very small part of this, what was a much larger thing.

As head of the Sinaloa cartel, Guzman smuggled drugs into the United States for 25 years. He was sentenced in 2019 to life in prison.

Coronel Aispuro was arrested in February. She will be sentenced in September.

N.C. lawmakers pass pro-life bill » Lawmakers in North Carolina have approved protections for unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome. WORLD’s Paul Butler has that story.

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: Senate Republicans approved the bill without any support from Democrats. It would require abortionists to provide written confirmation that sex, race, or a Down syndrome diagnosis did not influence a mother’s decision to end her pregnancy.

Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, has not said whether he will sign the bill into law. But he has vetoed other pro-life measures in the past.

Republicans say the bill will help prevent discrimination and “modern-day eugenics."

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina have urged Cooper to kill the measure.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Paul Butler.

I'm Kristen Flavin, and for more news, features, and analysis, visit us at wng.org.

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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