Thursday morning news: April 11, 2024 | WORLD
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Thursday morning news: April 11, 2024


WORLD Radio - Thursday morning news: April 11, 2024

News of the day, including the U.S. House fails to pass a bill reauthorizing FISA and Ukraine runs low on ammunition

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La. Associated Press/Photo by Mariam Zuhaib

GOP revolt on Section 702 reauthorization » There has perhaps never been a more challenging time to wield the gavel in the House. Speaker Mike Johnson told reporters:

JOHNSON: We have the smallest majority in U.S. history. We’ve got a one-vote margin right now. This is an historic moment. There’s never been anything like this.

It takes only a small number of Republican defections to derail any effort.

And that’s what happened on Wednesday.

SOUND: On this vote, the yeas are 193. The nays are 228. The resolution is not adopted.

Nineteen out of more than 200 Republicans voted “no” on reauthorizing Section 702 for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby this week said it’s a vital tool for law enforcement and intelligence agencies allowing them to detect dire threats:

KIRBY: Terrorist threats to the homeland, hostile governments’ recruitment of spies in our midst, penetrations of our critical infrastructure.

Johnson agrees that Section 702 is critically important.

But he acknowledged real concerns over trusting government agencies with that power, including alleged abuses of those authorities tied to the launch of the Trump-Russia probe.

He’s working to convince Republican holdouts that recent amendments will address those concerns and that Section 702 is too important to our national security to allow it to lapse.

Speaker’s job under threat » Johnson’s also trying to convince a handful of Republicans to let him keep his job. Some are angry about a recently passed funding bill to avert a government shutdown. The speaker said a shutdown, particularly in an election year, would have been a bad idea …

JOHNSON: That wouldn’t be helpful. Nor does a motion to vacate help us in that regard either. It would be chaos in the House.

GOP Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has drafted a motion to vacate Johnson and has been holding that over the speaker’s head, demanding changes. The speaker met privately with Greene on Wednesday.

GREENE: We discussed the omnibus, and I explained all the reasons why he failed as our speaker, as our Republican speaker of the House. He funded the Biden administration. He funded their open border policies.

She and a small group of Republicans are also against a House plan that Speaker Johnson is backing … that would provide more funding for aid to Ukraine.

Ukraine latest » And as the debate over Ukraine funding continues …

The top general for U.S. forces in Europe says the battlefield situation in Ukraine is now critical. Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli told members of Congress Wednesday:

CAVOLI: They are now being out-shot by the Russian side 5-to-1. So Russians fire five times as many artillery shells at the Ukrainians as the Ukrainians are able to fire back.

He said that ammunition deficit will double in just a matter of weeks giving Moscow’s forces a 10-to-1 advantage, and he urged Congress to take immediate action.

The House plan backed by Johnson would provide $60 billion dollars for Ukraine as part of a broader national security package. The alternative to a more expensive Senate bill would also reportedly be tied to shifts in policy at the US southern border.

Israel/Gaza latest » President Biden is ramping up the pressure on Israel to increase humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza.

And he said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to take certain actions, namely:

BIDEN: Getting more aid, both food and medicine, into Gaza and reducing significantly the attempts, the civilian casualties in any action taken in the region.

The president also once again called on Israel Wednesday to agree to a cease-fire for 6 to 8 weeks to give humanitarian aid workers unfettered access to Gaza.

Israel-Iran/Hezbollah, etc » Meantime, a senior U.S. military commander is expected to be in Israel today to discuss threats from Iran and its proxy groups against Israel. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN: Axios reports that chief of the U.S. Central Command Gen. Erik Kurilla is expected to meet with senior Israeli defense officials.

Iran has vowed to retaliate against Israel for a recent airstrike that killed numerous Iranian military officers, including a top general.

Israel is reportedly bracing for a possible unprecedented direct attack launched from Iranian soil using ballistic and other missiles, as well as drones.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee. He blasted President Biden for being critical of Israel and demanding a cease-fire at a time when it’s “facing the threat of imminent attack, directly from Iran and in combination with coordinated attacks by Hezbollah, Houthis & Iranian proxies in Syria & Iraq.”

For WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Kishida state visit » President Biden is set to host talks today with the leaders of two Asian allies critical to the goal of keeping China in check.

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. arrived in Washington …

SOUND: [Military band]

… hours after the White House rolled out the red carpet for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

BIDEN: Prime minister is a visionary and courageous leader.

Kishida is expected to deliver a speech before Congress today.

In addition to trilateral meetings with both leaders, President Biden will also sit down one-on-one with President Marcos for a meeting on a wide range of issues.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Republicans rethink mail-in voting. Plus, listening to wildlife during an eclipse.

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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