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Thursday morning news: December 21, 2023

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WORLD Radio - Thursday morning news: December 21, 2023

News of the day, including Republicans blast Colorado’s decision to take Trump off the primary ballot and Israel exposes Hamas tunnel hub


Attorney Eric Olson, far right, argues before the Colorado Supreme Court. Associated Press/Photo by David Zalubowski, Pool

Republican reaction to CO ruling » Donald Trump’s top Republican rivals are blasting a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that would strike his name from presidential primary ballots in the state.

Former South Carolina governor and ambassador Nikki Haley:

HALEY: I think the people of Colorado should be furious. I am going to defeat Donald Trump on my own.

The state’s highest court invoked the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. They said Trump’s actions surrounding the 2021 Capitol riot disqualified him from running for president again.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the Colorado court afforded Trump no real due process.

DESANTIS: They basically just said, what, you can’t be on the ballot? Could we just say that Biden can’t be on the ballot because he let in 8 million illegals into the country and violated the Constitution, which he has?

Biden/Trump reaction » Even within the court itself, the decision was controversial. All seven members of Colorado’s high court were appointed by Democratic governors, but three of the justices felt the court overstepped its authority with Tuesday’s ruling.

For his part, Donald Trump called the ruling shameful.

President Biden also weighed in, telling reporters:

BIDEN: Now whether the 14th Amendment applies, I’ll let the court make that decision. But he certainly supported an insurrection. There’s no question about it. None, zero.

So will Donald Trump’s name appear on state presidential primary ballots? Colorado Secretary of State Jenna Griswold said the U.S. Supreme Court will likely make that call.

GRISWORLD: I think there is a higher likelihood that that happens in this case. And I’ll just follow whatever court decision in place by the time ballot certification comes around.

The Colorado court has put its ruling on hold for now to allow time for an appeal.

Israel offensive » In the Gaza Strip Israeli Defense Forces continue to hammer Hamas targets, both from the air.

SOUND: [Air strike]

And on the ground …

SOUND: [Ground war]

And the IDF says it has dealt a serious blow to Hamas in exposing the command center of the terror group’s vast underground network of tunnels and facilities.

Military leaders released video footage showing the tunnels and buried facilities, including apartments and meeting rooms, as well as weapons caches.

U.S. holds off U.N. resolution » Meantime, the United States continues to hold up a possible U.N. Security Council resolution that would call for an end to the war. Secretary of State Tony Blinken:

BLINKEN: There seems to be silence on what Hamas could do, should do, must do, if we want to end the suffering of innocent men, women, and children.

U.S. officials feel United Nations leaders are aiming criticism almost entirely at Israel.

Though, the Biden administration is pressuring Israel to do more to protect and aid civilians amid a growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

U.S. border » As talks continue in Washington over border and immigration policy, the crisis at the southern border continues.

GOP Congressman Tony Gonzelez represents a district that covers more than half of the Texas border.

GONZALEZ: In my district, local communities have no further resources to continue sustaining this migrant crisis.

Fox News, citing border officials, reports so far, just in the month of December, authorities have already recorded nearly 200,000 migrant encounters.

On Capitol Hill, Republicans are withholding funds the White House requested for aid to Ukraine, among other things until Democrats agree to major shifts in border policy. That would include changes to asylum rules.

E.U. border measures » Meantime, European Union leaders have announced changes to asylum rules there as the E.U. tightens its immigration policies.

European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas says migrants unlikely to be granted asylum will be entered into a fast-tracked border process.

SCHINAS: With streamlined procedures for quickly dealing with asylum claims and efficiently processing returns of those who have no legal reason to be under the European Union’s protection.

The changes will also limit the numbers of people who can immigrate to E.U. countries.

And Schinas says they’ll also more evenly spread out the costs of hosting those migrants among the various member nations.

Some refugee rights groups blasted the new rules, claiming they’ll create what amounts to prison camps at the E.U.’s borders.

Venezuela prisoners » Venezuela’s ruling Maduro regime released dozens of prisoners on Wednesday, including 10 Americans as part of a prisoner exchange.

And with that, the White House says Venezuela is no longer detaining any Americans. President Biden told reporters:

Biden: We have no higher priority than the release of detained and-or Americans being held hostage.

The U.S. gave only one prisoner in the exchange, a Colombian businessman and Maduro ally who was facing money laundering and bribery charges in the United States.

Maduro’s government also freed 20 Venezuelans, including political opposition leader Roberto Abdul.

I'm Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Terror in the Red Sea. Plus, storms in Bethlehem.

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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