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Thursday morning news: December 7, 2023

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WORLD Radio - Thursday morning news: December 7, 2023

News of the day, including Kevin McCarthy tenders his resignation from Congress and four GOP contenders debate in Alabama


Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite, File

GOP debate » The top Republican rivals to frontrunner Donald Trump faced off last night in the fourth presidential debate of the year.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he’ll deliver on a promise Trump was unable to fulfill vowing to build a border wall and have Mexico pay for it.

DESANTIS: I am going to have fees on remittances from foreign workers, when they send the money back to foreign countries, I’m going to tax it, and we’re going to build the wall with that.

Former ambassador Nikki Haley said the United States needs to get tough with Beijing about the fentanyl crisis.

HALEY: That’s why we need to end all normal trade relations with China until they stop murdering ordinary Americans with fentanyl. I promise you, they need our economy. They will immediately stop that.

Haley, DeSantis, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy largely fought amongst themselves,

That prompted this barb from the fourth man on the stage former governor Chris Christie:

CHRISTIE: We’ve had these three acting as if the race is between the four of us. The fifth guy, you know, Voldemort, he who shall not be named. They don’t want to talk about it.

Christie called Trump a bully and predicted that he’ll be convicted of a felony by Election Day.

Christie and DeSantis sparred on one issue that was legally protecting minors from transgender surgeries. Christie framed it as a parental rights issue.

CHRISTIE: You don’t know, that slippery slope, what rights are going to be taken away next.
DESANTIS: You do not have, as a parent, you do not have the right to abuse your kids (applause)

Donald Trump leads the rest of the GOP pack by almost 50 points nationally and by nearly 30 points in Iowa with the first-in-the-nation caucuses just over a month away.

Gaza latest » Top officials with the Israeli Defense Forces say they’re closing in on leaders of the terrorist group Hamas as troops push further into southern Gaza.

HAGARI: [Speaking Hebrew]

IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said Wednesday that Israeli forces had surrounded the home of Hamas leader Yehla Sinwar near the city of Khan Younis.

Israel says it has already killed about half of Hamas’ mid-level commanders.

But those commanders are hiding throughout the Gaza strip, which continues to bear the battle scars.

JIHAD AL TUROK: [Speaking Arabic]

One resident speaking from a hospital in Rafah says he was rescued from a pile of rubble after a rocket hit the home he was staying in.

McCarthy resignation fallout » In Washington the political shockwaves are still being felt after former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced he’s quitting Congress and departing at the end of the month.

Current Speaker Mike Johnson said Wednesday:

JOHNSON: Kevin has been a long and trusted friend and we commend his long service and sacrifices for the house. And I'm sad to see him go.

McCarthy’s departure means the GOP’s already paper-thin House majority will grow even thinner.

This will be the second Republican seat vacated in a month’s time after the chamber ousted scandal-ridden Congressman George Santos last week.

A small group of Republicans led a successful effort in October to oust McCarthy from the speakership after just 9 months on the job.

It took McCarthy 15 rounds of voting on the House floor to win the speakership back in January.

Biden presses Congress on Ukraine funding » In a charged White House address, President Biden called it "stunning" that Congress has not already approved funds for more aid to Ukraine.

BIDEN: We can’t let Putin win.

And he again called on lawmakers to act. The president said further delay is a win for Vladimir Putin and a hit to U.S. credibility.

BIDEN: Any disruption in our ability to supply Ukraine clearly strengthens Putin’s position. We’ve run out of money to be able to do that in terms of authorization.

Biden said that well will run dry at the end of the month. And he argued that it is in the overwhelming security interest of the United States and its allies to repel Russia’s invasion of a European country.

House Republican leaders are demanding major policy shifts to help secure the U.S. southern border before signing off on billions in additional aid to Ukraine.

U.S. charges Russians with war crimes » Attorney General Merrick Garland says the U.S. government is charging four Russian soldiers with war crimes. They’re accused of abducting and torturing an American citizen in Ukraine last year.

Merrick: As the world has witnessed the horrors of Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine, so has the United States Department of Justice. 

The indictment, unsealed this week describes an American being beaten and threatened with sexual assault and death while being held for 10 days at a Russian military installation.

This is the first time the U.S. has filed charges under the war crimes statute.

Banking regulations » On Capitol Hill, top executives from American banks urged lawmakers to drop the ax on a proposed rule that would force financial institutions to keep more cash on hand. Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser:

FASER: Almost every element of the proposal would make lending and other financial activities more expensive, especially for smaller companies and consumers.

The Federal Reserve and regulators introduced the changes after three banks failed earlier this year.

Lawmakers asked seven executives testifying Wednesday who among you believes the changes would hurt everyday Americans? All seven raised their hands including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

DIMON: The rule would have predictable and harmful outcomes to the economy, markets, business of all sizes and American households in ways the Federal Reserve has not studied.

But federal regulators argue that the proposal would make the banking system safer and less vulnerable to crisis.

I'm Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: A trip to Israel in war-time. Plus, Dutch Christmas traditions in Washington D.C.

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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