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Thursday morning news: November 23, 2023

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WORLD Radio - Thursday morning news: November 23, 2023

News of the day, including American hostages expected to be released over the next four days


Doris Liber, whose son, Guy Iluz, is being held hostage in Gaza Associated Press/Photo by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Hostages » On this Thanksgiving, the families of some Americans held hostage by Hamas are hoping to see their loved ones again soon. That includes the family of 3-year-old Abigail Mor Edan, an American-Israeli girl abducted during the October 7th terrorist attack in Israel.

NAFTALI: No child should be a hostage. No child should be in this situation.

Abigail's great-aunt, Liz Hirsh Naftali, heard there on "CBS Mornings."

Under the terms of a cease-fire deal Hamas agreed to release 50 of the more than 200 captives it’s holding over the course of four days.

Reportedly, the first hostages won’t be set free until tomorrow.

At least three American citizens were expected to go free. But White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan tells ABC:

SULLIVAN: Until we actually see them come out, be in the arms of their loved ones — get home safely, we cannot be fully confident. So we are going to wait, as the families are waiting, with bated breath, until they come out. And then until every last American comes out.

Rob Anders leads a group called the Hostages and Missing Families Forum. He says for the families of those held by Hamas, the wait is agonizing.

ANDERS: Every moment that people don’t know where their loved ones [are] with absolutely no update from the terrorists in terms of signs of life [as] they refer to it, there’s a huge amount of worry and fear and concern.

Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners per the agreement. And leaders in Tel Aviv say they will extend the cease-fire one extra day for every 10 additional hostages released by Hamas.

U.S.-Philippines patrols » Fighter jets from the U.S. military and the Philippines are patrolling the South China Sea over waters that Beijing claims it largely owns. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher reports.

JOSH SCHUMACHER: Despite a cordial meeting last week between President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, the United States is signaling that it won’t back down in the face of aggression.

The U.S. and the Philippines are stepping up cooperation as China continues to try and push the boundaries of its territory.

The allied warplanes patrolled near the northern tip of the Philippines just 125 miles from Taiwan which China also says it owns.

The Pentagon called it a routine exercise aimed at “preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

For WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.

South Korea leader in UK amid North Korea concerns » Western powers are also teaming up with Asian allies to counter another regional threat, North Korea.

SOUND: [London meeting]

With cameras flashing at number 10 Downing Street in London Wednesday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol:

SUNAK: Your state visit underlies the deep partnership and friendship between our two countries. And the signing of the Downing Street Accord today strengthens that friendship.

The accord is a new agreement that deepens ties between the two nations on both trade and defense.

Under the accord, the two countries’ navies will work together to curb smuggling and enforce U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea.

The meeting follows Pyongyang’s announcement that it successfully launched a spy satellite into orbit.

Secretary Austin / Ukraine »

Meantime, at the Pentagon Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin again declared that America is committed to backing Ukraine against Russian invaders. And he urged other Western allies to step up their support.

AUSTIN: As President Biden has said, ‘When tyrants don’t pay a price for their aggression, they continue to menace the world.’ And none of us want to live in a world where bullies like Putin can invade their peaceful neighbor with impunity.

He’s calling on coalition partners to send more air defense weapons to Kyiv as it braces for another harsh winter at war.

Austin’s remarks came on the heels of his surprise visit to Kyiv earlier this week.

Sam Altman / Open AI board » The CEO of the company that made the groundbreaking artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT is back on the job just days after he was fired. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN: Sam Altman writes on social media he is looking forward to returning to the company he co-founded, Open AI.

The board of directors fired him last Friday after an apparent disagreement.

But most of the company’s nearly 800 employees revolted, threatening to quit unless board members re-hired Altman and fired themselves.

Meanwhile, Microsoft had just hired Altman, but the tech giant also has a lot riding on Open AI’s success after investing billions in the company.

So, Altman is moving back into his old office while at least some of the board members who fired him are boxing up their belongings.

For WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

IAEA Iran » The head of the The UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, Raphael Grossi says Iran is banning top UN inspectors from its nuclear facilities.

GROSSI: They have targeted inspectors who have a lot of experience – in particular in enrichment and other capacities. It takes a long time to prepare inspectors, to have them with the necessary amount of experience and skills and ability to perform their work.

Grossi has warned in recent months that Iran may be very close to developing a nuclear weapon, and that leaders in Tehran were increasingly locking out inspectors.

Travel woes » The day before Thanksgiving is typically the busiest travel day of the year in the U.S., and it appears Wednesday was no exception.

Highways and airports were packed, and severe weather in parts of the country didn’t help.

According to the flight tracking service FlightAware, airlines had to cancel well over 600 flights while more than 16,000 flights were delayed.

I'm Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Politics in Latin America.

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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