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Thursday morning news: September 21, 2023


WORLD Radio - Thursday morning news: September 21, 2023

News of the day, including Azerbaijan agrees to a cease-fire after firing artillery at Armenian positions in a disputed territory and President Biden meets with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

A photo taken from a drone video released by Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, men walk at an area which Azerbaijan says hosts Armenian forces' positions in the breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Associated Press/Photo by Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan

Garland » Attorney General Merrick Garland says the Justice Department does not allow political bias to influence investigations.

Garland defended his department and his decisions yesterday at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

GARLAND: Our job is not to take orders from the president, from Congress, or from anyone else about who or what we criminally investigate.

House Republicans claimed that Garland weaponized the justice department and gave President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, special treatment.

Committee Chair Jim Jordan:

JORDAN: Americans believe that today in our country, there is unequal application of the law. They believe that because there is.

Garland is overseeing the case against Hunter Biden and two cases against former President Donald Trump.

His testimony comes about a week after Speaker Kevin McCarthy opened an impeachment inquiry into President Biden over his family’s business dealings.

Government Funding » Members of the House and Senate are struggling to agree on a spending bill to prevent a government shutdown at the end of the month.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst:

ERNST: We are hoping that we can continue to fund the government what we don't want to see at the end of September is a government shutdown because it benefits no one. So we will have to consider whatever legislation is passed over by the House, we will do that very carefully.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says there’s still time to work out a deal.

Biden/Netanyahu Meeting » President Joe Biden reiterated the United States’ commitment to Israel on Wednesday even as he urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to maintain the country’s democratic institutions.

The two met in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

BIDEN: Today we're going to discuss some of the hard issues. And that is upholding democratic values that lie at the heart of our partnership, including checks and balances in our systems.

Biden has previously criticized Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul the Israeli judicial system. The plan sparked 37 straight weeks of protests.

Netanyahu defended the reforms:

NETENAYHU: I want to reassert here before you, Mr. President, that one thing is certain and one thing will never change, and that is Israel's commitment to democracy.

The leaders affirmed their joint commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Federal Reserve » The Federal Reserve is holding interest rates steady at roughly five and a half percent.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell:

POWELL: We see the current stance of monetary policy as restrictive, putting downward pressure on economic activity, hiring and inflation. In addition, the economy is facing headwinds from tighter credit conditions for households and businesses.

The Fed has raised interest rates 11 times since March of last year, but Central bank officials project that the Fed will only increase rates once more this year.

Annual inflation dropped from more than 9 percent last June to under 4 percent as of last month.

Canada Sikh » Tensions in India and Canada have been rising over the death of a Sikh activist earlier this year. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.

JOSH SCHUMACHER: Hardeep Singh Nijjar had lived in Canada for 20 years and had Canadian citizenship.

He was also a leader in the movement for an independent Sikh state in India.

Nijjar was gunned down this June in Canada.

On Monday Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that there was credible evidence that the Indian government was involved with the killing.

Both Canada and India have expelled each others top diplomats.

For WORLD I’m Josh Schumacher

Azerbaijan » Talks are taking place today between officials from Azerbaijani and Armenian separatist leaders in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

ILHAM: [Speaking Azerbaijani]

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev saying yesterday his country has, quote, restored its sovereignty.

This week it began an offensive on the largely ethnic Armenian region. The attack killed dozens of people with drones, jets and artillery.

The mountainous region is recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it is home to 120,000 ethnic Armenians.

NIKOL: [Speaking Armenian]

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan says reports of military activity in the region have decreased since the announcement of a cease-fire.

I'm Kristen Flavin.

Straight ahead: Climate change at the United Nations. Plus, getting inside the mind of a debate judge.

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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