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Tuesday morning news: April 2, 2024

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WORLD Radio - Tuesday morning news: April 2, 2024

News of the day, including an attack on the Iranian Embassy in Syria and another U.S. official suffers strange neurological symptoms while serving abroad


A building hit by an air strike in Damascus, Syria, Monday Associated Press/Photo by Omar Sanadiki

SOUND: [Iranian protests]

Attack on Iranian embassy in Syria » Cries of Death to Israel! and Revenge, Revenge! from Iranian protesters in Tehran after an airstrike that flattened Iran’s consulate in Damasus, Syria.

Iran says seven military officials were killed including Mohammed Reza Zahedi, a top Iranian general.

Tehran blames Israel for the airstrike. Israeli Defense Forces declined to comment.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller also punted questions about the strike yesterday, but speaking generally, he added:

MILLER: We are always concerned about anything that would be escalatory or cause an increase of conflict in the region.

Iran is promising a, “harsh” response. Tehran has long supported, funded, and armed Hamas and other terrorist groups dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

White House-Israel talks » Meantime, the White House is working to convince Israel to rethink its planned ground operation in the city of Rafah.

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre:

PIERRE: There are alternative ways of doing this, alternative ways of going after Hamas.

U.S. and Israeli leaders held a video conference on Monday to discuss it.

The meeting came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scrapped plans to send a delegation to Washington last week amid diplomatic tensions.

PIERRE: We were able to reschedule this on Friday, and we wanted to move very quickly on this. And the meeting is happening virtually, because we understand, and obviously all of you understand, how important it is to have this conversation.

Netanyahu says Rafah is the last Hamas stronghold, and there is no way to win the war without rooting the terrorist group out of the city.

Havana syndrome » The Pentagon is investigating another mysterious case of so-called "Havana Syndrome" from a NATO Summit in Lithuania last year. And new accusations point to Moscow’s involvement.

The Defense Dept. confirms that another senior official became the latest in a long string of U.S. officials to suffer strange symptoms while serving abroad.

GOP Congressman Carlos Gimenez explains that many victims suffer vision and focus problems.

GIMENEZ: That’s just one of the symptoms that they have. And so, the evidence is growing that Russians are behind it.

First reported in Cuba's capital, American diplomats complained of a range of neurological symptoms.

CBS News reports that a lead U.S. military investigator believes U.S. officials are being attacked by Russia, and that the official threshold to prove it was set impossibly high.

Bridge salvage/temporary route » It has now been one week since a cargo ship lost power and slammed into bridge support in Baltimore causing the Francis Scott Key bridge to collapse into the Patapsco River.

Construction crews started lifting the twisted remains of the bridge from the river, but Maryland Gov. Wes Moore says it is not an easy task.

MOORE: We are talking about tons of steel that is mangled and cantilevered. We are talking about water that is so murky and so filled with debris that divers cannot see anymore than a foot or two in front of them.

Divers are tasked with figuring out where to cut the steel to remove large sections from the water.

Authorities have opened a temporary shipping lane for essential cargo vessels, but the wreck is still choking off access to the critical Port of Baltimore.

The White House says President Biden will visit the site of the fallen bridge on Friday.

Scottish free speech law/JK Rowling » A new law in Scotland that makes it a crime to stir up hatred is stirring up controversy and fear of a crackdown on free speech.

The law creates a new criminal offense of “stirring up hatred”  related to age, race, disability, and religion as well as sexual orientation and transgender identity.

Critics predict the law will be used to criminalize religious views or even the public expression of the simple fact that there are two genders.

Among the prominent critics of the law are X.com owner Elon Musk as well Edinburgh resident, author JK Rowling.

SOUND: (White House egg roll band]

White House Easter egg roll »A military band welcoming guests to the White House for the annual Easter egg roll. A crowd of about 40,000 children and parents descended on the South lawn after a 90-minute rain delay.

First Lady Jill Biden:

JILL BIDEN: I’m a teacher, so I love anytime when we can turn the White House into a classroom. And that’s what we’re doing today.

The White House drew criticism over rules that banned religious themes from the Easter egg art contest. However, the White House and American Egg Board say that’s nothing new. They both insist that rules barring religious symbols have been in place for years and were not new to this year’s event.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Next steps for Donald Trump’s civil fraud case in New York. Plus, Classic Book of the Month for April.

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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