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Tuesday morning news - May 4, 2021

WORLD Radio - Tuesday morning news - May 4, 2021

Blinken visits the U.K., U.S. military drills, Andrew Brown’s funeral, Biden lifts refugee cap, and Bobby Unser dies

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, walks with Dominic Raab, Britain's Foreign Secretary, into Downing Street on May 3, 2021. Alastair Grant/Associated Press Photo

Blinken meets with Raab, other top diplomats in London » Secretary of State Tony Blinken and British Foreigh Secretary Dominic Raab on Monday jointly refuted once more an Iranian state TV report of a prisoner swap with the United States and Britain.

And after meeting in London, the two top diplomats also touted a joint response to China’s persecution of Muslim minorities and it’s crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong.

BLINKEN: Our two countries recently took measures to prevent British and American business from inadvertently supporting forced labor in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China. We’ll continue our robust cooperation to address the atrocities in Xinjiang, a crackdown on pro-democracy activists and politicians in Hong Kong.

Blinken met Monday with his counterparts from seven of the world’s richest countries, the so-called Group of Seven or “G7,” in London. The top diplomats met in person for the first time in two years amid COVID-19 concerns.

BLINKEN: There’s nothing quite like being face to face or sometimes mask to mask.

It was Blinken's first visit to London as secretary of state.

U.S. Army to kick off drills in Europe, northern Africa » The U.S. Army is set to begin a series of military drills this week in Europe and northern Africa. And some see it as a message to the Kremlin … in response to Russia’s troop buildup on its border with Ukraine. WORLD’s Leigh Jones has more.

LEIGH JONES, REPORTER: The Pentagon says the Army will carry out the drills into the month of June in Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Morocco, and Poland.

Brig. Gen. Christopher Norrie said “These exercises demonstrate our ability to command and control long-range fires across continents.”

He said “from towed artillery to long-range rocket systems,” the U.S. Army has the ability to rapidly deliver support to allies anywhere in Europe and Africa.

Secretary Blinken said Sunday that the United States is watching Russia very, very closely. Many of the Russian troops massed on the Ukranian border have pulled back in recent days, but thousands of troops remain in the area.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Leigh Jones.

Mourners honor Andrew Brown at private service » Mourners gathered in Elizabeth City, North Carolina Monday to remember Andrew Brown. Brown was a 42-year-old black man shot and killed by deputies in the coastal town last month.

Brown’s grandmother Sandra White said Brown did not die in vain.

WHITE: There is none like God. He is in control. Let’s look how he sent Andrew home. Now Andrew is resting, but he left some fighters and he left prayer warriors.

Speakers at the private funeral service, including Al Sharpton, called for the release of video footage from the April 21st incident.

A judge ruled last week that the videos would not be made public for at least a month to avoid interfering with an ongoing investigation.

The shooting occurred as deputies tried to serve drug-related warrants.

Family members who were privately shown a portion of the body camera video say Brown had both hands on the steering wheel of his car and was no threat to the deputies.

But Pasquotank District Attorney Andrew Womble said it was only when his car struck one of the officers that the deputies opened fire.

The shooting sparked days of protests in Elizabeth City.

Biden formally lifts refugee cap » President Biden is formally lifting the nation's refugee cap after bipartisan criticism. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown reports.

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN: The president is now raising the cap to nearly 63,000 this year, weeks after taking heat from both sides of the aisle for an initial delay in raising the limit.

The move will more than quadruple the cap of 15,000 set by former President Trump.

Biden last month moved to expand the eligibility criteria for resettlements. But he initially stopped short of lifting the annual cap, with aides saying they didn’t think it was necessary. But the president faced blowback for not at least taking the symbolic step of authorizing more refugees to enter the country.

In a statement, Biden said Trump’s cap “did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees.”

The White House says Biden remains committed to setting the cap at 125,000 for the 2022 fiscal year that starts in October.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.

Racing icon Bobby Unser dies » Racing icon Bobby Unser has died at the age of 87.

Unser was a member of one America’s most famed racing families and one of the most accomplished drivers in the history of the Indianapolis Speedway.

He won the Indianapolis 500 in 1968, 1975 and 1981.

Unser was one of six members of the Unser family to race in the Indy 500. His older brother, Jerry, died in a crash preparing for the race in 1959.

His brother Al Unser is one of only three drivers to win the Indy 500 four times. The family tradition stretched to Bobby’s nephew, Al Unser Jr., who won Indy in 1992 and 1994.

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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