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Tuesday morning news - September 14, 2021

WORLD Radio - Tuesday morning news - September 14, 2021

Lawmakers grill Blinken on Afghan exit, Taliban hunts U.S. allies, House Democrats finalize tax increase plans, Texas braces for Nicholas, and North Korea tests long-range rockets


Secretary of State Antony Blinken appears remotely on a TV monitor to answer questions from the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press Photo

For WORLD Radio, I'm Kent Covington. 

Blinken defends handling of Afghanistan withdrawal in House testimony » Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Monday defended the Biden administration’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Blinken told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee...

BLINKEN: Even the most pessimistic assessments did not predict that government forces in Kabul would collapse while US forces remained.

He once again blamed the Trump administration, saying President Biden inherited a deal with the Taliban to end the war. But Republicans have noted that the Taliban repeatedly violated that agreement.

The Ranking Republican on the committee, Congressman Michael McCaul, said he wasn’t impressed by the administration’s excuses.

MCCAUL: This was an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions. I never thought in my lifetime that I would see an unconditional surrender to the Taliban.

Republicans have been demanding answers as to why American citizens were left behind in Afghanistan. They said they did not get satisfactory answers on Monday.

Blinken will testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today.

Taliban hunts U.S.-trained counterterrorism agents » Meantime in Afghanistan, Taliban militants are reportedly hunting down U.S.-allied Afghans who were left behind.

The Times in London reports that Taliban death squads have hunted down and executed at least four Afghan counterterrorism agents trained by U.S. and British forces. They were said to be members of units based at the National Directorate of Security—NDS for short.

The reports says Taliban militants tortured at least one of the men before killing him.

A top official working at the headquarters of the NDS told the paper that the Taliban got a hold of laptops and paperwork from the headquarters after capturing Kabul last month and are using that information to hunt down NDS agents.

Earlier this month, CNN reported accusations that Taliban fighters murdered a pregnant woman in front of her family members. And militants have killed several anti-Taliban demonstrators.

House Dems unveil planned tax hikes » House Democrats have unveiled their planned tax hikes as part of $3.5 trillion dollar spending proposal. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown reports.

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee revealed a plan to fund the massive spending package by raising taxes on high-income Americans and corporations.

The largest increase, for businesses earning more than $5 million per year, would raise the rate from 21 percent to 26.5 percent. Couples earning more than $450,000 would be taxed at nearly 40 percent, up from 37. The plan also includes an additional 3 percent tax on people earning more than $5 million dollars.

GOP lawmakers say the tax hikes would hurt businesses and further stall job growth. Some also warn that raising corporate taxes could further fuel inflation.

The spending plan is in jeopardy. Democrat Senator Joe Manchin says he won’t support it. And without his vote, the bill cannot pass in the evenly divided Senate.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.

Nicholas slams Texas coastline » Tropical Storm Nicholas struck the Texas coastline last night after gathering strength over warm Gulf waters.

Nicholas battered coastal communities with winds around 70 miles per hour.

But the biggest threat with this storm is flooding. This will be a major rain event for days in Southeastern Texas and Louisiana.

Eric Blake with the National Hurricane Center...

BLAKE: We expect most of the Texas coast will be affected, especially the middle and upper Texas coast. We are expecting storm total rainfall of 8 to 16 inches with isolated totals of up to 20 inches.

Several schools in the Houston and Galveston area closed down on Monday as the region braced for the storm’s arrival, likely later today.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the state has placed rescue teams and resources in the Houston area and along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has already declared a state of emergency. The state is still reeling from Hurricane Ida’s destruction. Nicholas is expected to blow into Louisiana tomorrow.

N.Korea says it has tested new long-range rockets » North Korea said Monday that it successfully tested new long-range cruise missiles over the weekend. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The state-run Korean Central News Agency published photos of a rocket launching from a large truck and then what appeared to be a missile soaring into the sky.

The tested rocket reportedly traveled more than 900 miles before plunging into North Korea’s territorial waters.

Pyongyang is hailing it as a “strategic weapon of great significance.” The wording implies they intend to arm the rockets with nuclear warheads.

U.S.-led negotiations on the nuclear issue have been stalled since the collapse of a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and then-President Donald Trump in 2019.

North Korea ended a yearlong pause in ballistic tests in March by firing two short-range missiles into the sea, continuing a tradition of testing new U.S. administrations to measure Washington’s response.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

I’m Kent Covington. For more news, features, and analysis, visit us at wng.org.


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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