Wednesday morning news: October 18, 2023 | WORLD
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Wednesday morning news: October 18, 2023


WORLD Radio - Wednesday morning news: October 18, 2023

News of the day, including President Biden visiting Israel today

President Joe Biden walks up the steps of Air Force One. Associated Press/Photo by Susan Walsh

SOUND: [Air raid sirens]

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Biden/Israel » In Israel, air raid sirens continue to blare as Hamas fires more rockets over the border from Gaza.

Nevertheless, Air Force One is expected to touch down in Israel today as President Biden pays a historic wartime visit.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby says Biden wants to get—in his words “a fingertip feel for how things are going.”

KIRBY: That’s one of the reasons the president wants to go is to speak directly with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other government officials about their plans, about their strategy, about how things are going on the ground.

The trip is also meant as a strong signal of support for Israel.

The Pentagon has dispatched two aircraft carrier strike groups to the eastern Mediterranean. US officials say the move is designed as a show of force to dissuade Iran and its proxies, such as Hezbollah, from getting directly involved in the war.

Israel » Meantime, the death toll has continued to climb on both sides of the war.

SOUND: [Ambulance]

In Gaza, ambulances arrived to rush patients not to but away from a medical center after a massive explosion killed hundreds inside the al-Ahli Hospital.

SOUND: [Hospital activity]

Hamas blamed an Israeli airstrike. But Israel said a misfired Hamas rocket triggered the blast.

Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said Tuesday …

SINGH: It should be very clear that Hamas are the ones putting Palestinians or those in Gaza at great risk. I mean, they are putting their command and control units inside hospitals, inside areas where there are innocent civilians.

Israel has warned residents in northern Gaza to evacuate ahead of an expected Israeli ground assault.

U.S. officials say the Hamas terror attacks earlier this month were the deadliest attack against Jews since the Holocaust.

Brussels update » In Belgium’s capital city of Brussels, authorities shot and killed a suspected extremist accused of shooting three Swedish soccer fans this week on their way to a nearby stadium.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo:

DE CROO: Three people left for what was supposed to be a wonderful soccer party. Two of them lost their lives in a brutal terrorist attack.

Police say the Muslim suspect posted a video online in which he claimed credit for the attack and indicated that his attack was religiously motivated.

Speaker vote » Meantime in Washington, the House still has no speaker.

AUDIO: No person having received a majority of the whole number of votes cast by surname, a speaker has not been elected.

GOP Congressman Jim Jordan failed to win a vote on the House floor Tuesday, falling short of the 217 supporters he needs to become speaker.

But Jordan said if at first you don’t succeed …

JORDAN: We’re going to keep going. I had great conversations, great discussions with our colleagues. And frankly, no one in our conference wants to see any coalition government with Democrats. So we’re going to keep working and we’re going to get to the votes.

To win the speakership, Jordan will have to sway at least 17 more Republicans.

Trump back in court » Inside a Manhattan courtroom Tuesday a Trump company accountant, Donna Kidder, says she was told to make assumptions on internal financial spreadsheets that were favorable to the company.

She testified yesterday in a New York state civil trial against former President Donald Trump.

The former president again had strong words for the state official who filed the suit against him.

TRUMP: Letitia James, she shouldn't be allowed to be attorney general. She's defrauding the public with this trial.

In a summary judgment last month, a judge found Trump liable for alleged fraud.

Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, is expected to testify next week.

Wisconsin trans protections » Republican state lawmakers in Wisconsin have passed a bill that would protect children from transgender procedures.

The Help Not Harm Act would outlaw subjecting kids to cross-sex hormones or transgender surgeries.

The legislation now heads to Gov. Tony Evers desk, but that is where it will die. The Democratic governor has vowed to veto the bill.

I'm Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: News from Capitol Hill on Washington Wednesday. Plus, the challenges of running a church library in 2023.

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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