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Wednesday morning news: September 13, 2023

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WORLD Radio - Wednesday morning news: September 13, 2023

News of the day, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy opens an impeachment inquiry into President Biden’s family business dealings, and thousands are missing amidst flooding in Libya


The city of Derna after Mediterranean storm Daniel caused devastating floods in Libya Associated Press/Photo by Jamal Alkomaty

Impeachment inquiry » House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says his decision to open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden is now the only way for Congress to fulfill its role as a check and balance to the White House.

MCCARTHY: The American people deserve to know that the public offices are not for sale and that the federal government is not being used to cover up the actions of a politically associated family.

Republicans hvae been investigating Biden family business dealings with foreign nationals from Joe Biden’s time as vice president. They allege that the president and his son Hunter wrongly profited from an influence-peddling scheme.

The White House called the inquiry “extreme politics at its worst." And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declared:

SCHUMER: I think the impeachment inquiry is absurd. The American people want us to do something that will make their lives better, not go out on these chases and witch hunts.

Many Republican members do not currently favor moving to impeach the president. But they say launching the inquiry gives House investigators access to information they have so far been unable to get.

Libya update » In eastern Libya, authorities and aid groups say the scale of the devastation from recent flooding is staggering.

Tamer Ramadan with the Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent:

RAMADAN: What we can confirm now is that thousands of people have lost their lives. Thousands of people have lost their homes. And thousands of families are stranded or lost.

As many as 10,000 people are missing.

Local and international rescue crews are still searching for survivors.

Morocco update » Meanwhile in Morocco, authorities now put the official death toll at nearly 3000 after last week’s powerful earthquake. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN: Rescue crews from Spain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates are still pulling survivors from the rubble of crumbled buildings.

Moroccan authorities have actually turned away search and rescue help from France, Germany, and the U-S. Officials say the teams could get in the way, if they rush in uninvited and without coordination.

Aid workers are also providing food, water, and tents for survivors. 

For WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

SOUND: [Israel protest NATS]

Israel » Demonstrators took to the streets of Jerusalem Tuesday as the country’s Supreme Court heard the first challenge to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s overhaul of the court’s powers.

Justices will decide whether to toss out the law and provoke a constitutional crisis or cede power and possibly endanger minority rights.

Outside, some spoke out in favor of the plan …

CITIZEN: We want to balance the system. We want the government will have enough power to rule.

Others very much against it.

CITIZEN: Now, I feel that Israeli democracy is in peril.

The judicial overhaul would remove the high court’s power to strike down any law it deems unreasonable.

Netanyahu says the changes are needed to rein in judges that have grown too powerful. Critics accuse the prime minister of trying to weaken the Supreme Court in an unprecedented power grab.

SOUND: [Kim arrival]

Kim arrives in Russia » North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un stepped out of a green armored train car onto a red carpet in southern Russia on Tuesday ahead of meetings with Vladimir Putin.

The Russian leader’s expected to ask North Korea for ammunition for its war in Ukraine. But what’s in it for Pyongyang?

Temple University Professor James D. J. Brown:

BROWN: It would be more likely that food, energy will be provided. From the Russian side, I think they’ll hold back on providing high-tech military technology, at least publicly.

An arms deal would violate UN sanctions, which Russia supported in the past.

SOUND: [Helicopter shooting]

Joint drills Indonesia » In Indonesia American troops are nearing the end of two weeks’ worth of joint drills with Indonesian and Australian soldiers.

All three countries are stepping up their military preparedness casting a wary eye toward China which has grown more aggressive in the Indo-Pacific region.

Australian Major General Scott Witner:

WITNER: Doing that really builds our readiness, builds our capabilities and builds our partnerships and so we're very excited and happy with the way this exercise has gone.

But Beijing is not happy about the drills, accusing the United States of trying to build another NATO-type alliance near China’s doorstep.

Decongestants » The FDA may soon pull many top-selling decongestants off of store shelves. But not for the reason you might expect. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher

JOSH SCHUMACHER: Usually, when the FDA withdraws its approval of a drug or ingredient, it’s due to a safety concern.

But the agency may remove its backing of a key ingredient in decongestants for a different reason: it doesn’t work.

That’s according to an expert panel of advisors to the FDA.

Phenylephrine is found in over-the-counter pills like Mucinex, Dayquil and Sudafed P-E.

But Researchers at the University of Florida found that pills with phenylephrine consistently failed to outperform placebo dummy pills in test studies.

For WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.

I'm Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Laying the groundwork for impeaching the sitting president…on Washington Wednesday. Plus, World Tour.

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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