Wednesday morning news: July 19, 2023

Trump fed probe » Republicans say the Biden Justice Department has a credibility problem in the wake of news that Donald Trump is the target of another federal criminal probe.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise:

SCALISE: Unfortunately, there’s example after example after example of the Biden administration weaponizing government against their political enemies.

His remarks come after Trump said Tuesday that he received a letter informing him that the Justice Department is investigating him over alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Trump was already facing possible state charges in Georgia on the same matter.

Democrats say they have full confidence in the Justice Department.

Trump overshadows field » And the steady media focus on Trump’s legal woes is casting a large shadow over the rest of the Republican presidential field with candidates finding it hard to get their message out.

Second place GOP challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis campaigned in South Carolina Tuesday rolling out his military policy plans.

He blasted President Biden’s push to transition to electric military vehicles.

DESANTIS: The more and more you inject this type of political agenda into military, you are giving China a competitive advantage.

After speaking, DeSantis fielded four questions … all of them were centered on Donald Trump rather than the governor’s policy proposals.

Russia strikes grain port » Russia launched a fresh attack on the port of Odessa Tuesday, one day after backing out of a wartime deal allowing Ukraine to safely ship grain through the Black Sea.

Moscow claims the attack only hit military targets.

But U.S. State Department spokesman Matt Miller responded:

MILLER – It is clear that Russia continues to use food as a weapon of war. This time, the impact is not only on the people of Ukraine, but also on global food supply and prices.

Turkey and the United Nations brokered the grain deal last summer.

Herzog in DC & protests in Israel » Israeli President Isaac Herzog is on Capitol Hill today where he’ll address a joint session of Congress, marking Israel’s 75th year of statehood.

Herzog met with President Biden at the White House yesterday.

Biden: America’s commitment to Israel is firm. It is ironclad. And we’re committed as well to assure that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon.

Back in Israel Tuesday, protesters packed the streets … denouncing a proposed overhaul of the country’s judicial system.

Herzog told reporters:

Herzog: It’s a heated debate, but it’s also a virtue and a tribute to the greatness of Israeli democracy. Israeli democracy is sound, strong, is resilient.

Herzog will address Congress at 11 a.m. eastern this morning.

Heat moves east » A massive heatwave already baking the Southwest is creeping eastward.

Austin and Dallas, Texas hit 106 degrees Tuesday.

Little Rock, Arkansas expected to top 100 today.

And National Weather Service forecaster Bob Oravec cautions:

ORAVEC: There is really no end in sight to the large scale pattern that is supporting this Heatwave, as we look forward over the next week or two doesn’t look like it’s gonna change.

Out West, Arizona has hit at least 110 degrees now 19 days straight.

Philippines drug war » The International Criminal Court says it is reopening an investigation into the Philippines’ deadly “war on drugs.” WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.

JOSH SCHUMACHER: The ICC suspended its original investigation into the matter in 2021 when the Philippines claimed it had launched an internal investigation. But the court now says a domestic probe is not sufficient.

The Philippines government has confirmed more than 6,000 deaths connected to the country’s war on drugs. But human rights groups say the actual number could be twice that amount.

Former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte withdrew the country from the International Criminal Court in 2019. But the court says it still has jurisdiction over cases involving crimes that allegedly took place before the Philippines withdrew.

For WORLD, I am Josh Schumacher

Lloyd Austin abortion remarks » Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday suggested that China must be happy about Republican efforts to halt taxpayer dollars from funding abortion tourism for service members.

AUSTIN: I would imagine our adversaries would look at something like this and be pretty happy that we create this type of turbulence within our force.

A defense spending bill passed by House Republicans last week would block the Pentagon from paying travel expenses for servicemembers traveling between states to seek an abortion.

American soldier in North Korea » An American soldier is in now North Korean custody after he willfully crossed the border from South Korea during a tour of the Joint Security Area.

The Pentagon says Private 2nd Class Travis King was facing disciplinary action in the United States for an alleged offense. And apparently skipped out on his scheduled flight and fled to North Korea.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin:

AUSTIN: We’re closely monitoring and investigating the situation and working to notify the soldier’s next of kin and engaging to address this incident.

Americans have routinely been held as political prisoners in North Korea for decades.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: The debate over national defense spending priorities. Plus, finding the migrants who go missing.

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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