For WORLD Radio, I’m Kent Covington.
Iran nukes » Iran says it’s closer than ever to being able to make a nuclear bomb.
State media reported Tuesday that the country has begun producing enriched uranium at 60% purity. That is one short technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters …
KIRBY: We certainly have not changed our view that we will not allow Iran to achieve a nuclear weapons capability.
Kirby said new sanctions against Iran are not off the table.
Trump taxes » The Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for the Treasury Dept. to hand over former President Trump’s tax returns to House Democrats after a three-year legal fight.
The court, with no noted dissents, rejected Trump’s plea to halt the handover of six years of tax returns.
Lower courts ruled that the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee has broad authority to obtain tax returns.
Indonesia quake update » In Indonesia, the death toll has risen sharply from a powerful earthquake as rescue efforts continue. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Rescue crews used circular saws, jackhammers, and sometimes their bare hands on Tuesday to sift through the rubble of flattened buildings.
At least 268 people are confirmed dead after a 5.6 magnitude quake rocked the nation’s most populated island.
Many more remain missing and thousands of injured patients are overwhelming hospitals on the island of Java.
Many patients are hooked up to IV drips and lie on stretchers and cots in tents set up outside.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Biden extends student loan pause » The courtroom battle continues over President Biden’s plan to erase large portions of federal student loan debt. But in the meantime, he announced on Tuesday…
BIDEN: The secretary of education is extending the pause on student loan payments while we seek relief from the courts, but no later than June 30, 2023.
The moratorium was slated to expire Jan. 1.
If the lawsuit has not been resolved by June 30th, payments will resume 60 days after that.
Biden said Tuesday he is confident his plan is legal.
But critics say he’s greatly overstepping his executive authority to erase billions of dollars owed to the government without consulting Congress.
Fauci » President Biden’s outgoing medical adviser Anthony Fauci made one last pitch for COVID-19 booster shots at the White House Tuesday.
FAUCI: Please, for your own safety and that of your family, get your updated COVID-19 shot as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself, your family and your community.
Updated boosters have been a hard sell for many Americans as the pandemic wanes. Only about 13% of U.S. adults so far have gotten one.
Fauci also said he’s prepared to answer questions from a Republican-led House in January.
FAUCI: I have no trouble testifying. We can defend and explain and stand by everything that we’ve said.
Republicans have vowed to scrutinize the government’s response to COVID-19 as well the origins of the virus. Some lawmakers have accused Fauci of not being forthcoming about so-called “gain of function” research.
Title 42 » A coalition of Republican-led states is making an effort to keep a pandemic-era policy in place at the border. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has that story.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: Fifteen states have filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit over Title 42. They argue that they will suffer irreparable harm if the policy is rescinded.
The Title 42 rule uses emergency public health authority to allow the government to more easily expel some migrants who cross the southern border illegally.
The policy is set to end Dec. 21st with officials already overwhelmed by a record-high traffic at the border.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
I’m Kent Covington. For more news, features, and analysis, visit us at wng.org.
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