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Week Ahead: Florida Navy Base Shooting, U.K. Election, North Korea And More

A general view of the atmosphere at the Pensacola Naval Air Station following a shooting on Dec. 6, 2019 in Pensacola, Fla. (Josh Brasted/Getty Images)
A general view of the atmosphere at the Pensacola Naval Air Station following a shooting on Dec. 6, 2019 in Pensacola, Fla. (Josh Brasted/Getty Images)

The Florida Naval Air Station shooting. The upcoming U.K. general election. North Korea says it’s preparing a “Christmas gift” for the U.S. A roundtable of top reporters look ahead to a busy week in news.

Guests

Jennifer Williams, senior foreign editor for Vox. Co-host of the weekly international podcast “Worldly.” ( @jenn_ruth)

Matthew Karnitschnig, chief Europe correspondent for Politico Europe. ( @MKarnitschnig)

Charlie D’Agata, CBS News foreign correspondent. ( @charliecbs)

From The Reading List

Washington Post: “ Investigation broadened in Pensacola Navy base shooting” — “FBI officials broadened their probe Saturday into the deadly shooting rampage at a Navy flight school here amid reports that several of the gunman’s Saudi compatriots took video footage as the attack was underway.

“The shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola was labeled an act of terrorism by congressional officials, even as investigators continued to explore why a Saudi military student blasted his way through a classroom building early Friday, killing three people and wounding eight. The gunman, identified as Ahmed Mohammed al-Shamrani, was shot dead by a sheriff’s deputy.

“The FBI confirmed Saturday that Shamrani, a 21-year-old second lieutenant in the Saudi air force, was the shooter. Shamrani was a student naval flight officer, the FBI said.”

New York Times: “ Young Voters Helped Upend Last U.K. Election. Can It Happen Again?” — “As students from the University of Southampton zigzagged across campus on a recent cold afternoon, youthful activists with Britain’s main opposition Labour Party intercepted them with cups of tea and a leaflet with detailed instructions on how to register to vote in December’s election.

“‘Vote for jobs, vote for housing, vote for youth services, vote for the climate,’ the campaigners chanted, as students gathered around them to learn more.

“Brexit, generally supported by older generations, is seen by many young people as a threat to their ability to travel, study or work abroad, and continues to be one of the most important issues for youth voters, alongside the environment, education and housing, according to an analysis by YouGov, an internet market research firm based in Britain.

“In the 2017 general election, a dominant performance among young people helped Labour win enough seats to unexpectedly deprive the governing Conservative Party of its parliamentary majority.

“Now, as Britain prepares for its most pivotal election in decades on Thursday, Labour is targeting cities with high youth populations, hoping that they will offset losses in traditional Labour strongholds in the north that support Brexit by healthy margins.”

New York Times: “ North Korea Turns Up Pressure on the United States for Concessions” — “With North Korea’s deadline for American concessions fast approaching, the North announced Sunday that it had conducted a ‘very important test’ at a missile-engine site, rapidly ramping up pressure after months of carefully calibrated provocations.

“Although President Trump has generally played down the North’s actions, on Sunday — just weeks before the Dec. 31 deadline — he issued a strong statement of his own, tweeting: ‘Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way.’

“Analysts said North Korea had most likely conducted a ground-based test of a new type of engine for long-range ballistic missiles. But the North did not yet describe the test or release pictures of it, as it has in the past, so it is unclear whether it was a success.”

CBS News: “ Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre says Prince Andrew ‘knows what happened’” — “In a dramatic interview with the BBC, Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre shared details about her alleged encounters with Prince Andrew. It comes as the prince deals with fallout from his own interview with the BBC about his relationship with Epstein.

“‘He knows what happened. I know what happened and there’s only one of us telling the truth, and I know that’s me,’ Giuffre said.

“In her first interview on British soil, Giuffre said she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17. Her interview was taped before Prince Andrew went public, in his own interview, where he strenuously denied all allegations.

“‘I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady,’ he said.

“But Giuffre doubled down on accusations that the prince had sex with her on three occasions. She said she was brought to London by convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, where she was instructed to dance with Prince Andrew at a nightclub.”

Reuters: “ United States and Iran swap prisoners in rare act of cooperation” — “The United States and Iran each freed a prisoner on Saturday in a rare act of cooperation between two longtime foes whose ties have worsened since President Donald Trump took office.

“Iran released Xiyue Wang, a U.S. citizen who had been held for three years on spying charges, while the United States freed Iranian Massoud Soleimani. He had been facing charges of violating U.S. sanctions against Tehran.

“A senior U.S. official said Washington was hopeful that Wang’s release would lead to the freeing of other Americans held in Iran and that it was a sign Tehran was willing to discuss other issues.

“Wang appeared to be in good health and humor, he said.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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