It's the Midday News Wrap for Friday, June 21, 2019. The big news today is the increasing tension between the United States and Iran, following alleged Iranian attacks on foreign oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, and its downing of a US drone aircraft, which Tehran claims was in Iranian airspace. Overnight, President Trump ordered an attack on military targets in Iran, and according to Trump's Friday morning Tweets, after the mission was underway, he changed his mind, and the attack on Iran was called off.
To help put these events into context, Tom talks with two close observers of the long-simmering U.S.-Iran conflict: David Ignatius is an associate editor and syndicated columnist for the Washington Post. He joins us on the line from Washington, DC. And Dan Lamothe is a national security and military affairs reporter for the Post; he joins us from the Pentagon.
Our other big story this week also involves President Trump. With more than 20 Democratic candidates for president hoping to challenge Mr. Trump in 2020, the President officially kicked-off his re-election campaign Wednesday night at a boisterous rally in Orlando, Florida. Anne Gearan covers the White House for the Washington Post. She was at that rally, and joins us on the line from the White House.
A special thanks to Rob Velazquez, Midday's summer intern, for his help on today's NewsWrap.
As Tom mentioned during today's program, in response to a listener's email, we're providing a link to the transcript of a 2001 PBS Newshour interview by Margaret Warner with Wall Street Journal reporter Doug Blackmon, discussing the reasons for the U.S. and Israeli delegations' withdrawal from the September 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism, held in Durbin, South Africa. That withdrawal was referred to by one of our panelists on Wednesday's Midday broadcast on Reparations. We are also providing here a link to the full text of the Durbin Declaration, adopted at the conclusion of that conference.