In our news wrap Thursday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii suspended her longshot bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. In a message to her supporters, Gabbard said that despite her political differences with former Vice President Joe Biden, he is the best choice to unite the country. Also, both Iran and Lebanon released American prisoners for medical reasons.
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In the day's other news: Iran granted a medical furlough to U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, part of a wider release of prisoners amid the coronavirus pandemic. He had been jailed since 2018 for insulting Iran's supreme leader. He must remain in Iran for now.
And Lebanon freed Amer Fakhoury. He had been held since September for overseeing torture of Lebanese, but now has stage four cancer.
In Washington, President Trump lauded the news.
President Donald Trump:
The United States has no higher priority than the safety and well-being of our citizens.
We have gotten a tremendous number of hostages out, as you know. I think we're 42 and 0. I want to let everyone know that recovering Americans held captive and imprisoned abroad continues to be a top priority for my administration.
The president also called on the Syrian government for the release of journalist Austin Tice, who was kidnapped in Syria in 2012.
In the U.S. presidential campaign, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii suspended her long-shot bid for the Democratic nomination today. Instead, she endorsed Joe Biden in a message to her supporters.
Gabbard said that, despite their political differences, Biden is the best choice to unite the country.
And the Olympic Torch was officially handed over to organizers of the Tokyo Summer Games, under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. The normally elaborate ceremony was held in an empty stadium in Athens, Greece. The Japanese delegation was unable to attend due to travel restrictions. There have been calls to delay the July Games because of the pandemic.