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News Wrap: Chris Christie draws fire for using closed state beach

July 3, 2017 at 6:50 PM EDT
In the our news wrap Monday, it's day three of a state government shutdown in New Jersey over a budget showdown between Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic lawmakers. On Sunday, he drew criticism for using the governor's residence at a state beach that's now closed to the public. Also, President Trump showed no sign of backing off after tweeting a mock video of himself tackling a CNN logo.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Spending fights in states across the country are heating up over this long Fourth of July holiday period, and none hotter than in New Jersey.

This was day three of a state government shutdown with Republican Governor Chris Christie and Democratic lawmakers at odds over the annual budget. Christie was being criticized Sunday for using the governor’s official residence at one of New Jersey’s public beaches that are now closed to the public.

MARY BRITT, New Jersey Resident: He has a place to go. So as long as he can go and his family can have a good holiday, I guess that’s more important than the people of New Jersey. It’s very sad.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Christie dismissed the criticism today in a phone call to a morning TV show. Asked about people being upset, he said, “Well, I’m sorry they’re not the governor.”

Meanwhile, Maine’s state government is also partially shut down over a budget fight. And lawmakers in Illinois are back in session, trying to resolve a budget standoff that’s now in its third year.

President Trump shows no signs of backing off his public feud with the news media. He tweeted criticism today of the media, claiming that news organizations are not covering his administration’s successes. The president drew new criticism on Sunday after he tweeted mock video of him tackling a man with a CNN logo over his face.

China’s President Xi Jinping warned President Trump today that U.S.-China relations are being harmed by a series of problems initiated by the United States. They include a new U.S. arms deal with Taiwan and American sanctions against a Chinese bank for its dealings with North Korea.

Chinese state TV gave Beijing’s assessment of the call.

PENG KUN, CCTV (through interpreter): Xi Jinping stressed to Mr. President Trump that since our meeting at the Mar-a-Lago resort, U.S.-China relations achieved important results. At the same time, the relationship between both countries has been impacted by some negative factors. We hope the U.S. can act earnestly in accordance with the one-China principle.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The phone call also came hours after the destroyer USS Stethem, seen here last summer, again sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea.

Iraqi army units in Mosul closed in today on the last sliver of the city still held by a few hundred Islamic State fighters. The government troops were backed by heavy airstrikes by the U.S. coalition. ISIS fought back with female suicide bombers in Mosul and elsewhere. They killed at least 15 people in the last 24 hours. One of bombers was just 15 years old.

In Germany, 18 people were killed when a bus full of senior citizens crashed this morning. Police say the bus rear-ended a semi-truck in Bavaria, and then burst into flames. Nearly 200 emergency workers joined the response and tried to recover bodies from the charred wreckage. Authorities say the heat from the fire was so intense, only the bus’ twisted frame was left.

Back in this country, automakers posted another poor showing for June, with sales numbers tumbling for the sixth straight month. Fiat Chrysler fell more than 7 percent, while Ford and GM were down roughly 5 percent. Meanwhile, Korean automaker Hyundai posted a 19 percent loss. Analysts say a downturn was expected after last year’s record sales numbers.

Wall Street cut short its trading day, ahead of the Fourth of July, but banks and energy companies made the most of it. They led the Dow Jones industrial average higher, adding 129 points to close at 21479. The Nasdaq fell 30 points, and the S&P 500 gained five.

And on the eve of the Fourth of July, there’s new evidence that Americans need to brush up on their history. In a NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll, only 77 percent correctly said the United States won independence from Britain. The rest were unsure or named another country, including Russia and Afghanistan. Even fewer, only 69 percent, knew that the American colonies declared their independence in the year 1776.

Got to work on that.

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