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News Wrap: Kurdish forces launch Raqqa campaign against ISIS

November 7, 2016 at 6:45 PM EST
In our news wrap Monday, Kurdish-led forces pressed toward the Islamic State’s de facto capital Raqqa after announcing the offensive Sunday. Also, the Justice Department announced it is sending 500 staffers to 28 states to watch for civil rights violations at the polls, a third of what it sent in 2012. The Supreme Court refused to re-impose Democrat-sought curbs on partisan poll watchers in Ohio.
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HARI SREENIVASAN: In the day’s other news: The Justice Department announced it is sending more than 500 staffers to 28 states to watch for civil rights violations at the polls. That’s down a third from four years ago.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court refused today to reimpose curbs on partisan poll watchers in Ohio. Democrats wanted the restrictions, citing fears of voter intimidation.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Wall Street shot higher today, as investors appeared to shed doubts about the election outcome. That came after the FBI said newly found e-mails warrant no action against Hillary Clinton. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 371 points to close at 18259. The Nasdaq rose nearly 120, and the S&P 500 added 46.

HARI SREENIVASAN: In Syria, Kurdish-led forces pressed toward Raqqa today, the Islamic State’s de facto capital. They announced the offensive on Sunday, beginning what promises to be a prolonged fight. The U.S. military is providing the coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters with air support. An estimated 5,000 ISIS fighters are in the city.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Iraqi troops are still advancing on ISIS forces holding Mosul, and now they have found a mass grave with 100 beheaded victims. The site was uncovered just south of the city. It’s not known if the bodies are civilians or soldiers.

HARI SREENIVASAN: A thick layer of acrid smog hung over large parts of India today, the worst in 17 years. A million schoolchildren stayed home, and people lined up to buy face masks around the capital of New Delhi. The gray haze contains smoke, ash and other pollutants, causing shortness of breath, watery eyes and coughing. Environmentalists urged new government action.

SUNITA NARAIN, Center for Science and Environment (through translator): It is a public health emergency. We hope that the Supreme Court will advise the government to take some strict measures to clean the air around Delhi.

HARI SREENIVASAN: One plan that’s under consideration, bringing back a curb on road traffic.

JUDY WOODRUFF: China has barred two elected lawmakers in Hong Kong from taking office, after they openly advocated independence. It’s the first time that Beijing has gone that far since Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997. The maneuver has sparked new protests in the city against the communist government’s control.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Back in this country: The people of Cushing, Oklahoma, surveyed earthquake damage today. Sunday’s magnitude-5 tremor hit just west of the city, a major commercial hub for oil. Up to 50 buildings were damaged, and officials cordoned off parts of city. There was no damage to oil facilities. Oklahoma has had thousands of quakes in recent years, caused mainly by injecting oil industry wastewater into the ground.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Janet Reno, the first woman to be U.S. attorney general, has died in Miami of Parkinson’s disease. She served almost eight years under President Clinton, and was known for her blunt manner, once declaring, “I don’t do spin.”

But she drew criticism for authorizing a deadly raid on the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, in 1993, and the return of a Cuban boy, Elian Gonzalez, to Havana in 2000.

She looked ahead on the “NewsHour” in 2001.

JANET RENO, Attorney General: Until the day I die, or until the day I can’t think anymore, I want to be involved in the issues that I care about, how we make the law real for all people, how we give people access to the law.

I’m vitally interested in cyber-crime and in preparing law enforcement for a time when crime is international in its origins and its consequences.

JUDY WOODRUFF: In a statement today, President Obama called Reno an American original who left the nation a better place.

Janet Reno was 78 years old.

HARI SREENIVASAN: And in Philadelphia, a weeklong transit strike has come to an end just in time to avoid affecting voter turnout tomorrow. Public transportation workers and the main transit agency reached a tentative agreement on a new contract early today. It will boost wages, and provide better pensions and health care coverage.

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