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News Wrap: Obama commutes prison sentences for 79 more

November 22, 2016 at 6:45 PM EST
In our news wrap Tuesday, President Obama commuted the sentences of another 79 federal offenders, taking him over the 1,000 mark. The White House says that’s more than the past 11 chief executives combined. Also, a federal judge in Texas blocked a rule that would make more than 4 million workers eligible for overtime pay. The U.S. Labor Department regulation was set to start Dec. 1.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: President Obama commuted the sentences of another 79 federal prisoners today, taking him over the 1,000 mark. The White House says that’s more than the last 11 chief executives combined. Mr. Obama has focused on nonviolent drug offenders, arguing that it makes no sense for them to serve long prison terms.

A federal judge in Texas has blocked a rule making more than four million workers eligible for overtime pay. The U.S. Labor Department regulation was set to take effect December 1, but 21 states sued to stop it. The rule mandates overtime for anyone making less than about $47,000. That’s double the current standard.

A school bus driver in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will face charges of vehicular homicide in Monday’s crash that left five young children dead. Authorities say Johnthony Walker was going well over the speed limit when the bus smashed into a tree. Crews at the crash site removed the wreckage today, and the National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to investigate.

CHRISTOPHER HART, Chairman, NTSB: We certainly send our condolences to the parents of those children. My daughter rides a school bus every day. I understand that. We will do everything we can to try to prevent this from happening again.

JUDY WOODRUFF: A dozen schoolchildren were still hospitalized today, six of them in intensive care. Walker is scheduled to appear in court early next week.

A San Antonio man says that he was angry about a child custody fight before he allegedly shot a police officer. Otis McKane was arrested Monday, a day after Detective Benjamin Marconi was ambushed in his police car. McKane answered questions from reporters last night as he was being taken to jail. He said he didn’t know Marconi.

OTIS MCKANE, Suspect: I have been through several custody battles, and I was upset at the situation I was in. And I lashed out at somebody who didn’t deserve it.

QUESTION: Do you have anything to say to his family?

OTIS MCKANE: I’m sorry.

JUDY WOODRUFF: McKane now faces a capital murder charge.

In Turkey, a sweeping purge ensnared another 15,000 soldiers, police and civil servants today. It’s part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s expanding crackdown since last summer’s failed coup attempt. More than 38,000 people have been jailed, and more than 100,000 ousted from their jobs.

General Motors will be allowed to delay recalling millions of vehicles in the U.S. for potentially defective air bags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agreed to the unusual move today. It includes 6.8 million older model pickups and SUVs. GM has argued that the Takata air bag inflators in those vehicles are, in fact, safe. The company now has until August of next year to prove it.

And on Wall Street, the post-election market rally cracked yet another barrier. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 67 points to close above 19000 for the first time. The Nasdaq rose 17, and the S&P 500 added four.

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