JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: The contest for chair of the Democratic National Committee heated up. Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, announced he’s running.
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is also in the race, and several others may join.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Congress returned to work today for the first time since the election, chief on the agenda, keeping the government open past December 9, when current funding expires.
Republicans are expected to push a short-term bill, delaying a comprehensive measure until president-elect Trump is inaugurated.
In New Zealand, the military worked today to rescue some 1,200 people from a town hit hard by an earthquake on Sunday. It registered magnitude-7.8 and left tourists and locals stranded in Kaikoura on the coast. Highways into the town were destroyed by landslides and homes were leveled. The government sent ships and helicopters to rescue those who are stranded.
JOHN KEY, Prime Minister, New Zealand: The only way through is flying people in and out. There’s quite a number of tourists now who also could be stuck with international connections. So we will have to think about that.
There’s also the longevity of the businesses here, that, short term, aren’t getting a lot of customers, because, again, you know, because there’s no access point in and out.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The quake killed two people, and the prime minister estimated damage in the billions of dollars.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In economic news, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White, says that she will step down in the coming weeks. She’s been in the position nearly four years.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 21 points to close at 18868. The Nasdaq fell 18 points, and the S&P 500 slipped a quarter-of-a-point.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And the brightest moon in almost 70 years lit up the sky overnight. The so-called supermoon appeared much bigger and brighter than usual, as its orbit brought it within 221,000 miles of Earth. That’s the closest since 1948. It won’t happen again for another 18 years.