JUDY WOODRUFF: And in the day’s other news: The Supreme Court of South Carolina ruled that same-sex couples deserve the same protections from domestic violence as heterosexual couples. The court said that the state’s existing law is unconstitutional. Several other states have already changed their laws on the issue. Activists expressed hope that today’s decision encourages more to do so.
The U.S. Senate voted down a proposal today to repeal the Affordable Care Act two years from now, while it works on a replacement. It was the latest sign that it is going to be tougher to win passage of a health care reform bill than it was just simply to get the votes yesterday to begin debate. We will have a full report on this after the news summary.
President Trump took a new verbal shot at U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions today. On Twitter, he complained that Sessions ought to fire acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe for allegedly being too close to his fired predecessor, James Comey, and to Hillary Clinton.
Even so, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders left open the possibility that the president may decide to keep Sessions.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, White House Press Secretary: He’s obviously disappointed, but also wants the attorney general to continue to focus on the things the attorney general does. Look, you can be disappointed in someone, but still want them to continue to do their job.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In the past week, the president has subjected Sessions to daily hectoring for recusing himself in the Russia probe. But at a rally last night, Mr. Trump rejected criticism of his own behavior, saying — quote — “It is so easy to act presidential, but that’s not going to get it done.”
In Afghanistan, Taliban gunmen killed at least 26 Afghan soldiers today after storming an army base in the country’s south. The attack took place near Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city. It came as the Taliban has made significant gains across the country.
Back in this country, a bit of good news: Republican Congressman Steve Scalise has been released from a Washington hospital after being shot and critically wounded last month. He will now begin what the hospital called intensive rehabilitation. The Louisiana lawmaker was one of four people shot by a gunman during a baseball practice. He has had several surgeries.
The Federal Reserve is keeping its standard interest rate unchanged. The Central Bank today cited solid job gains, but noted that inflation remains below the target level. Fed officials already raised rates twice this year.
President Trump today announced that the Taiwan-based Foxconn will build a $10 billion plant in Wisconsin to make liquid crystal display panels. It could mean 3,000 jobs, if it’s built. Foxconn has not always followed through on new projects in the U.S.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 97 points to close at 21711. The Nasdaq rose 10, and the S&P 500 was up a fraction.