News Wrap: Sanders has private meeting with Obama to talk policy
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GWEN IFILL: Good evening. I’m Gwen Ifill.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And I’m Judy Woodruff.
GWEN IFILL: On the “NewsHour” tonight: gunfire after a traffic stop. One militant is dead and eight others arrested, while the FBI surrounds an Oregon wildlife reserve where activists continue a three-week standoff.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Also ahead this Wednesday: on-the-ground takes from Iowa and New Hampshire, just days now from the first voting.
GWEN IFILL: And a new memorial to honor those who served in World War I.
EDWIN FOUNTAIN, U.S. WWI Centennial Commission: You can’t understand the country that we live in today, you can’t understand that the world that we live in today, without understanding World War I, and this is our opportunity to try to do something with that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s “PBS NewsHour.”
GWEN IFILL: In the day’s other news, the Federal Reserve kept a key short-term interest rate unchanged. Fed policy-makers had raised rates in December for the first time in nearly a decade, but, today, they said they need to assess slumping markets and plunging oil prices. That could mean additional rate hikes will be coming — will be slower in coming.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Wall Street had wanted an even stronger signal that the Fed will delay further rate increases, and stocks fell as a result. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 222 points to drop below 15950. The Nasdaq fell nearly 100 points. And the S&P 500 slid 20.
GWEN IFILL: The focus of the Democratic presidential contest shifted, at least for a while today, to the White House. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders met privately with President Obama on foreign policy, the economy and politics.
Afterwards, Sanders brushed aside talk that the president’s recent praise of Hillary Clinton shows he favors her.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Democratic Presidential Candidate: I know there was some discussion the other day about a Politico interview where he was tipping the scale towards Secretary Clinton. I don’t believe that at all.
I think he and the vice president have tried to be fair and even-handed in the process, and I expect they will continue to be that way.
GWEN IFILL: Also today, Clinton called for adding another Democratic debate before the New Hampshire primary on February 9. But the Democratic National Committee said it’s sticking to its sanctioned schedule.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In Germany, the ruling Cabinet has approved new deportation measures for foreigners who commit crimes. Now the German Parliament has to sign off. The government is undergoing pressure to act since a wave of New Year’s Eve violence in Cologne and other cities. Much of it was blamed on migrants.
GWEN IFILL: The United Nations launched an appeal today for nearly $400 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. U.N. relief officials said it’s vitally needed to help a surge of refugees. More than 300,000 Afghans fled their homes last year, as fighting rose sharply.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The United States and China dug in today over how to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test. In Beijing, Secretary of State John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart agreed on the need for a U.N. resolution, but not on a U.S. call for significant new sanctions.
JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: It’s good to agree on the goal, but it’s not enough to agree on the goal. We believe we need to agree on the meaningful steps necessary to get to the achievement of the goal, to the negotiations that result in denuclearization.
WANG YI, Foreign Minister, China (through interpreter): In order to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, we have to first achieve denuclearization there. And only through negotiations will we eventually achieve denuclearization on the peninsula. Sanctions are not the goal. The key is to resolve problems.
JUDY WOODRUFF: China is North Korea’s lone major ally, but the U.S. has complained that Beijing is not using all the leverage it has to influence the country.
GWEN IFILL: Back in this country, the governor of Michigan is defending his response to the lead contamination crisis in Flint. Republican Rick Snyder visited the city and announced an advisory group to recommend long-term fixes for the water system.
But at a news conference, Snyder deflected criticism that he isn’t doing enough to reach out to the people of Flint.
GOV. RICK SNYDER (R), Michigan: I’m looking to do tele-town halls where I can get on the phone with people and have them ask their questions, the citizens of Flint, because I do care about the citizens.
QUESTION: So, will that be happening in the short-term, hear directly from the people?
GOV. RICK SNYDER: Yes. Yes. And it’s already starting and that’s going to continue. And that’s why I’m here today, and I will be back on a regular basis in Flint.
GWEN IFILL: Also today, environmental and civil rights groups filed a federal lawsuit to force replacement of all lead pipes in Flint. Governor Snyder said that might be an option down the road, but, for now, the state is focused on recoating the pipes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And Ferguson, Missouri, has reached a tentative deal with the U.S. Justice Department, stemming from the police shooting of Michael Brown. The proposed consent decree was announced late today. It calls for better training of police officers and changes in the rules governing use of force. The deal goes to the city council for its approval on February 9.
Still to come on the “NewsHour”: campaigns down to the wire in Iowa and New Hampshire; greed and sacrifice in the battle to protect Kenya’s rhinos; women working in what has historically been a man’s world; and much more.