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News Wrap: Trump meets with Scott Brown, Mary Fallin

November 21, 2016 at 6:50 PM EST
In our news wrap Monday, President-elect Donald Trump continued meetings at Trump Tower with potential cabinet members. Also, several cities are on edge after a series of attacks on police. In San Antonio, Texas, authorities searched for a man who ambushed and killed an officer in his cruiser on Sunday.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: President-elect Donald Trump continued his very visible process of meeting with people who may play top roles in his administration. The auditions weren’t public, but the comings and goings were.

John Yang has the story.

JOHN YANG: The planning for president-elect Trump’s White House was back at Trump Tower in Manhattan today after a weekend at a Trump golf course in New Jersey. Some are hoping to hear, “You’re hired,” like former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who wants to be veterans affairs secretary.

FORMER SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R-Mass.): I think he’s obviously going to take my application or interest under consideration. I’m glad that he called. I think I’m the best person, but there are some tremendous people out there. And I don’t look at it as a competition. Anybody who takes that job, which I believe is the toughest job in the Cabinet because it has really so many problems, in that it’s so visible.

JOHN YANG: Some, like Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, were early allies. She is mentioned as a candidate for interior secretary.

GOV. MARY FALLIN (R-Okla.): No, I not was not offered a position. It was just an initial meeting to discuss a wide range of topics.

JOHN YANG: Others, like former Texas Governor Rick Perry, were former rivals. He once referred to Trumpism as a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense. Now he’s talked about as a possible defense or energy secretary.

Mr. Trump also sat down with a prominent House Democrat, Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard. She’s a Bernie Sanders supporter who has been critical of both President Obama and Hillary Clinton. In a statement, she said they discussed foreign policy issues.

With visitors coming and going at a rapid clip, top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway made clear not every meeting is a job interview.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, Aide to President-Elect Trump: You have people flying in from all over the country meeting with him to give their advice, their counsel, share their experience and their vision for the country, some of which will result in appointments to his administration, and some who just wish to be helpful.

JOHN YANG: Network TV news executives and anchors also met with the president-elect in an off-the-record session.

For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m John Yang.

JUDY WOODRUFF: On a personal note, president-elect Trump said Sunday that he will move into the White House come January, but that his wife and young son will wait for the school year to finish in New York before joining him.

In the day’s other news: Several cities are on edge after a series of attacks on police. In San Antonio, Texas, authorities hunted a man who ambushed an officer in his cruiser on Sunday. The suspect visited police headquarters just hours before the shooting. The police chief says it’s “the worst nightmare” for the members of his force.

WILLIAM MCMANUS, Chief, San Antonio Police Department: Absolutely feel targeted. I feel we were targeted.

I think that the uniform was the target. And anyone who happened — the first person who happened along was the person that he targeted.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Another officer in Saint Louis was critically wounded in a similar attack. And two more officers were shot and wounded in Missouri and Florida. Overall, the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund reports that 60 officers have died by gunfire this year. That’s up 67 percent from 2015.

There’s been more trouble near a North Dakota camp where people are protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline. Last night, police used tear gas and water cannon in subfreezing weather when a crowd tried to cross a blocked bridge. Officials say protesters threw rocks and burning logs. Protesters gathered again today. They say the pipeline will threaten water supplies and desecrate land sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux.

The death toll has hit 146 after Sunday’s train disaster in Northern India. More than 220 people were injured. It happened in a village southeast of New Delhi as most of the train’s passengers were asleep. Today, the rescue effort was officially called off, and cranes and bulldozers cleared the mangled wreckage from the tracks. Investigators are now trying to determine what caused the accident.

In Syria, no respite today in the fierce new bombing of rebel-held Eastern Aleppo.

Dan Rivers of Independent Television News reports that hospitals are now high on the hit list.

DAN RIVERS: After a four-week pause the bombing of Aleppo has resumed and this last week has been more intense than ever. This morning, once again, there were repeated attacks, fear and confusion in the east of this city, the streets cloaked in a manmade cloud into which rescuers ran, unable to make out anything.

Hospitals were apparently frequently the target, the dust permeating every ward and every bed, leaving the dwindling number of doctors dazed in the horror. Tonight, not a single major trauma facility is left open in Eastern Aleppo.

On Friday, CCTV captured an airstrike on a pediatric hospital. From multiple angles, it shows the moment a busy reception room was suddenly plunged into darkness as patients and staff then tried to escape. This is a ward in Aleppo’s M1 Hospital last Tuesday full of injured children. And this is same ward today after it was hit by an airstrike.

MAN: You can see there is big remains all apparent, all the rooms smashed.

DAN RIVERS: In a city where it seems there is nothing left to bomb, the planes are still finding targets, a concerted effort to deny people the most basic medical care when they have lost everything else.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the U.S. today to set up a no-fly zone over Syria.

In Afghanistan, the Islamic State group has claimed a suicide bombing that rocked a Shiite mosque in Kabul today. At least 32 people died and scores more were injured. The attacker struck as a large crowd of worshipers had gathered. It’s the second major attack on the country’s minority Shiites in just over a month.

Pope Francis is extending a policy that lets rank-and-file Catholic priests offer forgiveness for abortions. It will continue beyond the Holy Year of Mercy, which ended Sunday. A papal letter today says abortion remains a — quote — “grave sin” under Roman Catholic doctrine. But he goes on to say: “There is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away.” A top Vatican official says that’s all-encompassing.

ARCHBISHOP RINO FISICHELLA, Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization (through translator): Technically, everyone who is involved in an abortion, that is the woman, nurses, the doctor, whoever supports this matter, the sin of abortion involves all. Thus, the pardon of the sin of abortion equally covers everyone, involves everyone who has played a part in this sin.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Until last year, only a bishop could grant absolution for abortion or allow priests to do so.

President Obama has reaffirmed his backing of the Trans-Pacific trade deal as it faces an uncertain future. President-elect Trump has called it a job killer and campaigned on a promise to pull out of it. The president spoke Sunday evening in Lima, Peru, as an Asia-Pacific summit ended. He said retreating from global trade is not the answer, and other leaders vowed to push ahead.

Some 500 workers are going on strike at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, but not until after Thanksgiving. Their union announced today the walkout will start on November 29 to avoid messing up travelers’ holiday plans. The workers are looking for union rights and a $15-an-hour wage. They’re mainly baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, janitors and wheelchair attendants.

And on Wall Street, oil prices surged amid talk that OPEC will cut output, and that, in turn, sent all of the major stock indexes to record highs. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 88 points to close at 18956. The Nasdaq rose 47, and the S&P 500 added 16.

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