JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: President Trump directed new criticism at his own attorney over the Russia probe. In a tweet, he called Jeff Sessions “our beleaguered A.G.” and asked why he and others are not investigating Hillary Clinton.
Last week, the president openly chastised Sessions for recusing himself in the Russia matter.
A diplomatic standoff between Israel and Jordan ended this evening. It had begun Sunday, when an Israeli Embassy guard in Amman killed two Jordanians after one stabbed him. The Jordanians said they wanted to question the guard, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted he has diplomatic immunity and must be returned home.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Prime Minister, Israel (through interpreter): I assured him that we will see to bringing him back to Israel. We are also holding contacts to end the incident and to bring our people back to Israel. And we are doing this determinedly and responsibly.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Later, the guard and other embassy staffers returned to Israel. The dispute added to tensions over new security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. They sparked protests on Friday, and several Palestinians were killed.
In Afghanistan, at least 24 people were killed today when a suicide car bomber rammed a bus carrying government employees. The Taliban said it was behind the attack targeting a Kabul neighborhood that’s home to leading politicians. At least 42 people were hurt.
Separately, in Lahore, Pakistan, a suicide bomber killed at least 25 people, many of them police. The Pakistani Taliban claimed that attack.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte insisted today he will continue a drug crackdown that’s claimed thousands of lives. In a state of the union address, he called the victims beasts and vultures and he vowed he’d go to prison first before giving in.
PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE, Philippines: The fight will not stop until those who deal in it understand that they have to cease, they have to stop, because the alternative are either jail or hell.
JUDY WOODRUFF: As Duterte spoke, thousands of left-wing protesters marched in opposition. He met with them later, but warned he will order police to shoot anyone who causes disturbances.
In Poland, the country’s president broke with his own political party today, vetoing two bills aimed at curbing the independence of judges. The legislation had triggered mass demonstrations.
Diana Magnay of Independent Television News filed this report.
DIANA MAGNAY: For days and long into each night, they protested in cities across Poland against judicial reforms they felt might snuff out what’s left of liberal democracy here.
It’s not a phrase the ruling Law and Justice Party had much track with, certainly not party chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski. But the man he cherry-picked for president last year, Andrzej Duda, just broke with party ranks.
PRESIDENT ANDRZEJ DUDA, Poland (through interpreter): Poland badly needs reform of the judiciary and I fully support this reform. But I support a smart reform, which would guarantee an effective functioning of the judiciary and improve the sense of justice in Poland.
DIANA MAGNAY: Cue an emergency meeting of the ruling party. No comments from the press, but expect the president, who until now has signed pretty much everything that’s crossed his desk, to put his stamp on any new piece of legislation, likely some kind of compromise, on reforms his party says they have a mandate for.
DOMINIK TARCZYNSKI, Member of Polish Parliament: So far, the judges in Poland had no responsibility at all. We as members of Parliament can be, I don’t know, put on trial or lose our mandate or just people revolt and decide our future.
So, we wanted to have very equal rights for everyone, for member of the Parliament, for the judge, and from the man on the street.
DIANA MAGNAY: Some on the street today felt their president hadn’t gone far enough, blocking two pieces of legislation, but not a third, which grants sweeping powers to the justice minister, including the right to appoint the heads of lower courts.
This evening, another demonstration outside the presidential palace by those whose notions of law and justice are entirely different from Kaczynski and his ruling party.
JUDY WOODRUFF: That report from Diana Magnay of Independent Television News.
The parents of a critically ill baby in Britain have dropped their legal bid to keep him alive. They’d been trying to move 11-month-old Charlie Gard to the U.S. for experimental treatment, but British doctors argued it wouldn’t work.
Today, the father, Chris Gard, said they have made their decision after new tests showed the child’s muscle damage is now irreversible.
CHRIS GARD, Father of Charlie Gard: We will have to live with the what-ifs which will haunt us for the rest of our lives. Despite the way our beautiful son has been spoken about sometimes, as if he is not worthy of a chance of life, our son is an absolute warrior, and we could not be prouder of him and we will miss him terribly.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The case has garnered international attention, with both President Trump and the pope offering support to the family.
Back in this country, President Trump called for Senate Republicans to begin debate on a health care bill. Party leaders say they will try advancing a measure tomorrow, but it’s not clear which one: a version that repeals and replaces Obamacare or a repeal-only bill.
The president said — quote — “There’s been enough talk. Now is the time for action.”
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 67 points to close at 21513. The Nasdaq rose 23 points, and the S&P 500 slipped two.