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News Wrap: U.S. military successfully stops missile in simulated attack

May 30, 2017 at 6:45 PM EDT
In our news wrap Tuesday, the U.S. military successfully launched a missile interceptor from an air base on the California coast to hit a mock warhead in mid-air, launched from over 4,000 miles away. Also, South Korea's president charged that the U.S. delivered more anti-missile launchers to his country without his approval and he demanded an investigation.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: The U.S. military announced that it knocked a mock warhead out of the sky in the first such test in three years. It targeted a long-range missile like the one that North Korea is developing. An interceptor launched from Southern California hit the warhead that was launched from more than 4,000 miles away over the Pacific Ocean.

South Korea’s president charged today that the U.S. delivered more anti-missile launchers to his country without his approval, and he demanded an investigation. Moon Jae-in took office this month after his predecessor was ousted in a corruption scandal. Moon wants to review the decision to deploy the THAAD anti-missile system. Now a spokesman says he wasn’t told about the new launchers arriving.

YOON YOUNG-CHAN, Presidential Spokesman, South Korea (through interpreter): President Moon was briefed on such facts, and said it was very shocking. He ordered his senior secretary for civil affairs and the national security council chief to find the truth behind the unauthorized entry of the four rocket launchers.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Both China and North Korea strongly oppose South Korea installing the anti-missile system.

The death toll in Sri Lanka has hit at least 194 in the wake of severe floods and mudslides. The disaster started last Friday. Today, Indian aid teams off-loaded shiploads of goods as rescue efforts continued. Water levels slowly receded as the weather cleared. Almost 100 people are still missing, and more than 80,000 are still displaced and remain in relief camps.

Back in this country, the Portland, Oregon, man accused of fatally stabbing two other men appeared in court today. Police say the victims intervened as Jeremy Christian was verbally abusing two young Muslim women. The 35-year-old suspect repeatedly shouted to the courtroom during his briefing hearing.

JEREMY CHRISTIAN, Stabbing Suspect: Death to the enemies of America. Leave this country if your hate our freedoms. You call it terrorism. I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The mayor of Portland says he hopes the killings will lead to changes in the nation’s political dialogue.

The city of Cleveland has fired the police officer who fatally shot a 12-year-old black boy, Tamir Rice. Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Rice at a recreation center in 2014. It happened moments after Loehmann and another officer answered a call about someone pointing a gun. It turned out Rice had a pellet gun. Cleveland’s police chief says that Loehmann was fired for inaccurate details on his job application, and not for the Rice shooting itself.

CALVIN WILLIAMS, Chief, Cleveland Police Department: There’s a 12-year-old kid dead, so, I mean, you know, people on both sides are going to say it wasn’t enough, it was too much. After, you know, over two years of investigation by our agency, the county prosecutor’s office and the sheriff’s department, I think we have come to a — what we consider a fair conclusion to this process.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Loehmann’s partner on the force was suspended for 10 days for a driving violation.

Meanwhile, five people are dead and 44 wounded in Chicago after a wave of shootings over the Memorial Day weekend. The holiday has become one of the deadliest times of the year in the city. This year’s numbers are actually lower than last year, when seven people were killed and 61 wounded.

Police in Florida now confirm that golfing great Tiger Woods had not been drinking when they arrested him early Monday. A police report confirms Woods’ statement that alcohol wasn’t involved. It does say the golfer was — quote — “asleep at the wheel” and that his speech was — quote — “extremely slow and slurred.” Woods is still facing a charge of driving under the influence. He blames a reaction to medication.

On Wall Street, a seven-day rally ended as interest rates fell and pulled down bank stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 50 points to close at 21029. The Nasdaq fell seven, and the S&P 500 slipped about three.

And former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega died in Panama City today. He grabbed power in the early 1980s and initially became a U.S. ally, but a U.S. invasion ousted him in 1989, and he served 17 years in a U.S. federal prison for drug trafficking and money laundering. He later served time in France and back in Panama as well.

Manuel Noriega was 83 years old.

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