News Wrap: Volkswagen sued for emissions cheating

JUDY WOODRUFF: Wall Street started the year in a rout over the Persian Gulf tensions and a 7 percent sell-off in China. At the end of the day, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 276 points to close below 17150. It had been down 450. The Nasdaq fell 104 points, and the S&P 500 slipped 31.

The U.S. government is taking Volkswagen to court over emissions-cheating software used in diesel vehicles. A civil lawsuit filed in Detroit charges the cheating led to greenhouse gas emissions far beyond federal standards. Some 600,000 Volkswagen-made vehicles are affected in the U.S.

President Obama today defended his plans to tighten gun control restrictions without congressional approval. He said his executive action would fall within both his legal authority and the right to bear arms enshrined in the Second Amendment. The president spoke in the Oval Office, after a meeting with his Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Although we have to be very clear that this is not going to solve every violent crime in this country, it's not going to prevent every mass shooting, it's not going to keep every gun out of the hands of a criminal, it will potentially save lives in this country.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Mr. Obama will make the announcement tomorrow. He's expected to broaden background checks on gun sales.

An armed anti-government group stood their ground today at a wildlife refuge in Oregon. They seized the place over the weekend to protest what they see as federal overreach on public lands. The FBI said it's seeking — quote — "a peaceful resolution to the standoff." We will explore the story in full later in the program.

The flood tide along the Mississippi River is moving on, putting towns in southernmost Illinois at risk. The water has largely receded in the Saint Louis region, revealing widespread damage and leaving a series of towns to clean up. Meanwhile, near record crests are expected along the Illinois River this week.

And starting tomorrow, local governments across New York state will have to move the homeless off the streets and out of the cold, by force, if necessary. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an order yesterday to transport people to shelters when temperatures dip below freezing.

Today, in New York City, he said he will defend the policy against any legal challenges.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, New York: And they say, well, why are we doing this or why should we do this? I said because it's not right to leave brothers and sisters on the street corner. It's not right to leave children on the street corner.

(APPLAUSE)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO: It's not right to have shelter system that is so dirty and unsafe that people have to stay on the street corner. That's the only reason. It's not right.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, said he supports Cuomo's intent, but he argued it would take a state law to do what the governor wants.

In India, the military spent a third day clearing an air force base near the Pakistani border. Pro-Pakistani gunmen stormed the compound in Punjab state on Saturday morning, killing seven Indian soldiers. Search operations resumed around the base today as security remained tight. So far, five militants have been killed with at least one other still on the loose. The incident could endanger a recent thaw in India's relations with Pakistan.

An Indian consulate in Northern Afghanistan was attacked overnight, and it took all day to end the siege. Soldiers fired rockets and artillery at insurgents who holed up in a nearby building after they failed to break into the consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif. No group claimed responsibility, but the Taliban has carried out similar attacks before.

And authorities in Southern Mexico are investigating the murder of a mayor, apparently by drug gangs. Gisela Mota was killed on Saturday, just one day after taking office. The regional governor says the gangs mean to stop officials from calling in the state police. Mourners gathered yesterday to pay their respects, and some complained the government had failed to protect Mayor Mota. She was 33 years old.

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