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News Wrap: After resounding victory, UK’s Boris Johnson calls for unity

In our news wrap Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for unity after winning a resounding new mandate to carry out Brexit. His Conservatives captured a commanding majority in Parliament in Thursday’s election. Also, in Algeria, a former prime minister was elected president, despite a boycott by pro-democracy forces. Thousands turned out to protest in Algiers and other cities as a result.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: The U.S. and China confirmed that they have the beginnings of a long-awaited trade agreement. The interim deal cancels a new round of planned U.S. tariffs against China, and scales back some others.

    China, in turn, will buy more American farm commodities.

    Both President Trump and Chinese officials talked today of what's next.

  • President Donald Trump:

    China would like to see the tariffs off, and we — we're OK with that. But they will be used as a negotiating table for the phase two deal, which they would like to start immediately, and that's OK with me.

  • Liao Min (through translator):

    The consultation in the second phase will depend on the implementation of this phase one agreement. So the priority for us is to sign this agreement and make use of the agreement to promote economic and trade cooperation.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    We will look at the trade announcement in detail after the news summary.

    The U.S. Supreme Court will hear three cases involving President Trump's refusal to release financial records. A state prosecutor in New York has subpoenaed eight years of the president's tax returns. Several U.S. House committees are seeking bank records. Lower courts have ruled against Mr. Trump.

    In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for unity after winning a resounding new mandate to carry out Brexit. His Conservatives captured a commanding majority in Parliament in Tuesday's election. That clears the way for Britain to quit the European Union at the end of January.

    Robert Peston of Independent Television News reports.


  • Robert Peston:

    Sheer jubilation after the queen confirmed he is staying as prime minister, celebrating the best election result for a Tory leader since Margaret Thatcher's in 1987, now all the more remarkable because, just six months ago, his party was wiped out in elections for the European Parliament.

    And what is even more remarkable is that he won seats from Labor that have never been Tory in modern times.

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson:

    To all those who voted for us for the first time, and those whose pencils may have wavered over the ballot, and who heard the voices of their parents and their grandparents whispering anxiously in their ears, I say thank you for the trust you have placed in us and in me. And we will work round the clock to repay your trust.

  • Robert Peston:

    What propelled him to victory was the slogan, "Get Brexit done."

    And, today, he begged a country torn apart by Brexit to come back together.

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson:

    After three years — three-and-a-half years, after all, an increasingly arid argument, I urge everyone to find closure and to let the healing begin.

  • Robert Peston:

    It was that famous bong…

  • Man:

    It is now 10:00, and we can reveal the full details of the joint forecasters exit poll.

  • Robert Peston:

    … that confirmed a political earthquake.

  • Man:

    A large Conservative majority.

  • Robert Peston:

    Labor seat after Labor seat fell to the Tories, starting with Workington and Blyth Valley.

  • Man:

    Twenty thousand.

  • Robert Peston:

    All through the former industrial heartlands of the Midlands, Wales, and the north.

  • Jeremy Corbyn:

    I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign. I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result.

  • Question:

    It is over, Mr. Corbyn, isn't it? It is over, isn't it?

  • Robert Peston:

    It is over for Jeremy Corbyn, though he will stay for a few months, until a successor is chosen by Labor members, quite a Christmas president for him.

    Just a few weeks ago, he was Parliament's hostage, not enough M.P.s to govern, and now his majority is so big, he can be confident of living here, and being our prime minister, for many years.

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson:

    Thank you all very much. And happy Christmas. Thank you.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    That report from Robert Peston of Independent Television News.

    In Algeria, a former prime minister has been elected president, despite a boycott by pro-democracy forces. Officials say Abdelmadjid Tebboune received 58 percent of the vote yesterday. They said turnout was 40 percent. Today, thousands of protesters turned out in Algiers and other cities. They charge, Tebboune is beholden to the same military-backed elite that has ruled for decades.

    A search team in New Zealand has recovered the bodies of six of the 16 people killed in a volcanic eruption. They are believed to have been Australian tourists. The volcano on White Island was still spewing toxic gases today, making the search a high-risk operation. Two people are still missing.

    Some 200 countries struggled today to reach agreement as a climate summit wound down in Madrid. It appeared the so-called COP 25 gathering could put off action on key issues for another year.

    Meanwhile, in Brussels, European Union leaders pledged to make the bloc carbon-neutral by 2050.

  • Charles Michel:

    We want Europe as the first climate-neutral continent. We took this decision with respect for many concerns of different countries, because we know that it's important to take into consideration the different national circumstances and also different starting points.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Poland was the only E.U. member nation not to sign on to the agreement.

    On Wall Street, stocks managed minimal gains, as investors weighed the worth of the trade deal with China. The Dow Jones industrial average was up three points to close at 28135. The Nasdaq rose 17 points, and the S&P 500 added a fraction.

    And veteran actor Danny Aiello died overnight in New Jersey after a brief illness. His breakthrough came in "Moonstruck" in 1987 as Cher's jilted lover. He also played pizza shop owner Sal in Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" and earned an Oscar nomination. Other movie credits included "Fort Apache," "The Bronx" and "Once Upon a Time in America."

    Danny Aiello was 86 years old.

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