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In our news wrap Thursday, security forces in Iraq killed at least eight more people in anti-government protests in Baghdad. Medical workers said the victims were hit by live fire or tear gas canisters aimed at the head. Also, China demanded that President Trump veto two bills aimed at human rights abuses in Hong Kong. They mandate sanctions on Chinese officials who violate protesters’ rights.
In the day's other news: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted in three separate bribery and corruption cases.
It came as Israel faces an unprecedented third election in less than a year, with no political party able to form a governing coalition.
The country's attorney general announced the charges against Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
Avichai Mandelblit (through translator):
I made the decision to issue an indictment against him with a heavy heart, but wholeheartedly, with a feeling of deep commitment to the rule of law, to the public's interest and to the citizens of the state of Israel.
Law enforcement is not a matter of choice. This is not a matter of right or left. This is not a matter of politics.
Netanyahu has been prime minister for 10 years. He went on national TV today and claimed that he is the victim of a conspiracy by police and prosecutors.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (through translator):
I won't let the lie win. I will continue to lead the country according to the law exactly as written. I will continue to lead the country with responsibility, with dedication.
And for the rule of law and for justice, we need to do one thing. We need, at last, to investigate the investigators.
Some of Netanyahu's political rivals called today for him to resign.
We will take a closer look at Israel's political crisis after the news summary.
President Trump insisted today that a U.S. Navy SEAL will not be dismissed from the elite force for crimes in Iraq. Edward Gallagher had been acquitted of murdering an Islamic State militant, but convicted of posing with the corpse.
The Navy reacted to President Trump reversing Gallagher's demotion, said it would review Gallagher's status. But in a tweet today, the president overruled the decision.
But, later, Gallagher's lawyer said the Navy is going ahead anyway.
In Iraq, security forces killed at least eight more people in anti-government protests in Baghdad in some of the deadliest clashes yet. Medical workers said the victims were hit by live fire or tear gas canisters aimed at the head. The fighting focused on demonstrators barricading key bridges leading to a government center in Baghdad. Dozens more were wounded.
China demanded today that President Trump veto two bills aimed at human rights abuses in Hong Kong. The bills won final congressional approval yesterday. Among other things, they mandate sanctions on Chinese officials who violate protesters' rights.
China's Foreign Ministry rejected the measures out of hand.
Geng Shuang (through translator):
Such a detestable action of the U.S. not only undermines China's interests, but also the U.S. interests in Hong Kong.
China sternly urges the U.S. to see clearly the situation, stop its wrongdoing before it's too late, and immediately take measures to prevent this act from becoming law.
Meanwhile, more than 20 protesters, some wearing masks, surrendered at a Hong Kong university besieged by police. Others were taken out by medical workers. Some 1,000 protesters have surrendered or been captured at the campus since last weekend.
In Congo, an epidemic of measles has now killed nearly 5,000 people this year, despite a recent vaccination campaign, that word today from the World Health Organization. It says more than twice as many people have died from measles in Congo than from Ebola over the last 15 months. Nearly 90 percent were young children.
Back in this country, a federal judge has halted the first federal executions in 16 years, at least until a lawsuit over the issue is decided. The ruling was issued last night in Washington. It suspends four executions starting next month. The Justice Department announced in July that executions would resume.
The U.S. Senate today approved a bill funding the federal government through December 20, and avoiding a shutdown. The legislation went to President Trump, who signed it this evening. A fight over funding a border wall has blocked progress on a long-term spending bill.
Northern California's largest utility began restoring power today to some 120,000 people. That ended the latest planned blackout by Pacific Gas & Electric to prevent fires during high winds. The outages have been heavily criticized.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 54 points to close at 27766. The Nasdaq fell 20 points, and the S&P 500 slipped about five.
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