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News Wrap: Barr says he’ll release version of Mueller report in April

In our Friday news wrap, Attorney General William Barr will give Congress a partial version of the Mueller report by mid-April, according to a letter he sent the chairs of both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees; Democrats insist it be delivered sooner. Meanwhile, President Trump threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border entirely if Mexico doesn’t stop people from crossing it illegally.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The U.S. attorney general will give Congress a partial version of the Mueller report by mid-April. William Barr sent word today in a letter to the chairs of both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. He wrote that the full report runs nearly 400 pages, and that — quote — "Everyone will soon be able to read it on their own."

    But he also said he is redacting grand jury and intelligence information, among other things. Barr has already said that special counsel Robert Mueller found no conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, but reached no conclusion about whether the president was guilty of obstruction of justice.

    In response, the president said he has great confidence in Barr. But the House judiciary chair, Jerry Nadler, said Democrats still want the full report by April 2.

    President Trump is now threatening to close all or part of the U.S. southern border next week unless Mexico immediately halts illegal immigration. He issued the new ultimatum today during a stop at Lake Okeechobee in Florida, and he had focused on caravans coming north from Central America.

  • Donald Trump:

    Mexico is tough. They can stop them, but they chose not to. Now they're going to stop them. And if they don't stop them, we're closing the border. We will close it. We will keep it closed for a long time. I'm not playing games. Mexico has to stop it.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The president said any border closure could include all trade with Mexico. In response, Mexico's foreign minister said that his country doesn't act on the basis of threats.

    Britain's lawmakers today voted down an agreement for leaving the European Union for the third time. Prime Minister Theresa May had promised to quit if her plan finally passed, but it wasn't enough. Britain now faces the prospect of crashing out of the E.U. without any agreement in two weeks' time.

    We will have a full analysis after the news summary.

    In Algeria, hundreds of thousands of protesters filled the streets in Central Algiers, demanding that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resign. It was the largest turnout since protests began six weeks ago. The 82-year-old Bouteflika has since dropped his bid for a fifth term. But crowds are demanding his immediate ouster without the ruling class hand-picking his successor.

  • Sabrina:

    We came out today to show that all the people reject this regime, and in a civilized, democratic way. Algeria has many candidates who are competent to take on the job. Why would you stifle them in their own country?

  • Judy Woodruff:

    At one point, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets after some in the crowd threw stones. There were protests in a number of other cities in Algeria as well.

    Health officials in Mozambique have confirmed 139 cases of cholera in the wake of a tropical cyclone two weeks ago. The outbreak was first declared on Wednesday, with just five confirmed cases. Hundreds of thousands are at risk from the deadly waterborne disease, especially in the ravaged city of Beira. The World Health Organization said that it will start mass vaccinations next week.

    Thousands of students in Germany skipped school today to demand action on climate change. They marched and carried signs that said, "I want snow for Christmas." It was part of a movement begun by a 16-year-old, Greta Thunberg, who's from Sweden.

    She spoke at the famed Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

  • Greta Thunberg:

    The older generations have failed tackling the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced. When we say to them that we are worried about the future of our civilization, they just pat on our heads saying, everything will be fine, don't worry.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The Berlin protest was one of more than 20 across Germany.

    Pope Francis mandated today that Vatican personnel and diplomats report sex abuse claims immediately. If they fail to inform Vatican prosecutors, they could be fined or face jail time. The new law directly affects Vatican City, but it is meant to be a model for the Catholic Church around the world.

    Back in this country, the Georgia Statehouse gave final approval to a ban on abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. That can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, and it would effectively outlaw all abortions in the state. Several Republican-controlled states have imposed strict abortion curbs, hoping to get the issue back before the U.S. Supreme Court.

    President Trump is losing another Cabinet member: Linda McMahon is resigning as head of the Small Business Administration®MD-BO¯. Mr. Trump announced it today at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. McMahon will now chair the pro-Trump campaign fund-raising group called America First Action. Her departure leaves four women in the Trump Cabinet of 22 members.

    The president's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, urged the Federal Reserve today to cut interest rates by half-a-point. Later, the president himself tweeted that the Fed's rate hikes have been a mistake.

    Meanwhile, Wall Street closed out its best quarter in years. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 211 points today to close at 25928. The Nasdaq rose 60, and the S&P 500 added nearly 19. All three indexes had double-digit gains for the quarter.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": Brexit remains uncertain as ever, as Parliament again rejects the prime minister's plan; how the battles over health care are playing out in court; why migrants are forced to flee Honduras after threats of extortion and death; plus, much more.

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