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News Wrap: Belgian police charge fourth suspect in Paris attacks

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Police in Belgium charged a fourth suspect in the Paris attacks today. The suspect was swept up in a 24-hour dragnet, but was the only person charged. Fifteen others were released.

    The prime minister decided to keep Brussels on its highest state of alert through at least next week.

    We have a report from Emma Murphy of Independent Television News in Brussels.

  • EMMA MURPHY:

    A European capital city, rush hour Monday morning, whatever the threat is, the government believed it is so serious that much of normal life has given way to abnormality.

    Armored vehicles patrol empty and closed shopping streets. There are soldiers on most junctions, and in such a climate all places where lots of people can gather, like universities, schools and nurseries, are shut. This isn't a city in fear, but it is a city in flux.

  • MAN:

    It's necessary. It's necessary to have this security because the people, I think, feel safer with this kind of security.

  • WOMAN:

    I feel if the policeman — but if I do feel safe — I will be glad when I'm home.

  • EMMA MURPHY:

    It is affecting everyone's life, mainly the small everyday things like nursery for Nathaniel, fine for one day, but challenging if it goes on.

  • CHARLOTTE MCDONALD GIBSON, Brussels Resident:

    We just can't do the simple day-to-day things that you usually do. And there's police everywhere, even in my neighborhood, which is quite suburban, quite leafy. It's not in the sort of center of town, but there's police on the streets. There's police cars occasionally closing off the roads around here. So it's very unusual.

  • EMMA MURPHY:

    How long it goes on depends in part on this man, Salah Abdeslam. He still evades capture. He is part of this terror threat, but the action of the government here suggests there is something for than him for them to contend with.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Because of ongoing terrorist attacks around the world, the State Department issued a worldwide travel alert for U.S. citizens this evening, citing increased threats. It directed Americans to — quote — "exercise vigilance in public places or when using public transportation." It also suggested avoiding large crowds, particularly during the holiday season. The alert is set to expire in three months.

    Meanwhile, in a southern suburb of Paris, police said a street cleaner found an explosive belt in a pile of rubble, but without its detonator. French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron each laid a single flower outside the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people were killed.

    Later, Cameron urged the British Parliament to join France in the fight against the Islamic State.

  • DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister, United Kingdom:

    Later this week, I will set out in Parliament our comprehensive strategy for tackling ISIL. I firmly support the action that President Hollande has taken to strike ISIL in Syria and it's my firm conviction that Britain should do so too.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The French Defense Ministry said it has launched its first airstrikes from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, bombing Islamic State targets in Ramadi and Mosul, Iraq. France has already carried out strikes against ISIS targets in Syria.

    Syria was at the top of the agenda for a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The two leaders met in Iran. Both have been staunch supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and today Khamenei criticized U.S. efforts to begin peace talks.

    Migrants stuck in limbo along the Greek-Macedonian border stepped up their protests today, staging hunger strikes and blocking trains. They're mostly economic refugees who have been denied entry by Balkan countries because they're not fleeing war. Hundreds gathered behind gates and barbed-wire fences, shouting at police. Others taped or even sewed their mouths shut in a sign of protest.

    Flags flew at half-staff in the West African nation of Mali today to begin three days of mourning for the victims of Friday's attack on a luxury hotel there. State television aired photos of the corpses of two of the suspected gunmen, appealing for information on their identities. Three separate groups have claimed responsibility for the deadly siege that left 20 people, plus the two attackers, dead.

    In Nigeria and Cameroon, five suicide bombers, all girls, killed 12 people over the weekend. The attacks happened at an entry to Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri, and just across the border in Cameroon. Police blamed Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group whose six-year campaign of violence has killed 20,000 people.

    Voters in Argentina have ushered in a new era, electing their first conservative president in 12 years. Last night, Mauricio Macri danced on stage with his family at his Buenos Aires headquarters. The right-wing mayor of Buenos Aires beat the ruling party's nominee in a runoff, after promising to boost the economy and fight corruption.

  • PRESIDENT-ELECT MAURICIO MACRI, Argentina (through interpreter):

    The quality that we have, us Argentineans, we have to finally put it to work for our future. I want to say to you today as well as to our brothers of Latin America and to our brothers of the world that we want to have good relationships with all the countries. We want to work with all of you.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Macri takes office December 10. He inherits a country with 30 percent inflation and stagnant economic growth.

    Back in this country, police in New Orleans are trying to find out what sparked a gun battle in a crowded city park last night. Hundreds had gathered for an evening block party at a local playground when gunfire rang out. At least 17 people were wounded in the crossfire.

    Today, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called on witnesses to come forward.

  • MAYOR MITCH LANDRIEU, New Orleans:

    Here's the message to the guys who did the shooting last night. You can't run, you can't hide. We're going to find you. We're going to prosecute you. We're going to hold you accountable, and we're going to put you behind bars for our safety and yours.

    But, in order to do this, we need the community. There is only so much the police can do. We need the community to help us take back the streets.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    All of the victims are listed in stable condition. They suffered either direct gunshot wounds or were grazed by bullets.

    In business news, the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced plans to merge with Allergan, creating the world's largest drugmaker. The $160 billion deal means Pfizer will slash its corporate tax bill by moving its New York headquarters to Dublin, Ireland, where Allergan is based. The tax-saving ploy is known as corporate inversion, which the Obama administration has tried to crack down on.

    On Wall Street today, stocks gave up their early gains in late afternoon trading. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 31 points to close above 17792. The Nasdaq fell two points. And the S&P 500 also dropped two.

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