News Wrap: Biden reevaluating relations with Saudi Arabia after oil production cut

In our news wrap Tuesday, the White House confirmed President Biden is reevaluating relations with Saudi Arabia after OPEC cut oil production, the Supreme Court heard arguments on requirements that pork sold in California must meet animal cruelty standards regardless of its origin, prosecutors in Maryland dropped all charges against Adnan Syed whose murder case was chronicled in "Serial."

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  • William Brangham:

    Missiles and drones rained down on cities across Ukraine again today in a new Russian assault. The barrage struck from Lviv in the west to Zaporizhzhia in the south. One person died just a day after strikes that killed at least 19.

    It prompted Ukraine's President Zelenskyy to appeal to the G7 industrial nations for additional air defense weapons. We will have a detailed report after the news summary.

    In Iran, new protests erupted in the energy sector over a woman's death in the hands of the Islamic morality police. Fresh demonstrations broke out in Abadan in Southwestern Iran at a massive oil refinery complex. Oil workers began protesting Monday at several refineries. They joined in the anti-government actions that also rocked several cities today.

    The White House confirmed today that President Biden is reevaluating relations with Saudi Arabia. Last week, the Saudis and other OPEC members announced major cuts in oil production, a move that could help prop up oil prices and help Russia keep financing its war in Ukraine. White House officials said today the U.S. cannot ignore what the Saudis are doing.

  • Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Press Secretary:

    We believe, by the decision that OPEC Plus made last week, they certainly are aligning themselves with Russia. And, right now, this is not a time to be aligning with Russia, especially with this brutal, unprecedented war that they have started in Ukraine.

  • William Brangham:

    The White House gave no timetable for any action, but several top Democrats called for an immediate freeze on U.S. arms sales to the kingdom.

    Israel and Lebanon reached agreement today on a shared maritime border. It marks a potential breakthrough in relations between two countries that have technically been at war since 1948. It could also help both sides exploit natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

    And it was a somber day in Thailand, as funerals were held for many of the two dozen children killed in a shooting massacre at a day care facility last week. Grieving families gathered for their final goodbyes.

    Next to their small coffins, parents laid offerings for their lost children, toys and juice boxes, to offer some measure of comfort as they part. Mourners prayed for the 36 dead, 24 of them children, killed in the massacre at a day care center in the province of Nong Bua Lamphu, Thailand.

    Today, 18 of those children and one other victim were cremated in a group ceremony. At the funeral, the mother of a 2-year-old boy nicknamed Captain sat beside her son's coffin.

    Daoreung Jamnongnid, Mother of Mass Shooting Victim (through translator): On the day of the incident, I didn't give him a call. I normally do that every morning. It was raining that day, and I was in a hurry to go to work, so I didn't call him. I didn't get to say a word to him.

  • William Brangham:

    Temple organizers hoped the mass cremation, with open air pyres, would spare the families the pain of waiting for individual ceremonies. Cremation is a common tradition in Buddhism.

    The children were laid to rest dressed in costumes representing the lives they dreamed of, lives ripped away from them.

  • Attarith Muangmangkang, Volunteer Rescue Worker (through translator):

    The more we talk, we realize that these children have dreams to become doctors, soldiers, astronauts and police. We are providing those uniforms for them.

  • William Brangham:

    Soldiers, monks and family members led the funeral procession through a crowd of mourners. At the cremation, parents sat silently, watching the flames, offering a final goodbye to their children.

    Back in this country, the lead prosecutor in the Parkland school shootings in Florida urged the jury to impose the death penalty. Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty last year to murdering 17 people in 2018. In closing arguments today, the prosecutor said Cruz hunted his victims without mercy. The defense argued he suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome and asked for life without parole.

    The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected an appeal in the killings of nine Black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. The white gunman, Dylann Roof, had challenged his conviction and death sentence.

    Also today, the court heard arguments on requirements that pork sold in California must meet state animal cruelty standards, regardless of its origin. The outcome has implications for pork prices and for other laws that extend beyond state borders.

    Prosecutors in Maryland dropped all charges today against Adnan Syed, whose murder case was chronicled in the podcast "Serial." A judge overturned his conviction last month after DNA evidence excluded him as a suspect. By then, he had spent 23 years in prison.

    State's attorney Marilyn Mosby apologized today in Baltimore.

  • Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore State‚Äôs Attorney:

    The fundaments of the criminal justice system should be based on fair and just prosecution. And the crux of the matter is that we are standing here today because that wasn't done 23 years ago.

  • William Brangham:

    Mosby said her office will continue to pursue the case, looking for the true killer.

    The NASA spacecraft that was intentionally crashed into an asteroid last month has done its job. The agency announced today that the collision slightly shifted the asteroid's orbit. That capability might someday be needed if a large asteroid were headed toward Earth.

    On Wall Street, stocks failed to hold early gains on continuing worries about a possible recession. The Dow Jones industrial average rose just 36 points to close at 29239. The Nasdaq fell 116 points, 1 percent, and the S&P 500 slipped 23.

    A passing of note tonight: Angela Lansbury died today at her home in Los Angeles. She had an acting career that spanned eight decades. Her movie career began in 1945 and earned her three Academy Award nominations over the years. On Broadway, she won five Tony Awards, including for "Mame" and "Gypsy." Later, she starred in the long-running television series "Murder, She Wrote."

    Angela Lansbury was just five days short of her 97th birthday.

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