News Wrap: Biden signs short-term spending bill to avoid government shutdown

In our news wrap Friday, President Biden signed a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown by keeping federal agencies open through next week, basketball star Brittney Griner left a medical center in Texas after recovering from her time in a Russian prison and Russian missiles blasted Ukrainian cities in one of the war's largest aerial assaults.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    There are late-breaking news reports today that the January 6 Committee in Congress is ready to vote on seeking criminal charges against former President Donald Trump.

    The panel holds its final meeting on Monday. It is widely reported that lawmakers will consider asking that the Justice Department pursue multiple charges. They could include insurrection, obstruction, and conspiracy to defraud the government.

    Five current and former State Troopers in Louisiana are now accused of brutalizing and killing a Black man and obstructing investigations. The arrest of Ronald Greene in 2019 generated allegations of cover-up and multiple investigations.

    Roby Chavez reports from New Orleans. And a warning: Some of these details are graphic.

  • Roby Chavez:

    After a years-long investigation, a moment of celebration…

  • Speaker:

    Five officers have been charged.


  • Roby Chavez:

    … as the family of Ronald Greene learned the five officers involved in his deadly 2019 arrest are being charged with state crimes.

    But Greene's mother said the indictments still fall short of justice.

    Mona Hardin, Mother of Ronald Greene: This is three-and-a-half years of a murder and a cover-up. Let's not forget who aided and abetted, to where we had to really struggle just to get what we got today.

  • Roby Chavez:

    Greene's death gave his family cause for suspicion from the start, when authorities said he died in a car crash at the end of a high-speed chase. The body camera footage was withheld from the autopsy.

    It finally emerged last year, when the Associated Press obtained it, bringing to light what really happened and likely led to Greene's death. Then that graphic video, troopers are seen stunning the 49-year-old Greene repeatedly, ignoring his calls for help.

  • Ronald Greene, Died Following Arrest:

    Officer, I'm scared. I'm just scared.

  • Roby Chavez:

    One trooper who faces the most serious of the charges drags him by his ankle shackles and digs his foot into Greene's back to force him to lay down.

    The video shows Greene face down in the dirt for more than nine minutes. The five officers will face charges from negligent homicide to malfeasance.

    The NAACP president in Baton Rouge reacted today.

  • Eugene Collins, President, NAACP Baton Rouge:

    I'm deeply saddened that it took all of this, even with a video of a Black man getting beat to death on the side of a road. It never should have gotten here.

  • Roby Chavez:

    Greene's mother is urging substantial prison time for the officers.

  • Mona Hardin:

    They need to be held accountable., because, if not, you condoning you are condoning the killing of Ronald Greene. You're OK with my son being murdered.

  • Roby Chavez:

    A federal grand jury investigation into the incident and broader questions about possible obstruction of justice is still ongoing.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Roby Chavez.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Basketball star Brittney Griner has left an Army medical center in Texas after recovering from her time in a Russian prison.

    Griner posted on Instagram today that — quote — "The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn." She also urged efforts to bring home the other Americans held in Russia. Griner said she will resume playing for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury next season.

    Russian missiles blasted Ukrainian cities today in one of the war's largest aerial assaults. Ukraine said that it shot down most of the missiles, but the attacks killed at least three people and forced emergency blackouts. People in Kyiv took refuge in subway stations used as makeshift bomb shelters. Ukraine's leaders vowed again that the attacks will not make them give in.

    Japan is making a major break from its self-defense-only security strategy. The new policy calls for acquiring first-strike capability and cruise missiles. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said today that Japan's existing military cannot handle growing threats from China and North Korea.

  • Fumio Kishida, Japanese Prime Minister (through translator):

    Can the current capability of the self-defense forces deter a threat to our country? When a threat becomes real, can they protect our country? We carried out a realistic simulation. To state it frankly, the current situation is insufficient.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Beijing charged that the Japanese move amounts to — quote — "hyping up the so-called China threat."

    China's leaders pledged today to boost the country's economy after pandemic losses. That followed a two-day conference. The Chinese government has ended strict lockdowns that weakened economic growth, but there are growing fears of an explosion of COVID cases.

    In Peru, new protests have erupted after a judge ordered ousted President Pedro Castillo to stay in jail for 18 months on charges of rebellion. Supporters took to the streets overnight after the announcement. They defied a state of emergency to condemn Peru's Congress for removing Castillo.

  • Merina Chavez, Castillo Supporter (through translator):

    It is totally unfair. I hope the Peruvian people will rise up and defend the popular vote. We elected him. The Peruvian people elected him. The Congress did not let him work. All Peruvians are aware of this.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    At least 14 people have died in the ongoing unrest. Forty others remain hospitalized.

    Back in this country, the federal government now has the funds to keep running for one more week. President Biden signed a short-term spending bill today to avert a partial shutdown at midnight. That buys more time for Congress to pass a full-year spending package that could total $1.7 trillion.

    The father of a man who allegedly killed seven people during a rally at a July 4 parade in a Chicago suburb is facing criminal charges. Prosecutors announced seven felony counts of reckless acts, based on Robert Crimo Jr.'s decision to sponsor his 19-year-old son's application for a gun license. Crimo Jr. surrendered to police and will have a bond hearing tomorrow.

    A powerful winter storm has arrived in the Northeast with heavy snow and high winds after pummeling the rest of the country. Power outages spread as the day went on. Northern Pennsylvania to New England could get up to a foot of snow over the next two days.

    Starbucks workers kicked off a three-day walkout today as they try to unionize the coffee chain. Organizers estimated more than 1,000 baristas at 100 stores were taking part. It's the latest in a series of labor actions. There have been votes to unionize at more than 260 of Starbucks' 9,000 company-run stores in the U.S.

    And, on Wall Street, recession worries weighed on stocks again, with major indexes down roughly 1 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 281 points to close at 32920. The Nasdaq fell 105 points. The S&P 500 slipped 43. For the week, the Dow lost nearly 1.7 percent, the Nasdaq fell 2.7 percent, the S&P 500 dropped 2 percent.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": journalists covering Twitter CEO Elon Musk have their accounts suspended; David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart weigh in on the week's political headlines; members of the armed forces band together to celebrate Hanukkah through song; plus much more.

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