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News Wrap: Bolton, Russia can’t agree on election meddling

In our news wrap Thursday, National Security Adviser John Bolton raised election interference at a Geneva meeting with his Russian counterpart but was unable to agree on the issue. Meanwhile, Google announced it identified a misinformation campaign connected to Iranian state media, and what the Democratic National Committee thought was a hacking attempt turned out to be a security test.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news, White House and Kremlin officials appeared to be at loggerheads over Russia's interference in American elections. The president's national security adviser, John Bolton, said he raised the issue repeatedly while meeting in Geneva with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, to no avail.

  • John Bolton:

    We might have had a joint statement, but I felt it was important to mention election meddling, which we raised number of times during these consultations today, which lasted a little bit over five hours.

    But we weren't able to reach agreement on that. I made it clear that we wouldn't tolerate meddling in 2018, and that we were prepared to take necessary steps to prevent it from happening.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Moments later, Patrushev told reporters that Bolton didn't accuse Russia of election interference during their talks. Patrushev did say the two sides agreed to reopen foreign and defense ministry communications.

    Google announced today that it has uncovered a misinformation campaign connected to Iran and its state media. The tech giant terminated 39 YouTube channels, along with 13 Google+ accounts. That comes as the Democratic National Committee says and attempted hack they reported yesterday was a false alarm.

    What the DNC thought could be foreign meddling was actually the Democratic Party of the state of Michigan running a test of voter file security protections. They didn't alert the DNC ahead of time.

    A former employee of the National Security Agency accused of leaking classified information was sentenced to more than five years in prison today; 26-year-old Reality Winner expressed remorse for copying material from the NSA and sending it to the left-leaning news Web site The Intercept in 2016.

    The leaked report contained information about Russia attempts to break into voting software in the U.S., all of which was later confirmed to be true. The 63-month sentence is the longest ever given for a federal crime in leaking to the media.

    The British government advised businesses today to make plans now in case it is not able to reach a trade agreement with the European Union. Without a deal, residents in the U.K. could face higher credit card fees, new customs checks and medicine shortages when it's expected to leave the E.U. in seven months.

    In London, the newly appointed Brexit minister, Dominic Raab, said this a precautionary approach.

  • Dominic Raab:

    It is not what we want and it's not what we expect. But we must be ready. So let me assure you that, contrary to one of the wilder claims, you will still be able to enjoy a BLT after Brexit, and there are no plans to deploy the army to maintain food supplies.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Specifically, the British government asked drugmakers to stockpile medicines for six weeks above normal operations and call for medicines with short shelf lives to be flown into the country.

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo named a special representative to North Korea today. Stephen Biegun will leave his job at the Ford Motor Company. He worked in the George W. Bush White House as the executive secretary for the National Security Council, and later as a national security adviser to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

    Biegun will join Pompeo on a trip to North Korea next week for ongoing nuclear negotiations.

    President Trump sparked a diplomatic row with South Africa after accusing its government of seizing land from white farmers. The president said on Twitter that he had asked Secretary of state Pompeo to — quote — "study the South African land and farm seizures."

    South Africa's government said the tweet is — quote — "based on false information." The country's land reform program is meant to reverse apartheid era policies that stripped blacks of their land. The Anti-Defamation League said today that the president had repeated a longstanding and false white supremacist claim.

    In Hawaii, heavy rains inundated the islands as residents braced for the arrival of their first hurricane since 1992. Forecasters said Hurricane Lane has slowed down and is not projected to make a direct hit. But flash flooding and landslides are a major threat. The full force of the storm is expected to hit tonight, but after-effects will last for days.

  • Brock Long:

    The system is going to be with us for the next four or five days, continuing to bring winds to the island, to bring large surf, as well as the torrential rains that we have talked about.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Weather forecasters expect over 30 inches of rain to fall in some areas and surf of 20 feet.

    California Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter and his wife pleaded not guilty today to charges they illegally used campaign money for personal expense. On Tuesday, an indictment alleged the GOP lawmaker and his wife spent $250,000 on golf, meals, and dentist appointments. Hunter has called the charges politically motivated.

    Ohio State University's football coach will sit out the first three games of the season after an investigation found that he mishandled domestic violence accusations against a staff member. The report said that Urban Meyer didn't take proper steps to alert the school of abuse allegations against his assistant coach.

    Meyer apologized at a news conference last night, saying that he — quote — "should have done more." He was suspended without pay for six weeks.

    On Wall Street today, stocks closed slightly lower. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 76 points to close at 25657. The Nasdaq fell 10 to close at 7878. The S&P 500 dropped nearly five.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour", Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh tries to win over U.S. senators; why President Trump has been focusing on a college student's murder; China's ambitious program to make it a global leader in tech; and much more.

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