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News Wrap: China bars U.S. military from Hong Kong

In our news wrap Monday, China has indefinitely suspended U.S. military ships and aircraft from visiting Hong Kong, after President Trump signed legislation supporting anti-government protests in the Chinese territory. Also, demonstrations continued in Iraq, despite the prime minister’s resignation. Protesters in Basra and Baghdad demanded the entire government be dismissed.

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  • John Yang:

    In the day's other news: There were more demonstrations in Iraq, even after Parliament accepted the prime minister's resignation.

    Women led a protest in the southern city of Basra, demanding the entire government be dismissed. And, in Baghdad, protesters also insisted on more changes.

  • Fayiza Abdul Hassan (through translator):

    We do not want the current government officials. They must go. The young people are in a deteriorating situation. The women are begging on the streets, no medications in hospitals. All parties must go. We don't want any one of them.

  • John Yang:

    Iraqi lawmakers say Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi will stay as a caretaker until a new government is formed. That process could take weeks.

    Amnesty International said today it believes more than 200 people were killed in Iran during November protests and the ensuing crackdown. The Iranian government has yet to release a full account of those who died in the protests, which were over gasoline prices.

    China today indefinitely suspended U.S. military ships and aircraft from visiting Hong Kong. That comes after President Trump signed legislation supporting anti-government protests in the Chinese territory.

    Also today, hundreds of office workers rallied in Hong Kong's Central Business District. A day earlier, police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters.

    World leaders have begun a two-week climate conference in Madrid. They convened today amid warnings that the 2015 Paris climate accord will fall short of preventing major consequences of climate change.

    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the conference by criticizing global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Antonio Guterres:

    Do we really want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sense, that fiddled while the planet burns? The other option is the path of hope, the path of resolve, of sustainable solutions.

  • John Yang:

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led an American delegation of Democratic lawmakers to the conference, voicing support for the Paris accords. President Trump has moved to withdraw the United States from the accord, effective next November.

    Back in this country, a storm system blew into the Northeast, after making a mess across the Midwest. New Jersey's state government largely shut down, as did schools in several states. Parts of Eastern New York state were under snow emergencies, and New York City warned commuters to brace for the worst.

  • Bill de Blasio:

    The fact that we have got five to eight inches projected for some parts of the city should make everyone aware quite that number could go up, and could go up quickly.

    We have all been down this road before. This could fluctuate a lot. But when I start to hear five to eight, I'm like, you know, buckle your seat belts, because you're never sure what's going to happen next.

  • John Yang:

    The storm could dump up to 20 inches of snow from Pennsylvania to Maine.

    Six-term Congressman from California Duncan Hunter now plans to plead guilty to misusing campaign funds. The San Diego Republican said today he will appear in federal court tomorrow to change his earlier not guilty plea. He said he's doing it to protect his family. Hunter is accused of using campaign contributions to pay for vacations, golf trips and other personal expenses.

    Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was fired today, a month before he was set to retire. In mid-October, he had been found passed out in his car at a stop sign near his home. He acknowledged that he had had a few drinks.

    But Mayor Lori Lightfoot said today an inspector general's report showed that Johnson was not truthful with her.

  • Lori Lightfoot:

    Eddie Johnson intentionally lied to me several times, even when I challenged him about the narrative that he shared with me.

    He maintained that he was telling the truth. I now know definitively that he wasn't. Had I known these facts at the time, I would've relieved him of his duties as superintendent then and there.

  • John Yang:

    Lightfoot gave no details, but said the report could become public later.

    A new study out today finds one in four young Americans aged 19 to 34 is living with pre-diabetes. The report comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also finds that men are almost twice as likely to have the condition as women. Pre-diabetes causes blood sugar levels to spike, and can lead to Type 2 diabetes, as well as to kidney and heart disease.

    In economic news, President Trump declared today he will reimpose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina. In a tweet, he accused the two nations of manipulating their currencies to undercut U.S. farm products. The president had exempted Brazil and Argentina from the tariffs in March of 2018.

    And on Wall Street, December got off to a rough start amid new worries about trade tensions with China. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 268 points to close at 27783. The Nasdaq fell 97 points. And the S&P 500 dropped 27.

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