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In our news wrap Tuesday, China stepped up its complaints about the U.S. shooting down a suspected spy balloon, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands said they will send at least 100 refurbished Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine's military, and thousands of demonstrators in France staged new strikes against raising the official retirement age from 62 to 64.
In the day's other headlines: China stepped up its complaints about the U.S. shooting down that suspected spy balloon.
In Beijing, the Foreign Ministry claimed again it was a civilian balloon gathering weather data, but gave no other details. The Chinese also insisted the balloon is their property, but stopped short of demanding its return.
Mao Ning, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman (through translator):
What I can say is that this airship belongs to China and not the United States. This balloon is not American. The Chinese government will continue to defend its legitimate rights and interests.
The U.S. Navy has been working to recover the balloon and its equipment off the coast of South Carolina. Images provided by the Navy show large pieces of the debris being hauled out of the water. U.S. officials say they have no intention of returning the balloon and its payload to China.
On the war in Ukraine, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands say they will send at least 100 refurbished Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine's military. Berlin had already promised to allow deliveries of newer model Leopard tanks. Today's announcement came as fierce fighting raged in Eastern Ukraine. Kyiv claimed its forces killed more than 1,000 Russian troops in 24 hours.
Thousands of demonstrators in France staged new nationwide strikes today against raising the official retirement age from 62 to 64. In Paris, protesters flooded the streets, gathering in front of the opera house and marching around the city center. The walkouts disrupted public transportation, schools and energy systems.
Back in this country, a new turn in the Tyre Nichols case. The Memphis Police Department now says one of five officers charged in his beating death took a picture of Nichols as he sat bloodied and dazed. The picture was shared with at least five other people. It could be used in a bid to bar the now fired officers from ever working as police anywhere in Tennessee.
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is expected to leave the Biden administration in the coming days. Various reports today said the former Boston mayor plans to become head of the National Hockey League's Player Association. Walsh would be the first of President Biden's Cabinet secretaries to depart.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says he's looking for a significant decline in inflation this year. But he also warned again today everything depends on whether the economy slows enough. He said last Friday's robust jobs report could signal it will take more interest rate hikes than expected to get there.
Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman:
You know, we have put — we throw these numbers around. But the reality is, we're going to react to the data.
So if we continue to get, for example, strong labor market reports or higher — higher inflation reports, it may well be the case that we have to do more and raise hikes more than is priced in.
President Powell said a strong demand for labor and a shortage of workers are still driving the job market.
Wall Street moved higher after the Fed chair's remarks. Investors took him to mean that the Central Bank is not adopting a more aggressive interest rate policy just yet. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 265 points to close it 34156. The Nasdaq rose 226 points, nearly 2 percent. The S&P 500 was up more than 1 percent.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": a leading Republican senator and a White House official give different previews to the State of the Union; federal authorities foil an effort to bring down Baltimore's electrical grid; and we examine Frederick Douglass' formative years in New England.
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