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News Wrap: Chinese tech giant Huawei faces U.S. criminal charges

In our Monday news wrap, Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general, says special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is close to completion. Whitaker said he’s been fully briefed and hopes to receive the final report as soon as possible. Also, Chinese tech giant Huawei now faces U.S. charges of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile, as well as violating sanctions on Iran.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    In the day's other news: The acting U.S. attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, said the special counsel's Russia investigation is close to concluding. Whitaker said he has been fully briefed, and that he hopes to get the final report as soon as possible. Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.

    Chinese tech giant Huawei now faces charges of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile and violating sanctions on Iran. The Justice Department unveiled criminal cases in New York and Washington state today. They named Huawei, two affiliates and a top executive.

    FBI Director Christopher Wray said it reinforces fears that the company is doing Beijing's bidding.

  • Christopher Wray:

    As Americans, we should all be concerned about the potential for any company beholden to a foreign government, especially one that doesn't share our values, to burrow into the American telecommunications market.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    The indictment comes as China and the U.S. are engaged in talks to end a tariff war.

    A court in China has sentenced a prominent human rights lawyer to four-and-a-half years in prison on a charge of subversion. Wang Quanzhang had defended a banned religious group and victims of land seizures by the Chinese government. He was detained more than three years ago, in President Xi Jinping's sweeping crackdown on lawyers and human rights activists.

    A brutal storm brought blizzard-like conditions to much of the U.S. Midwest today, with dangerous subzero cold still to come. Up to 15 inches of snow fell from Wisconsin to Indiana overnight and today. Officials warned that windchills could reach 50 to 60 below in some parts of the region by Wednesday.

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged people to check on neighbors.

  • Rahm Emanuel:

    While the snow may be ending, the cold is just starting. So this will be the highest level throughout the whole week dealing with the weather increments and making sure that the people of Chicago, that their safety and security is our number one priority in every neighborhood throughout the city of Chicago.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    As the storm keeps moving, Atlanta is bracing for an inch of snow and ice tomorrow, five years after a similar storm paralyzed the city. It comes as thousands of Super Bowl fans begin to arrive for Sunday's game.

    In Venezuela, the power struggle has intensified, with opposition leader Juan Guaido calling for more protests to win the military's support. Guaido declared himself interim president last week. The U.S. and other nations recognized him. So far, Nicolas Maduro has refused to give up the presidency, but the U.S. stepped up the pressure today with sanctions on the state-owned oil company.

    In Brazil today, the death toll from a dam collapse rose to at least 60 people. Nearly 300 others are still missing after the barrier gave way and buried parts of a town in iron ore waste. Crews spent the day painstakingly searching through the thick mud, with the help of more than a hundred Israeli soldiers equipped with special rescue technology.

    The sludge is as deep as 24 feet in some areas.

  • Romeu Zema:

    We are here starting to work with troops from Israel, which I'm very thankful for. And I see that, with their technology, we will be able to increase the probabilities of finding survivors and also having more agility finding victims.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    An investigation is under way to determine what caused the collapse.

    Back in this country, federal prosecutors in New York rested their case today against accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman, known as El Chapo. The defense said it will call two witnesses tomorrow, but Guzman said he will not testify on his own behalf. Closing arguments are expected to begin on Wednesday.

    And sending mail is now a little pricier. Postal rates officially went up on Sunday. The cost of a first class stamp rose from 50 to 55 cents. The 10 percent hike is the largest since 1991. The Postal Service says the increase provides much-needed revenue. It lost $3.9 billion in the last fiscal year.

    And on Wall Street, stocks slipped on worries that the economic slowdown in China is hurting U.S. companies. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 209 points to close at 24528. The Nasdaq fell 79 points, and the S&P 500 slipped nearly 21.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": as the government reopens, the work to prevent the next shutdown begins; a possible deal to begin the process of ending the war in Afghanistan; the governor of Washington state declares a state of emergency after a measles outbreak; and much more.

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