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News Wrap: Courts block Trump’s birth control rules

In our Monday news wrap, federal court rulings blocked employers nationwide from refusing to provide no-cost birth control. Trump administration rules allowing employers to opt out of the coverage would have taken effect today. Also, the government of Turkey complained about President Trump’s promise to “devastate” the country economically if it were to attack Syrian Kurds.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: Federal court rulings blocked employers nationwide from refusing to provide no-cost birth control. Trump administration rules, allowing employers to opt out of the coverage, would have taken effect today. Judges in San Francisco and Philadelphia issued injunctions.

    The government of Turkey complained today after being threatened by President Trump. It said he respect a NATO ally. On Sunday, the president warned the U.S. will — quote — "devastate Turkey economically" if it attacks U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria.

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Mr. Trump late today. His office said they discussed creating a secure zone in Northern Syria.

    U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo called today for everyone involved in Jamal Khashoggi's killing to be held accountable. The Saudi journalist was murdered in Turkey last October. Pompeo says he raised it today with the king and the crown prince in Riyadh. U.S. intelligence has suggested that the prince himself ordered the killing.

    In Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May urged lawmakers not to reject her deal for leaving the European Union. A crucial vote is set for tomorrow. Today, May told the House of Commons that a no-vote would fail to honor the 2016 referendum that approved Brexit and cause economic turmoil.

  • Theresa May:

    Did we deliver on the country's vote to leave the European Union? Did we safeguard our security, our economy and our union? Or did we let the British people down? I say we should deliver for the British people and get on with building a brighter future for our country by backing this deal tomorrow.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    From all indications, opponents of the plan outnumber supporters in Parliament.

    Parts of Asia were blanketed again today by unusually high levels of smog. South Korea recorded its worst unhealthy air reading since it began monitoring in 2015. And in Bangkok, Thailand, crews used water cannons to clean the streets and air, while officials handed out 10,000 face masks.

    Back in this country, the Mid-Atlantic struggled today to recover from a heavy winter storm that's blamed for six deaths. Heavy snowfall clogged roads across the region on Sunday, stranding cars and trucks. Hundreds of flights were canceled as well. Nearly 200,000 people lost power in Virginia and North Carolina.

    The top Republican in Congress today joined growing condemnations of Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa for racially charged comments. King had questioned why terms like white supremacist are offensive.

    In a statement today, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said — quote — "There is no place in the Republican Party, the Congress or the country for an ideology of racial supremacy of any kind."

    The U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider whether acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was legally appointed. President Trump named him to the post after firing Jeff Sessions. Meanwhile, William Barr, the permanent nominee for attorney general, will begin Senate confirmation hearings tomorrow.

    A major utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, says that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection against huge liabilities from those California wildfires. Officials are investigating whether the company's equipment sparked a November fire that killed at least 86 people and burned down 15,000 homes.

    And on Wall Street, stocks slipped after China reported a drop in exports, further evidence that its economy is slowing. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 86 points to close at 23909. The Nasdaq fell 65, and the S&P 500 slid 13.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": how the government shutdown is impacting farmers; a Native American tribe in Wisconsin feels the effects of the shutdown; over 30,000 teachers go on strike in Los Angeles; and much more.

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