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News Wrap: Cummings remembered by Congress as man of character

In our news wrap Thursday, the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., lay in state in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall as fellow lawmakers, friends and families paid their respects. Leaders from both parties remembered Cummings as a man of strong moral character. Also, a new wildfire raced across California’s wine country, forcing 2,000 people to evacuate as power companies imposed new blackouts.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: Congress put aside its divisions over impeachment to join in honoring the late Representative Elijah Cummings. The Baltimore Democrat died last week.

    Today, an honor guard brought his flag-covered coffin to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. Fellow lawmakers, friends and family looked on as leaders from both parties remembered Cummings as a moral compass.

  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.:

    Elijah was truly a master of the House. He respected its history, and, in it, he helped shape America's future. I have called him our North Star, our guide to a better future for our children.

  • Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.:

    He is defined by the character of his heart, the honesty of his dialogue, and the man that — the man that we will miss.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Cummings lay in state at the Capitol into early evening. His funeral is tomorrow in Baltimore.

    A new wildfire spread new fear in Northern California's wine country. Flames raced across 15 square miles in Sonoma County, pushed by winds gusting to 70 miles an hour. Some 2,000 people were ordered to evacuate.

    Meanwhile, Pacific Gas & Electric imposed new blackouts to prevent downed lines from igniting fires.

    Governor Gavin Newsom condemned the outages.

  • Gavin Newsom:

    It is infuriating beyond words to live in a state as innovative and extraordinarily entrepreneurial and capable as the state of California, to be living in an environment where we are seeing this kind of disruption and these kinds of blackouts. It's about corporate greed meeting climate change. It's about decades of mismanagement.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January, facing billions of dollars in damages from the fires of recent years.

    In Northeastern Syria, both the Syrian government and Kurdish-led forces accused Turkish troops of cease-fire violations. But Ankara made no apologies. Instead, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Kurdish fighters to leave a border zone, or else.

  • President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (through translator):

    Now our soldiers and the Syrian national army are patrolling the area of the operation inch by inch. If any of these terrorists come across us there, it is our natural right to crush them.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Under a Turkish-Russian plan, the Kurds must withdraw nearly 20 miles from the Turkish border.

    The president of Lebanon today urged protesters to accept a promise of economic reforms and end days of mass demonstrations. Crowds in Beirut listened to the appeal on speakers and rejected it. Protesters closed roads and lit fires for an eighth day in an ongoing revolt over economic collapse and official corruption.

    Chile's government has offered new concessions after a week of unrest there that has left 18 dead. President Sebastian Pinera announced today that he will freeze a hike in electricity rates. But protesters in Santiago were back on the streets anyway, angered over living costs and inequality. Others returned to work a day after the latest demonstrations and riots.

  • Man (through translator):

    This is a tragedy for Chile. I think that the majority of the people, the ones who do not go out and protest and destroy everything, I think they feel differently. These types of things don't do anything good for Chile.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meanwhile, protests in Honduras turned violent. Hundreds of people demanded that President Juan Orlando Hernandez step down over allegations that he aided his brother in drug trafficking.

    British police confirmed today that all 39 people found dead in a container truck were Chinese citizens. The truck was discovered early yesterday in an industrial park about 25 miles east of London. The victims included 31 men and eight women. The 25-year-old driver is being held on suspicion of attempted murder.

    And in Spain, the remains of the dictator Francisco Franco were exhumed from a state mausoleum and reburied in a private crypt. Franco's family carried the coffin away as supporters gave the fascist salute.

    Others said the man who overthrew a democratic government and persecuted his opponents didn't deserve a place of honor.

  • Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (through translator):

    This decision puts an end to a moral affront, the exaltation of the figure of a dictator in a public place, and takes another step in the reconciliation , which can only rest in the freedom and democracy.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    General Franco took power after the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s that killed half-a-million people. He ruled until his death in 1975.

    Back in this country, Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race. He said he will run for reelection instead. Ryan's departure leaves 17 Democrats vying for the nomination.

    Former President Jimmy Carter went home from a Georgia hospital today. He fell Monday night and fractured his pelvis. It was his third fall and injury since last spring. Mr. Carter is 95. He has lived longer than any other American president.

    The U.S. Census Bureau is now out with new projections of dramatic change. They show a population of 400 million by the year 2058, up from the current 326 million. It will also be more diverse, with non-Hispanic whites dipping below 50 percent of the population. And there will be more senior citizens than children in just 15 years from now.

    And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 28 points to close at 26805. The Nasdaq rose 66 points, and the S&P 500 added five.

    And the Houston Astros have fired an executive who shouted abusive language at female reporters. "Sports Illustrated" had reported that Brandon Taubman used profanity, yelling about player who was once suspended over domestic violence. The firing came as Houston trails the Washington Nationals in the world series two games to none.

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