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News Wrap: Deal struck for some federal agents to leave Portland, Oregon

In our news wrap Wednesday, federal agents will begin withdrawing from a federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, where they have clashed with protesters. But Homeland Security officials said officers will remain in the city. Also, the eastern Caribbean is facing heavy rain and strong winds as a budding tropical storm blows through. The weather system is expected to pass near Puerto Rico overnight.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: Federal agents will begin withdrawing from downtown Portland, Oregon, tomorrow, in a deal with state and local leaders. Federal agents and protesters have clashed nightly at the federal courthouse. But U.S. Homeland Security officials said state and local police will guard the site instead.

  • Ken Cuccinelli:

    Our additional officers that have been brought to Portland will still be in downtown Portland. They will simply not be at the courthouse, and they will not be engaged if they are not needed.

    And our hope is, of course, for all of us, that will not be needed.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Portland's Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler praised the end of what he called an illegal occupation.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department formally announced that it will be sending teams of investigators to Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee. Their stated mission is to aid police fighting violent crime.

    Members of Congress grilled CEOs of four tech giants today on whether they are too dominant. The heads of Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple appeared by video at a House hearing.

    As they did, President Trump threatened executive orders to roll back legal protections for the companies.

    We will have much more after the news summary.

    In Turkey, social media is coming under tighter controls. The Parliament approved a law today ordering Facebook, Twitter and others to set up local offices and to police content. Supporters called it a curb on cyber-crime and online abuse of women. Critics and rights groups raised fears of censorship.

  • Yaman Akdeniz:

    These measures will have a chilling effect on the Turkish social media platform users. And people will be scared to use these platforms, because Turkish authorities will have access to the users' data.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The law also requires companies to store user data in Turkey.

    The U.S. military formally announced today that it will pull 12,000 American troops from Germany. The move will leave 24,000 troops still on German soil. President Trump has repeatedly denounced Germany for not spending more on defense and has pushed to withdraw U.S. forces. We will get details later in the program.

    The Eastern Caribbean is facing heavy rain and strong winds tonight, as a budding tropical storm blows through. The weather system is expected to pass near Puerto Rico overnight, and to brush past the Dominican Republic tomorrow. Puerto Rican officials are warning of the potential for landslides, flooding and widespread power outages.

    The Federal Reserve warned today that the resurgence of COVID-19 cases is sure to be a drag on the economy. Chairman Jerome Powell said that the Fed will use all the tools it has to help, but he warned that a recovery is linked directly to people's behavior.

  • Jerome Powell:

    The path of the economy is going to depend to a very high extent on the course of the virus and on the measures that we take to keep it in check. That is just a fundamental fact of our economy right now.

    The two things are not in conflict. You know, social distancing measures and fast reopening actually go together. They're not in competition with each other.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The Central Bank announced no new policies, but did say that it plans to keep its benchmark short-term interest rate pegged to near zero.

    Wall Street moved higher on the Fed's pledge to continue shoring up the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 160 points, to close at 26539. The Nasdaq rose 140 points, and the S&P 500 added 40.

    And the annual Hajj pilgrimage is under way in Saudi Arabia, greatly scaled back by the coronavirus pandemic. Some 1,000 Muslim worshipers began arriving today at Mecca's Grand Mosque, wearing face masks and praying at a distance. The Hajj usually draws up to 2.5 million people.

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