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News Wrap: Democratic senators ask judge to remove acting AG Whitaker

In our News Wrap Monday, firefighters in California have gained ground on the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century. At least 77 people have died, with just under 1,000 still missing. Also, three Democratic senators asked a federal judge to remove Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, arguing that because he has never been confirmed by the Senate, his appointment was unconstitutional.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Three Democratic U.S. senators asked a federal judge today to remove Matthew Whitaker as acting U.S. attorney general. Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island filed the suit. They argue that the Whitaker appointment was unconstitutional because he has never been confirmed by the Senate in any capacity.

    Sixteen Democrats released a letter today saying they will not vote for Nancy Pelosi to be the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. The group includes 11 current House members and five newly elected. They said they campaigned on changing the status quo, and will carry through on that promise.

    In Yemen, heavy fighting resumed around the city of Hodeidah, shattering a brief cease-fire. A Saudi-led coalition launched new airstrikes on the Red Sea port city, held by Shiite rebels, who are aligned with Iran. Earlier, the rebels announced that they are stopping missile attacks on Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies.

    Some in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, welcomed the news.

  • Bilal Shamsan (through translator):

    We are looking at it positively. And, God willing, we hope that all the Yemeni parties can reach a political solution to relieve people's suffering, which has lasted for years because of the war, the blockade, the destruction, and the killing.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    A Saudi coalition of Sunni countries has battled the rebels since 2015, with American assistance. Tens of thousands of people are believed to have died in the war, many of them civilians.

    The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu survived today after a key ally agreed to maintain its support. That means Netanyahu's coalition keeps a bare majority in the Israeli Parliament. The crisis was triggered when Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned over a cease-fire with militants in Gaza.

    Trial has opened in Hong Kong for nine organizers of pro-democracy protests. They led unsuccessful demonstrations in 2014 aimed at forcing China to grant free elections. Supporters of the so-called Umbrella Movement rallied outside the courtroom today, as leaders said freedom of expression in Hong Kong is at stake.

  • Benny Tai Yiu-Ting (through translator):

    What is on trial is not just the nine of us. What is on trial also is the high degree of autonomy and the rule of law that all Hong Kong people are entitled to.

    The 2014 protests shut down Hong Kong's financial district for 79 days. The nine who are on trial have pleaded not guilty to charges of incitement and conspiracy.

    The chairman of Nissan Motors was arrested today on financial crime charges. The automaker immediately announced that it will remove Carlos Ghosn from his post. He is accused of under-reporting his income and misusing company funds. Ghosn is credited with rescuing Nissan from near-bankruptcy by closing plants and cutting thousands of jobs.

    Some of the 5,000 U.S. troops sent to the southwest border before the midterm elections could head home as early as this week. That is according to the general who's overseeing the deployment. He tells Politico that all unit should be home by Christmas, as planned. President Trump order the deployment as caravans of migrants headed for the border.

    Back in this country back in this country, the White House dropped efforts to permanently suspend the press credentials of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta. Instead, his press pass is being fully restored. It had been temporarily reinstated by a federal judge last week. The White House warns, though, that it might take new action if Acosta violates rules announced today governing reporter behavior at news conferences.

    On Wall Street, falling iPhone sales helps send tech stocks lower and new worries about tensions with China weighed on industrial shares. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 400 points to close at 25017. The Nasdaq fell 219 points. That's 3 percent. And the S&P 500 slipped 45.

    And former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has donated a record $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University. It is the largest gift ever given to an American educational institution. The money will go to replace student loans with scholarships at a school which is based in Baltimore.

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