In our news wrap Tuesday, a federal court in Kansas City blocked a Missouri law that bans most abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy. The new statute had been scheduled to go into effect Tuesday, but the judge issued a temporary restraining order. Also, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected President Trump’s unofficial offer of in-person talks, saying U.S. sanctions must be lifted first.
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This has been a day of courtroom drama, as accusers of Jeffrey Epstein pursue their quest for justice.
The financier was facing federal sex trafficking charges when he died by suicide this month in jail. Today, 16 women spent 2.5 hours in a federal courtroom in New York City, telling of abuse at Epstein's hands. Some spoke afterward as well.
It was both empowering and infuriating to know that the person who I needed to hear those words is not here to hear them. It's also pretty upsetting to see how many lives he's devastated and to see how long this went on for, and nobody did anything about it.
We will talk with a reporter who has been in today's hearing later in the program.
A federal judge in Kansas City has blocked a Missouri law that bans most abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy. The new statute had been scheduled to go into effect today. But the judge issued the temporary restraining order while a lawsuit challenging the law plays out in court.
Tropical Storm Dorian blew past Barbados today without causing serious damage and headed toward Puerto Rico. The storm is forecast to pass over or near the U.S. territory tomorrow afternoon at near-hurricane strength. Today, people in San Juan stocked up on supplies. Some said they endured Hurricane Maria in 2017 and they want to be ready this time.
Hector Luis Reyes Garcia (through translator):
Water and the necessities in case this thing comes and hits us, so it doesn't catch us without anything. I didn't prepare for Maria, but, this time, for this, I'm preparing.
Officials in Puerto Rico have already declared a state of emergency. We will get a first-hand report later in the program.
Police in Hollywood, Florida, said today they expect more arrests in connection with a dozen deaths at a nursing home. It happened during Hurricane Irma in 2017. The storm knocked out power and air conditioning, and the victims died of heat exposure. On Monday, the home administrator and three nurses were charged with manslaughter. The facility was shut down after the storm.
Some of the federal money set aside to deal with hurricanes will now go to immigration enforcement instead. The Department of Homeland Security said today that it is shifting $270 million from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other accounts. It said the money will come pay for housing migrants and processing asylum cases faster.
In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani today rejected President Trump's unofficial offer of in-person talks. President Trump said on Monday that he was open to meeting on the nuclear standoff between the two countries.
But, in Tehran, Rouhani said that could happen only if the U.S. rescinds economic penalties on his country.
Hassan Rouhani (through translator):
Lift the sanctions. All the sanctions against the Iranian nation, which are illegal, cruel, and wrong, should be lifted. If the U.S. lifts all these sanctions and respects the nation of Iran, well, then the situation would be different.
The Trump administration reimposed sanctions after withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal last year.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has fired off new warnings to Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah. An Israeli airstrike killed two of the group's fighters in Syria on Sunday. Hezbollah also blamed Israel for strikes inside Lebanon. The militants' leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has threatened retaliation.
But, today in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said his country will defend itself.
Benjamin Netanyahu (through translator):
I heard what Nasrallah said. I suggest to Nasrallah to calm down. He knows well that Israel knows how to defend itself and to pay back its enemies. I want to tell him, and to Lebanon, which hosts this organization that aspires to destroy us, watch what you say, and be careful about what you do.
The Israelis have confirmed the airstrike inside Syria. They say it disrupted Iranian plans to attack Israel with drones. They have not claimed responsibility for any strikes inside Lebanon.
At least 40 migrants are missing and feared dead off the coast of Libya. The United Nations' Refugee Agency said today they were bound for Europe when their boat capsized. At least 65 were rescued. Most were from Sudan. U.N. officials say that 859 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean this year.
In economic news, China's Foreign Ministry insisted that it knows nothing of any new phone calls with U.S. officials to discuss trade. Both President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday that there had been such calls.
And on Wall Street, jitters over the trade war and interest rates sent stocks lower. The Dow Jones industrial average lost almost 121 points to close below 25778. The Nasdaq fell 26 points and the S&P 500 slipped nine.