In our news wrap Friday, pressure is rising in Hong Kong to scrap a bill that would allow extradition to mainland China. The proposed law has sparked mass protests and violent clashes with police, and now, several former senior officials are backing its opponents. Also, President Trump says he won't fire Kellyanne Conway over violating the Hatch Act, despite a government watchdog’s recommendation.
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Tensions are still running high in the Persian Gulf region's troubled waters, a day after two tankers were attacked. The U.S. military has released video that purportedly shows Iran's Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from one ship. U.S. officials said it is clear that the Iranians were trying to remove evidence, but Iran denied any involvement.
We will explore all of this after the news summary.
President Trump today walked back, a bit, from saying he might not tell the FBI if a foreign government offered — quote — "dirt" on a political opponent. He had made the original statement in an ABC News interview. He was asked about it again today in a FOX News interview.
I don't think anybody would present me with anything bad, because they know how much I love this country. Nobody is going to present me with anything bad.
Number two, if I was — and of course you have to look at it, because if you don't look at it, you're not going to know if it's bad. How are you going to know if it's bad? But of course you would give it to the FBI or report it to the attorney general or somebody like that.
Democrats had condemned the president's initial statement as inviting foreign interference in U.S. elections.
President Trump also says that he will not fire adviser Kellyanne Conway, despite a government watchdog agency's recommendation. The agency says that her criticism of Democratic presidential candidates has violated the Hatch Act. That law bars government employees from engaging in political activities. The president rejected the finding, saying that Conway has the right to free speech.
On another staffing issue, Mr. Trump said he plans to name Tom Homan as his new border czar. Homan was acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement from January 2017 until retiring last June. He has since been contributor to FOX News.
In Hong Kong, building to scrap a bill setting up extradition with mainland China. The bill has sparked mass protests, and police are bracing for more this weekend. But, today, several former senior Hong Kong officials sided with the protesters.
What the people are attempting to tell this government is that we are very worried about the consequences of passing the extradition bill, because no one will feel safe, even in their own beds, after passage of this bill. It places everybody's individual freedom and safety at risk.
Some members of Hong Kong's governing cabinet also called today for delaying action on the legislation.
South Sudan is warning that a record number of people face hunger and potentially starvation. In a new report, the South Sudanese government and the United Nations say nearly seven million people are at risk. That is more than 60 percent of the population. The report blames delayed rainfall and economic crisis and the effects of a five-year civil war.
Women across Switzerland went on strike today to demand equal treatment. They walked off jobs and blocked traffic, carrying signs and chanting slogans calling for fair pay and an end to sexual harassment. It was the first such protest in Switzerland in 28 years.
Aline Favrat (through translator):
It's a historic day because women, whether they protest normally or not, need to be heard. Things need to change. We are the majority of this country's population, but we are still not listened to enough, not present enough in decision-making jobs.
Women in Switzerland make an average of 12 percent less than their male counterparts.
For the first time, a woman will lead the U.S. Navy's War College. Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield was named today as the school's new president. She has led a U.S. military command in Guam since 2017. Rear Admiral Jeffrey Harley was removed as the War College's president on Monday, amid allegations of excessive spending and abuse of hiring authority.
Hundreds of thousands of people marched and celebrated in Tel Aviv, Israel, today in one of the world's largest LGBT pride parades. Participants waved rainbow flags, walked with colorful balloons and danced on floats. Some called for Israel to drop curbs on same-sex marriage and parental rights.
On Wall Street, stocks failed to make any headway on this Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 17 points to close at 26089. The Nasdaq fell 40 points, and the S&P 500 slipped four.
And the Toronto Raptors are professional basketball champions for the first time. They clinched the NBA title last night, beating the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors in game six of the finals 114-110. Fans in Toronto, including rap star Drake, celebrated into the night. It is the Raptors' first title in their 24-year history.