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News Wrap: French police kill Strasbourg shooting suspect

In our Thursday news wrap, French police have found and killed the man accused of opening fire at a Christmas market in Strasbourg. The search for the suspect ended as a third shooting victim died of injuries. Also, after surviving a no-confidence vote, British Prime Minister Theresa May went to the EU to request changes to a proposed Brexit deal, in order to get Parliament to support it.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The United States Senate is challenging President Trump's approach to Saudi Arabia on two fronts. Senators voted today to recommend ending support for the Saudi coalition fighting in Yemen. That came amid news of a partial cease-fire agreement.

    Separately, the Senate directly blamed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    We will have a full report after the news summary.

    In the day's other news: The president denied that he ever told his former personal lawyer to violate campaign finance law. Michael Cohen is going to prison for arranging payments, in 2016, to conceal Mr. Trump's alleged sexual affairs.

    But in a FOX News interview today, the president insisted Cohen acted on his own.

  • Donald Trump:

    A lawyer who represents a client is supposed to do the right thing. That's why you pay them a lot of money, et cetera, et cetera. He is a lawyer. He represents a client. I never directed him to do any incorrect or wrong. And he understands that.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meanwhile, it's reported that candidate Trump attended a 2015 meeting on how The National Enquirer might bury negative stories about his relationships with women. The Wall Street Journal and NBC News say Mr. Trump joined Michael Cohen and The Enquirer's publisher at that meeting.

    A woman accused of acting as a covert agent for Russia pleaded guilty to conspiracy today in a plea bargain. Maria Butina appeared in federal court in Washington. She admitted trying to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and set up back channels with American conservatives. Butina's case is separate from the special counsel's Russia investigation.

    Police in France say they killed the accused gunman in the Strasbourg shootings. Officials say Cherif Chekatt died in a shoot-out there tonight. Security forces had been hunting him since Tuesday's rampage that killed three people at a Christmas market.

    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May was back at it today, asking the European Union for changes in a Brexit deal. This comes after she survived a no-confidence vote in her own party.

    James Mates of Independent Television News has our report.

  • James Mates:

    The warm glow of victory last night over the plotters at home may not have lasted long, as Theresa May moved straight to the next battle in Brussels.

    She had come to ask, perhaps even to plea, for the legal guarantees she needs to get the withdrawal bill through Parliament. France's President Macron just the first to say that legally binding commitments won't be forthcoming.

    "I think it's important to avoid ambiguity," he said. "We can have a political discussion, but we can't reopen a legally binding agreement."

    Mrs. May has been making the case, explaining what she needs and why. They will discuss a response among themselves at dinner this evening without her. They will also talk about how to step up their preparations for a no-deal Brexit that looks ever more possible.

    One of the reasons Theresa May may not get what she's asking for here is a feeling among other leaders that, whatever they offered her, it wouldn't be enough to get the withdrawal agreement through Parliament. They have watched the debate in London in the last few weeks, and optimism that this will all be wrapped up in the new year is pretty thin on the ground.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    That report from James Mates of Independent Television News.

    There's new violence in the Middle East. A Palestinian shot and killed two Israeli soldiers in the West Bank today. Two other people were wounded, and the Israelis launched a manhunt, sealing off roads into Ramallah. Later, the army said soldiers killed a man who tried to ram them with his car. On Sunday, a premature Israeli baby died after another attack, and troops killed the suspected gunman.

    China has confirmed it now that it has two Canadians in custody for allegedly endangering its national security. Michael Kovrig — Kovrig, rather, is a former diplomat who lives in Hong Kong. Michael Spavor runs tours of North Korea.

    Their detention follows Canada's arrest of Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese tech executive. She faces possible extradition to the United States on charges of violating sanctions on Iran.

    Back in this country, the U.S. Congress gave final approval to overhauling its handling of sexual harassment claims. The new rules hold lawmakers personally liable for settlements, and eliminate a cooling-off period before victims can file suit.

    California Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier said it's high time for a change.

  • Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.:

    Time is finally up for members of Congress who think they can sexually harass and get away with it. They will no longer be able to slink away with no one knowing that they have harassed. There will be transparency, and members will be held accountable.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The measure goes now to President Trump, who is expected to sign it.

    A federal appeals court panel has upheld an injunction against changes in federal birth control rules. The Trump administration wanted to let more employers opt out of providing women with free contraception. Today's ruling came from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

    And, on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 70 points to close at 24597. The Nasdaq fell nearly 28 points, and the S&P 500 slipped a fraction.

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