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News Wrap: Goldman Sachs to pay $5.1 billion over mortgage practices

In our news wrap Thursday, Goldman Sachs agreed to settle long-running federal and state investigations regarding the company's mortgage practices leading up to the 20018 meltdown. Also, 10 more detainees, all from Yemen, have been released from the Guantanamo Bay military prison and transferred to Oman.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Good evening. I'm Judy Woodruff. Gwen Ifill is away.

    On the "NewsHour" tonight: Gunfire and explosions hit the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, leaving at least two civilians and five attackers dead. The Islamic State claims responsibility.

  • Then:

    a family's journey from Syria to Canada, the story beyond the image that went viral, sparked outrage and tore apart a family.

  • FATIMA KURDI, Alan’s Aunt:

    All of a sudden, whatever you have in your life, for your own family, in one day, you have to leave everything behind and flee.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And it's Oscar time. We review this year's nominations, looking at what's in and what's out.

    All that and more on tonight's "PBS NewsHour."

    (BREAK)

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Wall Street mounted a comeback today, one day after its worst losses since September. A rebound in crude oil prices sent energy shares higher, and the broader market followed suit. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 227 points to close near 16380. The Nasdaq rose almost 89 points. And the S&P 500 added 31.

    The investment bank Goldman Sachs agreed today to settle long-running federal and state investigations for $5.1 billion. It stems from the company's mortgage practices leading up to the market meltdown in 2008. About $1.8 billion of the total will go toward consumer relief. Most other big banks have already reached similar settlements.

    Ten more detainees have been released from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The prisoners were all from Yemen. They were transferred Tuesday night to Oman, reducing the population at Guantanamo to 93 inmates.

    In Miami today, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said some of the rest might end up on the U.S. mainland.

    ASH CARTER, Secretary of Defense: Not everyone in Gitmo can be safely transferred to another country. So, we need an alternative. I, therefore, framed for the president a proposal to establish an alternative location. That plan will propose bringing those detainees to an appropriate secure location in the United States.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Up until now, Congress has blocked any such move, and even passed a law to that effect.

    Secretary Carter also said today it does appear that U.S. Navy sailors made a navigational mistake, causing their boats to stray into Iranian waters this week. The 10 sailors on board the two boats were detained Tuesday in the Persian Gulf by Iran's Revolutionary Guard. They were let go yesterday after a flurry of diplomatic contacts.

    Iran, meanwhile, announced a key step today toward complying with its nuclear deal with world powers. State TV reported that technicians finished removing the core of the Arak nuclear reactor. The agreement calls for ensuring that the site can produce only tiny amounts of plutonium, potential fuel for a nuclear weapon. The work must be verified by outside experts.

    Turkey is claiming that its military killed nearly 200 Islamic State fighters Iraq and Syria just in the last 48 hours. The prime minister said that tanks and artillery blasted targets after Tuesday's suicide bombing in Istanbul. Meanwhile, people continued to gather at the site of the bombing that killed 10 tourists. Authorities said they have detained seven people in the investigation.

    The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is officially over, that word today from the World Health Organization. The outbreak killed 11,315 people, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, over nearly two years.

    In Geneva, the head of the WHO's Ebola response effort hailed the news, but also sounded a note of caution.

  • RICK BRENNAN, WHO Ebola Response Team:

    This is a very important milestone and a very important step forward. We have to say that the job is still not done. That's because there is still ongoing risk of reemergence of the disease because of the persistence of the virus in a proportion of survivors.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The epidemic is believed to have begun in rural Guinea in December of 2013.

    For the second time this week, relief has reached starving civilians in Syria, caught up in that country's civil war. The World Food Program and the Red Cross and Red Crescent delivered more food, medicine and other supplies to the town of Madaya today. The area has been cut off by government troops for months. Two villages surrounded by rebel forces in the north also received aid.

    Back in this country, the Republican presidential candidates are squaring off this evening in their latest debate and their first of the new year. The event in North Charleston, South Carolina, features the top seven contenders according to national polls, and the stakes are high, with the Iowa caucuses just two-and-a-half weeks away.

    And the great Powerball craze is over, at least for now. There were three winning tickets last night for the jackpot that ballooned to a record $1.6 billion. One was sold at a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills, California, outside Los Angeles, and hundreds crowded there, cheering. The other winning tickets were sold in Tennessee and Florida.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": ISIS claims today's attack in Indonesia; hope and loss in a family's journey from Syria to Canada; is President Obama's pledge to cure cancer realistic?; and much more.

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