In our news wrap Thursday, with no progress in sight on resolving the partial shutdown, the Senate recessed until next Wednesday, the day before the new Congress convenes. Also, Indonesian authorities are sounding new warnings about the volcano that triggered Saturday's deadly tsunami.
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There was a more modest rally on Wall Street today, but it came in dramatic style. Stocks were down sharply for most of the day, but then clawed back in the last two hours of trading.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 260 points, after being down 600,to close at 23138. That's after yesterday's 1,000-point gain. The Nasdaq rose 25 points, and the S&P 500 added 21. Even so, the market is still on track for its worst December since the Great Depression.
The partial government shutdown is now guaranteed to extend into the new year. With no progress in sight, the Senate recessed today until next Wednesday. The new Congress convenes the next day, with Democrats taking over the House.
President Trump is demanding that $5 billion for a southern border wall be included in any government funding bill, but Democrats have rejected that demand.
In Indonesia, authorities are sounding new warnings about the volcano that triggered Saturday's deadly tsunami. It killed at least 430 people. The Sunda Strait region is now on higher alert as eruptions continue. Officials are also urging people to stay away from the shore amid fears of another tsunami.
We have done some evaluations, and this morning we declared the alert level status raised to the second highest level. We also still anticipate further eruptions. We have set the safe zone to be three miles, while yesterday it was about a mile around the volcano.
In the wake of that tsunami, nearly 160 people are still missing.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman overhauled his top government positions today, including naming a new foreign minister. This follows the international outrage over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives. The U.S. Senate has blamed the king's son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for ordering the killing. But today's changes appeared to further consolidate the crown prince's grip on power.
An Israeli official has confirmed the Israeli air force carried out strikes inside Syria on Christmas night. The BBC reported that missiles struck near Damascus. The Israeli officials said they targeted Iranian arms that were bound for the Hezbollah militia. Syria's Russian allies said the Syrians shot down most of the missiles, while the Israelis said they hit all their targets.
Police in Eastern Congo used force today against a protest over the delay of Sunday's presidential election. Voting has been postponed in three towns where an Ebola outbreak is ongoing. Police in one town fired tear gas and live ammunition as demonstrators marched and burned tires. They claim the delay is an excuse to prevent opposition strongholds from having a voice.