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In our news wrap Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee, now led by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., will reopen its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as delve into President Trump's financial interests overseas. Also, there are signs of possible progress among lawmakers trying to work out a border security deal.
In the day's other news: The House Intelligence Committee will reopen its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. It will also delve into President Trump's financial interests overseas. The new Democratic chair of the committee, Adam Schiff, announced it today. The president, in turn, branded Schiff a — quote — "political hack."
Last year, under Republican control, the committee said it found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
There are signs of possible progress among lawmakers trying to work out a border security deal and avert another government shutdown. They hope to get an agreement, that President Trump will sign, by February 15. Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama is leading the bipartisan group that heard today from Border Patrol officials.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.:
It's going to take a number of years to secure our borders. They need technology. They need barriers. And they need people. I hoping we can from this create the dynamic to try to bring us together to fund the government, to secure the border.
President Trump has called the process a waste of time. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said today that she thinks the negotiators could come up with something this week.
The political crisis engulfing Virginia's top Democratic leaders intensified today. Governor Ralph Northam was already under pressure to resign over a racist yearbook photo and his admission that he once appeared in blackface.
Today, Virginia's state attorney general, Mark Herring, admitted that he made up in blackface as a college student in 1980. And Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax again denied that he sexually assaulted a woman 15 years ago. The accuser went public today with details of her allegation.
On Afghanistan, leaders of the Taliban insurgent group said today that the U.S. has promised to withdraw half its troops by the end of April. That statement came at a meeting of Taliban representatives and prominent Afghan figures in Moscow. The Pentagon had no immediate response.
Meanwhile, in Kabul, a former Afghan government legal adviser warned against any sudden U.S. pullout.
Abdul Ali Mohammadi:
The war in Afghanistan must end, but this opportunity must not turn into a threat that the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan paves the way for another war. Therefore, the best outcome would be if a final decision by the U.S. government comes out after negotiations show a definite result.
In his State of the Union address, President Trump suggested that U.S. anti-terror efforts should continue in Afghanistan even after a troop reduction. But the Taliban today rejected any long-term U.S. military presence.
Back in this country, there were sharply different reactions in Alabama after the state attorney general cleared a police officer in the killing of a black man. The officer mistook E.J. Bradford for a gunman after a shooting at a shopping mall on Thanksgiving. The incident sparked days of protests.
And, today, the mayor of Hoover, Alabama, said officials are relieved to finally have this report.
We will gather together as a city, the internal operations for our city, and we will review what took place. And we want to make sure that we're doing things right. We want to be a better city tomorrow. It's been a long process.
And it's caused a lot of anxiety through out city. So we're relieved to have this report in front of us now.
Relatives of Bradford say the shooting amounted to murder, and they protested again today outside the state attorney general's office.
The president formally nominated an economist and Treasury Department official, David Malpass, today as the U.S. choice to lead the World Bank. Malpass has criticized the financial institution — it was created to help developing countries — for focusing too much on its own growth and not enough on fighting poverty.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 21 points to close at 25390. The Nasdaq fell 26, and the S&P 500 slipped six.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": what's next for Congress now that the president has laid out his agenda; the possibility and the challenge of ending HIV in the U.S. by 2030; plus much more.
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