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In our news wrap Monday, Democratic leaders criticized freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., for a tweet accusing a powerful pro-Israel lobbying group of paying members of Congress to support Israel. Also, a Democratic delegate from Virginia backed down on his threat to begin impeachment proceedings against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.
In the day's other news: House Democratic leaders condemned freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for a tweet accusing a powerful pro-Israel lobbying group of paying members of Congress to support Israel. The Democratic leaders said the — quote — "use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive."
Later, the Minnesota Democrat took to Twitter to — quote — "unequivocally apologize."
A Democratic delegate from Virginia backed down on his threat to begin impeachment proceedings today against the state's lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax. Fairfax faces two allegations of sexual assault. He's denied them both. Meanwhile, Virginia's embattled Democratic Governor Ralph Northam acknowledged that he considered resigning after a racist photo from his medical school yearbook surfaced.
But he told CBS he will remain in office to help the state heal.
Gov. Ralph Northam, D-Va.:
This has been a difficult week.
And again I'm — I'm fine. It's been mainly difficult for Virginia and this country. So, yes, I have thought about resigning, but I have also thought about what Virginia needs right now. And I really think that I'm in a position where — where I can take Virginia to the next level.
And it — it will be very positive.
Northam also said he will spend the rest of his term in office focusing on race and equity.
In Denver, more than 4,000 teachers went on strike today after they failed to reach a deal to increase wages. It's the city's first teacher-led strike in 25 years. They hope to change their bonus pay structure and the raises to education and training. We will take a closer look at what's at stake later in the program.
The Pacific Northwest is digging out from unusually heavy snowfall after a winter storm battered the region over the weekend. In Tacoma, several hundred residents organized a mass snowball fight. Nearby Seattle has been blanketed in more than 14 inches of snow this month, making it the snowiest February there on record.
Washington's Governor Jay Inslee raised concerns about the homeless population, after at least one person died of exposure.
Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.:
We don't have a system to handle this problem in the state. It kind of drives me nuts. When a state that has these enormous pockets of wealth to have a system where we can take care of homeless people and they're not dying of exposure, I hope that's a lesson we take from this snowstorm this year.
The National Weather Service said that Seattle has received as much snow in one day as the city usually gets in an entire year. A new winter storm is now bearing down on the region and it could dump several more inches of snow.
In Iran, tens of thousands of people rallied on the streets of Tehran today to mark the 40th anniversary of that country's Islamic Revolution. Crowds celebrated in the snow, waving flags, and carrying pictures of Ayatollah Khomeini, who came to power after ousting the U.S.-backed shah in 1979. The revolution turned the tides of U.S. relations with Iran from allies to stark rivals.
U.S.-led coalition warplanes in Syria struck the country's last Islamic State stronghold in the eastern part of the country. That triggered fierce fighting between U.S.-backed Syrian forces and ISIS in the Baghouz region near the Iraqi border. The head of the Syrian Democratic Forces' media office reported that some 1,500 civilians were forced to flee.
Back in this country, there's word cigarette smoking rates among young Americans have stopped falling. New data out today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the popularity of e-cigarettes was most likely to blame. Over the last year, the number of high school students using tobacco products increased by around 38 percent. And nearly 21 percent of high school students, roughly three million, admitted to vaping in 2018. That's up from 12 percent the previous year.
Stocks were mixed on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 53 points to close at 25053. The Nasdaq rose more than nine points, and the S&P 500 added nearly two.
The music industry is celebrating a string of historic wins at last night's 61st annual Grammy awards. Cardi B became the first solo woman to win best rap album, while Kacey Musgraves's "Golden Hour" took home album of the year. Childish Gambino — that's the stage name for Donald Glover — made history, as "This Is America" became the first rap-based track to win both record and song of the year.
And a passing to note: North Carolina Republican Congressman Walter Jones died Sunday on his 76th birthday, after suffering complications from a fall. Jones served in Congress since 1995, and gained a reputation for being a political maverick. He was initially a passionate supporter of the 2003 invasion in Iraq, but later became an outspoken critic. Walter Jones wrote letters to over 11,000 families of fallen soldiers as a form of penance.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": new reporting details decades of sexual abuse committed by Southern Baptist Church leaders; almost a year after a chemical weapons attack, the British city of Salisbury struggles to regain its footing; and much more.
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