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News Wrap: Indonesian government cracks down on AirAsia

In our news wrap Monday, the search for wreckage from AirAsia flight 8501 expanded to make up for more than a week of strong currents in the Java Sea. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Transport Ministry suspended the airline’s license for flying from Surabaya to Singapore on unauthorized days. Also, Boko Haram militants attacked and seized the headquarters of a multinational military base in Nigeria.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    The price of oil briefly dipped below $50 a barrel today for the first time in five years. But, by the end of the day, it had returned to just above that symbolic threshold, yet still at a five-year low.

    That plunge had a ripple effect on the markets, driving energy stocks down sharply. But the losses on Wall Street today were broad across all sectors. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 331 points to close at 17501; the Nasdaq fell 74 points to close at 4652; the S&P 500 dropped 37 points to close at 2020.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Lower oil prices also gave a boost to the nation's automakers this holiday season. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler posted double-digit gains in December. Cheaper gas and promotional savings sent Americans to dealerships in droves. Only Ford finished flat for the month, although it was the top-selling brand in the U.S. for 2014.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The search for AirAsia Flight 8501 expanded today. Ships and aircraft fanned out over a wider section of the Java Sea to make up for eight days of strong currents that could have carried debris farther afield; 37 bodies have been recovered of the 162 passengers and crew who were on board.

    Meanwhile, Indonesia's Transport Ministry cracked down on AirAsia for flying the Surabaya-to-Singapore route on unauthorized days.

    DJOKO MURJATMODJO, Acting Director General of Air Transportation, Indonesian Transport Ministry (through interpreter): If AirAsia didn't do anything wrong, why would Indonesia suspend their license? According to our identification data, it shows that they are clearly in the wrong, because they do not fly at the times that we have approved or permitted.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Control tower officials and other individuals who permitted the plane to fly will also be suspended.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Boko Haram Islamic militants have attacked and seized the headquarters of a remote multinational military base in Nigeria. An unknown number of soldiers and civilians were killed in the attack that happened this weekend in Baga, near the border with Chad. Survivors who fled the scene said the militants used assault rifles, explosives and rocket-propelled grenades in the sustained attack. Many residents escaped by canoe.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    In the U.S., a blast of arctic air pushed down from Canada into the Plains and Upper Midwest today. Some of the worst windchills were recorded in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the National Weather Service issued advisories and warnings for much of the region. The cold air is moving east and south. In New England, temperatures dropped 35 degrees in the last 24 hours. But meteorologists say it's not unusual; it's just January.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The flu is running rampant in most of the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC issued updated numbers today, showing flu is now widespread in 43 states and could peak later this month. The strain of the virus that's making most people sick wasn't included in this year's vaccine, making flu shots less effective than normal.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The U.S. ski team is in mourning after two of its prospects were killed in an avalanche today in the Austrian Alps. Twenty-year-old Ronnie Berlack and 19-year-old Bryce Astle were descending a slope with four other skiers when they left the prepared path and apparently triggered the deadly slide. None of the other skiers were hurt. The site of the accident had been under an avalanche alert because of recent weather.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    A member of the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, filed a lawsuit today so that he or she can speak out about the case. The lawsuit is necessary because a lifetime gag order was placed on jurors who decided not to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old. The unnamed juror contends the prosecutor in the case was wrong to imply that all 12 jurors believed there was no evidence to support the charges.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The tomb of a mystery queen has been unearthed in Egypt. A team of Czech archaeologists discovered the 4,500-year-old tomb at the Abu Sir necropolis just south of Cairo. Markings on the walls indicated it belonged to Khentakawess III, a previously unknown wife or mother of Pharaoh Neferefre, who ruled during Egypt's Fifth Dynasty. That's during the same time the first pyramids were constructed.

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