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In our Wednesday news wrap, Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte unveiled a governing coalition that shuts out the far-right League party. Conte met with the Italian president to present his new cabinet, which unites his populist Five Star Movement with the center-left Democratic party. Also, Afghanistan's government voiced new concerns about a potential peace deal between the U.S. and the Taliban.
In the day's other news: Tropical Storm Fernand has come ashore in Northeastern Mexico, and is now moving inland.
It struck a sparsely populated area north of La Pesca today with winds of 40 miles an hour and 18 inches of rain. Forecasters said that it will stay south of the Texas border and dissipate by tomorrow.
In Britain, lawmakers have dealt Prime Minister Boris Johnson a stinging blow over Brexit. The House of Commons voted today to block the country from leaving the European Union without a formal agreement. In turn, Johnson is warning that he will call a snap election for mid-October, two weeks before the Brexit deadline.
We will have a report from London right after the news summary.
In Italy, Premier Giuseppe Conte unveiled a new governing coalition that shuts the hard-right League Party out of power. Conte met with the Italian president to present his cabinet. It unites his populist Five Star Movement with the center-left Democratic Party. Conte's original coalition collapsed when the League Party withdrew, in a failed bid to force new elections.
The government of Afghanistan voiced new concerns today about a potential peace deal between the U.S. and the Taliban. An adviser to President Ashraf Ghani cautioned against withdrawing U.S. troops too quickly, with the insurgent Taliban at its strongest since the 2001 U.S. invasion.
But, in Brussels, the NATO secretary-general tried to allay fears of a hasty pullout.
We will not leave too early, but our aim is not to stay in Afghanistan forever. Our aim is to make sure that Afghanistan never again creates the platform for threats, for planning, for organizing, for funding terrorist attacks against our countries.
NATO has about a 20,000 troops in Afghanistan, including some 14,000 Americans. The draft peace agreement calls for 5,000 of those U.S. troops to leave shortly after a final deal.
Back in this country, a government watchdog says migrant children separated from their parents last year have shown post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues. They included heightened fear and feelings of abandonment. The report comes from the inspector general at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is based on interviews with about 100 mental health clinicians who dealt with the affected children.
The Pentagon has diverted $3.6 billion away from military construction funds to build 175 miles of a wall on the U.S. southern border. The move effectively de-funds a total of 127 projects, including some military schools and day care.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced it late Tuesday, and President Trump said today that it's part of his declaration of a national emergency along the border.
President Donald Trump:
The secretary of defense spoke with members of Congress and explained it to them. And I think he felt very good about it. He feels it's a national security problem. I do too. It is. When you have thousands of people trying to rush our country, I think that's national security.
A number of congressional Democrats condemned the funding shift.
Texas Congressman Bill Flores today became the latest Republican to announce he's retiring from the U.S. House of Representatives. Flores is in his fifth term, and is now the 15th GOP Congress member not seeking reelection and the fifth from the state of Texas. That is ahead of the pace at this point in the 2018 election cycle, when a total of 34 House Republicans retired.
Michigan will be the first state in the nation to ban sales of flavored nicotine vaping products. Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered the move today. She said e-cigarette makers are using candy flavors and misleading ads to, in her words, hook children on nicotine.
YouTube has agreed to pay $170 million over charges that it collected personal data on children without parental consent. The Federal Trade Commission and New York state say that the company used the data to target kids with advertising. Under the settlement, YouTube also agrees to limit its data collection.
And on Wall Street, gains in technology stocks fueled a rally. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 237 points to close at 26355. The Nasdaq rose 102 points, and the S&P 500 added 31.
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