News wrap: Judge in Rittenhouse murder trial dismisses juror over joke about Jacob Blake

In our news wrap Thursday, a judge in Kenosha, Wisconsin, dismissed a white juror in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial because he had joked about the police killing of Jacob Blake, a Black man. A Russian analyst was charged by a special counsel probing the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. More than 20 countries at the U.N. climate summit pledged to phase out coal use within two decades.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: A judge in Kenosha, Wisconsin, dismissed a juror in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial. Rittenhouse killed two people and wounded a third during protests last year. He said it was self-defense.

    Kenosha's unrest erupted after Jacob Blake was shot by police.

    Today, Judge Bruce Schroeder announced a white juror had joked about Blake.

  • Judge Bruce Schroeder, Kenosha County Circuit Court:

    It's clear that the appearance of bias is present, and it would seriously undermine the outcome of the case.

    The public needs to be confident that this is a fair trial. And I think, even at the very most, it was bad judgment to tell a joke of that nature.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meanwhile, in Brunswick, Georgia, a nearly all-white jury will be seated tomorrow for three white men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery.

    We will return to this later in the program.

    A Russian analyst was charged today by a special counsel probing the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. Igor Danchenko is accused of lying to the FBI. He provided information for a Democratic-funded dossier on ties between Russia and then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016. Later, federal officials used it to justify surveillance of a former Trump aide.

    At the U.N. climate summit, more than 20 countries pledged to phase out coal use within the next two decades. They include several heavy users, Chile, Indonesia, South Korea, Ukraine, and Vietnam. The U.S. and others committed to curbing financial support for coal-fired power plants.

    Alok Sharma, President, 26th Conference of Parties: Coal financing has been well and truly choked off. We know that this transition must be just, and new tools for delivering the transition are emerging. Development banks, governments, philanthropies and the private sector are coming behind it, helping countries across the world.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Some environmental groups complained that the pledges are not ambitious enough.

    In Iran, thousands of people turned out for anti-American rallies that were canceled last year because of the pandemic. Crowds gathered in Tehran and other cities to mark the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy. They chanted "Death to America" and burned U.S. flags. The embassy crisis lasted 444 days before 52 American hostages were released.

    Back in this country, the U.S. Senate confirmed Robert Santos for director of the census, the first person of color in that job. The 2020 census struggled with the pandemic and President Trump's bid to identify people who were in the U.S. illegally.

    In economic news, new claims for jobless benefits fell again last week to 269,000. But the trade deficit hit a record high in September, nearly $81 billion.

    And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 33 points to close at 36124. The Nasdaq rose 128 points to another record finish. The S&P 500 added 19, also hitting a closing high.

    And three new inductees have joined the National Toy Hall of Fame. They are American Girl Dolls, the war strategy game Risk and sand. The Hall of Fame says children have played with it since prehistoric times. And what about dirt?

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