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News Wrap: Key issues hold up talks on a bipartisan relief deal

In our news wrap Tuesday, Senate Republican and Democratic leaders disagree on how to move past key issues that are holding up a bipartisan relief deal, President Trump and his allies kept up a stream of election challenges, the U.S. Army fired or suspended 14 officers and soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas over failures to stop violence, and thousands of Indian farmers staged a nationwide strike.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: The U.S. Supreme Court brushed aside Republican attempts to block president-elect Biden's win in Pennsylvania.

    That came as the attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, asked the High Court to invalidate Biden's electoral votes in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

    And during his vaccine summit, the president insisted again that officials see things his way.

  • President Donald Trump:

    We were rewarded with a victory. Now let's see whether or not somebody has the courage, whether it's a legislator or legislatures, or whether it's a justice of the Supreme Court, or a number of justices of the Supreme Court. Let's see if they have the courage to do what everybody in this country knows is right.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Today was also the so-called safe harbor deadline for states to certify election results and guarantee that Congress accepts their electoral vote tallies. Only Wisconsin missed the deadline.

    The push for pandemic economic relief is hung up today on disagreements over aid for state and local governments and over liability protections for businesses. Today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed today dropping those issues for now, and passing jobless benefits and renter protections. Democratic leaders accused McConnell of obstruction.

    The House of Representatives advanced a sweeping defense funding bill, despite a veto threat. President Trump has demanded that unrelated language be in there to strip the big social media companies of legal liability protection, and he opposes changing the name of military bases that honor Confederate leaders. A veto could block a 3 percent pay raise for U.S. troops.

    The U.S. Army has fired or suspended 14 officers and soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, over failures to stop extreme violence in the ranks. Today's report said that the killing of Specialist Vanessa Guillen exposed a pattern of sexual harassment, assault, and even murder.

    U.S. Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy: The tragic death of Vanessa Guillen and a rash of other challenges at Fort Hood forced us to take a critical look at our systems, our policies and ourselves. But, without leadership, systems don't matter.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Guillen's family said the penalties are not strong enough and the recommendations for change don't go far enough.

    On Wall Street, small gains made for new records. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 104 points to close at 30173. The Nasdaq rose 62 points to a new high, and the S&P 500 added 10, also reaching a record.

    And today marked 40 years since John Lennon was shot and killed in New York. Fans remembered the former Beatle with music, flowers and candles in Central Park. The man who murdered him remains in prison. Had he lived, John Lennon would have been 80 years old.

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