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News Wrap: Malaysian election upset ousts ruling party

In the news wrap Thursday, Mahathir Mohamad, a 92-year-old former leader of Malaysia, was sworn in as the new prime minister, after a stunning election victory. The vote ousted the ruling party of more than six decades over corruption, a crackdown on dissent and an unpopular sales tax. Also, the U.S. House voted to revive the process of licensing a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

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  • John Yang:

    In the day's other news, the Pentagon blamed a series of failures for last October's ambush deaths of four U.S. commandos in Niger.

    U.S. Africa Command found the mission wasn't properly approved and also cited poor preparation, communications and training. We will have a full report later in the program.

    The 92-year-old former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in today as the new prime minister, after a stunning election victory. Wednesday's vote ousted the ruling party of more than six decades, over corruption, a crackdown on dissent and an unpopular sales tax.

    Today, Mahathir took the oath of office in Kuala Lumpur, and at a news conference, he promised major changes.

  • Mahathir Mohamad:

    Of course, right away, we will have to do a lot of work tomorrow, but I would also like to thank the people, the people who supported us.

  • John Yang:

    Mahathir governed from 1981 to 2003. He was credited with modernizing Malaysia, but was also known for his authoritarian rule.

    Back in this country, the U.S. House voted to revive the process of licensing a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. President Obama shelved the project in 2010, but pressure has been growing for action as spent fuel from nuclear power plants has been accumulating in 39 states.

    The bill now goes to the Senate, where Nevada's two senators have vowed to block it.

    Findings out tonight say climate change fueled the destructive power of Hurricane Harvey last summer. The National Center for Atmospheric Research reports that record warmth in the Gulf of Mexico supercharged the storm. That led to huge amounts of rain across Texas and catastrophic flooding. It's one of the strongest links yet between warming and a specific weather event.

    And, on Wall Street, a rally in tech stocks boosted the broader market again. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 197 points to close at 24739. The Nasdaq rose 65 points, and the S&P 500 added 25.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour," Middle East tensions — are Iran and Israel heading toward war?; what happened and who's to blame, the Pentagon report on the deadly ambush on U.S. forces in Niger; Making Sense of how populism is affecting economic policy; and much more.

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