In our news wrap Thursday, violence in the Middle East continues in response to President Trump’s peace plan. Deadly shootings took place in the West Bank and in Jerusalem, and a Palestinian injured 12 Israeli soldiers after ramming them with a car. Also, heavy rain is finally dousing Australia's wildfires, but brings with it the possibility of flooding.
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In the day's other news: The national chair of the Democratic Party is calling for a recanvass of the Iowa presidential caucus results. Tom Perez said today that the public must have confidence in the outcome, after technical glitches marred the process.
As of tonight, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are in a virtual tie, with nearly all precincts reporting.
We will return to the story later in the program.
China's coronavirus outbreak is still growing, with authorities reporting more than 30,000 cases, and, as of today, more than 600 deaths. A hospital in the city of Wuhan says the dead now include a doctor who sounded the alarm in December and was publicly criticized for it.
In Geneva, the World Health Organization said today that it cannot tell when the virus will subside.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus:
There is a still a lot we don't know. We don't know the source of the outbreak. We don't know what its natural reservoir is. And we don't properly understand its transmissibility or severity. To defeat this outbreak, we need answers to all those questions.
We will discuss all this with the Chinese ambassador to the United States after the news summary.
In the Middle East, three more Palestinians died today as violence surged in the wake of President Trump's peace plan. In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians during clashes in Hebron. In Jerusalem, security footage captured an Arab-Israeli man firing at security forces before he was killed.
Earlier, a Palestinian rammed a car into Israeli soldiers, injuring 12.
Australia is finally getting heavy rain to douse wildfires, but it comes at the cost of flooding. Storm and flood alerts went up today in New South Wales and Queensland states. The rain is expected to last several days.
Back in this country, a powerful storm front brought flooding rain and tornadoes from the Deep South to the East, killing two people. In Spartanburg, South Carolina, uprooted trees blocked roads and damaged homes. The National Weather Service said a tornado may have touched down. The front also knocked out power to thousands and shut down schools.
The U.S. Justice Department sounded the alarm on China today. FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that Beijing is working to steal U.S. technology by any means necessary. He spoke in Washington amid a stepped-up campaign of arrests related to Chinese spying.
The FBI has about 1,000 investigations involving China's attempted theft of U.S.-based technology in all, 56 of our field offices and spanning just about every industry and sector.
They're not just targeting defense sector companies. The Chinese have targeted companies producing everything from proprietary rice and corn seeds to software for wind turbines.
Also today, U.S. Attorney General William Barr warned that China could dominate the next generation of telecommunications technology. He said the U.S. might have to buy control of companies that are competing with Chinese firms.
The Trump administration will bar New York City residents from so-called trusted traveler programs that speed passage through customs and airport security. Today's announcement blames a state law that bars immigration officials from accessing motor vehicle records. State officials say that it's retaliation for the city's sanctuary law protecting migrants.
The U.S. Interior Department today officially implemented plans to allow drilling and mining in parts of two national monuments in Utah. It follows President Trump's move to downsize the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument by half and to cut Bears Ears by 85 percent. Conservation groups say that ongoing legal challenges will kill those changes.
And on Wall Street, the major indexes hit new highs, as stocks rose for a fourth day. The Dow Jones industrial average gained about 89 points to close at 29079. The Nasdaq rose 63 points, and the S&P 500 added 11.