News Wrap: Militants behead Frenchman in Algeria

In our news wrap Wednesday, a Frenchman was murdered by militants linked to the Islamic State in Algeria. Herve Gourdel was kidnapped over the weekend and was killed after the French government refused to halt airstrikes in Iraq. Also, NATO reported a significant drawdown of Russian forces inside Ukraine, but that thousands of troops or special forces are still deployed in or near the country.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Militants in Algeria have beheaded a Frenchman after Paris rejected their demand to halt airstrikes in Iraq. Herve Gourdel was kidnapped on Sunday. A group linked with Islamic State forces released a video of his killing today, and French President Francois Hollande confirmed it later.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    A court in Jordan today acquitted a radical Muslim cleric, Abu Qatada, of plotting to attack Israelis and Americans back in 2000. Qatada, known for fiery pro-al-Qaida speeches, was greeted by family and friends in Amman after his release. He was deported from Britain to Jordan last year.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    NATO reports a significant withdrawal of Russian forces from inside Ukraine in recent days, but the alliance said today thousands of Russian troops are still deployed near the border, and special forces are operating inside Ukraine. That's in spite of the cease-fire agreement signed in early September. The Russians deny they have any troops in Ukraine.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    There's been another attack on health care workers in West Africa's Ebola outbreak. Red Cross workers in southwestern Guinea were assaulted yesterday as they collected bodies of suspected Ebola victims. Locals say relatives of the dead went after the volunteers. Last week, eight health workers and journalists were killed in Guinea.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, called for calm today after renewed unrest. Five people were arrested and two officers were hurt last night. The trouble started after a fire burned an impromptu shrine to Michael Brown, the black teenager killed by a white police officer last month.

    Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said today that officers also reported seeing gunfire from the crowd.

  • RON JOHNSON, Captain, Missouri State Highway Patrol:

    We must all stand. The citizens must stand. This agenda for peace, this agenda to make our community better takes us all. We cannot have nights like last night. We can't have actions like last night that can result in injury or death. Those will not be tolerated.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    A state grand jury is still investigating the shooting of Michael Brown. The Justice Department is conducting its own separate investigations.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will not face criminal charges in a fatal accident during a dirt track race. Prosecutors in Upstate New York announced today that a grand jury decided not to indict. In August, Stewart's car struck and killed another driver, Kevin Ward Jr., after they collided, and Ward climbed out of his car and walked into the center of the track.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    There were calls today for the head of the Food and Drug Administration to step down. Sixteen groups charged Dr. Margaret Hamburg has failed to stop an epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse. Opposition to Hamburg heated up last year, when the FDA approved a powerful new painkiller, over the objections of medical advisers.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    A federal judge has ruled that BP must stick to its agreement to compensate companies for losses in the Gulf oil spill. The ruling today, in New Orleans, denied the oil giant's bid to recoup hundreds of millions of dollars in questionable claims. BP said it will appeal.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Wall Street staged a broad advance today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 154 points to close at 17,210. The Nasdaq rose 46 points to close at 4,555. And the S&P 500 added 15 to finish at 1,998.

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