In our news wrap Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan defended an effort by congressional Republicans to make public a classified memo on the Russia probe. Also, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase announced a joint venture to provide quality health care at reasonable prices, spurring a major sell-off of health care stocks on Wall Street.
Read the Full Transcript
And in the day’s other news- A major health care announcement triggered a significant sell-off on Wall Street. Health insurers, drug makers and distributors were all hit hard after Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan Chase announced a new venture aimed at providing quality health care at a reasonable cost.
The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 362 points, nearly 1.5 point, to close below 26,077. The Nasdaq fell 64 points, and the S&P 500 lost 31.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is defending an effort by congressional Republicans to make public a classified memo on the Russia probe. The House Intelligence Committee voted last night to take that step, over the Justice Department’s objections.
Some Republicans say the memo shows improper surveillance by justice and the FBI and an effort to conspire against President Trump.
Rep. Paul Ryan:
There may have been malfeasance at the FBI by certain individuals. So it is our job in conducting transparent oversight of the executive branch to get to bottom of that. Sunshine is the best disinfectant. And so what we want is all this information to come out, so that transparency can reign supreme and accountability can occur.
President Trump has the final word on releasing the memo, and he’s said he favors doing so. But the White House said today that it will run a legal and national security review before a final decision.
The Trump administration will not implement new economic sanctions against Russia, for now, for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. The State Department said late Monday that existing measures are already working. But the Treasury Department published a list of Russian officials and wealthy businessmen who could be targeted.
Today, in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin called the list a hostile step.
President Vladimir Putin (through interpreter):
What’s the sense of these actions? I don’t understand. But it is, of course, an unfriendly act. It complicates the already difficult situation in Russian-American relations, and of course, harms the international relations as a whole. It is complete stupidity to reduce our relations to zero.
We will take a closer look at all of this a little later in the program.
The United Nations Children’s Fund is warning that stepped-up sanctions on North Korea could mean nearly 60,000 children will starve. UNICEF says that the penalties are making it harder to ship food, fuel and medicine to the North. The sanctions target the North’s nuclear and missile programs.
The Taliban today condemned President Trump’s rejection of truce talks in Afghanistan. Mr. Trump had cited a spate of deadly attacks. In a statement today, the Taliban said the U.S. strategy is simply more war.
In Yemen, there’s new trouble for a coalition led by Saudi Arabia against Shiite rebels linked to Iran. Fighters who’d been part of the coalition seized the port city of Aden today, after two days of fighting. They surrounded the presidential palace and accused the Saudi-backed government of corruption. They also want a separate state in Southern Yemen.
Tens of thousands of Kenyans turned out today for the mock-inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga as alternative president. President Uhuru Kenyatta won October’s election after the opposition boycotted. Today, Odinga supporters swarmed a Nairobi park as he took his oath and declared defiance of the government.
Raila Odinga (through interpreter):
Today is a historical day in our country of Kenya. For the first time, Kenyans have taken the decision to remove themselves from a dictatorship government that came through the stealing of votes.
Kenya’s government cut live transmission of three TV channels airing the event, and branded it treason. Police also fired tear gas at demonstrators who were nearby.
There’s new fallout from Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of young women athletes. Texas will now investigate the Karolyi Ranch training center, where some gymnasts say the former sports doctor molested them. Michigan State University is expected to name former Governor John Engler as interim president amid allegations that the school ignored Nassar’s abuse there.
And Congress agreed to mandate that athletic groups quickly report claims of abuse to the police.
Volkswagen has suspended a top executive today after disclosures of diesel fume experiments using monkeys. Initial reports had said that humans were also used, but the executive now says that he rejected that idea. Instead, monkeys breathed in fumes for four hours to test emission controls. This follows the 2015 scandal over V.W.’s cheating on emissions tests.
And get set for a three-in-one lunar show early tomorrow. First, a blue moon, the second full moon in the same month. At the same time, it will be a supermoon closer than usual, and appearing bigger and brighter. And, finally, there will be a total lunar eclipse, but in only part of the country. It all happens before dawn Wednesday, mostly over the Western U.S. and Asia.