In our Wednesday news wrap, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will reportedly leave the Justice Department once a new attorney general is confirmed. Rosenstein oversees the special counsel’s Russia investigation and has been attacked by President Trump. Also, Israeli security service Shin Bet vowed to block foreign interference in the country’s upcoming elections, after an apparent threat.
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In the day's other news: There's word that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will leave the Justice Department once a new attorney general is confirmed. Rosenstein oversees special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, and has often been attacked by President Trump.
William Barr would assume that oversight role, if he becomes attorney general. He met with Republican senators today, including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.:
I asked Mr. Barr directly, do you think Bob — Mr. Mueller is on a witch-hunt? He said no. Do you see any reason for Mr. Mueller's investigation to be stopped. He said no. Do you see any basis for a termination based on cause? He said no. Are you committed to making sure Mr. Mueller can finish his job? Yes.
In the past, Barr criticized the Russia investigation, but, today, he said Mueller is doing an excellent job.
The Israeli security service Shin Bet vowed today to block foreign interference in Israel's upcoming elections. The agency's chief had warned that a foreign power is trying to meddle in the campaign. Suspicion quickly fell on Russia, but the Kremlin denied any involvement.
Iran has confirmed the arrest of a U.S. Navy veteran, but is not saying what he is charged with. Michael White is the first American known to be detained there since President Trump took office. He disappeared while visiting Iran last July. News of the arrest comes as the U.S. is ratcheting up economic sanctions on Tehran.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Iraq today, offering reassurance about the fate of Kurdish fighters in Syria. They have fought the Islamic State group, but Turkey regards the Kurds as terrorists, and it's threatening to attack them once the U.S. withdraws from Syria. Pompeo held meetings in Baghdad and with Iraqi Kurds in Irbil. He insisted the Syrian Kurds are not being abandoned.
These have been folks that have fought with us, and it is important that we do everything we can to ensure that those folks that have fought with us are protected.
From Iraq, Pompeo moved on to Egypt. He will travel to Saudi Arabia and to other Gulf states later.
The president of Sudan has rejected demands for his resignation, despite three weeks of protests. Omar al-Bashir insisted today that he will leave only if he's voted out. He took power in a military coup in 1989. As al-Bashir spoke, hundreds of anti-government demonstrators marched in the city of Omdurman. They headed for Parliament, before police intervened.
In Bangladesh, thousands of garment workers took to the streets for a fourth day, demanding better pay. Protesters shut down factories and blocked roads on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka. That set off clashes with riot police, who used water cannons and batons to disperse the crowds. Local reports said that one demonstrator was shot dead.
In the Philippines, a colossal crowd of Catholic faithful joined in a daylong procession for the Black Nazarene, a centuries-old statue of Jesus Christ. Up to five million people marched through Manila alongside the carriage holding the statue. Many said they believe it has healing powers.
First, my daughter had cancer, and she survived, she survived cancer twice. Then my husband got a lung disease, and he also survived. Then my firstborn was able to get a good job, because of the Black Nazarene.
Spanish missionaries are said to have brought the statue to Manila in the 1600s. It was burned black during a fire on the ship that carried it.
Back in this country, President Trump has formally nominated Andrew Wheeler to run the Environmental Protection Agency. The former energy lobbyist has been serving as acting EPA chief since July. Wheeler's predecessor, Scott Pruitt, resigned last summer amid scrutiny of his spending and various ethical issues.
Toyota is recalling another 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. over faulty air bag inflators. They're blamed for at least 23 deaths around the world. Some 50 million air bag inflators made by Takata have been recalled in recent years. One-third of them have yet to be replaced.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 91 points to close at 23879. The Nasdaq rose 60, and the S&P 500 added 10.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": what will it take to find a deal to open the government; why the shutdown is adding to already overwhelmed immigration courts; virtual reality gives patients and doctors an inside look at the brain; plus, how one writer's decision to speak about her rape inspired a new book.