News Wrap: Russian lawmakers back national security overhaul

In our news wrap Friday, both chambers of Russian Parliament met to call for tougher penalties for terrorists and more power for the police, following the attacks in Paris and the bombing of a Russian airliner over Egypt. Also, thousands of refugees were left in limbo after four Balkan state began turning away migrants who are not fleeing war.

Read the Full Transcript

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And in the day's other news: Paris marked one week since the Islamic State attacks that ravaged the city, as the death toll rose today to 130. At the same time, investigators worked to figure out when and how the ringleader gained reentry into France, while French lawmakers moved to extend a state of emergency.

    And this evening, the U.N. Security Council unanimously called for new efforts against Islamic State terror. We will have the story in full after the news summary.

    In Russia, meanwhile, lawmakers today backed a sweeping overhaul of national security. This follows the Paris attacks and last month's bombing of a Russian airliner over Egypt. Today, in Moscow, both chambers of Parliament met in a rare session to call for tougher penalties for terrorists and more power for police.

  • VALENTINA MATVIYENKO, Russian Parliament (through interpreter):

    These days, the Federation Council receives a lot of requests from citizens, public organizations, experts, and what they have in common is concern about the need to increase effectiveness of the fight against terrorism. I think that additional measures, including legislative ones, are definitely needed.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Meanwhile, the Russians claimed today that their airstrikes have destroyed a number of Islamic State oil facilities in Syria in recent days. Official video showed ground crews at an air base in Russia, writing the words for "Paris" and "For our guys" on bombs. They were being attached to planes heading out on missions to Syria.

    Thousands of refugees were in limbo today after four Balkan states began turning away economic migrants and accepting only those fleeing war. For now, that means Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia are allowing only Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis to cross their borders. At the Greek-Macedonian border today, other migrants waved documents at police holding them back. Those who had left Iran and Bangladesh held up signs begging to be let in.

    President Obama arrived in Malaysia today, and urged young people in the largely Muslim nation to reject extremism. He spoke at a town hall with college-aged students, and stressed their role in combating terror, in the wake of the Paris killings.

  • PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

    When you think about the terrible vision of those who carried out those attacks, and you contrast that with the young people who are represented here, you can set an example, not just to stand up to violent extremism, but to build interfaith dialogue, promote tolerance, and to combine an appreciation of your own culture and traditions with the modern world.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The fight against Islamic State militants will take center stage as the president attends a Southeast Asian summit this weekend.

    Accused spy Jonathan Pollard was released from a U.S. federal prison today, after serving 30 years for spying for Israel. It was one of the highest-profile espionage cases in American history, and an ongoing irritant in U.S.-Israeli relations.

    Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner has the story.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    Pollard arrived in New York City this morning after being driven from a federal prison in North Carolina.

    As a U.S. Naval intelligence officer in the 1980s, he passed suitcases of top-secret documents to an Israeli colonel. They contained classified intelligence about Arab governments and Soviet arm shipments. First arrested in 1985, Pollard pled guilty to spying for Israel and was sentenced to life in prison in 1987.

    Since then, his case has been a source of tension between Israeli and U.S. administrations.

    Today, Israeli Prime Minister Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu celebrated his parole after a long campaign for his release.

  • BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Prime Minister, Israel:

    The people of Israel welcome the release of Jonathan Pollard. As someone who raised his case before successive U.S. presidents many times, I longed for this day. And now, after three long and difficult decades, Jonathan is being released.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    His wife, Esther, spoke when his parole was first announced.

    ESTHER POLLARD, Jonathan Pollard's wife: I'm relieved and I'm happy that our ordeal is finally coming to an end.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    Pollard made no statements today. Under the terms of his parole, he must stay in the U.S. for five years while wearing a digital GPS tracking device. His lawyers are asking a federal judge to overturn this requirement and let him move to Israel, which granted him citizenship in 1995. Pollard will work at a finance firm in New York.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    A man from Florida who landed a mini-helicopter, a gyrocopter, on the U.S. Capitol lawn pleaded guilty in federal court today. Douglas Hughes admitted to operating the one-man craft without a license. Last April, he buzzed through restricted airspace, saying he wanted to draw attention to big money in politics. Hughes could get up to 10 months in prison.

    Princeton University has agreed to consider removing the name of Woodrow Wilson, its alumnus and former U.S. president, from campus buildings and programs. That came after black and white students staged a 32-hour sit-in to protest Wilson's support of racial segregation. Wilson was president of Princeton from 1902 to 1910, before being elected governor of New Jersey and then president of the United States.

    And Wall Street finished the week on a high note. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 91 points to close near 17824. The Nasdaq rose 31 points, and the S&P 500 added eight. For the week, all three indexes were up well over 3 percent.

Listen to this Segment