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News Wrap: Saudi Arabia beheads 37 in mass execution

In our news wrap Tuesday, Saudi Arabia beheaded 37 people in the Kingdom’s largest mass execution since 2016. The Saudi government said those killed were found guilty of attacking security installations, killing security officers and cooperating with what it called “enemy organizations.” Meanwhile, the deadline set by Congress for President Trump to release his tax returns has come and gone.

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Notice: Transcripts are machine and human generated and lightly edited for accuracy. They may contain errors.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Saudi Arabia's government carried out the beheadings of 37 people today, the kingdom's largest mass execution since 2016. Saudi officials said the accused had been found guilty of attacking security installations, killing security officers, and cooperating with what it called enemy organizations. One of the bodies and the severed head were put on public display as a warning.

    In Washington, deadline day came and went for the Treasury to release President Trump's income tax returns. Democratic Representative Richard Neal, chairing the House Ways and Means Committee, asked for six years of personal and business returns, but the White House refused. Neal may now issue a subpoena in a probe of the president's business dealings at home in the U.S. and abroad.

    The president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, says the Mueller investigation has done more harm than all of Russia's interference in the 2016 election. The White House senior adviser spoke today at a New York City event and played down the Russian meddling.

  • Jared Kushner:

    And, quite frankly, the whole thing's just a big distraction for the country.

    And you look at what Russia did, buying some Facebook ads to try to sow dissent and do it — and it's a terrible thing — but I think the investigations and all of the speculation that's happened for the last two years has had a much harsher impact on our democracy than a couple of Facebook ads.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The Mueller report found that Russia engaged in a sweeping campaign of interference in an effort to aid the Trump campaign.

    The man who granted Jared Kushner his security clearance ignored a subpoena today from the House of Representatives' Oversight Committee. Carl Kline was White House personnel security director during President Trump's first two years in office. At issue is whether he improperly gave clearances to Kushner and to others.

    In the Philippines, an earthquake struck the central part of the country, but there were no reports of deaths. Just yesterday, another quake killed at least 16 people in the Northern Philippines. The shockwaves brought down a supermarket and damaged an airport.

    Voters in Egypt have overwhelmingly approved letting President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi stay in power until 2030. Elections officials say the proposal won nearly 90 percent of the vote. El-Sisi is a former general who overthrew an Islamist president in 2013, and has cracked down since on dissent.

    Back in this country, in a first, federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against a drug company executive in the opioid epidemic. Laurence Doud once ran Rochester Drug Co-Operative, a distribution company. Prosecutors in New York say that he ignored warnings about opioid addictions in order to keep sales surging.

  • Geoffrey Berman:

    This prosecution is the first of its kind. It is the first time executives of a pharmaceutical distributor, and the distributor itself, have been charged with drug trafficking.

    Our office will do everything in its power to bring to justice anyone responsible for unlawfully fueling this opioid epidemic, and that includes executives who illegally distribute drugs from their boardrooms.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Doud is 75. He could get 10 years in prison if he is convicted.

    In the presidential campaign, it was widely reported today that former Vice President Joe Biden will announce his bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination on Thursday. Most polling suggests that Biden will start out as front-runner in the crowded Democratic primary.

    And on Wall Street, solid earnings reports pushed stocks to new records. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 145 points to close at 26656. The Nasdaq rose 105 points to a new record close, and the S&P 500 also had its best finish ever.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": putting a citizenship question on the census reaches the Supreme Court; where Democrats stand on possibly impeaching the president; a killing in Northern Ireland revives dark memories of the Troubles; and much more.

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