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News Wrap: Senate passes farm bill after months-long stall

In our news wrap Tuesday, senators passed a farm bill that will provide more than $400 billion in farm subsidies, and rejects stricter limits on food stamps. Also, a jury recommended life in prison for the man who killed a protester at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last year.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: The U.S. Senate passed a farm bill worth $867 billion over 10 years, after months of stalled negotiations. It includes billions for farm subsidies, and it reauthorizes conservation programs. But it also rejects stricter limits on food stamps. The House could vote as soon as tomorrow.

    The Environmental Protection Agency called today for rolling back federal protections for thousands of waterways and wetlands. Farmers, developers and energy companies had sought the move. Environmental groups condemned it. It is aimed at Obama era rules that greatly expanded the reach of the Clean Water Act.

    We will have the details later in the program.

    In Charlottesville, Virginia, a jury recommended a life sentence, plus 419 years for a man who killed a counterprotester and injured dozens at a white supremacist rally. James Fields was convicted last week of first-degree murder. He drove a car into a crowd at the 2017 rally.

    The mother of Heather Heyer, the protester who was killed, spoke outside the courtroom today.

  • Susan Bro:

    I'm kind of running through about 50 different emotions all at once. Bottom line is, justice has him where he needs to be, and my daughter is still not here and the other survivors still have their wounds to deal with. So we have all been damaged permanently, but we do survive, we do move forward.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    A judge will issue the final sentence at a hearing in March.

    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May began a mission today to rescue her Brexit deal in Parliament. It faces strong opposition over a so-called backstop provision that could leave Britain subject to European Union customs rules indefinitely. May sought reassurances on that point today from Dutch, German and E.U. leaders.

    James Mates of Independent Television News reports.

  • James Mates:

    Stop three on a frantic, some might even say desperate, diplomatic dash across Europe.

    In a parallel universe this evening, she would have been celebrating victory in Parliament and a triumphant and orderly Brexit. Instead, she is now pleading with leaders in Brussels for something, anything they can give her to stave off humiliation.

  • Theresa May:

    Whatever outcome you want, whatever relationship you want with Europe in the future, there's no deal available that doesn't have a backstop in it. But we don't want the backstop to be used. As it is, we want to be certain that it is only temporary.

  • James Mates:

    At crack of dawn this morning, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had jumped on his bike and peddled over to meet her. It's fair to say no one had quite been expecting to be dealing with Brexit again today.

    The greeting from perhaps Britain's most sympathetic ally on the continent was warm, but little was on offer. "Well, you can't refuse someone a cup of coffee," said the country's foreign minister, rather pointedly.

    By lunchtime, it was Berlin and a red carpet hastily rolled out by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The message from the Germans, as relayed through their Europe minister: "It's good to talk, but there definitely won't be any reopening of negotiations."

    At the European Parliament in Strasbourg, almost word for word the same from the commission president.

  • Jean-Claude Juncker:

    There is no room whatsoever for renegotiation. But, of course, there is room — if used intelligently, there is room to give further clarification.

  • James Mates:

    If the British strategy is once again to try to win concessions in other European capitals that they have failed to win in Brussels, it's likely to meet with the same failure as it's done throughout this two-year Brexit process.

    When they all meet together in a single room at the summit on Thursday, Mrs. May seems certain to face once more an E.U.-27 speaking with a single voice.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    That report from James Mates of Independent Television News.

    In France, a gunman killed at least four people and wounded 11 near a world-renowned Christmas market in Strasbourg. Ambulances rushed to the scene and police spread out looking for the gunman. They identified him as a possible extremist with a criminal record.

    The United States today returned three revered bells to the Philippines 117 years after they were seized during the Philippine-American War. They were taken from a church in Balangiga. That's in 1901, when villagers killed 48 American soldiers. The U.S. Army killed thousands of Filipinos in retaliation.

    Today, a U.S. military cargo plane unloaded the bronze bells at a base in Manila. The U.S. ambassador there said it closes a painful chapter.

  • Sung Kim:

    The bells of Balangiga are now home in the Philippines, where they belong. Secretary Lorenzana, please take them to the people of Balangiga, to the Church of San Lorenzo. May they ring in peace and bear testament to the ties and values which bind our two great nations for generations to come.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The U.S. captured the Philippines in 1898 during the Spanish-American War, but Filipinos fought for independence for several more years. The country gained independence finally in 1946.

    A Canadian judge has granted bail today to Meng Wanzhou. That is the chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei. She now faces possible extradition to the U.S. for allegedly violating sanctions on Iran. The judge set bail at $7.5 million and ordered Meng to surrender her passport and agree to electronic monitoring.

    Meanwhile, Canadian officials confirmed that a former Canadian diplomat has been detained in Beijing, apparently in retaliation.

    And back in this country, Wall Street had another seesaw day. In the end, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 53 points to close at 24370. The Nasdaq rose 11 points, and the S&P 500 slipped one point.

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