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News Wrap: Severe storm knocks out power in the Northeast

In our new wrap Monday, nearly 1.5 million homes and businesses across the Northeast lost power after a storm with wind gusts that topped 100 mph barreled through the region downing trees and power lines. Also, a federal court in Washington barred the Trump administration from enforcing a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day’s other news: Nearly 1.5 million homes and businesses across the Northeast are without power after a severe storm barreled through the region. In some areas, wind gusts topped 100 miles per hour, downing trees and power lines. Torrential rains left some cars stranded in flash floods.

    And in Milford, Connecticut, this tree was split in two, jolting residents awake.

  • John Benetti:

    I just heard this big crack, boom, and then an explosion, a big burst of light, a big fireball. I wondered what was going on, got out of bed, ran downstairs. Power’s out.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    There were no immediate reports of serious injuries.

    A federal court in Washington today barred the Trump administration from enforcing a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. The U.S. district judge blocked parts of a presidential memorandum that had been issued in August that banned transgender recruits. But she didn’t block a portion that halted the use of government funding for gender reassignment surgeries.

    The Justice Department is reviewing the decision.

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today downplayed the need for a new war authorization. The deadly ambush on U.S. troops in Niger earlier this month ignited bipartisan talks on the need for a new resolution in Congress.

    Lawmakers argue the dynamics on the battlefield have changed since the 2001 authorization was put in place.

    But Mattis told a Senate panel he supports the current authorization for the use of military force, or AUMF.

  • James Mattis:

    A new AUMF is not legally required to addressing the continuing threat posed by al-Qaida, the Taliban and ISIS. Article II of our Constitution and the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs provide sufficient legal authority for us to engage and defeat the current threat, which we are doing by working by, with and through our allies and partners.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The current authorization for use of force was put in place after the 9/11 terror attacks to hunt down al-Qaida suspects, but it’s now being used to justify attacks on other militant groups, including the Islamic State.

    U.S. special operations forces captured a militant believed to be instrumental in the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The incident left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead. In a statement, President Trump said Mustafa al — excuse me — al-Imam was taken into custody on his orders, and will face justice in the U.S.

    Kenya’s election commission declared President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner of last week’s repeat election. The main opposition leader, Raila Odinga, insisted the re-run was rigged, and refused to take part. His supporters also boycotted. Election officials said Kenyatta won 98 percent of the votes cast. He was also declared victor of an August election that was nullified for — quote — “irregularities.’

    Oscar winning actor Kevin Spacey has apologized for alleged sexual misconduct with a minor. Actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making a sexual advance in 1986, when Rapp was just 14. Spacey said he didn’t remember the encounter, but tweeted that, if he had done so, he owed Rapp “the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate, drunken behavior.”

    Spacey also publicly acknowledged that he’s gay, a move that drew backlash from activists for conflating the incident with coming out.

    Netflix separately announced that Spacey’s series “House of Cards” will end after its upcoming season.

    Carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere have surged to a record high. The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization warned that it’s the highest level recorded in 800,000 years.

    In Geneva, the organization’s secretary-general said the impact of that steep rise is already being felt.

  • Petteri Taalas:

    We have seen not only warming, but we have seen changes in the rainfall patterns, drought, flooding. And we have also seen a change in the amount of the most intense tropical storms, like the recent hurricane season in the Caribbean was demonstrating.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Researchers attribute the record rate in emissions to a combination of human activities and a strong El Nino oceans effect.

    On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 85 points to close at 23348. The Nasdaq fell two, and the S&P 500 slipped eight.

    And Native American civil rights leader Dennis Banks has died. His family said he passed away Sunday night in Minnesota after developing pneumonia. Banks was a co-founder of the advocacy group The American Indian Movement, and he led protests over the treatment of Native Americans in the U.S. Dennis Banks was 80 years old.

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