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News Wrap: Snow storm triggers car wrecks, power outages

In our news wrap Thursday, a pre-winter storm spread across the Eastern U.S., leaving six people dead and causing mass power outages. Also, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi insisted that she has the votes to become speaker come January, dismissing claims that some Democrats could block her.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news, a pre-winter storm spread across the Eastern U.S., leaving six people dead and causing mass power outages.

    Saint Louis got as much as eight inches of snow, with two to six inches falling from Washington, D.C., all the way north into New England. The storm had already triggered car wrecks across the Deep South on Wednesday, especially in Mississippi and Arkansas.

    All but one of Florida's 67 counties finished machine vote recounts today for the Senate and governor's races. Palm Beach County missed the deadline, citing equipment problems.

    In the Senate contest, Republican Rick Scott had a razor-thin lead over Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson, ensuring a further recount by hand.

    Meanwhile, Democrats picked up a U.S. House seat in the state of Maine. They have now gained 36 seats, with a handful of races still outstanding.

    Meantime, the current House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, insisted today that she has the votes to become speaker come January. She dismissed claims that disgruntled Democrats might have the votes to block her. Pelosi initially served as speaker from 2007 to 2011. She said she is confident of returning to the post.

  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.:

    I have overwhelming support in my caucus to be speaker of the House, and certainly we have many, many people in our caucus who could serve in this capacity. I happen to think that, at this point, I'm the best person for that.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Pelosi is 78. Opponents say it's time to give younger Democrats a chance to rise.

    In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom's top prosecutor announced that he will seek the death penalty for five men charged in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The writer was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, last month. He had been critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

    But Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir claimed today that the prince wasn't involved.

  • Adel Al- Jubeir:

    This was a rogue operation. We have a better sense of what happened. This was individuals exceeding their authority and going beyond their mandate. And these individuals made a tremendous mistake. And for this mistake, they will pay a price.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Also today, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on 17 Saudis who have been linked to Khashoggi's murder.

    Taliban fighters in Afghanistan killed 30 policemen overnight, the latest in a string of attacks. This time, the target was a police outpost in Farah province, near the Iranian border. Unofficial tallies show that at least 45 Afghan soldiers and police are being killed or wounded daily.

    British Prime Minister Theresa May defied calls today to step down over her Brexit deal. That came as two Cabinet ministers quit, along with several junior ministers. They charged that the deal leaves Britain too closely tied to the European Union.

    Carl Dinnen of Independent Television News has our report.

  • Theresa May:

    Serving in high office is an honor and privilege. It is also a heavy responsibility.

  • Carl Dinnen:

    But Theresa May is nothing if not resilient, and says hers is a Brexit deal that protects the economy.

  • Theresa May:

    I believe that this is a deal which does deliver that, which is in the national interest, and am I going to see this through? Yes.

  • Carl Dinnen:

    She's not going anywhere yet. This morning, Dominic Raab became the second Brexit secretary to exit the Cabinet, saying the deal has terrible flaws.

  • Dominic Raab:

    The first one is the rather predatory terms being proposed by the E.U., which I feel would threaten the integrity of the United Kingdom. Basically, what that would do is definitely, if not permanently lock us into a regime which I believe would be damaging to the economy, but devastating to the public trust in our democracy.

  • Carl Dinnen:

    Soon after, the work and pension secretary, Esther McVey, did resign writing: "I cannot defend this. I cannot vote for this deal."

    But Mrs. May still warned M.P.s to back her, or risk Brexit.

  • Theresa May:

    We can choose to leave with no deal. We can risk no Brexit at all. Or we can choose…

  • Carl Dinnen:

    Yet there were hostile voices all around the Commons.

  • Jeremy Corbyn:

    The government must now withdraw this half-baked deal, which is clear doesn't have the backing of the Cabinet, this Parliament, or the country as a whole.

  • Sarah Wollaston:

    At this stage, we should be back to the people, present them with the options, rather than us just stumble on regardless.

  • Carl Dinnen:

    And within minutes of the debate ending, Mrs. May's position had become more tenuous yet, as the leader of pro-Brexit Conservatives called for a vote of no-confidence in the prime minister.

  • Jacob Rees-Mogg:

    This is about not having confidence in the current leader and believing that the deal simply doesn't work.

  • Carl Dinnen:

    Yet other Brexiters remain in the Cabinet, Michael Gove, rumored to be in the running as the new Brexit secretary, Penny Mordaunt, seen entering Number 10 for talks.

    Mrs. May has weathered the storm today, but the outlook for her and for her Brexit deal is deeply unsettled.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    That report from Carl Dinnen of Independent Television News.

    Refugee officials in Bangladesh have scrapped plans to start sending Rohingya Muslims back to mostly Buddhist Myanmar. Today's decision came as refugees protested against the effort. Some 700,000 Rohingya live in Bangladesh after fleeing army-led violence in Myanmar.

    The European Court of Human Rights ruled today that Russia's arrests of opposition leader Alexei Navalny are politically motivated. The court ordered Moscow to pay $71,000 in damages. The decision is legally binding, but Moscow has delayed complying with previous rulings.

    Back in this country, a tech rebound helped Wall Street break its losing streak. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 208 points to close at 25289. The Nasdaq rose 122 points, and the S&P 500 added 28.

    And longtime country music star Roy Clark died today at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Starting in 1969, he hosted the TV variety show "Hee-Haw" for nearly a quarter of a century. He was also a Grammy winner who excelled at a wide range of instruments. Roy Clark was 85 years old.

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