In our news wrap Thursday, Wall Street plunged again amid slumping tech stocks, rising interest rates and fears of an impending government shutdown. The Dow Jones was down 464 points, the Nasdaq dropped 108 and the S&P 500 slid 39. Also, President Trump’s Syria withdrawal plan drew criticism from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who rejected Trump’s assertion that ISIS has been defeated.
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And now another major story tonight: Thousands of mainly Central American migrants will be barred from entering the United States while their claims seeking legal asylum are reviewed.
Instead, they will stay in Mexico, under an agreement announced today. It doesn't apply to Mexican nationals or children traveling alone. We will have a closer look at this after the news summary.
In the day's other news: Wall Street crumbled again after the — under the weight of slumping tech stocks, rising interest rates, and fears of that partial government shutdown. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 464 points to close at 22859. It's on track for its worst month since the Great Depression. The — or maybe that's recession. The Nasdaq fell 108 points, and the S&P 500 slid 39.
President Trump's plans to withdraw from Syria drew fire today from a key ally. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces rejected Mr. Trump's assertion that the Islamic State group has been defeated. They warned that a U.S. pullout will revive ISIS.
Meanwhile, in Moscow, Russia's President Vladimir Putin welcomed the U.S. decision.
As for the Islamic State group defeat, I agree with the president of the United States. I have already spoken about the fact that we achieved significant changes in the fight against terrorism on this territory and have seriously hit ISIS in Syria.
President Trump defended his decision, and said he was making good on a promise he had made long ago. In a series of tweets, he asked: "Does the U.S. want to be the policeman of the Middle East?" And he added — quote — "Time for others to finally fight."
North Korea issued a blunt new statement today in the face of stalled negotiations with the United States. The state news agency declared that the North will not give up nuclear weapons unless the U.S. removes its own nuclear threat from the region. The statement said, otherwise, North Korea would become — quote — "a defenseless state."
The U.S. Justice Department has charged two Chinese citizens with an elaborate global hacking campaign. The hackers allegedly acted on behalf of Chinese intelligence and stole data from the military, industries and governments in at least a dozen countries, including the U.S.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said it's part of a pattern.
No country poses a broader, more severe long-term threat to our nation's economy and cyber-infrastructure than China. China's goal, simply put, is to replace the U.S. as the world's leading superpower. And they're using illegal methods to get there.
The two alleged Chinese hackers remain at large. We will take a closer look at the scope of their cyber-attacks later in the program.
On a separate track, U.S. and Chinese trade envoys will hold trade talks in January. Beijing said today that the meetings will focus on intellectual property protection and trade balances, among other issues. The two nations have agreed to postpone new tariff hikes at least until March.
In Britain, drones buzzing London's Gatwick Airport delayed tens of thousands of holiday travelers. All flights in and out were halted last night and again early today, leaving travelers stranded. Officials cited fears of a collision with what police called industrial-strength drones. The government has now called in the military to help. And Gatwick will stay closed until at least Friday morning.
Back in this country, the U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval to a sweeping criminal justice bill. It means reductions in many sentences for federal drug crimes and expansions of prison rehabilitation efforts. President Trump is expected to sign it.
The president's choice for attorney general, William Barr, came under fire today. It involved a June memo on the firing of FBI Director James Comey and whether that amounted to obstruction of justice. In the memo, Barr wrote that special counsel Robert Mueller's "obstruction theory is fatally misconceived" — end quote.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the memo disqualifies Barr from being nominated as attorney general. Republicans dismissed the criticism.
And the farm bill is now law, after months of negotiations. President Trump signed it today at a ceremony with a bipartisan group of lawmakers looking on. The bill totals $867 billion over 10 years.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": we unpack the Trump administration's plans to keep asylum-seekers in Mexico; what the Justice Department knows about two Chinese hackers indicted for stealing confidential data; a water crisis in Iraq threatens historically fertile lands; and much more.