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November 15, 2019

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News Wrap: Supreme Court blocks La. law restricting abortion providers

In our Friday news wrap, the Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a Louisiana law that would have required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, which abortion rights advocates say is an effort to shut down clinics. Meanwhile, U.S. humanitarian aid headed for Venezuela arrived at a Colombian border city.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    Federal prosecutors are looking into whether The National Enquirer's parent company breached a cooperation agreement in how it handled a story about billionaire Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

    Bezos says American Media Inc. tried to blackmail him after he started investigating how the tabloid obtained his private texts and photos. AMI insists it acted lawfully, and pledged to investigate. We will take a closer look at the blackmail allegations after the news summary.

    The Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a Louisiana law that would have required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. In a 5-4 vote late Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts split with conservatives on the bench to join the court's four liberals.

    The court also ruled last night to deny Muslim inmate Domineque Ray's request to have an imam in the execution chamber with him in Alabama.

    U.S. humanitarian aid, meanwhile, headed for Venezuela has arrived at a Colombian border city. The trucks, packed with much-needed food and medicine, have been blocked from entering Venezuela, amid that country's political crisis. But opposition leader Juan Guaido promised the assistance will get there.

    Meanwhile, embattled President Nicolas Maduro insisted that the U.S. is using the aid deliveries to topple the Venezuelan government.

  • Nicolas Maduro:

    Our national sovereignty is made vulnerable with a show called humanitarian aid, and our peace is threatened by the government of Mr. Donald Trump, who, last Sunday, in a televised interview, ratified his threat of a military invasion against Venezuela.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Over 40 countries now recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president.

    Back in this country, a second woman is now accusing Virginia's Democratic Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax of sexual assault. Meredith Watson said Fairfax raped her in 2000 while they were both students at Duke University. Fairfax has strongly denied the allegation.

    Meanwhile, Virginia's Democratic congressional delegation is now calling for the state's governor, Ralph Northam, to resign over a racist yearbook photo and an admission he once wore blackface. The Democratic lawmakers didn't demand the resignation of Attorney General Mark Herring, who also admitted to wearing blackface once in college. Instead, they asked that Herring's conversations with state leaders continue.

    A Phoenix care facility where an incapacitated woman was raped and later gave birth will soon be closing. Hacienda Healthcare care said keeping the center open was no longer sustainable. But state regulators opposed the closure, and warned against transferring its 37 remaining patients elsewhere. The nurse charged with sexually assaulting the 29-year-old woman pleaded not guilty earlier this week.

    Another 1.7 million vehicles in the U.S. are being recalled to replace faulty air bag inflators made by Takata. This latest recall impacts models from Subaru, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, Tesla, Ferrari, and Daimler vans. The defect is blamed for the deaths of at least 23 people worldwide. Hundreds more have been injured.

    Stocks were mixed on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 63 points to close at 25106. The Nasdaq rose 10 points, and the S&P 500 added nearly two.

    And John Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress in U.S. history, has also died. The Michigan Democrat passed away Thursday night at his home in Detroit.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Judy Woodruff remembers the influential politician and his legacy.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Born in Colorado, but raised in Michigan and Washington, D.C., John David Dingell Jr. was the son of a 12-term congressman.

    Dingell joined the Army following the attack on Pearl Harbor. He returned to Washington to earn a degree in chemistry and law from Georgetown. But after the death of his father in 1955, 29-year-old Dingell followed in his political footsteps, winning a special election to succeed John Sr.

    He became known as a dealmaker, chairing the Energy and Commerce Committee, and working on major pieces of legislation, from the 1964 Civil Rights Act to the Clean Air Act and the Affordable Care Act.

    Barak Obama, Former President of the United States: A bill for comprehensive health reform was first introduced by John Dingell Sr. in 1943; 65 years later, his son continues to introduce that same bill at the beginning of each session.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Judy Woodruff:

    By the mid-'90s, Dingell earned the title of dean of the House, the longest serving member. The Michigan congressman went on to serve for nearly 60 years, before retiring in 2015.

    Rep. John Dingell (D), Michigan: I put myself to the test. And I want to know, when the time comes, whether I can live up to my own personal standards as a member of Congress. I'm going to give the last that I can assuredly give and the last that I can proudly give to my people.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Dingell's wife, Debbie, now represents his Dearborn district, after winning the election to fill his seat in 2014.

    For years after, Dingell remained active on Twitter, where he developed a loyal following for his cutting wit and partisan banter. Reacting to a number of White House resignations in 2017, Dingell tweeted: "Truman installed a bowling alley. Carter tried solar panels. Trump is fully invested in a revolving door."

    And for his life's work in the House, President Obama awarded the dean of the House the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.

  • Barack Obama:

    His life reminds us that change takes time, it takes courage and persistence, but if we push hard enough and long enough, change is possible.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    John Dingell was 92 years old.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos claims he was the target of attempted extortion; more evidence linking the Saudi crown prince to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi; a mother who lost her child to the opioid epidemic speaks out on the urgent need to solve the crisis; and much more.

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