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In our news wrap Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May asked Parliament to vote for her Brexit deal or vote to leave with no deal. Failing both options, she proposed delaying the UK's EU departure until June. Also, an Australian court has convicted Cardinal George Pell of sexually molesting two teenage choirboys. Pell is the highest-ranking cleric to be charged in the church's abuse crisis.
In the day's other news: President Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Vietnam for a sequel to their historic 2018 summit. Air Force One touched down in Hanoi late in the day, local time. Mr. Trump was greeted by Vietnamese officials on a red carpet. Kim arrived earlier, and spent the day driving around Hanoi in his armored limousine, drawing crowds and cheers at times.
In Australia, a court has convicted Cardinal George Pell of sexually molesting two 13-year-old choir boys. He now is the highest ranking cleric to be charged in the scandal engulfing the Roman Catholic Church. Pell is on leave from his post as top financial adviser to the pope. Today, a Vatican spokesman said that Pell is barred from serving in the church, pending his appeal.
This is painful news that, as we are well aware, has shocked many people, not only in Australia. While awaiting the definitive assessment of the facts, as is the norm, Cardinal George Pell is prohibited from exercising public ministry.
The Australian jury delivered its verdict in December. The court barred publication of the outcome until now. Pell is 77 years old. He could face 50 years in prison.
The status of Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, remains up in the air. A spokesman says President Hassan Rouhani still considers Zarif the country's foreign minister, despite his resignation yesterday. Zarif was a key figure in securing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with the U.S. and world powers. He has come under increasing pressure from Iran's hard-liners since the U.S. withdrew from the deal.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May opened the door today to delaying Britain's exit from the European Union. She asked Parliament to vote for her Brexit deal, or vote to leave with no deal. If both fail, May proposed delaying until June.
Our absolute focus should be on working to get a deal and leaving on the 29th of March. An extension beyond the end of June would mean the U.K. taking part in the European Parliament elections. What kind of message would that send to the more than 17 million people who voted to leave the E.U. nearly three years ago now?
Delaying Brexit would need the approval of all of the other 27 E.U. member states.
Back in this country, another major winter storm socked parts of the Western U.S. Flooding rain swamped roads in Northern California, and officials urged evacuations along sections of the Russian River.
Meanwhile, relief came for 183 passengers stuck in an Amtrak train in the Oregon mountains. Fallen trees blocked their way on Sunday night. They finally got moving again early today.
Former Vice President Joe Biden says he has cleared a big hurdle to running for president in 2020. He tells The Washington Post that he need to decide if he could put his family through a tough campaign. But he says they now want him to run. However, he says he has not made a final decision.
In North Carolina, Republican Mark Harris says that he will not run again in a redo election for a congressional seat. His apparent victory over Democrat Dan McCready was thrown out last week over allegations of ballot fraud. Harris says that he has surgery scheduled for next month. His chances were considered weakened by the scandal.
A federal appeals court in Washington has cleared the way for AT&T's takeover of Time Warner. A three-judge panel rejected the Trump administration's appeal to block the merger, arguing that it would limit competition and hurt consumers. The takeover is valued at $81 billion.
Fiat-Chrysler announced plans today to invest $4.5 billion in the Detroit area, and to create 6,500 jobs. Plans include a new assembly plant, the city's first since 1991.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 34 points to close below 26058. The Nasdaq fell five points, and the S&P 500 slipped two.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": whether Vietnam can serve as a model for the future relationship of the U.S. and North Korea; India launches an airstrike in neighboring Pakistan; new details on immigrant children separated from their families by the U.S.; and much more.
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