News Wrap: Trump ally Steve Bannon appears in court on contempt charges

In our news wrap Monday, longtime Trump ally Steve Bannon appeared before a federal judge in Washington on criminal contempt charges. Health officials in New York City called for all adults to get booster shots going beyond current CDC guidance. American journalist Danny Fenster is headed home from Myanmar after six months in jail on charges he spread lies about the military government.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: Longtime ally of former President Trump Steve Bannon faced criminal contempt charges in Washington. He has refused to cooperate with a congressional investigation of the January assault on the U.S. Capitol.

    Bannon entered no plea at his initial court appearance, but, outside, he declared his defiance of Congress, the president and the attorney general.

  • Steve Bannon, Former White House Chief Strategist:

    This is going to be the misdemeanor from hell for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden.

    Joe Biden ordered Merrick Garland to prosecute me from the White House lawn when he got off Marine One. And we're going to do — we're going to go on the offense. We're tired of playing defense. We're going to go on the offense on this. And stand by.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    If convicted, Bannon faces a maximum one year in prison on each of two counts.

    On the pandemic, health officials in New York City called for all adults to get booster shots, going beyond CDC guidance. Several states have already taken that step as infections surge again. Meanwhile, Austria ordered a lockdown for unvaccinated people through November 24.

    A jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin, heard closing arguments today in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial. He killed two people and wounded a third during protests over racial justice last year. Prosecutors argued that Rittenhouse triggered the confrontations. The defense said he was chased by rioters, as the two sides made final presentations.

  • Thomas Binger, Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney:

    When the defendant provokes the incident, he loses the right to self-defense. You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create. That's critical right here.

  • Mark Richards, Attorney For Kyle Rittenhouse:

    They're going to get their licks in on Kyle Rittenhouse, or, as they perceive him, somebody from the other side who has been putting out their fires, causing problems for their — for them, stopping them from wreaking havoc in Kenosha.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Earlier, the judge dismissed a misdemeanor charge against Rittenhouse for possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor.

    President Biden and China's President Xi Jinping will be meeting by videoconference tonight. It is their first meeting since Mr. Biden took office. And it comes amid tensions over Taiwan, human rights and COVID-19. White House officials say they do not expect any major announcements.

    The European Union widened sanctions against Belarus today for pushing migrants across E.U. borders. Thousands of people are camped along the Belarusian borders with Poland and Lithuania. Hundreds have tried to cross illegally. The E.U. says that Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko ginned up the crisis to retaliate for earlier sanctions.

    American journalist Danny Fenster is headed home from Myanmar after six months in jail on charges he spread lies about the military government. He flew to Qatar today joined by one-time U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson, who won his release. Fenster said he was relatively healthy.

  • Danny Fenster, American Journalist:

    I was arrested and held in captivity for no reason, so I suppose so. But, physically, I was healthy. I wasn't starved or beaten.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Just last Friday, Fenster was sentenced to 11 years of hard labor.

    The International Space Station is keeping watch tonight for space debris. U.S. officials say that a Russian weapons test destroyed an old satellite today, creating at least 1, 500 pieces of junk traveling at high speed. Direct hits could endanger the station's crew of four Americans, two Russians and one German.

    Back in this country, Vermont United States Senator Patrick Leahy is retiring after eight terms. The 81-year-old Democrat is the Senate's senior member and the last of the Watergate class of 1974.

    In Montpelier today, he said it's time to come home.

  • Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT):

    I know I have been there for my state when I was needed most. I know I have taken our best ideas and I have helped them grow. I brought Vermont's voice to the United States Senate and Vermont's values around the world.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Leahy has been a leading liberal voice on human rights and the environment. He's also appeared in five "Batman" movies along the way.

    A 9-year-old boy has died of injuries suffered at a music festival in Houston, bringing the total number of victims to 10. The victims were trampled in a crowd surge. It happened during rapper Travis Scott's performance on November 5.

    The nation's three largest pharmaceutical distributors went on trial today in Seattle over the opioid epidemic. Washington state is seeking $38 billion for treatment and education, plus billions in damages. And, in Cleveland, a federal jury heard closing arguments in a suit by two Ohio counties against three pharmacy chains.

    And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained lost roughly 13 points to close at 36087. The Nasdaq fell seven points. The S&P 500 was virtually unchanged.

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