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News Wrap: Trump revives Keystone, Dakota pipeline projects

In our news wrap Tuesday, President Trump breathed new life into two controversial pipeline projects that were halted under the Obama administration. Also, the United Kingdom's Supreme Court ruled that British Prime Minister Theresa May will have to get Parliament's approval before she starts the process of Brexit.

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  • JOHN YANG:

    Another busy day at the Trump White House today, with the new president undoing more of the Obama legacy. This time, the focus was on hotly debated plans for moving oil across the country.

  • PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

    We will see if we can get that pipeline built.

  • JOHN YANG:

    With the stroke of a pen, President Trump breathed new life into two major pipeline projects: the Keystone XL, running from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska, which then-President Obama halted in late 2015, and the Dakota Access pipeline, for which the Army Corps of Engineers decided last year to explore alternate routes across North Dakota.

    On Keystone, Mr. Trump directed the State Department to rule on a new application for the 1,100-mile pipeline within 60 days after it's submitted.

  • PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

    A lot of jobs, 28,000 jobs, great construction jobs. OK, Keystone pipeline.

  • JOHN YANG:

    The Dakota pipeline has triggered protests from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others, who say it endangers cultural sites and drinking water. Mr. Trump ordered that all new pipelines be constructed with U.S.-made steel. The president also moved today to speed up the environmental review process for infrastructure projects, as well as the permitting process for manufacturers.

  • PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

    Sometimes, it takes many, many years, and we don't want that to happen. And if it's a no, we will give them a quick no. And if it's a yes, it's like, let's start building.

  • JOHN YANG:

    Cutting red tape was a topic at a breakfast meeting with auto executives.

  • PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

    It's out of control, and we're going to make it a very short process. And we're going to either give you your permits or we're not going to give you your permits. But you're going to know very quickly.

  • JOHN YANG:

    That drew praise from GM CEO Mary Barra.

  • MARY BARRA, CEO, General Motors:

    There is a huge opportunity, you know, working together as an industry with government, that we can do and improve the environment, improve safety and improve the jobs creation and the competitiveness of manufacturing.

  • JOHN YANG:

    Meanwhile, Mr. Trump had news on making a nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

    I will be making my decision this week. We will be announcing next week.

  • JOHN YANG:

    Later, he huddled with Senate leaders to discuss the year-old court vacancy. He also sat down with Mike Pompeo, the newly confirmed CIA director. And there were reports that he's asking James Comey to stay on as FBI director.

    White House spokesman Sean Spicer wouldn't confirm that, but he did discuss the president's belief, which he repeated to congressional leaders on Monday, that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote because of ballot fraud.

  • SEAN SPICER, White House Press Secretary:

    The president does believe that. He's stated that before. And I think he stated his concerns of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign. And he continues to maintain that belief, based on studies and evidence that people have presented to him.

  • JOHN YANG:

    Election officials across the country say there is no evidence to support the claim.

    Meanwhile, President Trump will address a joint session of Congress on February 28.

    On Capitol Hill, four more of Mr. Trump's Cabinet-level nominees advanced. Committee approved Dr. Ben Carson to be secretary of housing and urban development, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross to be commerce secretary, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to be ambassador to the United Nations, and for secretary of transportation, Elaine Chao, a former labor secretary. Late this afternoon, the full Senate confirmed Ambassador Haley.

    Mr. Trump's nominee to run the Small Business Administration says her experience building World Wrestling Entertainment, or the WWE, is just what's needed for the job. Linda McMahon also told her confirmation hearing today that she and her husband once lost their home to bankruptcy, and she said, "I know what it's like to take a hit."

    British Prime Minister Theresa May will have to get Parliament's approval before she starts the process of withdrawing from the European Union. The United Kingdom's Supreme Court ruled today that May doesn't have the authority to do it on her own. As a result, the government told the House of Commons it will rush legislation to approve the beginning the Brexit process.

  • David Davis, Brexit Secretary:

    That is what the British people voted for, and it is what they would expect. Parliament will rightly scrutinize and debate this legislation, but I trust no one will seek to make it a vehicle for attempts to thwart the will of the people, or frustrate or delay the process of leaving the European Union.

  • JOHN YANG:

    Lawmakers will have a chance to offer amendments to that legislation and on worker rights and other issues, and that could delay Brexit.

    The Israeli government has announced plans to build 2,500 more homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. It's the second such move since President Trump took office. He has indicated he will be much more receptive to settlement expansion than President Obama was. Israel says the new homes will be in existing settlements that they would retain in any peace deal with the Palestinians. A Palestinian spokesman condemned the announcement.

    Russia, Turkey and Iran pledged today to shore up a fragile cease-fire between the Syrian regime and rebel groups. The announcement came at the conclusion of peace talks hosted in Kazakstan. The opposition quickly objected to Iran's involvement because of its battlefield support for Syria 's government, but the U.N. envoy called for restraint.

    STAFFAN DE MISTURA, Special United Nations Envoy for Syria: We cannot allow another cease-fire, a third one, to be, in a way, wasted because of a lack of a political process. So, now is the time for the international community, in all its dimensions, to come together and support one integrated political negotiating process, based also on the help of this remarkable moment that we had today.

  • JOHN YANG:

    The United States did not take part in the parts.

    In Central Italy, search teams found 10 more bodies in a hotel wrecked by an avalanche last week. That brings to 17 the number killed when the wall of snow smashed into the site. Rescue crews have been working for days to try to find more survivors. Nine people have been found alive so far. A dozen are still unaccounted for.

    On Wall Street today, bank stocks helped fuel a rally that set new records. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 113 points to close at 19912. The Nasdaq rose 48 points, and the S&P 500 added almost 15. The Nasdaq and the S&P closed at all-time highs.

    And the Oscar nominations are out, and "La La Land" got a record-tying 14. The romantic musical will contend with eight other films for best picture, including "Hidden Figures," "Manchester by the Sea" and "Fences."

    Overall, this year's nominees are much more diverse, with seven actors of color out of a total of 20.

    We will have an interview with the director of "La La Land" later in the program.

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