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News Wrap: Trump says ‘good chance’ of declaring emergency over border wall

In our Friday news wrap, President Trump says he’s closer to declaring a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that could let him use defense and other funds to build a physical wall there. Also, the Midwest's brutal cold blast has finally begun to subside. Weekend temperatures may rise 80 degrees from extreme recent lows, which caused widespread disruption and at least 25 deaths.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The latest look at the U.S. economy shows a job market going strong.

    The Labor Department reported today that employers added a net of 304,000 jobs in January. That is the most in nearly a year. The jobless rate did rise slightly to 4 percent, because furloughed federal workers were counted as unemployed. We will break down the jobs numbers later in the program.

    A brutal week-long cold blast of weather has finally begun to release its grip on the country, after at least 25 deaths and widespread disruption. Frigid conditions eased slightly across the Midwest today, although rivers and cities remained frozen over. And subzero temperatures hung on in the Northeast. By contrast, weekend temperatures could climb 80 degrees from this week's lows, and bring a wave of burst water pipes and other damage.

    President Trump said today that he is closer to declaring a national emergency at the U.S. southern border. The move could let him use defense and other funds to build a border wall.

    At the White House, the president complained that Democrats are obstructing his efforts, so declaring an emergency is a live option.

  • Donald Trump:

    I'm certainly thinking about it. I think there's a good chance that we will have to do that. But we will at the same time be building regardless. We're building wall, and we're building a lot of wall, but I could do it a lot faster the other way.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Congressional negotiators from both parties are working on a border security agreement, hoping to avoid another government shutdown in two weeks.

    But, in a New York Times interview, Mr. Trump dismissed that effort as — quote — "a waste of time."

    The president formally announced today that the United States will withdraw from a Cold War era nuclear arms pact with Russia. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty banned testing and deploying certain missiles. The U.S. alleges that Moscow has violated the treaty.

    We will lay out the details after the news summary.

    Virginia's Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, is facing questions tonight about a yearbook photo showing someone in blackface and another person in a Ku Klux Klan robe. The image appears on Northam's page in his 1984 medical school yearbook. It is unclear who the two people are, but the other pictures on the page are of Northam. As of early this evening, the governor's office had no comment.

    New Jersey's U.S. Senator Cory Booker joined the Democratic presidential field for 2020. The two-term senator and former Newark mayor is a longtime advocate for racial justice and prison reform.

    In Newark, he said his goal is to bring together a polarized nation.

  • Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.:

    I'm going to run a race about not who I'm against or what I'm against, but who I'm for and what I'm for. I'm not looking to even — simplistically to beat Republicans. No, I'm looking to unite Americans in this race, because I believe we have more in common than divides us.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The Democratic field now has at least eight major candidates.

    The Vatican's women's magazine is speaking out about sexual abuse of nuns by Catholic priests. The article appeared today in "Women Church World." It acknowledges that nuns have had abortions or given birth to children never recognized by their fathers. It says the nuns stayed silent out of fear of retaliation. The claims were first reported by other outlets last year.

    In Iran, a 10-day celebration has begun, marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. State TV today showed students waving flags outside the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He returned from exile on this date in 1979, and sparked mass demonstrations that toppled the government 10 of Shah Pahlavi days later.

    Facebook says it has removed 783 fake accounts linked to Iran. The social media giant says that they were spreading false information using stories from Iranian state media. It says the accounts were suspended before last year's U.S. midterm elections.

    On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 64 points to close at 25063. The Nasdaq fell 17 points, and the S&P 500 added two. For the week, all three indexes gained well over 1 percent.

    And in China, millions have begun traveling home to celebrate the lunar new year next Tuesday. Festivities ushering in the year of the pig last from February 4 to the 10th. Airports, railways and ports are adding more planes, trains and ships to keep up with the travel rush. The Chinese government expects nearly three billion trips in total during the holiday.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": what's next, as the U.S. pulls out of a major nuclear arms treaty; how does manufacturing fit into the broader U.S. jobs picture?; Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on lowering drug prices; why the NFL's handling of Colin Kaepernick looms over this Sunday's Super Bowl; and much more.

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