In our Friday news wrap, the Trump administration announced it will bar federally funded family-planning clinics from referring women for abortions. Abortion opponents applauded the move, while abortion rights advocates condemned it. Also, R&B star R. Kelly will face multiple counts of aggravated sexual abuse. He was charged in Chicago for crimes involving victims between 13 and 17 years old.
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In the day's other news: The Trump administration announced that it will bar family planning clinics from referring women for abortions if the clinics receive federal funds. Abortion opponents praised the move. Abortions rights supporters condemned it, and are certain to challenge it in court.
A California couple who chained and starved many of their 13 children at their home pleaded guilty today to torture and abuse. David Turpin appeared stoic as he entered his pleas in Riverside. His wife, Louise Turpin, cried. They will spend at least 25 years in prison. Police found the children a year ago after one escaped and called for help. They ranged in age from 2 to 29, and were starving and living in filth.
The R&B singing star R. Kelly will face multiple counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving victims who ranged in age from 13 to 17 years old. He was charged in Chicago today with crimes going back at least as far as 1998. Kelly is 52, and a Grammy-winning artist, but accusations of sexual misconduct with minors have followed him for years. He has his initial court appearance tomorrow.
At the Vatican, a landmark summit on sexual abuse by clergy turned to the question of accountability today. Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias called for acknowledging decades of cover-ups and for reporting abuse cases to police.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias:
The sexual abuse of minors and other vulnerable people not only breaks divine and ecclesiastical law. It is also public criminal behavior. The church doesn't live in an isolated world of its own making. Those who are guilty of criminal behavior are justly accountable to civil authority for that behavior.
The response of abuse victims was mixed. Some argued out that Cardinal Gracias himself has failed to confront abuse in the Indian church.
Soldiers in Venezuela opened fire near the Brazilian border today, amid opposition attempts to bring in humanitarian aid. Witnesses said at least one person was killed and several wounded. The government has threatened to close all of its borders, in a bid to block U.S. aid. Meanwhile, thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing on foot.
We will have a look from inside Venezuela later in the program.
A new report finds that Iran is still complying with the 2015 nuclear accord. The International Atomic Energy Agency said today that the Islamic Republic's stocks of nuclear materials remain within the agreed limits. That is despite the U.S. withdrawing from the pact last May and reimposing sanctions.
Israel's first lunar mission is on its way to the moon. The lander was aboard a SpaceX rocket that blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, last night. The nonprofit group behind the project celebrated.
I witnessed the Apollo landing as a child, and I dreamed to be this situation of launching my own spacecraft. I have been working the project for five years. I joined five years ago, and we were dreaming about this moment.
The Apollo missions of the 1960s and '70s made the trip to the moon in three days, thanks to giant Saturn V rockets. Without that kind of boost, the Israeli craft has to orbit Earth in growing circles, until lunar gravity finally pulls it in, in April.
Back in this country, police in Jupiter, Florida, are charging the owner of the New England Patriots football team, Robert Kraft, with soliciting prostitution. They say that he was captured on camera at an illicit massage parlor as part of a crackdown on sex trafficking. The charge is a misdemeanor. The 77-year-old Kraft denied any wrongdoing today.
The actor Jussie Smollett's character has been cut from the season's final two episodes of the "Empire" TV series. The executive producers announced it today, after Chicago police charged Smollett with staging an attack on himself. Smollett's lawyers say that he maintains his innocence.
On Wall Street, stocks gained on hopes that the U.S.-China trade talks could reach a deal before more U.S. tariffs take effect. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 181 points to close back above 26000. The Nasdaq rose 67 points, and the S&P 500 added 17.
And 10 U.S. airmen from World War II were honored today for sacrificing themselves to save a group of English children. On February 22, 1944, the crew deliberately flew their damaged plane into trees in order to avoid a park. Today, U.S. and British aircraft made a special flyby over the city of Sheffield, England, in tribute, as thousands looked on.
Tony Foulds was one of the children whose life was spared that day. He's now 82.
I would never, ever dream of taking my own life like these did. I feel, and I have always felt, that I killed these. It's something I have always thought. I have always had guilt in my mind.
Foulds lobbied for years to have the Americans honored. He also tends a small memorial to them in the park.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": the shifting messages on U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria.; supporters of President Nicolas Maduro form militias in Venezuela; a new development in the sex abuse case against hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein; and much more.