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News Wrap: Turkey claims Trump pledged to cease arming Kurdish forces

In our news wrap Friday, Turkey’s foreign minister says President Donald Trump agreed to stop arming Kurdish fighters in Syria during a phone call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which the White House has not confirmed. Also, Zimbabwe swore in its new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day’s other news, the government of Turkey says President Trump has agreed to stop arming Kurdish fighters in Syria. The foreign minister says Mr. Trump made the pledge in a phone call to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Later, the White House informed Erdogan of — quote — “pending adjustments” to support for groups on the ground.

    The Kurdish fighters have scored major victories against Islamic State, but Turkey considers them terrorists.

    In Zimbabwe, the new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was sworn in today. Tens of thousands turned out to see the ceremony, but Robert Mugabe, who stepped down this week under pressure, didn’t join them.

    John Ray of Independent Television News reports from the capital, Harare.

  • John Ray:

    The trace of a smile on the crocodile, a nickname earned through fear, not affection, today, acclaimed president of Zimbabwe, his own and his nation’s reputation in need of transformation.

    A huge crowd danced and sang many of the same songs they sang once for Robert Mugabe, while the military who removed him from power paraded for their new commander in chief. This is the first time Zimbabwe has sworn in a new leader in almost 40 years. He took the oath of office.

  • President Emmerson Mnangagwa:

    So help me God.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • John Ray:

    Assumed the mantle of head of state and promised his people a fresh start.

  • President Emmerson Mnangagwa:

    I solemnly promise that I shall, to the best of my abilities, serve everyone, everyone who calls and considers Zimbabwe their home.

  • John Ray:

    More muted was the response to his tribute to Mugabe, the specter at the feast.

  • President Emmerson Mnangagwa:

    To me personally, he remains a father, mentor, comrade-in-arms and my leader.

  • John Ray:

    The Zimbabwe Mugabe left behind needs jobs and foreign investment. Even Mnangagwa is still subject to U.S. sanctions.

    This former spy chief accused in the past of helping rig elections now promises free and fair elections next year. So, after 10 days that have changed everything we knew about Zimbabwe, the country has a new president.

  • But he’s here as much because of a palace coup as a popular uprising, so how deep will the change really be? From Mnangagwa’s hometown, we met one family who traveled 200 miles from 2:

    00 in the morning to see history unfolding. Expectations are high.

  • Woman:

    Our town, it has been forgotten, the town, which was just dying. And now we are hoping that there is going to be — there is going to be life.

  • John Ray:

    The new president will need time to deliver his promises, but he has already given his people hope.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    That report from John Ray of Independent Television News.

    Interpol has announced 40 arrests in a bid to break up a human trafficking ring in Africa. The international police organization says the operation was carried out in Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal earlier this month. Nearly 500 people were rescued, including 236 children.

    A top Pakistani militant wanted by the U.S. was freed today, on the orders of a Pakistani court. Hafiz Saeed allegedly founded an outlawed group that linked to a 2008 attack in Mumbai, India. The attack killed nearly 170 people.

    This morning in Lahore, Saeed greeted supporters at Friday prayers. His lawyer accused the U.S. and others of trying to block Saeed’s release.

  • Kamran Naseer Abbasi:

    The government officials produced many fake and frivolous reports with regards to the Hafiz Saeed, but the honorable court disagreed, and we have produced that he has no concern with any proscribed organization or activities.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The United States has offered a $10 million bounty for Saeed, but he’s repeatedly been detained and then released.

    An appeals court in South Africa today more than doubled the prison sentence of Oscar Pistorius, the first amputee to run in the Olympics. The court ordered him to serve another 13 years and five months for the murder of his girlfriend in 2013. That is on top of more than a year-and-a-half that he has already served. Prosecutors had appealed the initial six-year sentence.

    Back in this country, Senator Al Franken has issued a new apology, after new allegations of sexual harassment. He said in a statement last night — quote — “I feel terribly that I have made some women feel badly, and for that, I am so sorry.”

    Four women have now accused the Minnesota Democrat of groping them. He faces a Senate Ethics Committee investigation.

    Black Friday shoppers hit the stores with abandon today. Macy’s and other big retailers reported a healthy business boost. Meanwhile, online giant Amazon said Thanksgiving Day orders on its mobile app jumped 50 percent from a year ago.

    And on Wall Street, stocks made a modest advance in a shortened trading day. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 31 points to close at 23,558. The Nasdaq rose 21, and the S&P 500 added five.

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