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News Wrap: U.S., China exchange new threats on trade

In our news wrap Tuesday, China’s central bank denied manipulating its currency to gain advantage in a trade fight with the U.S. Beijing urged Washington to pull back on trade aggression, but White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow countered that the economic burden is falling more heavily on China. Also, Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned Turkey not to attack Kurdish forces in Syria.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The debate over guns in America is intensifying tonight, after mass shootings that killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas, and nine in Dayton, Ohio. So are the investigations.

    The FBI today joined the investigation of the Dayton gunman, Connor Betts, who was killed by police. Agents said that he had shown interest in committing a mass shooting.

  • Todd Wickerham:

    We have uncovered evidence throughout the course of our investigation that the shooter was exploring violent ideologies. We have not seen any evidence that the events in El Paso influenced him at this point. Again, we have lots of evidence to go through

  • Judy Woodruff:

    President Trump plans to visit Dayton and El Paso tomorrow. His opponents, in turn, plan to protest his rhetoric on race and immigration and to demand action on gun violence.

    Dayton's Democratic mayor, Nan Whaley, said today she backs both sentiments.

  • Nan Whaley:

    His rhetoric has been painful for many in our community, and I think that people should stand up and say they're not happy, if they're not happy that he's coming.

    I'm disappointed with his remarks. I mean, I think they fall — fell really short. He mentioned, like, gun issues one time. I think watching the president over the past few years on the issues of guns, he's been — I don't know if he knows what he believes.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine urged mandatory background checks for virtually all gun sales today. That was today. He also called for court action to prevent potentially dangerous people from getting guns.

    We will hear about federal gun control legislation after the news summary.

    The FBI also says that it is treating last month's mass shooting in Gilroy, California, was domestic terror. It turns out the gunman had a target list of religious institutions, federal buildings, courthouses and the two major political parties. He killed three people and wounded 13 at a popular food festival, before killing himself.

    The Chinese currency stabilized today after sliding on Monday to an 11-year low. That calmed Wall Street, and stocks made up almost half of Monday's losses. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 311 points to close at 26029. The Nasdaq rose 107 points, and the S&P 500 added 37.

    Meanwhile, China's Central Bank denied manipulating its currency to gain advantage in a trade fight with the U.S. Instead, it warned Washington to pull back from the brink of greater economic damage.

    But White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow argued the Chinese are bearing the real burden.

  • Larry Kudlow:

    China's slashing its prices. That's killing their profits and their companies. Production and supply chains are moving out of China. We have elasticity of demand. Our importers can shop elsewhere outside of China. That's hurting China.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    President also played down fears of a prolonged trade fight, and he vowed again to protect American farmers after Beijing said that it will stop buying U.S. agriculture products.

    Separately, President Trump has frozen all of the Venezuelan government's assets in the U.S. in a new blow at President Nicolas Maduro. The sanctions also mean that U.S. companies and individuals could face penalties for doing business with Maduro's government and his top supporters. This is the latest U.S. move to aid opposition leader Juan Guaido in his bid to oust Maduro.

    The United States fired off a new warning to Turkey today not to attack Kurdish forces in Northeastern Syria. The mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces have fought against the Islamic State, or ISIS, but Turkey regards the Kurds as terrorists.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said today that a Turkish invasion would be unacceptable. He spoke en route to Japan.

  • Mark Esper:

    We want to sustain the continued defeat at least of the physical caliphate of ISIS, right? That becomes a question if they move in and the SDF is impacted.

    We're obviously holding thousands of fighters, ISIS fighters. And so those are some the — some of the things we risk if there's a unilateral incursion into Northern Syria by the Turks.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    In Ankara, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan again talked of military action, insisting that control of the Syrian border region is critical to Turkey's safety.

  • Recap Tayyip Erdogan (through translator):

    It's our country's top priority to drain the terror swamp in Syria's north. Turkey cannot feel safe as long the forces in our south, which are growing like a cancer cell and being grown with the heavy weapons of our allies, is not eliminated.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Military delegations from the U.S. and Turkey have been meeting in Ankara this week, trying to negotiate a settlement.

    North Korea says that it keeps testing missiles because the United States is inciting military tensions. The North fired two more short-range missiles into the sea early today, the fourth such test in two weeks. In a statement, Pyongyang defended the tests and cited U.S. weapons sales to South Korea and a joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise.

    Back in this country, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel has officially dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race. He said in a video today that he will back Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for the nomination. Gravel is 89. He didn't actively campaign or appear in any of the Democratic debates.

    And Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison has died in New York after a brief illness. She pioneered American multiculturalism in her novels, and was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Toni Morrison was 88 years old.

    We will explore her life and legacy at the end of the program.

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