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In our news wrap Friday, U.S. airstrikes hit targets in eastern Syria overnight, French President Macron insisted on raising the retirement age despite ongoing protests, Israel’s attorney general warned that Netanyahu is breaking a conflict-of-interest law, Rwanda commuted the sentence of human rights activist Paul Rusesabagina, and public schools in Los Angeles reopened after a three-day strike.
Good evening, and welcome to the "NewsHour."
The United States and Iran have come to blows again. American airstrikes hit targets in Eastern Syria overnight. The strikes focused on Deir el-Zour and near the towns of Mayadin and Bukamal, aiming at groups linked with Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
The Pentagon says it was retaliation after an Iranian-made drone killed a U.S. contractor and wounded six other Americans.
Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, Pentagon Press Secretary:
We don't see escalation with Iran, but the strikes that we took last night were intended to send a very clear message that we will take the protection of our personnel seriously and that will respond quickly and decisively if they're threatened.
Tonight, Syrian human rights monitors reported new airstrikes after rockets were fired at a base housing American forces.
And, in Canada, President Biden said the U.S. military will do what's needed to safeguard its 900 troops in Northeastern Syria.
French President Emmanuel Macron insisted today he won't be deterred from raising the retirement age to 64, despite the worst street violence in years. Trouble erupted overnight after a day of largely peaceful protests. Today, crews in Paris sifted through damage in the wake of street battles between anarchists and police, but Macron vowed to press on.
Emmanuel Macron, French President (through translator):
In the face of violence, which I distinguish from the protests, we continue to be extremely firm. I assure the police of my support, who did an exemplary job. As to everything else, we continue to move forward. The country deserves it and needs it.
The protests today forced Britain's King Charles to postpone a state visit scheduled to start on Sunday.
France has also announced it will ban TikTok from government devices, the latest nation to do so. The hugely popular video sharing app is under fire for its ties to China amid rising cyber security concerns. The U.S. and other countries have moved toward similar restrictions.
The attorney general of Israel warned today that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is breaking a conflict of interest law. She said he's barred from pushing to overhaul the courts while on trial for corruption. On Thursday, Netanyahu said he's going ahead.
In a letter today, the attorney general said — quote — "Your statement last night and any action you take in violation of this matter is illegal."
Paul Rusesabagina has been released from custody and will leave Rwanda soon. That's after the government there commuted his sentence. The former hotel manager saved hundreds of people in the 1994 genocide, inspiring the film "Hotel Rwanda." But, in 2021, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for terrorism after accusing Rwanda's president of human rights abuses.
In Ukraine, a new round of Russian air attacks killed at least 10 civilians today and wounded 20 more. Missiles, exploding drones and artillery struck sites across Southern and Eastern Ukraine. Among the targets hit, an aid station where five refugees died.
Meanwhile, the U.N. Human Rights Office issued a report detailing killings and torture of prisoners of war on both sides.
Matilda Bogner, Head of U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine: We are deeply concerned about the summary execution of up to 25 Russian prisoners of war and persons hors de combat by Ukrainian armed forces.
We are also deeply concerned by the summary execution of 15 Ukrainian prisoners of war shortly after being captured by Russian armed forces.
The U.N. documentation could be used in possible trials at the International Criminal Court or other tribunals.
Back in this country, Kentucky's Democratic Governor Andy Beshear vetoed a Republican bill focused on transgender children. It would ban gender-affirming care for those under the age of 18 and restrict school bathrooms. The Republican-dominated legislature passed the bill by veto-proof margins and could vote next week on overriding the veto.
Public schools in Los Angeles reopened today after a three-day strike by teachers aides, bus drivers and others. Up to 30,000 union members walked out this week to demand higher pay and teachers honored the picket lines. It's unclear if negotiators made any progress during the strike.
And, on Wall Street, stocks managed small advances,despite ongoing worries about the banking industry. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 132 points to close at 32237. The Nasdaq rose 36 points. The S&P 500 added 22.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart weigh in on the week's political headlines; a collector of memories reflects on the U.S. invasion of Iraq 20 years later; a husband and wife team in rural Indiana use art to combat consumerism and waste; plus much more.
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