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News Wrap: U.S., South Korea begin days of war games

In our news wrap Monday, hundreds of American and South Korean warplanes have begun war games, days after North Korea tested its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile ever. Also, the Supreme Court will allow the latest version of President Trump's travel ban to take full effect for now. The ruling applies to six mostly Muslim nations.

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  • Miles O’Brien:

    President Trump came to the defense of his former national security adviser today.

    Michael Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. Today, the president called the charges very unfair. We will have more on the unfolding Russia investigation later in the program.

    Mr. Trump is also throwing his full support behind Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama. In tweets today, the president said Democratic opposition to tax cuts is — quote — "why we need Roy Moore to win in Alabama" — end quote.

    Moore has denied knowing any of the women who say he pursued them as teenagers when he was in his '30s. But one said today she's come across a signed card from Moore for her high school graduation.

    Hundreds of American and South Korean warplanes have begun five days of war games over South Korea. The exercises began just days after North Korea tested its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile ever. Two dozen F-22s and F-35 stealth jets, U.S., joined in the war games, dubbed Vigilant Ace. But North Korea charged they're pushing the region to the brink of nuclear war.

    The U.S. Supreme Court will allow the latest version of President Trump's travel ban to take effect, full effect, for now. That ruling came late today, and applies to six mostly Muslim nations, Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

    We get more now from Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal.

    Marcia, good to have you with us.

    Walk us through. What did the court do today? There is a little bit of legal intricacy to it.

  • Marcia Coyle:

    OK.

    Essentially, the court issued an order saying that the president's latest travel ban may take full effect while legal challenges to the merits of the ban are moving forward in the lower courts.

    There are two federal appellate courts that just this week will be hearing the merits of the travel ban. One is in the Ninth Circuit , which is on the West Coast, and the other in the Fourth Circuit, which is on the East Coast.

    Lower courts had partially allowed this particular travel ban to go in effect. But it had exempted from the travel ban individuals that had what they call a bona fide relationship with U.S. citizens or entities in the United States.

  • Miles O’Brien:

    So what happens on the lower courts now? Does that all stop?

  • Marcia Coyle:

    No, not at all. In fact, the lower courts are expediting these cases.

    And the Supreme Court said today that it expects, because it is expediting them, that they will reach a decision with appropriate dispatch. So, the travel ban will be in effect not only while those courts are deciding whether the travel ban is constitutional or correct under the immigration statutes, but also possibly through Supreme Court review itself.

  • Miles O’Brien:

    All right, so what did astute court watchers such as yourself learn today, reading the tea leaves on this one, as to how the court ultimately feels about this one?

  • Marcia Coyle:

    OK, you really can't predict with certainty.

    But when the court does something like this, the government, which prevailed, had to show the court that its arguments supporting the ban were serious. So it may well be sending a signal to the lower courts that are looking at it that it believes the government may prevail this time on the merits.

  • Miles O’Brien:

    All right, Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal, thank you very much.

  • Marcia Coyle:

    My pleasure, Miles.

  • Miles O’Brien:

    The high court also grappled today with a case that could make sports betting widely available. New Jersey is leading more than a dozen states against a federal law that restricts sports gambling in most of the country. The arguments continued after the hearing, with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Les Bernal of the Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation making their points.

  • Gov. Chris Christie:

    Those states may or may not ultimately have sports gaming if it were allowed. I think many of them wouldn't.

    But what they do know is that letting the federal government get involved in states being able to govern their own citizens in a broad and impermissible way, as was done here, is dangerous for everyone.

  • Les Bernal:

    Government-sanctioned sports gambling is extremely predatory, and it's really government-sanctioned consumer fraud. It would change the way kids watch sports.

    In countries that have legalized sports gambling, like Australia and the United Kingdom, kids associate gambling with sports.

  • Miles O’Brien:

    The four major U.S. professional sports leagues, the NCAA, and the federal government are opposing the states' lawsuit.

    New York's Metropolitan Opera is now investigating multiple sexual abuse claims against longtime conductor James Levine. He's been suspended for the rest of the current season, after three men said he abused them as teenagers between the 1960s and '80s.

    Meanwhile, former TV host Billy Bush says it's definitely President Trump's voice bragging about lewd behavior on an "Access Hollywood" recording from 2005. That comes amid reports that Mr. Trump is suggesting it's a fake.

    In Sunday's New York Times, Bush wrote: "Of course he said it." And he said the president is indulging in some revisionist history.

    On Wall Street today, the market bought phone company and bank shares and sold tech stocks, with an eye toward who wins and who loses under a tax overhaul. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 58 points to close at 24,920. The Nasdaq fell 72 points, and the S&P 500 slipped two.

    And former Congressman John Anderson died overnight in Washington. The Illinois Republican ran as an independent for president in 1980 against Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Republican Ronald Reagan. He won 7 percent of the vote. John Anderson was 95 years old.

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