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News Wrap: U.S. steps up screenings for novel coronavirus

In our news wrap Tuesday, U.S. health officials have ramped up efforts to contain the spread of a deadly virus outbreak that started in China. Twenty airports and other sites will now monitor for sick travelers; Sec. of Health and Human Services Alex Azar is advising calm. Also, the U.S. military recovered the remains of the two crew members killed in a plane crash in Afghanistan Monday.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: President Trump rolled out his Middle East peace plan. It envisions a Palestinian state with parts of East Jerusalem as the capital. It also recognizes Israeli sovereignty over major West Bank settlements.

    Palestinians condemned the plan, but the president called it a win-win for both sides.

    We will take a closer look after the news summary.

    U.S. health officials ramped up efforts today to contain the spread of a deadly virus from China. Twenty U.S. airports and other sites will now monitor for sick travelers. That's an increase of 15. So far, there are only five confirmed cases in the U.S.

    And Alex Azar, the U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services, is counseling calm.

  • Alex Azar:

    The risk to any individual American is extremely low. We are taking the steps to be prepared for this. We are taking aggressive action. But the individual American, this shouldn't be an impact on their day-to-day life.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meanwhile, in China, the U.S. State Department began flying American diplomats and others out of Wuhan, which is the epicenter of the outbreak. That came as Chinese officials reported more than 100 deaths out of 4,500 confirmed cases.

    In Afghanistan, the U.S. military today recovered the remains of both crew members who were killed in a plane crash on Monday. Their surveillance plane went down in Ghazni province, which is largely controlled by the Taliban. Officials say there are no signs the plane was shot down.

    A powerful earthquake and at least one heavy aftershock hit today in the Caribbean Sea between Cuba and Jamaica. The initial quake had a magnitude of 7.7, and was felt from South Florida to the Cayman Islands. There were no immediate reports of casualties or of heavy damage.

    The British government will let Chinese telecom giant Huawei build parts of its next-generation mobile networks known as 5G. The U.S. had warned against the move, arguing that Huawei would share intelligence with the Chinese government.

    But in the House of Commons, Britain's Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said the company's role will be limited to lower-risk parts of the 5G networks.

  • Dominic Raab:

    High-risk vendors should be, first of all, excluded from all safety-related and safety-critical networks in critical national infrastructure, secondly, excluded from security-critical network functions, and, thirdly, limited to a minority presence in other network functions, up to a cap of 35 percent.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    We will hear more about the British decision later in the program.

    Back in this country, the head of Harvard University's Chemistry Department has been charged with lying about working for a Chinese recruitment program. Federal officials said that Charles Lieber concealed payments he received from Beijing. It was part of a Chinese program that recruits people with knowledge about U.S. technology and intellectual property.

    The U.S. budget deficit is expected to reach $1 trillion this year, for the first time since 2012. The Congressional Budget Office reported today that Trump administration tax cuts and new federal spending are fueling the red ink, despite a healthy economy. The last trillion-dollar deficits came during the recovery from the 2008 Great Recession.

    And on Wall Street, tech stocks led a rally that recovered some of Monday's losses. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 187 points to close at 28722. The Nasdaq rose 130 points, and the S&P 500 added 32.

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