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In our news wrap Tuesday, China warned that the U.S. will "pay the price" for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. French authorities have reportedly arrested one of the suspected killers of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The U.S. House of Representatives moved to clear the way for raising the national debt ceiling. On Wall Street, stocks surged, led by tech companies.
President Biden has put Russian President Vladimir Putin on notice tonight that the U.S. will impose strong new sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine.
The two men held a two-hour virtual summit today. It came as Russian troops have been building up along the Ukrainian border.
We will focus on that high-stakes meeting right after the news summary.
China issued its own warning today that the U.S. will — quote — "pay a price" for a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. The Chinese gave no specifics, but they said the move violates the Olympic spirit and that there could be fallout.
Zhao Lijian, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman (through translator):
The United States should stop bring politics into sports and stop interfering in the Beijing Winter Olympics with hurtful words and actions. Otherwise, it could harm a series of important bilateral dialogues and cooperation for international and regional issues.
Under the boycott, U.S. officials will not attend the Games in February, but American athletes will still compete.
There is word that French authorities have arrested one of the suspected killers of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi. News account today say that a former member of the Saudi royal guard was detained at an airport near Paris. It's believed that Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2018.
The U.S. House of Representatives moved this evening to clear the way for raising the national debt ceiling. The legislation provides for a simple majority vote in the evenly divided Senate on raising the government's borrowing limit.
Senate leaders in both parties agreed on the need to act to prevent a national default.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY):
We want a simple majority, without a convoluted, risky, lengthy process, and it looks like the Republicans will help us facilitate that. So we feel very good about where we are headed on debt ceiling. It's not done until it's done, but the idea of letting Democrats carry it ourselves is what we have always said.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY):
I believe we have reached here a solution to the debt ceiling issue that's consistent with Republican views of raising the debt ceiling for this amount at this particular time, and allows the Democrats to proudly own it, which they are happy to do.
And we will get more of the details on this later in the program.
Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has reversed himself and now says that he will not give testimony about the U.S. Capitol assault last January. His attorney complains that a congressional panel wants to ask about matters covered by Mr. Trump's claim of executive privilege.
Hawaii is under a state of emergency, as a major storm stalls over the islands, dumping more than a foot of rain. The rain has poured down cliffs onto highways, and 50-mile-an-hour winds knocked down power lines.
Still, Pearl Harbor today marked the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack that brought the U.S. into World War II. About 30 elderly survivors attended.
Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are suing Facebook's parent company, Meta, for more than $150 billion. The suit was filed in California. It alleges that posts on Facebook incited violence against the Muslim Rohingyas in mostly-Buddhist Myanmar.
A major outage at Amazon Web Services disrupted access to a number of sites today. The problem was mainly focused on cloud computing services in the Eastern U.S. It affected everything from Delta Air Lines and Netflix to the Associated Press.
Workers at Kellogg cereal plants have rejected a five-year contract. That announcement today means a two-month strike continues. The company says that it will now hire permanent replacement workers.
On Wall Street, stocks surged again led by tech companies. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 492 points to close at 35719. The Nasdaq rose 461 points, 3 percent. The S&P 500 jumped two percent.
And the U.S. formally returned a 3, 500-year-old clay tablet to Iraq today after it and thousands of other antiquities were looted during the 1991 Gulf War. It bears part of the Epic of Gilgamesh from the ancient Sumerian civilization. The artifact was put on display in Baghdad at the Foreign Ministry, along with many other returned treasures.
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