Friday in our news wrap, Ukraine escalated its standoff with Russia. President Petro Poroshenko closed the border to all Russian men ages 16 to 60, saying he wants to prevent fighters from joining rebels in the eastern part of Ukraine. Also, in Brussels, hundreds of people rallied to protest rising fuel prices and high taxes. Police fired tear gas and high-pressure hoses at the crowd.
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In the day's other news, Marriott announced that hackers have broken into the data banks of its hotel empire. The breach affects up to 500 million guests at hotels once run by Starwood and now owned by Marriott. It could involve credit card and passport numbers and other information.
We will discuss the implications, later in the program.
Ukraine escalated its standoff with Russia today, closing its border to all Russian men between the ages of 16 and 60 years old. President Petro Poroshenko said he wants to prevent more fighters from joining rebels already in Eastern Ukraine.
This follows Sunday's confrontation in the Kerch Strait, when Russian border guards seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 sailors.
In Brussels, street battles broke out today at a protest over rising fuel prices and high taxes. Hundreds of people rallied, wearing high-visibility yellow vests. Some threw rocks and torched a police car, and police fired tear gas and high-pressure hoses. Officials condemned the violence, but protesters insisted they be heard.
Eric (through translator):
All the government does is create taxes. They are outside the world. They don't know what the price of bread is. They don't even know what it's like to pay their bills themselves. And the people here in the yellow vests, we are just saying that we're fed up.
The protests were organized to copy from ongoing demonstrations in France against increased fuel taxes.
Tens of thousands of farmers marched on India's Parliament today appealing for better crop prices and debt relief. The crowds carried banners and signs, and some held human skulls, symbolizing a stunning 300,000 farmer suicides in the last two decades. They demanded action by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Yousef Khan (through translator):
Prime Minister Modi said he will bring good days. But, for us farmers, bad days are here. Where are the good days? What else can we do, except protest? We are starving.
The protesters say drought, failed crops and extreme debt affect millions of farmers.
The U.S. is under new pressure to send medical specialists back into Northeastern Congo to fight an Ebola outbreak. It is now the second largest in history, with more than 400 cases and nearly 200 deaths since August the 1st. Major medical journals today urged U.S. action, but the State Department has warned health workers to stay out of the region, after deadly attacks by rebel groups.
Thousands of students skipped school in Australia today, demanding action on climate change. Children ranging from 5 to 18 years old rallied in 30 cities and towns. They called for 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.
Because of continual inaction from politicians, we felt the need to leave school, because this is our future. We can't sit idly and watch them not act upon something that is so critical and encompasses the whole human race.
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended his climate record. And his resources minister, Matt Canavan, said the students should have stayed in school, instead of protesting. He said — quote — "You don't learning anything from that."
Back in this country, a Texas grand jury has indicted a white former Dallas police officer for murder. Amber Guyger fatally shot an unarmed black neighbor in September. She says she entered the wrong apartment, and thought the man was an intruder. She originally faced a lesser charge of manslaughter.
The Pentagon is now expected to extend the deployment of U.S. troops at the Mexican border through January. The Defense Department received the request today from the Department of Homeland Security. It also calls for cutting the number of deployed troops from 5,600 to 4,000.
And on Wall Street, stocks staged a new rally, on hopes for stable interest rates, and for progress in trade talks with China. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 200 points, to close at 25538. The Nasdaq rose 57 points, and the S&P 500 added 22.