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News Wrap: Venezuela blackout continues; May asks EU for Brexit changes

In our Monday news wrap, schools and businesses across Venezuela were forced to close again, as much of the country remained blacked out. The explosion of a Caracas power station added to the misery for people who have been living without electricity since Thursday. Also, British Prime Minister Theresa May traveled to France to seek concessions from the EU, in a bid to save her Brexit plan.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: U.S.-backed forces advanced slowly against the last pocket of Islamic State territory in Eastern Syria. Rocket fire and air assault continued into the night on Baghouz. Some 500 I.S. fighters are believed holed up there, along with several thousand women and children.

    An Iranian court has reportedly issued a verdict in the case of a detained American, Michael White. An Iranian news agency says a verdict has been issued. But there is no word on what it is, or even what the charges are. White is a U.S. Navy veteran arrested in Iran last July. In all, five Americans are being held there.

    In Malaysia, a court released Siti Aisyah, who had been accused of killing the half-brother of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un. She flew home to Indonesia, and was reunited with her parents after prosecutors dropped the murder charge. Her lawyer said they gave no reason.

  • Gooi Soon Seng:

    Siti Aisyah has been discharged from the court today. And we are grateful that the public prosecutor has in fact come to this conclusion, because we still truly believe that she is merely a scapegoat and she is innocent.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    A second defendant remains on trial, accused of using a nerve agent to kill Kim Jong-nam in 2017. The defense says the two women thought they were part of a prank that was actually organized by North Korean intelligence.

    The longtime president of Algeria has announced that he will not seek a fifth term in the face of widespread protests. Abdelaziz Bouteflika had initially said he would run again. That prompted widespread demonstrations in recent weeks, as crowds demanded that he give up power after 20 years in office. Today's announcement delays the April election, and calls for a special body to write a new constitution.

    Schools and businesses across Venezuela were forced to close again today, as much of the country remained blacked out. A power station explosion in Caracas added to the misery for people who have been living without electrical power since Thursday.

  • Mailen Gonzalez:

    Friday, Saturday and Sunday were horrible. I was going crazy with no water, no electricity. For God's sake, how long are we going to continue like this? The government doesn't want to accept that it's their fault, because they have to carry out maintenance, and, for years, they have not done this.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    In Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected the Venezuelan government's claims that the U.S. is behind the blackout.

    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May travel to Strasbourg, France, tonight in a bid to salvage her Brexit plan. She is hoping for concessions from the European Union before the House of Commons votes on a plan that it rejected once already. The vote is tomorrow. The scheduled date for Brexit is March the 29th.

    Back in this country, Democrats announced that Milwaukee will host their presidential nominating convention next year. The city won out over Houston and Miami. Republicans have already picked Charlotte, North Carolina, for their 2020 convention.

    And on Wall Street, a tech rally pushed the broader market higher. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 177 points to close at 25650. The Nasdaq rose 136 points, and the S&P 500 added 34.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": President Trump's top economic adviser on the latest White House budget; an on-the-ground report from the U.S. southern border; we break down the weekend's 2020 Democratic campaign activity; a conversation with author Marlon James on his new novel, "Black Leopard, Red Wolf"; and much more.

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