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News Wrap: Venezuelan government blames Guaido, U.S. for power blackout

In our news wrap Tuesday, the Islamic State in Syria urged supporters via social media to launch vengeance attacks around the world. Several hundred die-hard fighters are under siege in the eastern part of the country. Plus, the Venezuelan government said it suspects opposition leader Juan Guaido and the United States are behind the power outage that has crippled the country for nearly a week.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: The European Union and a growing list of nations banned flights by Boeing's 737 MAX, after an air disaster in Ethiopia. Sunday's crash left all 157 people on board dead.

    In the U.S., Boeing defended the plane, and the Federal Aviation Administration maintained it is fit to fly. We will delve into the details after the news summary.

    In Syria, Islamic State fighters are urging supporters to launch vengeance attacks around the world. Several hundred die-hard fighters are now under siege in Eastern Syria. They posted a recording on social media today. It tells followers to — quote — "rise against the crusaders, and take revenge for your religion."

    The government of Venezuela announced today that it is investigating opposition leader Juan Guaido over a nationwide power blackout. The electrical outage began Thursday and continued today. President Nicolas Maduro went on national TV last night to blame the United States and Guaido.

    The nation's chief prosecutor followed up today.

  • Tarek William Saab (through translator):

    What happened last week, this electrical sabotage, is not a casual event. What I am telling all of you is that it is part of a growing number of events, each time larger, to knock out a legitimately elected government. Where are the supposed calls to dialogue, agreement, coexistence?

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Guaido blames corruption and mismanagement for the blackout.

    Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last night that all remaining American diplomats will leave Venezuela. He said their presence had become a constraint on U.S. policy. And the American special representative, Elliott Abrams, promised today that significant new sanctions are coming soon.

    The United Nations reports that at least 535 people were killed in Western Congo over the course of three days in December. Investigators say it happened in Yumbi territory when members of one group attacked a rival group with guns and gasoline. The report says that the campaign may amount to crimes against humanity.

    Back in this country, there is word that apprehensions along the U.S. border with Canada are growing. The Customs and Border Protection agency reports that more than 4,300 people were detained in 2018. That is up more than 40 percent from a year earlier. During that same time, nearly 400,000 people were apprehended along the U.S. border with Mexico.

    President Trump is facing yet another investigation. It is widely reported that the New York state attorney general's office has subpoenaed records from two banks. They involved real estate projects and Mr. Trump's attempt to buy pro football's Buffalo Bills in 2014. His former lawyer Michael Cohen has told Congress that the president routinely overstated his wealth when he was dealing with banks.

    And on Wall Street today, stocks had a mixed day. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 96 points to close at 25554. The Nasdaq rose 33 points, and the S&P 500 added eight.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": how governments and airlines worldwide are responding to the Boeing crash; an on-the-ground report from the Mexican side of the southern border; federal investigators charge dozens for widespread college admissions fraud; a Chicago activist on ending gun violence; and much more.

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