News Wrap: China bars U.S. military from Hong Kong


JOHN YANG: In the day’s other news: There
were more demonstrations in Iraq, even after Parliament accepted the prime minister’s resignation. Women led a protest in the southern city of
Basra, demanding the entire government be dismissed. And, in Baghdad, protesters also insisted
on more changes. FAYIZA ABDUL HASSAN, Iraqi Protester (through
translator): We do not want the current government officials. They must go. The young people are in a deteriorating situation. The women are begging on the streets, no medications
in hospitals. All parties must go. We don’t want any one of them. JOHN YANG: Iraqi lawmakers say Prime Minister
Adil Abdul-Mahdi will stay as a caretaker until a new government is formed. That process could take weeks. Amnesty International said today it believes
more than 200 people were killed in Iran during November protests and the ensuing crackdown. The Iranian government has yet to release
a full account of those who died in the protests, which were over gasoline prices. China today indefinitely suspended U.S. military
ships and aircraft from visiting Hong Kong. That comes after President Trump signed legislation
supporting anti-government protests in the Chinese territory. Also today, hundreds of office workers rallied
in Hong Kong’s Central Business District. A day earlier, police fired tear gas to disperse
thousands of protesters. World leaders have begun a two-week climate
conference in Madrid. They convened today amid warnings that the
2015 Paris climate accord will fall short of preventing major consequences of climate
change. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened
the conference by criticizing global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. ANTONIO GUTERRES, United Nations Secretary-General:
Do we really want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sense,
that fiddled while the planet burns? The other option is the path of hope, the
path of resolve, of sustainable solutions. JOHN YANG: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led
an American delegation of Democratic lawmakers to the conference, voicing support for the
Paris accords. President Trump has moved to withdraw the
United States from the accord, effective next November. Back in this country, a storm system blew
into the Northeast, after making a mess across the Midwest. New Jersey’s state government largely shut
down, as did schools in several states. Parts of Eastern New York state were under
snow emergencies, and New York City warned commuters to brace for the worst. BILL DE BLASIO (D), Presidential Candidate:
The fact that we have got five to eight inches projected for some parts of the city should
make everyone aware quite that number could go up, and could go up quickly. We have all been down this road before. This could fluctuate a lot. But when I start to hear five to eight, I’m
like, you know, buckle your seat belts, because you’re never sure what’s going to happen next. JOHN YANG: The storm could dump up to 20 inches
of snow from Pennsylvania to Maine. Six-term Congressman from California Duncan
Hunter now plans to plead guilty to misusing campaign funds. The San Diego Republican said today he will
appear in federal court tomorrow to change his earlier not guilty plea. He said he’s doing it to protect his family. Hunter is accused of using campaign contributions
to pay for vacations, golf trips and other personal expenses. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson
was fired today, a month before he was set to retire. In mid-October, he had been found passed out
in his car at a stop sign near his home. He acknowledged that he had had a few drinks. But Mayor Lori Lightfoot said today an inspector
general’s report showed that Johnson was not truthful with her. LORI LIGHTFOOT, Mayor of Chicago, Illinois:
Eddie Johnson intentionally lied to me several times, even when I challenged him about the
narrative that he shared with me. He maintained that he was telling the truth. I now know definitively that he wasn’t. Had I known these facts at the time, I would’ve
relieved him of his duties as superintendent then and there. JOHN YANG: Lightfoot gave no details, but
said the report could become public later. A new study out today finds one in four young
Americans aged 19 to 34 is living with pre-diabetes. The report comes from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. It also finds that men are almost twice as
likely to have the condition as women. Pre-diabetes causes blood sugar levels to
spike, and can lead to Type 2 diabetes, as well as to kidney and heart disease. In economic news, President Trump declared
today he will reimpose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina. In a tweet, he accused the two nations of
manipulating their currencies to undercut U.S. farm products. The president had exempted Brazil and Argentina
from the tariffs in March of 2018. And on Wall Street, December got off to a
rough start amid new worries about trade tensions with China. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 268
points to close at 27783. The Nasdaq fell 97 points. And the S&P 500 dropped 27. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: arguments
before the Supreme Court in the first major gun case in a decade; Amy Walter and Domenico
Montanaro break down the week’s top political headlines; why young Americans are waving
goodbye to the cities and settling down in small towns; plus, trees take center stage
in our “NewsHour”-New York Times book club pick, “The Overstory.”

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