News Wrap: Indonesia shaken by third strong quake

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William Brangham:

The U.S. State Department today called for Saudi Arabia’s government to investigate the attack. The Saudis said they were targeting rebels who had fired a missile into Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, which killed one person.

The Saudi coalition of Sunni Muslim countries, with U.S. support, has been fighting the Shiite rebels in Yemen since 2015. But there’s widespread criticism that those airstrikes often kill civilians.

Back in this country, new testimony today in the trial of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort shed new light on his alleged bank fraud. A mortgage loan assistant from Citizen Bank testified that Manafort lied to secure millions of dollars in loans on properties he owned in New York.

The charges of bank and tax fraud against Manafort occurred in the years before he led the Trump campaign.

A U.S. appeals court in San Francisco has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the widely used pesticide chlorpyrifos. The EPA’s own research found exposure to the pesticide, which is routinely sprayed on apples and citrus, could cause developmental and brain disorders in children. The court ruled that the EPA and then its Chief Scott Pruitt had endangered public health by reversing an Obama era ban on the pesticide.

In media news, it’s no deal for Tribune Media and the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Their would-be mega-merger, worth an estimated $9.3 billion, is over. Tribune has withdrawn, and is now suing for breach of contract. It claims the conservative-leaning Sinclair failed to sell off some TV stations, as required to satisfy federal regulators.

Sinclair had wanted the merger to help create a rival to FOX News.

And the Trump administration unveiled new details today about establishing a so-called Space Force by the year 2020. If approved by Congress, it would be the sixth branch of the military, and led by a four-star general. The Defense Department hasn’t yet calculated the cost.

Stocks were mixed on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 74 points to close at 25509. The Nasdaq rose three points, and the S&P 500 slipped four.

Still to come on the “NewsHour,” on the ground in California, where raging wildfires have displaced thousands; an apparent truce in Gaza tonight follows a recent escalation of attacks; the Kremlin responds to the latest U.S. sanctions; and much more.

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