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News Wrap: White House backs off plan to slash billions in foreign aid

News Wrap: White House backs off plan to slash billions in foreign aid


JUDY WOODRUFF: There is word the White House
has backed off a plan to slash more than $4 billion in U.S. foreign aid. The about-face is being widely reported tonight. The cuts would have included humanitarian
relief, peacekeeping and global health initiatives, among other areas. But lawmakers and some top Trump administration
officials warned that they could harm national security and jeopardize budget negotiations. The Democratic presidential candidate field is smaller
by one tonight. and there are reports that the Republican
field might grow by one. John Yang has our campaign 2020 roundup. GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA): I’m not going to be the
president, so I’m withdrawing tonight from the race. JOHN YANG: Washington State Governor Jay Inslee
becomes the third Democrat to drop out of the 2020 presidential campaign, deciding instead
to seek a third term as governor. Inslee made fighting climate change his signature
campaign issue, and encouraged other 2020 hopefuls to adopt his far-reaching policies. Today, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders unveiled
his own plan. The Sanders Green New Deal declares a climate
crisis, and calls for 100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation
by 2030, creating 20 million union jobs to combat climate change, and rejoining the Paris
climate accord. The Sanders campaign estimates the cost at
$16.3 trillion, and says it will pay for itself in 15 years. Meanwhile, in Colorado: JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), Presidential Candidate:
I have always said Washington was a lousy place for a guy like me, who wants to get
things done. But this is no time to walk away from the
table. JOHN YANG: Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper,
who ended his own presidential campaign last week, today announced he’s running for Senate,
becoming the 14th Democrat vying to take on GOP Senator Cory Gardner. But as the Democratic presidential field winnows
down, the Republican side could grow. Former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois
says he is exploring a long-shot primary challenge against President Trump, whose support among
Republicans in polls is as high as 90 percent. The one-term Tea Party lawmaker and now talk
radio host supported Mr. Trump in 2016, but has now become a frequent and loud critic. JOE WALSH (R), Former U.S. Congressman: He’s
a horrible human being. He’s a bad, bad guy. And every single day, every single day you,
I and everybody watching us is reminded of how damn unfit he is. JOHN YANG: Walsh would join former Massachusetts
Governor Bill Weld in the GOP primary. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m John Yang. JUDY WOODRUFF: In Northwestern Syria, government
airstrikes targeted Turkish forces for a second time this week, raising the risk of open conflict
between them. The attacks sent smoke rising near a Turkish
outpost in Idlib province, but there were no reports of casualties. It came as Turkey sent a convoy of reinforcements
into Idlib. The Turks back rebels in the province. The Syrians are trying to retake the region. High school students in Hong Kong have joined
the call for political reforms. Hundreds of young demonstrators held a sit-in
in a downtown square today. They carried signs and chanted anti-government
slogans. At the same time, university students called
for boycotting the start of classes in September. The president of Brazil conceded today his
government lacks the resources to fight raging wildfires. The fires in the Amazon rain forest have increased
more than 80 percent this year, but President Jair Bolsonaro had initially declined outside
help. Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron
called for this weekend’s G7 summit to treat the fires as an international emergency. Back in this country, the White House signal
that they could propose a tax cut during next year’s presidential campaign. President Trump had said on Wednesday that
there’s no need for a payroll tax cut now to ward off recession. But, today, economic adviser Larry Kudlow
spoke officials are looking down the road. LARRY KUDLOW, Director, National Economic
Council: The long-range project to help the long-run growth of economy, to provide additional
tax relief to middle-income people, blue-collar people, small business and so forth. That’s a long-run project. And it probably will come out during the campaign. JUDY WOODRUFF: In a separate interview, Kudlow
said — quote — “We don’t believe in the recession talk.” A panel of judges in North Carolina today
cleared a mentally ill man of killing a college student 40 years ago. James Blackmon is now 66. He goes free after spending most of his life
in prison. Blackmon wore a Superman-type cape and claimed
that he was like Dracula during police interviews in the late 1970s. Prosecutors used his confession anyway. The nation’s biggest phone companies are pledging
today to crack down on robo-calls. It is part of an agreement brokered with all
50 states. The companies said today that they will offer
free tools for consumers to block the unwanted calls. But they gave no timetable. Americans get an estimated five billion robo-calls
every month. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average
gained 49 points to close at 26252. The Nasdaq fell nearly 29 points, and the
S&P 500 dropped one point. And basketball legend Bob Cousy received the
nation’s highest civilian honor today, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Cousy is now 91. He won six NBA titles with the Boston Celtics
and was also known for speaking out against racism and for his black teammates. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: how will
South Korea’s bitter diplomatic break with Japan affect U.S. security in the region?;
the health of the economy in the balance, as the federal deficit slides deeper into
the red; President Trump walks back his support for gun safety laws, but the debate over how
to protect lives continues; and much more.


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