News Wrap: Sports court rejects Russian appeal for 2018 Games


JUDY WOODRUFF: Wall Street’s worst week in
two years is finally over. Stocks endured another day of sharp swings,
but rallied in the end. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 330
points to close at 24190. The headquarters rose 97 points, and the S&P
500 was up 38. All three indexes were down 5 percent for
the week. That’s the most since early 2016. The federal government opened for business
today after a budget deal ended a brief overnight shutdown, the second in three weeks. It happened when Republican Senator Rand Paul
stalled a vote on a $400 billion spending bill to protest spending hikes. The Senate and House finally approved the
deal early this morning, even as supporters and opponents argued over the effects. REP. PETE SESSIONS (R), Texas: This two-year budget
agreement begins to repair our military, and frees our armed services from the harmful
spending caps and the devastating practice of funding our troops in stopgap spending
bills. REP. JARED POLIS (D), Colorado: This body is descending
down a fiscally irresponsible path, a path to trillion-dollar deficits, a path to mortgaging
the future for my children and yours. JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump signed the
bill into law this morning, but he put the blame for ballooning deficits on the opposition. In a tweet, the president said — quote — “This
bill is a big victory for our military, but much waste in order to get Democratic votes.” We will examine the deal’s effects on the
deficit after the news summary. The president today praised former aide Rob
Porter, who resigned over domestic abuse allegations. His two ex-wives say he physically and verbally
assaulted them. Today, at a meeting with campaign supporters,
the president called it very sad and said he hopes Porter has a great career. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
We wish him well. He worked very hard. I found out about it recently, and I was surprised
by it. He says he’s innocent. And I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he’s
innocent. So, you will have to talk to him about that. But we absolutely wish him well. Did a very good job while he was at the White
House. JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, top White House
staffers faced more questions about their handling of the Porter case. The Washington Post and others reported that
White House counsel Donald McGahn was told some of the accusations in January of last
year. Other reports say Chief of Staff John Kelly
learned last fall that the allegations were delaying Porter’s security clearances. This evening, Kelly denied that he has told
officials he’s willing to resign from his post. Separate, there is word that the Justice Department’s
critical number three official, Rachel Brand, is resigning, after nine months on the job. It is widely reported that she is leaving
for the private sector. Brand is next in line behind Deputy Attorney
General Rod Rosenstein. She would be overseeing the special counsel’s
Russia probe if President Trump were to fire Rosenstein. The Winter Olympics have officially begun,
with opening ceremonies in PyeongChang, South Korea. Pomp and pageantry was on full display this
evening, with more than 2,900 athletes from 92 countries taking part. Hours earlier, the Court of Arbitration for
Sport rejected a last-ditch appeal for 45 Russian athletes to take part. They have been banned for doping. Two people have been killed in a winter storm
that moved across the American Upper Midwest today. Total snowfall is expected to measure a foot
in some areas by tonight. Treacherous conditions hit roads from Minnesota
to Indiana overnight. By this morning, seven inches of snow covered
parts of Chicago, closing schools and canceling 1,000 flights. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city is bracing
for more. RAHM EMANUEL (D), Mayor of Chicago: We have
always done this as a city. I want us to continue today, tomorrow, Sunday,
throughout, responding, taking care of not only yourself and your family members, but
checking on your neighbors. JUDY WOODRUFF: The storm is expected to weaken
as it moves eastward over the weekend. Back in this country, or in this country,
public defenders in New York are protesting against immigration agents arresting their
clients at routine court appearances. Dozens of the attorneys protested outside
a Bronx courthouse yesterday. They were joined by civil rights and immigration
advocates.

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