News Wrap: Julián Castro drops out of 2020 Democratic field

News Wrap: Julián Castro drops out of 2020 Democratic field


In the day’s other news: The Democratic presidential
primary field narrowed again, with Julian Castro dropping out. The former Obama housing
secretary had failed to make headway in the polls or in raising money. He was the only
Latino still in the race. We will return to the presidential campaign
with the latest fund-raising reports after the news summary. Top Democrats are stepping up demands for
full disclosure at a Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. They said today that claims
by the online forum Just Security prove he is hiding something. The site reported that unredacted White House
e-mails show Mr. Trump directly ordered a hold on security funds to Ukraine and later
ordered their release. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is threatening
preemptive military strikes against Iran to prevent further attacks on Americans in the
Middle East. He pointed today to incidents, including Iraqi militiamen, backed by Iran,
storming the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad. Esper predicted that Iran will try something
else, and said the U.S. cannot wait. MARK ESPER, U.S. Defense Secretary: We have
all the capabilities inherent in the United States military to either respond to further
attacks or to take preemptive action if additional attacks are being prepared. JUDY WOODRUFF: The Pentagon has already sent
more troops to the Middle East. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised
the alarm today about a new rush of Syrian refugees. He said thousands are fleeing from
Idlib province, the last rebel stronghold in Syria. The exodus began when Syrian and
Russian forces intensified their assault on Idlib. In Ankara today, Erdogan said Turkey is struggling
to manage. RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, Turkish President (through
translator): Right now, 200,000 to 250,000 people are moving towards our borders. Right
now, we are trying to prevent them with some reciprocal measures, but it’s not easy. It’s
difficult. They are humans, too. We cannot put barriers and barbed wire against humans,
like the West does. JUDY WOODRUFF: In Washington, the White House
said President Trump spoke with Erdogan today and joined in calling for the fighting to
de-escalate in Idlib province. The Trump administration today announced a
ban on most of the flavored e-cigarettes used by teenagers. The ban applies to cartridge-based
products, but it does exempt menthol and tobacco flavors. It also exempts large tank-type devices
that mostly cater to adult smokers. Thirty-nine of the 52 Republican U.S. senators
asked the Supreme Court today to overturn Roe v. Wade. That’s the decision that legalized
abortion. More than 160 House Republicans also signed the brief supporting a Louisiana
law. It requires that doctors performing abortions have hospital admitting privileges within
30 miles. The court will hear arguments in March. North Carolina will have the largest coal
ash cleanup in U.S. history. The state said today that Duke Energy will dig up nearly
80 million tons of toxic ash at six sites and move it to lined landfills to prevent
leaking. A 2014 leak contaminated 70 miles of the Dan River. On Wall Street, major indexes surged to new
record closes after China’s Central Bank announced economic stimulus measures. The Dow Jones
industrial average gained 330 points to close at 28868. The Nasdaq rose 119 points, and
the S&P 500 added 27.