News Wrap: Chinese tech giant Huawei faces U.S. criminal charges


In the day’s other news: The acting U.S. attorney
general, Matthew Whitaker, said the special counsel’s Russia investigation is close to
concluding. Whitaker said he has been fully briefed, and
that he hopes to get the final report as soon as possible. Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating
Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. Chinese tech giant Huawei now faces charges
of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile and violating sanctions on Iran. The Justice Department unveiled criminal cases
in New York and Washington state today. They named Huawei, two affiliates and a top
executive. FBI Director Christopher Wray said it reinforces
fears that the company is doing Beijing’s bidding. CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI Director: As Americans,
we should all be concerned about the potential for any company beholden to a foreign government,
especially one that doesn’t share our values, to burrow into the American telecommunications
market. AMNA NAWAZ: The indictment comes as China
and the U.S. are engaged in talks to end a tariff war. A court in China has sentenced a prominent
human rights lawyer to four-and-a-half years in prison on a charge of subversion. Wang Quanzhang had defended a banned religious
group and victims of land seizures by the Chinese government. He was detained more than three years ago,
in President Xi Jinping’s sweeping crackdown on lawyers and human rights activists. A brutal storm brought blizzard-like conditions
to much of the U.S. Midwest today, with dangerous subzero cold still to come. Up to 15 inches of snow fell from Wisconsin
to Indiana overnight and today. Officials warned that windchills could reach
50 to 60 below in some parts of the region by Wednesday. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged people to
check on neighbors. RAHM EMANUEL (D), Mayor of Chicago: While
the snow may be ending, the cold is just starting. So this will be the highest level throughout
the whole week dealing with the weather increments and making sure that the people of Chicago,
that their safety and security is our number one priority in every neighborhood throughout
the city of Chicago. AMNA NAWAZ: As the storm keeps moving, Atlanta
is bracing for an inch of snow and ice tomorrow, five years after a similar storm paralyzed
the city. It comes as thousands of Super Bowl fans begin
to arrive for Sunday’s game. In Venezuela, the power struggle has intensified,
with opposition leader Juan Guaido calling for more protests to win the military’s support. Guaido declared himself interim president
last week. The U.S. and other nations recognized him. So far, Nicolas Maduro has refused to give
up the presidency, but the U.S. stepped up the pressure today with sanctions on the state-owned
oil company. In Brazil today, the death toll from a dam
collapse rose to at least 60 people. Nearly 300 others are still missing after
the barrier gave way and buried parts of a town in iron ore waste. Crews spent the day painstakingly searching
through the thick mud, with the help of more than a hundred Israeli soldiers equipped with
special rescue technology. The sludge is as deep as 24 feet in some areas. GOV. ROMEU ZEMA, Minas Gerais State (through translator):
We are here starting to work with troops from Israel, which I’m very thankful for. And I see that, with their technology, we
will be able to increase the probabilities of finding survivors and also having more
agility finding victims. AMNA NAWAZ: An investigation is under way
to determine what caused the collapse. Back in this country, federal prosecutors
in New York rested their case today against accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman,
known as El Chapo. The defense said it will call two witnesses
tomorrow, but Guzman said he will not testify on his own behalf. Closing arguments are expected to begin on
Wednesday. And sending mail is now a little pricier. Postal rates officially went up on Sunday. The cost of a first class stamp rose from
50 to 55 cents. The 10 percent hike is the largest since 1991. The Postal Service says the increase provides
much-needed revenue. It lost $3.9 billion in the last fiscal year. And on Wall Street, stocks slipped on worries
that the economic slowdown in China is hurting U.S. companies. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 209
points to close at 24528. The Nasdaq fell 79 points, and the S&P 500
slipped nearly 21. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: as the government
reopens, the work to prevent the next shutdown begins; a possible deal to begin the process
of ending the war in Afghanistan; the governor of Washington state declares a state of emergency
after a measles outbreak; and much more.

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