News Wrap: Melania Trump urges tech companies to promote good online behavior


JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump railed against
special counsel Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation again today, in the wake of
a weekend New York Times report that the White House counsel has sat for extensive interviews
with Mueller’s team. On Twitter today, the president accuse Mueller
of being — quote — “angry Democratic thugs” — his team, that is — “and looking for trouble.” We will look at the state of that investigation
after the news summary. Mr. Trump also again criticized former CIA
Director John Brennan, whom the president stripped of his security clearance last week. Brennan hinted yesterday that he might take
legal action to prevent the president from removing other officials’ clearances. Mr. Trump shot back on Twitter: “I hope John
Brennan, the worst CIA director in our country’s history, brings a lawsuit.” Today, 177 former U.S. State and Defense Department
officials added their names to a letter opposing the president’s removal of Brennan’s clearance,
saying that former officials should be allowed to speak freely. As President Trump sounded off on Twitter,
his wife spoke out against cyber-bullying as part of her so-called Be Best campaign
promoting children’s well-being. At a government summit on bullying prevention
in Maryland today, first lady Melania Trump urged social media and tech companies to promote
good online behavior. MELANIA TRUMP, First Lady: In today’s global
society, social media is an inevitable part of our children’s daily lives. It can be used in many positive ways, but
can also be destructive and harmful when used incorrectly. JUDY WOODRUFF: A spokeswoman for Mrs. Trump
said she is — quote — “aware” of the criticism she’s received for highlighting online harassment
while the president often uses Twitter to taunt his political foes, but she said that
criticism — quote — “will not deter the first lady from doing what she feels is right.” Later today, Mrs. Trump announced that she
plans for a solo trip to Africa in the fall. Last January, her husband referred to African
countries by a crude term. Pope Francis today condemned the Catholic
Church’s role in covering up child sexual abuse by priests. It marked his first personal response to a
scathing report revealing misconduct in parishes across Pennsylvania. In a letter to all Catholics, the pope asked
forgiveness from the victims and urged a change in the culture that enabled the abuse. He called on the church to “acknowledge and
condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by clergy.” And we will take a closer look at the uproar
over the latest church scandal later in the program. In Turkey, police have detained two suspects
in a shooting attack at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara. Officials say the men confessed to firing
at the building from their car this morning. No one was injured. It comes amid an escalating diplomatic dispute
between Washington and Ankara. The countries slapped tariffs on each other
after Turkey refused to release a detained American pastor. Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
today condemned what he says is an economic attack. RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, Turkish President (through
translator): There is no difference between the attack on our economy and the attack on
our prayer and our flag. The aim is the same. The aim is to bring Turkey and Turkish people
to their knees and take them hostages. Those who failed to bring down Turkey through
terrorist organizations, treacherous gangs, thousands of tricks and traps think they can
make Turkey give up through exchange rates, but they will soon see that they are mistaken. JUDY WOODRUFF: The Turkish lira has lost 40
percent of its value against the dollar this year, a slide that was exacerbated by recent
U.S. tariffs on imported Turkish metals. In an interview today, President Trump vowed
that he would make no concessions to Turkey for the release of the American pastor. Venezuela’s government implemented a major
currency overhaul today as part of an effort to mitigate the country’s economic crisis. It devalues Venezuela’s bolivar by 96 percent. The government also plans to hike the minimum
wage by 3000 percent and raise gas prices to international levels. Venezuelans rushed to stock up on food and
other items before prices climb even higher. Economists say inflation there could hit one
million percent this year. Greece emerged from its final bailout today
after eight years of harsh austerity measures, leaving the country free to set its own economic
policies. The Eurozone and International Monetary Fund
lent over $300 billion to Greece since its economic crisis began in 2010. European officials touted the program as a
success, citing a growing economy and an unemployment rate that’s fallen under 20 percent, from
a peak of 28 percent in 2013. PIERRE MOSCOVICI, European Commissioner for
Economic and Financial Affairs (through translator): The end today of the European support program
to Greece is a very important moment, I would even say historic for all of us, and above
all for the Greek people. These were eight difficult years, often painful,
which were marked by three successive programs. But now Greece can finally draw a line under
a crisis which has lasted for too long. JUDY WOODRUFF: Many Greek households have
suffered under the austerity measures. One-third of the country’s population is at
risk of poverty. In Afghanistan, security forces rescued 149
hostages taken by the Taliban in the Northern Kunduz province. Taliban fighters fled the battle with 21 captives. Security forces remain on alert after the
Taliban rejected a government cease-fire proposal for the Eid al Adha holiday this week. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in
a statement Sunday the U.S. is ready to facilitate peace talks between the two sides. A series of powerful earthquakes rocked two
Indonesian islands overnight, killing at least a dozen people. Aftershocks followed a magnitude-6.9 quake
that hit the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa. They caused landslides and damage to more
than 1,800 homes. Lombok is still recovering from an earthquake
that struck there two weeks ago, killing 460 people. Back in this country, President Trump said
that he was — quote — “not thrilled” with the chair of the Federal Reserve’s policy
of gradually raising interest rates. In an interview with Reuters, the president
said that the U.S. Central Bank, under Jerome Powell, should be more accommodating. Mr. Trump also repeated his charge that China
and Russia — or, rather China and Europe manipulate currency. It was a strong day on Wall Street. It ended with a dip after the president’s
comments about the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 89
points to close at 25758. The Nasdaq rose four points to close at 7821,
and the S&P 500 gained seven points to close at 2857. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: the White
House counsel cooperating with Robert Mueller’s investigation; how Catholics view the pope’s
response to the church sex abuse scandal; on the ground in Nevada, where immigration
is playing into a key U.S. Senate race; and much more.

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