News Wrap: Congress ends stalemate over funding bill, averting crisis

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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks with reporters regarding a stop-gap funding bill to avoid a federal government shutdown later this week on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2016.          REUTERS/Gary Cameron      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTSPQAP

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JUDY WOODRUFF:  In the day’s other news:  Congress averted a crisis over funding the government past Friday.  The Senate easily approved a bill to keep things running into December, and the House moved to follow suit.  The stalemate ended after House leaders compromised on helping Flint, Michigan, with its lead-tainted water.

GWEN IFILL:  The report is in on the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Eastern Ukraine two years ago.  An international investigation, led by the Dutch, announced the findings today.

Jonathan Miller of Independent Television News reports.

JONATHAN MILLER:  Bodies and baggage and wreckage were scattered over 50 square kilometers when the Malaysian 777-200, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, disintegrated at 33,000 feet.  The answers as to the how, who and why have been fought over ever since.  Now we know the how for sure.

WILBERT PAULISEEN, Head of Central Crime Investigation, Netherlands Police:  We have no doubt about the correctness of the conclusions that we present today.  And the conclusion is that on the 17th July 2014, flight MH17 was brought down with a BUK rocket that was launched from farmland at Pervomaisk and that the missile system arrived from the Russian Federation, and was returned there afterwards.

JONATHAN MILLER:  They presented videos of the missile system entering the Russian-backed separatist region east of Donetsk, four BUK missiles on board.  Then there was film of the low-loader leaving, heading back into Russia later the same day with only three missiles, the journey reconstructed with computer graphics.

Here, triangulated evidence from photographs of smoke trails taken by two different witnesses, pointing to this charred corner of a field, the launch site.  They translated and transcribed mobile phone intercepts in which rebel fighters give the convoy directions.

Today, Russia fired back, unleashing a barrage of denials, the international channel Russia Today, widely seen as pro-Kremlin, citing doubts about most of the findings, the Kremlin insisting Ukraine is to blame.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  In Afghanistan, local officials say a U.S. airstrike killed 13 civilians early today.  The target appeared to be Islamic State loyalists.  The attack struck a residential building in Nangarhar Province in the east.  The U.S. military said it is investigating the report of civilian casualties.

GWEN IFILL:  The United States is sending another 615 troops to Iraq, adding to 4,500 already there.  It is part of an ongoing buildup to battle Islamic State forces and to recapture the city of Mosul.  The U.S. units are officially in a support role and are not to take a direct hand in combat, unless attacked.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Protesters gathered overnight in El Cajon, California, after the fatal police shooting of a Ugandan man.  Police said that he was behaving erratically.  His sister said he is mentally ill.

A cell phone image showed him by a white truck, apparently in a shooting stance, and pointing something, before he was shot.  It turned out, later, though, that he didn’t have a gun.

GWEN IFILL:  In economic news, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reaffirmed there is no fixed timetable for raising interest rates again.  but she told a House hearing she believes the economy will be ready for a rate hike before the year is out.

JANET YELLEN, Chair, Federal Reserve:  Many of my colleagues indicated in their recent projections, the majority, that they would see it as appropriate to make a move to take a step in that direction this year if things continue on the current path and no significant new risks arise.

GWEN IFILL:  The Fed’s next policy meeting is in early November, just before the election.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  The oil cartel, OPEC, has agreed on cutting output for the first time since 2008.  It is a bid to push up prices, and member states said today that they will finalize the details at a meeting in November.  In response, prices jumped $2 a barrel today.

GWEN IFILL:  That oil surge helped energy stocks in particular, and Wall Street in general.  The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 111 points to close at 18339.  The Nasdaq rose almost 13 points, and the S&P 500 added 11.

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