News Wrap: In final national security speech, Obama touts fight against terror

Email a Friend

U.S. President Barack Obama waves after speaking about counter-terrorism during his visit to MacDill Air Force Base, home to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command, in Tampa, Florida, U.S. December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RTSUZ6F

Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

HARI SREENIVASAN: In the day’s other news: President Obama defended his record fighting terrorism in his last major national security speech before leaving office.

Mr. Obama traveled to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, home to the Special Operations and Central Commands. The president told the troops that he’s led a relentless assault on the Islamic State, but he also warned against targeting Muslims in the name of battling extremism.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The United States of America is not a place where some citizens have to withstand greater scrutiny or carry a special I.D. card or prove that they are not an enemy from within.

We’re a country that has bled and struggled and sacrificed against that kind of discrimination.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The president also denounced any use of torture, defended drone strikes and urged again that the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be closed.

JUDY WOODRUFF: In Iraq, army units made a new push toward the center of Mosul today. Islamic State fighters had tied up the Iraqi forces on the southeastern side of the city for nearly a month. But, this morning, an armored division launched a fresh assault. A senior commander says they moved within a mile of the Tigris River, backed up by U.S. airstrikes.

HARI SREENIVASAN: A human rights group is accusing China’s Communist Party of systematically using torture and coerced confessions against members accused of corruption. It’s part of President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-graft campaign, now in its fourth year.

Human Rights Watch says it found widespread abuse at interrogation and detention sites that are outside China’s official criminal justice system.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Back in this country, crews have now searched nearly all of the Oakland, California, warehouse that went up in flames during a music party, leaving at least 36 people dead. Officials say they do not expect to find more bodies.

Overnight, firefighters stabilized parts of the gutted building to continue the search today. They say they hope to finish the job tonight. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The U.S. Supreme Court sided today with Samsung, in a high-profile patent fight with Apple. All eight justices voted to throw out a $399 million judgment against Samsung for copying features of Apple’s iPhone. The high court said the award was too large, and ordered a federal appeals panel to come up with a new amount.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Wall Street edged higher again today, with telecom companies leading the way. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 35 points to close at 19251. The Nasdaq rose 24, and the S&P 500 added seven.

The post News Wrap: In final national security speech, Obama touts fight against terror appeared first on PBS NewsHour.