News Wrap: Obama orders review of campaign cyberattacks

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks 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 - RTSUYZF

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JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: The White House announced President Obama has ordered a full review of cyberattacks during the presidential campaign. A number of Democrats have complained that Russian hacking was aimed at aiding Donald Trump. But a presidential spokesman said this is not an effort to challenge the outcome of the election.

The U.S. Senate struggled today to finish a spending bill that would fund the government for four months. Coal state Democrats delayed the measure, as a federal shutdown loomed at midnight. They demanded that the bill extend benefits for retired coal miners for a full year, while Republicans urged them accept a shorter extension for now.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-Ky.), Majority Leader: My intention is that the miner benefits not expire at the end of April next year. As I just said, I’m going to work with my colleagues to prevent that. But this is a good time to take yes for an answer.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va): We tried to basically negotiate. We tried to find compromise. We tried to find a pathway forward. That’s been hard for me to see a pathway forward right now. So, I’m going to have to oppose.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The bill would keep the government operating through late April.

The president of South Korea was impeached and stripped of her powers today. Park Geun-hye is implicated in an influence-peddling scandal that’s brought millions of people into the streets.

Our chief foreign affairs correspondent, Margaret Warner, has the story.

MARGARET WARNER: Roars of celebration erupted in Seoul as news of the impeachment reached the streets. Thousands of protesters had camped outside Parliament, anticipating the vote to strip President Park of her powers. It won support from both the opposition and Park’s own party, leaving her to accept the inevitable.

PRESIDENT PARK GEUN-HYE, South Korea (through translator): I deeply apologize to our citizens for causing such a big national confusion amid national security and economic concerns due to my carelessness.

MARGARET WARNER: Park’s impeachment is the culmination of a months-long scandal that sparked enormous public outcry. It stems from accusations that she granted special favors and access to Choi Soon-sil, a longtime confidant. She’s also accused of arranging for Choi to receive classified documents.

Choi has been indicted on charges of using her influence to bully businesses into donating nearly $70 million to her charity. President Park denies any criminal wrongdoing, but her standing in public opinion polls has plunged to just 4 percent.

The drama has raised concerns that North Korea, with its active nuclear weapons development program, might try to take advantage of political troubles in the South, where nearly 30,000 U.S. troops are stationed.

MARK TONER, State Department Spokesman: We’re going to continue to meet all our alliance commitments, especially with respect to defending against the threats we have seen emanating from North Korea.

MARGARET WARNER: For now, President Park’s duties will fall to the prime minister, while South Korea’s constitutional court decides whether to uphold her ouster.

For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Margaret Warner.

JUDY WOODRUFF: A Dutch court convicted anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders of hate speech today. The judges found Wilders illegally targeted the Moroccan minority in the Netherlands with insults, and incited others to discriminate against them. Wilders called the verdict totally insane. His party narrowly leads in polls ahead of national elections next March.

In Syria, thousands of civilians fled the fighting in Eastern Aleppo, as the army closed the noose on rebel fighters. Heavy air bombardment and ground fighting raged again. Syrian military officials claimed that they now control about 85 percent of the rebel enclave. Meanwhile, the U.N. General Assembly approved a nonbinding resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

The World Anti-Doping Agency reports that Russian cheating on drug tests is even more sweeping than already known. Findings released today say it involves more than 1,000 Russian athletes in more than 30 sports. The agency concludes that the cheating and cover-up go back to at least 2011, and the report’s author says that Russia corrupted the 2012 London Olympic Games on a — quote — “unprecedented scale.”

RICHARD MCLAREN, Report Author: For years, international sports competitions have been hijacked by the Russians. Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field. Sports fans and spectators have been deceived. It’s time that stops.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The head of Russia’s Anti-Doping Commission called the report out of date, pointing to reforms taken since the cover-up was first discovered.

Back in this country, a federal jury in Charleston, South Carolina, watched the videotaped confession of Dylann Roof. The self-described white supremacist is accused of shooting nine black church members to death in June 2015. The FBI recorded the confession. On it, Roof says: “I had to do it because somebody had to do it.”

That sweeping recall of Takata air bag inflators will end up affecting 42 million vehicles in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued the new projection today. It also said that only 12.5 million of the inflators have been replaced so far. The devices can explode with too much force and spew metal shards.

And Wall Street rallied again for more record closes. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 142 points to finish near 19757. The Nasdaq rose 27, and the S&P 500 added 13.

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