News Wrap: Senate confirms Mattis, Kelly

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Retired U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis testifies before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to serve as defense secretary in Washington, U.S. January 12, 2017.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTX2YOX7

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JUDY WOODRUFF: The new president is already weighing in on some policy matters.

Within minutes of the swearing-in today, the White House Web site carried new statements. One promised a — quote — “state-of-the-art missile defense system to protect against attacks from states like Iran and North Korea.”

Another condemned what it called the “dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America,” and promised it will end.

At the same time, the Web site dropped all mention of climate change.

The inauguration also reverberated around the world. In Moscow, Russians welcomed the new president with posters, special sales and parties, anticipating better relations with the U.S.

And in a statement, Pope Francis urged President Trump to — quote — “be guided by the rich spiritual values that have shaped the history of the American people,” especially, he said, concern for the poor.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate late this afternoon confirmed the first of Mr. Trump’s Cabinet nominees. Former Marine General James Mattis was approved as secretary of defense.

And John Kelly, another former Marine general, won confirmation to head the Department of Homeland Security.

The Mexican drug lord “El Chapo” Guzman pleaded not guilty today in New York to federal drug trafficking charges. He was extradited yesterday from Mexico, after twice escaping from prison there.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said today that it’s time he faced justice.

ROBERT CAPERS, U.S. Attorney: Guzman’s destructive and murderous rise as an international narcotics trafficker is akin to that of a small, cancerous tumor that metastasized, and grew into a full-blown scourge that, for decades, littered the streets of Mexico with the casualties of violent drug wars over turf. And the same scourge helped to perpetrate the drug epidemic here in the U.S.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Mexican officials said the timing of the extradition was not related to the inauguration of President Trump.

In Central Italy, a dramatic scene played out, as rescue crews found 10 people alive in a resort hotel crushed by an avalanche. They are among some 30 people thought to be trapped after the massive snowslide on Wednesday. Workers captured the moment today that two survivors were pulled from the snow, one of them a young boy amid cheers from the crews.

MARCO BINI, Rescue Worker (through interpreter): They survived thanks to this bubble of air that formed inside the hotel. Finding them was really tough, because not only were we working in the middle of the debris, but we also had snow to deal with. It’s like an earthquake in the snow. It’s hard to describe. It’s something unbelievable. It’s awful.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So far, the crews have also found four bodies.

There is word that the defeated president of Gambia has agreed to step aside, apparently ending a political crisis. Officials in neighboring Senegal say final arrangements are still being worked out. Senegal and other West African states had sent in troops to force Yahya Jammeh to give up. The man who beat him in last month’s election, Adama Barrow, says what he terms Jammeh’s rule of fear is over.

In economic news, China’s growth last year was the slowest since 1990. Beijing reported today that the growth rate ran at 6.7 percent.

And, on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average broke a five-day losing streak, and gained nearly 95 points today to close at 19827. The Nasdaq rose 15, and the S&P 500 added seven. It is up 6 percent since the election.

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