News Wrap: Winds top 140 mph as Hurricane Matthew bears down

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A woman protects herself from rain as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTSQL84

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JUDY WOODRUFF:  In the day’s other news:  U.S. relations with Russia hit a new low today.  Washington called off talks with Moscow on the conflict in Syria, amid fierce air attacks on the city of Aleppo.  The State Department said the Russians failed to keep commitments they made in a cease-fire deal.

ELIZABETH TRUDEAU, State Department Spokeswoman:  Russia and the Syrian regime have chosen to pursue a military course inconsistent with the cessation of hostilities, as demonstrated by intensified attacks against civilian area, targeting of critical infrastructure such as hospitals, preventing humanitarian aid from reaching civilians in need.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended a deal with the U.S. on disposing of weapons-grade plutonium.  He cited unfriendly actions and U.S. failure to meet its obligations under the agreement.

Hurricane Matthew bore down on Haiti, with winds of 140 miles per hour and up to 40 inches of rain.  It’s one of the strongest Atlantic storms in recent years.  And, late today, it was centered about 230 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital.  Outer bands of wind and rain were already battering the impoverished country’s southwestern tip.  The eye is expected to pass near, or over, that area late tonight.

The state of Ohio will resume executing condemned prisoners in January.  That follows an unofficial three-year moratorium due to shortages of lethal drugs.  But, today, the state attorney general’s office said that it now has a new three-drug combination.  Attorneys for death row inmates immediately said they will file a new court challenge.

Los Angeles police are facing protests over a fatal shooting on Saturday.  Officers say they chased and ultimately killed an 18-year-old black man, Carnell Snell, after he jumped from a car that had faulty license plates.  The incident sparked protests last night.

But, today, police Chief Charlie Beck said that Snell had a loaded weapon.

CHARLIE BECK, Chief , Los Angeles Police Department:  At one point during their foot pursuit, which was 200 to 300 yards in total, they observed him remove a handgun from his waistband and hold it in his left hand.  And while holding the handgun in his left hand, he turned in the direction of the pursuing officers, at which time an officer-involved shooting occurred.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Beck also defended police actions in a second fatal shooting.  He said a Hispanic man pointed what turned out to be a replica handgun at officers, and they opened fire.

The U.S. Supreme Court opened its fall term today, and refused a White House appeal to rehear a key immigration case.  In June, the court tie-voted on the president’s policy of shielding millions of immigrants from deportation.  So, a lower court ruling against the plan remains in effect.  The court has had only eight members since Justice Antonin Scalia died in March.

This was Black Monday in Poland, with thousands of women wearing black and protesting against a bill imposing a total ban on abortion.  Demonstrators nationwide shut down businesses and government offices and blocked roads.  Later, they held a huge rally in Warsaw.  Poland is heavily Catholic, and already has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.

A Japanese biologist has won this year’s Nobel Prize in medicine.  Yoshinori Ohsumi was honored today for discoveries on how cells break down and recycle.  His work in the 1990s may now aid research on fighting cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases.

In Japan today, Ohsumi said he never imagined that his experiments with yeast would mean a Nobel.

YOSHINORI OHSUMI, Nobel Prize, Medicine (through translator):  There is one thing I would like to stress.  When I began this research, there was no assurance whatsoever that it would lead to some connection with cancer or human longevity.  That’s not why I started.  Such is the nature of how fundamental research unfolds, and I stress the importance of the fundamentals of science.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Along with a Nobel medal, Ohsumi receives prize money worth $930,000.

And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 54 points to close below 18254.  The Nasdaq fell 11, and the S&P 500 slipped seven.

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