News Wrap: Fed signals impending interest rate reduction

News Wrap: Fed signals impending interest rate reduction


JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: The
Federal Reserve gave the strongest signal yet that an interest rate cut is coming, likely
later this month. It would be the first since 2008. Fed Chair Jerome Powell testified today before
the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. He suggested growing economic concerns make
the case for a rate decrease. JEROME POWELL, Federal Reserve Chairman: We
think that uncertainty around trade policy and also global growth, that uncertainty is,
we think, weighing on the domestic economy. JUDY WOODRUFF: As Powell gave his opening
remarks, a screen behind him showed a running list of President Trump’s criticism of the
Fed and its rate increases. Committee Chair Maxine Waters and other Democrats
cited reports that the president has talked of firing Powell, but he said he means to
serve his full four-year term. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency
reports a sharp drop in unaccompanied migrant children being held by the Border Patrol. The agency said today the number has fallen
to 200 from as high as 2,700 last month. It credits an infusion of funding from Congress. The report follows a storm of criticism over
children held in crowded, unsanitary conditions. California will be the first state to give
Medicaid benefits to young adults living in the U.S. illegally. Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom signed the
bill Tuesday. It makes all low-income residents under 25
eligible for Medicaid, regardless of immigration status. California already covered everyone under
the age of 18. Communities along the Gulf of Mexico, from
Mississippi to Texas, are bracing for days of downpours from a tropical weather system. New Orleans was hit by flooding today from
a storm that dropped up to eight inches of rain, and another foot could fall by Monday. Louisiana’s governor says the already swollen
Mississippi River could overflow levees guarding the city. GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS (D-LA): We don’t know yet
where this storm is going to land, but we know it’s going to be a big storm, a significant
rain and storm surge event. Wind is possible, however, not just with respect
to possible tornadic activity, which we have been advised about, but straight-line winds
could potentially be strong as well. JUDY WOODRUFF: Forecasters say the tropical
system could grow into a hurricane by this weekend. The United Nations warned today that climate
change is hurting efforts to end extreme poverty and to prevent hunger. In a new report, the U.N. blames world governments
for not doing enough to address planetary heating. It says leaders have not been — quote — “ambitious
enough to deal with rising temperatures, ocean acidity and the loss of species.” In Puerto Rico, the FBI today arrested two
former senior officials for allegedly steering federal funds to unqualified contractors. They are a one-time education secretary of
the U.S. territory and a former head of its health insurance administration. Just a month ago, Congress approved new hurricane
relief funds for Puerto Rico. A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit
that charged President Trump is illegally profiting from his Washington, D.C., hotel. The city and the state of Maryland had argued
that Mr. Trump is violating the constitution’s ban on taking benefits from foreign governments
because foreign officials pay to stay at his hotel. A three-judge panel ruled today they lacked
legal standing to pursue the issue. The U.S. women’s national soccer team celebrated
a World Cup victory today with a parade in New York City. Fans lined the route, confetti fell and air
horns blared as the players’ floats passed. Both players and fans called for pay equity
with men’s soccer teams. We will look at the team and its potential
legacy later in the program. On Wall Street today, stocks made modest gains
on the news that the Federal Reserve does appear ready to cut interest rates. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 76
points to close at 26860. The Nasdaq rose 60 points to a new record
high. And the S&P 500 added 13. And veteran TV, stage and movie actor Rip
Torn has died after a seven-decade career. He gained his greatest fame in the 1990s,
winning an Emmy as a bombastic TV producer on “The Larry Sanders Show.” He also played Agent Zed in the first two
“Men in Black” movies. Rip Torn was also an outspoken advocate for
civil rights. He was 88 years old. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: the forces
within British politics that may have brought down a top diplomat; marijuana on the mind,
what neuroscience can tell us about pot’s effect on brain activity; and much more.

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