News Wrap: Trump appears to downplay chance of U.S. strike on Iran

JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump faces fresh
allegations tonight about his dealings with a foreign leader, amid his denials of wrongdoing. He dismissed an intelligence whistle-blower’s
complaint today as — quote — “just another political hack job.” But The Wall Street Journal and others reported
that he pressed Ukraine’s leader to investigate a son of former Vice President Biden over
business dealings in Ukraine. We will take a close look after the news summary. The president appeared today to play down
chances of a military strike on Iran. U.S. and Saudi officials have pointed to Iran
as the culprit in last weekend’s attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, but Tehran
denies it. In the Oval Office today, the president said
he doesn’t want the tensions to boil into war. Instead, he counseled restraint. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
For all of those that say, oh, they should do it, it shows weakness, it shows — actually,
in my opinion, it shows strength, because the easiest thing I could do, OK, go ahead,
knock out 15 different major things in Iran. I could do that, and all set to go. It’s all set to go. But I’m not looking to do that, if I can. JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. Treasury Department
did impose new sanctions today on Iran’s Central Bank. Officials said they are aimed at cutting funding
to Iran’s military, including the elite Revolutionary Guard. By the millions, youthful activists around
the world marched today, skipping school to demand that leaders tackle climate change. The so-called global climate strike kicked
off across Australian cities, and the scene was repeated elsewhere. In Berlin, Germany, activists danced in the
streets. And here in Washington, students rallied at
the U.S. Capitol. It finally stopped raining around Houston
overnight, but widespread flooding remained today. Remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda dumped more
than 40 inches of rain over three days, and claimed four lives. Lisa Desjardins has our report. LISA DESJARDINS: In parts of Southeastern
Texas, only the roofs of buildings and cars are above water. Roads have become rivers, with drivers leaving
wide wakes as they brave the depths. Rescue crews worked overnight through heavy
rain to save people in stranded vehicles, all of this just two years since Hurricane
Harvey inundated the region with 50 inches of rain. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said last
night the Houston region was better prepared. ED GONZALEZ, Harris County Sheriff: We had
more rescue vehicles deployed all across the county. As we saw some of the areas that were harder-hit,
we redeployed them a little bit closer. LISA DESJARDINS: The downpours finally stopped
by daybreak. Still, the deluge put major highways underwater
in Houston proper, and forced schools to close. In New Caney, about 30 miles northeast of
Houston, an R.V. floated sideways today in muddy water, and cars and homes were nearly
submerged. Along the San Jacinto River, a bridge was
closed after rushing water tore barges off their moorings nearby. They crashed into the span, shutting down
part of Interstate 10. And, overnight, in Beaumont, guests waded
through dirty water in a local hotel. The community is taking the slim silver linings
it can find. For this man, it was a large fish in what
is usually a road. What’s left of the storm is now moving northeast,
threatening flash floods elsewhere. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Lisa Desjardins. JUDY WOODRUFF: Also today, Pacific Hurricane
Lorena buffeted Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, near the tip of the Baja California Peninsula. It could bring heavy rain and winds of 75
miles an hour through the night. In Afghanistan, the death toll has nearly
doubled to 39 in a Taliban bombing at a hospital on Thursday. The suicide blast rocked the capital of Zabul
province in the south. The attack destroyed the hospital, and left
at least 140 people wounded. Local officials reported that most of the
dead were civilians. A second confirmed case of polio raised alarms
in the Philippines today. Officials declared the country’s first outbreak
in nearly two decades. They are now launching a mass vaccination
campaign. Its goal is to immunize more than five million
children under the age of 5. Back in this country, the Trump administration
signed an agreement for El Salvador to take in migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. Details
were sparse, and it was unclear how one of Central America’s most violent places could
qualify as a refuge. But the acting secretary of homeland security,
Kevin McAleenan, called it a big step forward. KEVIN MCALEENAN, Acting Secretary of Homeland
Security: As we work together to target irregular migration flows through the region, that is
one potential use of the agreement, that individuals crossing through El Salvador should be able
to seek protections there. And we want to enforce the integrity of that
process throughout the region. JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. signed a similar agreement
with Guatemala last month. Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, announced
that it will stop selling e-cigarettes once current supplies are gone. That follows a wave of lung illnesses and
eight deaths linked to vaping. In a statement, Walmart cited growing regulations
and outright bans of vaping products. New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced
the end of his 2020 presidential run. De Blasio joined the crowded Democratic race
in May, but he struggled to gain traction among better-known progressives. His withdrawal leaves 19 Democrats still in
the race. And on Wall Street, stocks slumped amid new
doubts about U.S.-China trade talks. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 159
points to close at 26935. The Nasdaq fell 65 points, and the S&P 500
slipped 14. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: mounting
tension in Washington, as Congress and the White House clash over a whistle-blower; students
demand action to stem the climate crisis, with millions worldwide taking to the streets
in protest; and much more.

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