Nation and World briefs for February 7

Pentagon says Trump ordered Washington military parade

WASHINGTON — The White House says President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to stage a military parade.

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The Washington Post, which was first to report the presidential order, said Trump wants a grand parade this year in the nation’s capital, with soldiers marching and tanks rolling.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed the request Tuesday evening. She says Trump wants the Pentagon to “explore a celebration” that will allow Americans to show appreciation for the military.

A Pentagon spokesman, Charlie Summers, says Pentagon officials are aware of the request and are “looking at options.”

Rebel areas pounded by Syrian forces despite cease-fire call

BEIRUT — Russian and Syrian government forces launched a new wave of airstrikes and shelling on Tuesday, plunging the besieged area just outside of Syria’s capital of Damascus into a spiral of violence and despair.

At least 55 civilians were killed in what activists described as one of the deadliest days in the eastern Ghouta region in over a month. Ten towns, home to nearly 400,000 people trapped by the violence and a tightening siege, were bombed or shelled.

The United Nations called for an immediate, monthlong cease-fire in order to deliver critical humanitarian aid and medical care to civilians across the country.

Nearly 200 people were wounded, and rescuers said many of those probably will not survive because of lack of medical supplies.

Dow regains nearly half of its losses from Monday as stocks rally

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks rallied Tuesday as a late surge helped them regain almost half their losses from the day before, when they had their biggest plunge in 6 1/2 years. That came at the end of a day of heavy trading and huge swings for the market.

Major indexes in Asia and Europe took steep losses and U.S. markets started sharply lower, only to repeatedly change direction. After its 1,175-point nosedive Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 567 points right after trading began. After numerous turns higher and lower, it wound up with a gain, coincidentally, of 567.

Despite the turbulence, Tuesday’s trading looked similar to the patterns that have shaped the market for the last year: investors bought companies that do well when economic growth is strongest. Gainers included technology companies, retailers like Amazon and Home Depot, and industrial companies and banks.

Bond yields turned higher after a sharp drop Monday. As a result, the biggest losses went to high-dividend companies such as utility and real estate companies, which investors often buy as an alternative to bonds. When bond yields rise, those stocks become less appealing to investors seeking income. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.80 percent from 2.71 percent.

The Dow finished 567.02 points higher, or 2.3 percent, at 24,912.77.

British judge upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange

LONDON — A British judge on Tuesday upheld a U.K. arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, leaving him still a wanted man in the country where he has spent more than five years inside the Ecuadorean Embassy.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot rejected a call from Assange’s lawyers for the warrant to be revoked because he is no longer wanted for questioning in Sweden over alleged sex crimes. It was issued in 2012 for jumping bail.

“I am not persuaded the warrant should be withdrawn,” Arbuthnot told lawyers, journalists and Assange supporters gathered at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

However, she allowed Assange’s lawyer to make a new set of arguments challenging whether it is in the public interest to continue the case against Assange, and said she would rule on them next week. A decision in Assange’s favor would end Britain’s case against him.

Assange, 46, has been holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London since he took refuge there in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors were investigating allegations of sexual assault and rape made by two women in 2010.

On Trump’s desk: Dems’ classified memo on Russia probe

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump met with a top Justice Department official Tuesday to review a classified Democratic memo on the Russia investigation, less than a week after he brushed aside objections from the same agency over releasing a Republican account.

The dueling memos — and Trump’s silence so far on whether he will release the Democratic version — have set up a standoff between Trump and congressional Democrats and deepened partisan fights on the House intelligence panel. The memos have become the recent focus of the committee’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, taking attention away from investigations into whether Trump’s campaign was involved.

The Democratic document is intended to counter the GOP memo, which criticized methods the FBI used to obtain a surveillance warrant on a onetime Trump campaign associate. The president has until the end of the week to decide whether to make it public.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to discuss differences between the two memos, and “we are undergoing the exact same process that we did with the previous memo, in which it will go through a full and thorough legal and national security review.”

The House panel voted unanimously Monday to release the Democratic memo, sending it to the White House.

Amtrak engineer ordered to stand trial in Philadelphia crash

PHILADELPHIA — Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian sat stunned Tuesday as a judge reinstated twice-rejected criminal charges and ordered him to stand trial for a deadly 2015 train wreck in Philadelphia.

Judge Kathryn S. Lewis ruled that another judge erred in dismissing the reckless endangerment and involuntary manslaughter charges at a hearing in September.

Lewis said evidence at the hearing — including testimony from an injured passenger and gruesome details of tattered cars and strewn limbs — should have been sufficient to warrant a trial.

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“The victims are going to have their day in court, which is all they have ever sought,” said Thomas Kline, the lawyer for the family of a victim that kept the case alive by filing a private criminal complaint after city prosecutors declined to bring charges.

Eight people were killed and about 200 were hurt when the Washington-to-New York train rounded a curve at more than twice the 50 mph (80 kph) speed limit and hurdled off the tracks.