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News Wrap: Deadly car bomb rocks Ankara

February 17, 2016 at 6:50 PM EST
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff.

GWEN IFILL: And I’m Gwen Ifill.

JUDY WOODRUFF: On the “NewsHour” tonight: an epic battle on Capitol Hill. We hear from two high-ranking senators about the fight over nominating Justice Antonin Scalia’s successor.

GWEN IFILL: Also ahead this Wednesday: Apple opposes a judge’s order to unlock the iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooters, saying the ruling would undermine customers’ privacy.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And:

ADRIAAN VLOK, Former Law and Order Minister, South Africa: I am guilty. I am sorry. Will you please forgive me?

JUDY WOODRUFF: A story of reconciliation: how an apartheid-era police official is now helping the people he once brutalized.

DINAH SEKESE, Volunteer/Relief Worker: And they say, can you believe Adriaan Vlok can change? I said, I believe what I saw. What I see is what I believe, and then I am ready to tell that Adriaan Vlok has changed.

GWEN IFILL: All that and more on tonight’s “PBS NewsHour.”

(BREAK)

GWEN IFILL: Turkey’s capital city is alive with fear and anger tonight, after a car bomb killed at least 28 people and wounded 61.

We have a report on the blast in central Ankara, from Juliet Bremner of Independent Television News.

JULIET BREMNER: Moments after an explosion was heard across the Turkish capital, flames leapt into the night sky. The bomb had hit a convoy of military buses that had been taking soldiers home from their barracks.

In the chaos immediately after the attack, the governor said that he believed the bomb had been left in a car. It was rush hour. Commuters broke their journey home to try and help move a parked car that was blocking the emergency services. Unable to access the vehicle, they smashed in through the window and drove it away.

The buses were targeted close to the Turkish Parliament. The prime minister, president, and security minister were in the middle of a security meeting about Syria when the bomb went off. This is the fourth terrorist attack on Turkey in recent months.

Last October, more than 100 peace activists were killed during a rally in Ankara. On that occasion, the so-called Islamic State were blamed. On this occasion, early indications suggest it could be the work of the Kurdish separatist group the PKK, striking at the heart of Turkey days after their army had hit Kurds across the Syrian border.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And in Syria today, convoys carrying humanitarian aid made their way to besieged parts of the country. It is part of an agreement between the Assad government and the U.N. One convoy arrived in Madaya, a town west of Damascus that has been sealed off by government forces for months. Locals say dozens of people have starved to death.

GWEN IFILL: Pope Francis spent this final day of his visit to Mexico near the U.S. border. He journeyed to Ciudad Juarez, just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, and once a cauldron of violence and drug trafficking.

The pontiff’s first stop was at a prison, where he embraced inmates and preached a message of redemption.

POPE FRANCIS (through interpreter): The one who has suffered the greatest pain, and we could say has experienced hell, can become a prophet in society. Work, so that this society, which uses people and discards them, will not go on claiming victims.

GWEN IFILL: The final event of the papal trip was a huge outdoor mass this evening.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Tensions in the South China Sea escalated today, as U.S. and Taiwan officials confirmed that China has deployed advanced surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island.

The batteries are on Woody Island in the Paracels claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam, but controlled by Beijing.

WANG YI, Foreign Minister, China (through interpreter): China’s move of setting up limited, necessary and self-defense facilities on the islands and reefs where Chinese troops are stationed is in line with the right of self-defense endowed by international law to any sovereign state. Therefore, there is nothing wrong about it.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But the United States sharply criticized the move.

Secretary of State John Kerry spoke in Washington as he met with Poland’s foreign minister.

JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: When President Xi was here in Washington, he stood in the Rose Garden with President Obama and said China will not militarize in the South China Sea. But there is every evidence, every day, that there has been an increase of militarization of one kind or another. It’s of serious concern.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The news came just a day after President Obama called for a peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea.

GWEN IFILL: Iran pushed back today against a proposal to limit supply and boost prices. Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar said yesterday they would cap oil output at January levels if other major producers do likewise. But Iran said today that, with international sanctions easing, it will increase oil exports. It called for the other producers to pump less.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Despite Iran’s statement, the price of oil traded higher today, and that kept Wall Street’s rally alive. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 257 points to close near 16454. The Nasdaq rose 98 points, and the S&P 500 added 31.

GWEN IFILL: And there’s a new top dog in the land. A German shorthaired pointer named C.J. took best in show last night at the Westminster Dog Show in New York. The 3-year-old champion beat 2,700 canine competitors over two days. He’s only been showing for six months, but he has already won 18 best in show awards, culminating at Westminster.

Go for C.J.

Still to come on the “NewsHour”: top senators weigh in on the next Supreme Court nominee; should Apple grant law enforcement access to iPhone data?; political charges and countercharges fly in South Carolina; and much more.

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