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News Wrap: ‘Fair chance’ U.S. airstrike played role in Mosul civilian deaths

March 28, 2017 at 6:45 PM EDT
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JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: The U.S. commander in Iraq now says there’s a — quote — “fair chance” that a U.S. airstrike played a role in killing scores of civilians in Mosul. It happened on March 17. But Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend also voiced doubt that the weapons used could have collapsed an entire building.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi general claimed the airstrike actually hit a tanker truck loaded with explosives that ISIS fighters were driving toward Iraqi troops.

YAHYA RASOOL, Spokesman, Joint Command Operations (through interpreter): It is a new tactic being used by the members of this terrorist group, using big car bombs against the troops that impact the civilians to inflame the public and to convey a wrong message to the world that the joint forces of the international coalition are behind the killing and bombings.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Amnesty International charged today that coalition forces are not taking taken adequate precautions in the battle for Mosul.

From Russia today, a warning: The Defense Ministry in Moscow says that U.S. naval patrols in the Black Sea are a potential threat to Russian security. The Black Sea is bounded by Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, as well as Ukraine and Russia. U.S. American warships took part in NATO exercises there last week.

Thousands of people in Northeastern Australia spent a long day waiting out the fury of Tropical Cyclone Debbie. The storm pounded the coastal region for hours with heavy rain, towering seas and winds up to 160 miles an hour. It tore up trees, ripped up power lines, and left nearly 50,000 people in the dark.

Back in this country, a sex abuse scandal involving the USA Gymnastics Organization took center stage at a Senate hearing. Hundreds of women have come forward to say they were sexually assaulted or exploited by coaches, trainers and a team doctor, Larry Nassar. One of his alleged victims, Olympic medalist Jamie Dantzscher, tearfully shared her personal story.

JAMIE DANTZSCHER, Olympic Medalist: Many times, the abuse took place in my own room, in my own bed. Worse, he abused me in my hotel room in Sydney at the Olympic Games. When I first spoke out about my abuse at the hands of Dr. Nassar, I thought I was the only one. I was disbelieved and even criticized by some in the gymnastics community for bringing this disturbing issue to light.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The former head of USA Gymnastics, Steve Penny, resigned under pressure earlier this month. A group of U.S. senators is now pushing a bill that says groups overseeing Olympic sports must immediately report sexual abuse allegations to police.

A federal judge in Detroit approved a plan today to replace water lines at 18,000 homes in Flint, Michigan. It’s part of a settlement over lead contamination. The deal calls for work to be done by 2020. It could cost nearly $90 million, with the federal and state governments splitting the bill.

And on Wall Street today, stocks moved higher on a survey that showed consumer confidence at its highest in more than 16 years. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 150 points to close at 20701. The Nasdaq rose 34 points, and the S&P 500 added nearly 17.

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