News Wrap: Kerry warns attempts to seize power amid disputed Afghan election could jeopardize aid
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JUDY WOODRUFF: The political turmoil in Afghanistan deepened today. Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah declared he won last month’s runoff election. He claimed it was widespread fraud that gave former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani 56 percent of the vote.
At a Kabul rally, thousands of Abdullah’s supporters tore down a banner of current President Hamid Karzai and demanded Abdullah form his own parliament. The candidate vowed he will not give in.
ABDULLAH ABDULLAH, Presidential Candidate, Afghanistan (through interpreter): The people of Afghanistan, you honored us. You voted for us. Some of you lost your beloved families during the election campaign. We owe you. I assure you all that I’m ready to sacrifice myself and will not accept the fraudulent government.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Abdullah spoke by phone last night with President Obama. The White House says the president urged calm. Secretary of State John Kerry warned any attempt by anyone to seize power could jeopardize U.S. aid to Afghanistan.
GWEN IFILL: Iraq’s new parliament, under pressure to choose new national leaders, has moved up the date of its next session to July 13. Officials initially said the session wouldn’t begin until August, but they were heavily criticized for taking an extended break in the face of a Sunni insurgency.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The government in Ukraine took a harder line today with pro-Russian rebels. The defense minister said cease-fire talks can begin only if the rebels lay down their arms. Over the weekend, Ukraine’s military drove separatists from their stronghold in Slavyansk. They retreated to Donetsk, amidst signs of divisions among the rebels.
One rebel leader said today that his fighters are ready to strike back, even as he questioned how much support they still have from Moscow.
GWEN IFILL: Russia is saying the U.S. kidnapped a Russian man accused of hacking store computers to steal credit card data. The Secret Service says he’s now in Guam, awaiting a hearing on charges of bank fraud, possessing stolen credit cards and identity theft. Moscow says his arrest in the Maldives was in violation of a bilateral treaty.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A powerful typhoon hit Southern Japan today, and nearly 600,000 people were urged to get out of its path. The storm passed the island of Okinawa this evening with sustained winds of 100 miles per hour. It knocked out power to thousands and shut down airports and other transport. About 25,000 U.S. troops are based at Okinawa. They were ordered to stay indoors during the storm.
GWEN IFILL: Republicans will hold their 2016 national convention in Cleveland. The party’s site selection panel picked Cleveland over Dallas today. The full Republican National Committee is expected to ratify the choice next month. There’s no firm date yet for the convention. Democrats have not yet picked their site.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Legal sales of marijuana began in Washington State today. As reporters looked on, would-be buyers lined up at a handful of stores around the state. Under a voter-approved law, they no longer need a medical excuse to purchase pot. Washington joins Colorado as the only two states allowing sales of marijuana for recreational use.
GWEN IFILL: Ford has added 100,000 vehicles to the long list of recalls this year. Today’s announcement involves cars and SUVs that may have problems with the front axle. They include the 2013 and 2014 Taurus, Flex and Police Interceptor and Ford Edge and Lincoln MKS, MKT, and MKX vehicles made since 2012.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A sell-off hit Wall Street today, as investors waited for corporate earnings report. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 117 points to close at 16,906. The Nasdaq was down 60 points to close at 4,391. And the S&P 500 dropped nearly 14 to 1,963.
GWEN IFILL: And in the World Cup, Germany stunned host country Brazil in a semifinal rout 7-1. The Germans broke it open with four goals in a six-minute span of the first half. Brazil played without its two best players, one hurt, the other suspended. Tomorrow, the Netherlands plays Argentina for the right to meet Germany in the championship.