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News Wrap: Three dead in Kansas lawn-mower factory shooting

February 26, 2016 at 8:02 PM EDT
Members of the FBI's evidence response team search the perimeter of Excel Industries on Feb. 26, 2016 in Hesston, Kan. Cedric Ford, an Excel employee, allegedly entered the factory and killed three people and wounded over a dozen others a day before. (Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff.

On the “NewsHour” tonight: a wild ride on the road to the White House. Governor Chris Christie endorses Donald Trump, after a rough night for the Republican front-runner on the debate stage.

Plus, my report from South Carolina, as Democrats ready to vote tomorrow.

Then, in Iran, voters turn out in droves for the first major election since the controversial nuclear deal.

Also ahead, it’s going to be a very white Oscars this weekend. What will it take to bring more diversity to the silver screen?

IDRIS ELBA, Actor: I realized I could only play so many best friends or gang leaders. Right? I knew that I wasn’t going to land a leading role. I knew there wasn’t enough imagination, not yet, for the industry to be seeing me as a lead.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And it’s Friday. Mark Shields and “The National Review”‘s Ramesh Ponnuru are here to analyze the week’s news.

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

(BREAK)

JUDY WOODRUFF: The small town of Hesston, Kansas, is now the latest left to cope with a shooting rampage. Authorities today identified Cedric Ford as the gunman who yesterday shot three people to death and wounded 15. They said he’d just been ordered to stay away from someone who sought legal protection against him.

Within 90 minutes of that order, Ford opened fire on random vehicles, stormed into a lawn mower parts factory, where he was employed, and gunned down co-workers. It ended when he was killed by police.

T. WALTON, Harvey County Sheriff: That particular officer is a hero out of all this. Understand, there’s probably 200 or 300 more people in that building while this is going on. This man wasn’t going to stop shooting. The only reason he stopped shooting was because that officer stopped the shooter.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The Kansas incident came less than a week after an Uber driver killed six people in a mass shooting in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Heavy new airstrikes blasted rebel targets in Syria today in the run-up to a scheduled cease-fire. Activists said Russian planes carried out the attacks. A barrage of explosions cracked the skies over suburbs of Damascus. Monitoring groups said the area was hit 40 times and dozens more struck north of Aleppo.

Despite the onslaught, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Moscow that his government is committed to enforcing the truce deal.

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russia (through interpreter): From midnight Damascus time on February 27, Syrian forces, Russian forces and the American-led coalition will halt all military actions against the groups that have declared their readiness to cease fire. Military actions against them will not be conducted.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The Islamic State group and the Nusra Front, linked to al-Qaida, are not parties to the cease-fire. But a special U.N. envoy said today that if the truce largely holds, peace talks will resume on March 7.

This was Election Day in Ireland, and anti-austerity parties hoped to gain ground. Prime Minister Enda Kenny and his center-right party are seeking a second five-year term. But there are signs that his coalition may lose its majority, leaving a hung Parliament. Ballot-counting will begin Saturday.

Dow Chemical will pay $835 million to settle a long-running lawsuit, now that the Supreme Court has lost its conservative majority. The company said today the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia makes it less certain of winning class-action cases. A lower court convicted Dow of fixing prices for polyurethane, a widely used industrial chemical.

World soccer’s governing body, FIFA, has elected a new leader to lead it out of scandal. A Swiss candidate, Gianni Infantino, was tapped by a majority today in a vote in Zurich. The delegates also adopted reforms to make FIFA more accountable.

Infantino said he wants to start anew.

GIANNI INFANTINO, President, FIFA: We will restore the image of FIFA, and the respect of FIFA, and everyone in the world will applaud us and will applaud all of you for what we will do in FIFA in the future. We have to be proud of FIFA, and everyone has to be proud of FIFA and they have to be proud of what we will do together.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The new president replaces Sepp Blatter, also Swiss, who resigned amid charges of massive corruption. Dozens of soccer officials around the world have been indicted, and FIFA is reviewing how Russia and Qatar won the right to host the next two World Cups.

The United Nations is out with a warning that two-fifths of bees, butterflies, and related pollinating species are heading toward extinction. The warning follows more than two years of research around the globe. It cites a range of factors, ranging from pesticide use to climate change to habitat loss.

Wall Street finished this Friday without much momentum. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 57 points to close just below 16640. The Nasdaq rose eight points, and the S&P 500 slipped three. But for the week, all three indexes were about 1.5 percent higher.

And a 23-year-old Hawaiian man is $75,000 richer after winning a rare giant wave surfing contest in Hawaii. John John Florence was one of 29 brave souls tackling the massive waves Thursday off Oahu. The contest is held only rarely, when waves reach 40 feet in height. Yesterday, some of them topped 60 feet.

Still to come on the “NewsHour”: the crucial African-American vote in the Democratic election; Mark Shields and Ramesh Ponnuru give their take on today’s surprise endorsement of Donald Trump; Iran’s elections, a key test for the moderates in the wake of the nuclear deal; solutions for the Oscars’ diversity problem; plus, a presidential serenade.

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