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News Wrap: Tillerson visits Qatar to mend Persian Gulf rift

July 11, 2017 at 6:40 PM EDT
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JUDY WOODRUFF: And in the day’s other news: The U.S. military confirmed that 15 Marines and a Navy Corpsman died on Monday when a tanker plane crashed in Mississippi. The plane’s last stop was the Cherry Point Marine Air Station in North Carolina. It went down in a soybean field 85 miles north of Jackson, Mississippi.

Thick smoke billowed from the wreckage for hours after the crash. The FBI joined the investigation, but officials said they do not suspect foul play.

In Iraq, scattered new fighting erupted in Western Mosul, even after the government claimed total victory over Islamic State fighters. At the same time, Amnesty International accused ISIS militants of summary executions and using human shields. It also blamed Iraqi forces and U.S. coalition airstrikes for civilian casualties. But the coalition disputed that claim.

LT. GEN. STEPHEN TOWNSEND, U.S. Army: I would challenge the people from Amnesty International or anyone else out there who makes these charges to first research their facts and make sure they’re speaking from a position of authority. I would argue that this is, I believe, the most precise campaign in the history of warfare.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Much of Western Mosul has been laid waste by fighting that began in February.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Qatar today, trying to resolve a rift with its Persian Gulf neighbors. Four Arab nations have slapped sanctions on the oil state over charges that it fosters Islamist extremism. Tillerson signed a counterterrorism agreement with the Qatari foreign minister. His next stop is Saudi Arabia, one of the nations demanding that Qatar reject militants and limit its ties with Iran.

Back in this country, fire crews in the Western U.S. made more progress today, but, in some cases, they were too late. In Northern California, at least 36 homes burned down near Oroville over the weekend. That fire is still burning in places, keeping some 4,000 people from returning. Fires are also still burning in Southern California and several other states.

New York City officialdom turned out in force today for the funeral of a police officer killed last week. A gunman attacked Miosotis Familia as she sat in a mobile command center in the Bronx. Today, hundreds of NYPD officers packed the church and turned nearby streets into a sea of blue.

Mayor Bill de Blasio led the mourners, condemning violence against police.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, New York: We have watched with horror these attacks on our police here in this city and all around our country, and it sickens us. And we know they cannot be tolerated.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Familia was the first female police officer killed in the line of duty in New York City since 9/11.

President Trump’s election fraud commission now says that states don’t have to provide detailed voter information just yet. The panel put that word out in an e-mail, as a federal judge weighs a legal challenge to the commission’s actions. A number of states have refused to hand over data on voter names, birth dates and partial Social Security numbers.

And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained just half-a-point to close at 21409. The Nasdaq rose about 17 points, and the S&P 500 slipped two.

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