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News Wrap: UK police confirm fatalities after explosion at Ariana Grande concert

May 22, 2017 at 6:45 PM EDT
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JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news, there are reports of a large explosion at a music venue in Manchester, England, tonight, that police say there has led to a number of confirmed fatalities and injuries. It was a concert by US pop artist Ariana Grande. Witnesses reported that the explosion happened as people were leaving the event. Emergency services are on the scene. We’ll be tracking this developing story online at pbs.org/newshour.

Back in this country, President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, invoked his right against self-incrimination, and refused to give documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

It involves potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. But Flynn’s lawyers cited a — quote — “escalating public frenzy” and they said that any testimony he provides could be used against him.

It’s reported that two other former Trump associates, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, have turned over documents to the committee.

Meanwhile, Democrat Elijah Cummings, on the House Oversight Committee, says that government documents suggest that Flynn misled Pentagon investigators about his income from Russian sources.

North Korea says it’s ready to start mass-producing new medium-range missiles. State media today called it an answer to the Trump administration. On Sunday, the North test-fired a missile capable of reaching Japan and major U.S. military bases there. The U.N. Security Council condemned the launch as — quote — “highly destabilizing.”

Iran’s newly reelected President Hassan Rouhani is calling for better relations with the United States. But he says first the Trump administration has to get its bearings. He spoke in Tehran, three days after he easily defeated a conservative challenger backed by hard-liners.

PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI, Iran (through interpreter): Iran and America, over the last almost 40 years, have traveled a curvy road together. We are waiting for the U.S. government to become stable intellectually.

I hope it can settle down so that we can more accurately pass judgments on their leaders in Washington.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Also today, Iranian reports said that reformist supporters of Rouhani swept all the local offices in Tehran and did well in other cities as well.

Back in this country, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down two North Carolina congressional districts over racial gerrymandering. The ruling upheld a lower court finding that Republican state lawmakers lumped black voters into the districts to weaken their clout elsewhere. The districts have already been redrawn.

The state legislature in Texas is nearing approval of a transgender bathroom bill similar to North Carolina’s measure that sparked national outrage. The Texas bill limits children in public and charter schools to bathrooms that correspond with their official gender at birth. In last night’s debate, Statehouse members argued over whether the bill amounts to discrimination.

CHRIS PADDIE, (R), Texas State Representative: There is absolutely no intent, and I would argue nothing in this language, that discriminates against anyone. In fact, it makes sure that there are reasonable accommodations for all children.

SENFRONIA THOMPSON, (D), Texas State Representative: Bathrooms, white, colored. I was living through that era of not only America, but Texas history as well. Bathrooms divided us then, and it divides us now.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The bill cleared the Statehouse today and went to the Senate for final approval.

Meanwhile, the Texas legislature also voted to let publicly funded foster care and adoption groups refuse to place adopted children with parents who are gay, unmarried or non-Christian.

An elite New Hampshire prep school has acknowledged sexual abuse of students by 13 former teachers and staff dating back decades. St. Paul’s School in Concord today released results of an independent investigation. It comes amid reports of similar scandals at several other private boarding schools across New England and the Northeast.

In economic news, Ford Motor Company replaced Mark Fields as CEO after just two years, amid doubts about the automaker’s direction. The new CEO is Jim Hackett, a former office furniture executive.

And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 90 points to close near 20895. The Nasdaq rose almost 50, and the S&P 500 added 12.

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