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News Wrap: Wave of Baghdad bombing attacks target Shiite areas

November 20, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST
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GWEN IFILL: The United States and five other world powers resumed talks with Iran today over reining in its nuclear program. Negotiators gathered in Geneva, while, in Tehran, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, said his country is willing to negotiate, but will not be cowed by sanctions.

AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, Supreme Leader of Iran (through interpreter): They have decided to the pressure the Iranian nation, hoping they might manage to make them surrender. They are wrong. The Iranian nation will not surrender to anyone as a result of pressure.

GWEN IFILL: Khamenei said there are red lines that Iran’s negotiators will not cross, but he gave no details. We will talk to Margaret Warner in Geneva right after this news summary.

A series of bombs exploded across Baghdad today, killing at least 35 Iraqis and wounding more than 100. The targets were in mostly Shiite commercial areas around the capital. Five were in parked cars, and at least three were detonated by a remote control; 244 people have died in attacks in Iraq this month alone.

In Egypt, 11 off-duty soldiers were killed in a suicide car bomb attack in Northern Sinai; 37 others were wounded. The attacker rammed his vehicle into a convoy of buses as they traveled between Rafah and El-Arish. The blast scattered mangled wreckage across the desert. It was one of the deadliest attacks since President Mohammed Morsi was ousted in July.

The U.S. and Afghanistan have reached an agreement governing American troops and contractors who stay past 2014. That’s when the official NATO combat mission ends. It sets out troop numbers and conditions under which they will operate. Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed today that a deal was reached, but he gave no details either. He also denied reports that the U.S. will apologize for civilian deaths.

SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY:  Let me be clear. President Karzai didn’t ask for an apology, there was no discussion of an apology. There will be — there is no — I mean, it’s just not even on the table.

We have agreed on the language that would be submitted to a loya jirga, but they have to pass it.

GWEN IFILL: The loya jirga, or gathering of Afghan elders, opens tomorrow in Kabul.

Joseph Paul Franklin, a serial killer who targeted blacks and Jews in the late 1970s, has been put to death in Missouri. He was executed by lethal injection this morning. In addition to the murders, Franklin admitted shooting civil rights leader Vernon Jordan, who survived the attack, and “Hustler” magazine publisher Larry Flynt, who was paralyzed from the waist down.

Florida Congressman Trey Radel pleaded guilty today to misdemeanor cocaine possession. He was given one year’s probation. The freshman Republican left a Washington courthouse without speaking to reporters. He gave no indication of whether he will stay in office. Last night, Radel said he’s seeking treatment for alcoholism.

Wall Street pulled back today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 66 points to close at 15,900. The Nasdaq fell 10 points to close at 3,921.