In our Wednesday news wrap, Afghan intelligence says the Taliban commander who orchestrated Monday’s deadly attack on a security complex has been killed in an airstrike. The Taliban dispute the claim. Also, Pope Francis arrived in Panama, kicking off a Central American tour during which he is expected to address thousands of youth and speak out against the impulse to view migrants with fear.
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In the day's other news: The United States recognized Venezuela's opposition leader as interim president. It came as Juan Guaido declared that he had replaced Nicolas Maduro, who is the nominal president. Maduro quickly broke relations with the U.S., all of this as thousands of opposition supporters marched in Caracas. We will get some details after the news summary.
In Afghanistan, the main intelligence agency says an airstrike has killed the Taliban commander who organized a deadly attack on Monday. The Taliban is disputing the claim. Monday's assault killed at least 45 people at a complex for the National Security Directorate, which is west of Kabul.
Pope Francis arrived in Panama late today, beginning a trip to Central America. He is expected to address thousands of young people attending World Youth Day events. The pontiff is also warning against fear of migrants, as a new caravan makes its way toward the United States.
Back in this country, a nurse was charged today with raping an incapacitated woman at a long-term care facility in Arizona. Phoenix police say that Nathan Sutherland was identified through DNA testing, after the 29-year-old victim gave birth last month.
The investigation was and still is our highest priority for our department. Through a combination of good old-fashioned police work, combing through evidence, talking to people, following up on information, combined with the marvels of DNA technology, we are able to identify and develop probable cause to arrest the suspect.
Workers at the health facility have said they had no idea that the victim was pregnant. The CEO and one of the doctors have since resigned.
The Trump White House will face a congressional investigation into its handling of security clearances. Democrats who are running the U.S. House Oversight Committee say White House officials disregarded longstanding procedures. They also want to know about clearances that were granted during the Trump transition.
The president's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has postponed testifying before the House Oversight panel next month. His legal adviser said today that Cohen is busy assisting the special counsel's Russia probe. He also cited what he calls ongoing threats from President Trump. The president responded — quote — "He's only been threatened by the truth."
The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, has joined the growing Democratic presidential field today. The 37-year-old announced an exploratory committee. He's a Rhodes Scholar and an Afghanistan war veteran. He would also be the first openly gay presidential nominee of a major party, if he were to win.
Thousands of Los Angeles teachers were back at work today after ratifying a new contract. They returned to class this morning, greeting students and school officials after a six-day strike. Meanwhile, teachers in Denver voted last night to authorize a strike in a dispute over base pay. They could walk out as soon as Monday.
And on Wall Street, corporate earnings helped stocks make up some lost ground. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 171 points to close at 24575. The Nasdaq rose five, and the S&P 500 added five as well.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": perspectives on the border wall and the shutdown from two U.S. senators; unrest in Venezuela as Venezuelans, as citizens erupt over the country's leadership; furloughed U.S. federal workers forced to depend on the charity of others; and much more.