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News Wrap: Afghan leaders trade blame for possible cut in U.S. aid

In our news wrap Tuesday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah traded blame for a possible $1 billion reduction of U.S. aid. Sec. of State Mike Pompeo made the threat after meeting with them in Kabul. Also, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal urged China not to expel journalists, saying the move would “deprive the world of critical information.”

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani and his political rival, Abdullah Abdullah, blamed each other for a U.S. threat to cut $1 billion in aid.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the threat after meeting with both men in Kabul. He warned that they must form a government and begin talks with the Taliban.

    The New York Times and The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal are urging China today not to expel their journalists. In an open letter, they said the move is — quote — "threatening to deprive the world of critical information at a perilous moment."

    Beijing acted after the Trump administration limited the number of Chinese journalists in the U.S.

    In the U.S. presidential race, Democratic front-runner Joe Biden said that he still supports holding the party's national convention in July, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    In a television interview, he was asked about party leaders sticking with that schedule for now.

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden:

    I think we ought to be able to conduct our democratic processes, as well as deal with this issue. But, look, that decision will be made as the state of the nation at the moment.

    But I don't think it should be called off. And I don't think we should call off any of the elections. I think we just have to move forward.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Joe Biden speaking on CNN.

    Also today, Delaware became the latest state to delay its presidential primary, pushing it back from April 28 to June the 2nd.

    Some of the nation's best-known parks, national parks, closed today, citing the pandemic. Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Great Smoky Mountain National Parks all joined others in shutting down.

    Interior Secretary David Bernhardt had let the parks stay open, but state and local officials urged them to close.

    And renowned playwright Terrence McNally died today in Sarasota, Florida, of coronavirus complications. Over six decades, he won four Tony Awards for works that included "Ragtime" and "Kiss of the Spider Woman." As an openly gay writer, he also helped to bring gay characters to a wider audience.

    Terrence McNally was 81 years old.

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