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News Wrap: Afghans mourn victims of wedding bombing

In our news wrap Tuesday, hundreds of people in Kabul, Afghanistan, paid tribute to the dozens who died in a suicide bombing. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on a wedding celebration. Also, the dominant militant group in Syria’s Idlib province retreated from a key town under heavy bombardment and airstrikes.

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  • John Yang:

    President Trump acknowledged he is considering tax cuts, but not, he says, in response to recession fears.

    That was just one of the topics the president talked about today during an Oval Office meeting with the president of Romania.

  • President Donald Trump:

    We're looking at various tax reductions, but I'm looking at that all the time anyway, tax reductions. Payroll tax is something that we think about, and a lot of people would like to see that, and that very much affects the workers of our country.

  • John Yang:

    We will hear more from the president when we talk to White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor after the news summary.

    Wall Street gave ground today, after a batch of disappointing corporate earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 173 points to close at 25962. The Nasdaq fell 54 points, and the S&P 500 slipped 23.

    In Syria, the dominant militant group in Idlib province retreated from a key town, in a new blow to rebel forces. The insurgents, linked to al-Qaida, pulled out of Khan Sheikhoun under heavy bombardment and airstrikes. As they did, Syrian government troops entered the town, backed by Russian air support. Idlib is the major rebel bastion in Syria.

    In Afghanistan, hundreds of people paid tribute today to the dozens who died in a suicide bombing in Kabul. Many gathered in mosques, while others visited memorials to the victims. Some criticized government officials, including President Ashraf Ghani, for failing to put an end to the violence.

  • Zia Mohammad (through translator):

    The president and his chief executive must resign. They cannot serve the nation, and they should apologize to the people. Ghani promised to bring security during his campaigns before becoming the president, but he couldn't. We have had the highest number of civilian casualties under his term.

  • John Yang:

    The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack on a wedding celebration. It came as the United States pursues peace talks with the Taliban. The State Department announced that chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad is heading back to Qatar to resume those talks.

    Dozens of migrants made desperate attempts today to reach the Southern Italian coast. The migrants, most of them from Africa, have been stuck on a rescue ship for 19 days, as Italy refuses to let the vessel dock. At least 15 jumped overboard today, hoping to reach Lampedusa Island. More than 80 remained on board, in worsening conditions.

    Hours later, a Sicilian prosecutor ordered the ship seized and the migrants evacuated to shore.

    Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned after his far-right coalition partner quit the populist government. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and his League Party have pushed the hard-line policy against migrants. Now, with his popularity rising, he wants new elections.

    Conte accused Salvini of being irresponsible as the Italian interior minister sat next to him in the Senate and shrugged off the criticism.

  • Giuseppe Conte (through translator):

    My dear minister of interior, by starting this government crisis, you are taking a great responsibility towards the country. You have asked for full powers to rule the country, and I have heard you calling the people in the squares to support you.

  • John Yang:

    Conte's government lasted just 14 months. If Italy's president accepts his resignation, the country could see new elections as early as October.

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