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News Wrap: At least 4 dead, 29 missing in California boat fire

Four people died and another 29 are missing and feared dead after a dive boat caught fire and sank off the coast of Southern California. All five crew members survived by jumping in the water, but the Coast Guard is combing the site in search of missing passengers. Also, tens of thousands of students in Hong Kong boycotted their first day of class to join peaceful anti-government demonstrations.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: Four people died and another 29 are missing and feared dead after a dive boat sank off the coast of Southern California.

    The 75-foot vessel caught fire before sinking near Santa Cruz Island. The Ventura County Fire Department released photos of the boat engulfed in flames before dawn. All five crew members survived by jumping into the water. But the U.S. Coast Guard is still combing the site, looking for missing passengers.

  • Monica Rochester:

    Presently, the Coast Guard is — has full efforts in a response posture right now. We are currently still in the response phase. Right now, they are conducting shoreline searches for any available survivors.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    It's still unclear what caused the fire. Federal transportation authorities have sent a team to the scene to investigate.

    Authorities in Odessa, Texas, say the gunman who killed seven in a mass shooting this weekend was fired from his job on the day of the attack. The shooter wounded at least 22 people before he was killed by police. Authorities said he made rambling calls to 911 and to the FBI before the attack.

  • Christopher Combs:

    He was on a long spiral of going down. He didn't wake up Saturday morning and walk into his company and then it happened. He went to that company in trouble.

    He's probably been in trouble for a while, which is why we have been reaching out. I talked to some of you yesterday about, we really need the public's help to reach out to us when they see people in that downward spiral that may be on that road to violence.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    We will get a report on the latest from Odessa later in the program.

    In Afghanistan, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a massive explosion that rocked the capital city, Kabul, today, killing at least five civilians. More than 50 others were wounded. It targeted the heavily secured Green Village compound that's home to several aid agencies and international organizations.

    The attack happened hours after U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad briefed the Afghan government about a draft peace deal with the Taliban.

    Special correspondent Jane Ferguson is in Kabul, and joins us now.

    Jane, good evening.

  • Jane Ferguson:

    Hi, Judy.

    This is just the latest of a series of escalating attacks by the Taliban in recent days, designed to keep up pressure on both the United States and the Afghan government here in Kabul. The timing is very significant.

    The U.S. special envoy to those peace talks between the United States government and the Taliban that have been taking place in Qatar, Zalmay Khalilzad, just arrived this weekend back into Kabul, where he is presenting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani with the initial details of a proposed agreement between the United States and the Taliban.

    It's believed they're close to agreeing on a U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan, but have yet to finalize that agreement. In the meantime, the Taliban have marched on two major cities in the north of Afghanistan just over the weekend as well.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    That's special correspondent Jane Ferguson reporting from Kabul tonight.

    Thank you, Jane.

    In Hong Kong, tens of thousands of students boycotted their first day of class to join anti-government demonstrations. Their peaceful rallies followed a weekend of violent clashes with police that resulted in over 150 arrests.

    Today, high school and college students wore face masks and school uniforms, as they demanded democratic change and an inquiry into police conduct.

  • Andy ChanĀ (through translator):

    I think that secondary school students are part of society, and if we secondary school students decide to boycott classes, that shows that part of society has already stopped functioning.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The mass pro-democracy protests in the semiautonomous Chinese territory began in June. Police officials have arrested more than 1,000 people since then.

    Medics in Yemen pulled 88 bodies from a demolished detention center run by Houthi rebels. The building was targeted yesterday by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes. In all, the strikes killed over a hundred people and wounded dozens more. It was the deadliest assault there so far this year.

    And the Trump administration said today that it's reconsidering its decision to force immigrants with life-threatening illnesses to return to their home countries. U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services abruptly ended the program last month, sparking widespread condemnation from the medical community.

    The policy had allowed immigrants to avoid deportation as they or relatives underwent lifesaving medical treatment.

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