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News Wrap: British couple in critical condition after ‘unbelievable’ nerve agent run-in

In our news wrap Thursday, British investigators are searching for answers after two people fell critically ill from exposure to the nerve agent Novichok. Also, a district judge rejected President Trump's request to block two state laws that protect undocumented immigrants, but put part of a third sanctuary law on hold.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In the day's other news- The Trump administration says it is working to reunite families separated at the border ahead of a court-ordered deadline.

    The Department of Health and Human Services says it now has fewer than 3,000 children in its custody, including 100 under the age of 5. Meanwhile, President Trump repeated his calls to send people who cross the border back without a trial. We will take a closer look at the president's immigration policies right after the news summary.

    In California, a district judge rejected President Trump's to block two state laws that protect undocumented immigrants, but put part of a third sanctuary law on hold. The judge upheld one law that limits police communications with federal agents when an inmate is about to be released. The other requires the state to inspect immigrant detention facilities.

    The judge blocked part of the law that says immigration officials must have a warrant to enter premises.

    President Trump said that he has narrowed down his short list of candidates to be his Supreme Court nominee. Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, he said — quote — "Of the four people, I have it down to three or two." He plans to make his announcement Monday night.

    Mr. Trump also voiced support for Republican Congressman Jim Jordan. The lawmaker is accused of knowing about alleged sexual abuse at Ohio State University when he was the assistant wrestling coach decades ago. Jordan denies all charges.

    British investigators are searching for answers, after two people fell critically ill from exposure to the nerve agent Novichok. It happened in Amesbury, just miles from where a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned by the same substance in March.

    Dan Rivers of Independent Television News has our report.

  • DAN RIVERS:

    She looks just like any other shopper browsing the wine on a summer's afternoon ahead of a Friday night out with friends. Dawn Sturgess looks relaxed and happy, and pays for it in the shop just a few hundred meters from the spot where a Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found overcome by a nerve agent.

    Dawn Sturgess is completely unaware that, soon, she too will be incapacitated by the very same chemical weapon. Less than 24 hours later, she was being loaded into an ambulance in a critical condition, having been exposed to a nerve agent.

    A few hours later, her boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, had also collapsed, both suffering from the same symptoms of disorientation, breathing difficulties and eventually a loss of consciousness. Both Charlie and Dawn are now in a critical condition in Salisbury Hospital.

    Today, even the police seem to be dismayed that, once again, Salisbury is at the center of a nerve agent poisoning.

  • KIER PRITCHARD:

    Put simply, it is unbelievable that we are here today to talk about another Novichok nerve agent incident that has happened across our county.

  • DAN RIVERS:

    Officials are stressing the risk to public health is minimal, but the home secretary wasn't pulling any punches in his message to the Russian government today.

  • SAJID JAVID:

    It is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets, or for our streets, our parks, our towns to be dumping grounds for poison.

  • DAN RIVERS:

    As the area around Charlie Rowley's flat continued to be secured, the Russian government issued a statement, saying the U.K. shouldn't get involved in dirty political games.

    We're told the risk of further contamination is minimal, but there are still so many unanswered questions abbot how Dawn and Charlie ended up fighting for their lives.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    That report from Dan Rivers of Independent Television News.

    In Northern Thailand, rescuers continued their efforts to free the 12 boys and their soccer coach who have been trapped in a cave for almost two weeks. More Thai navy SEALs arrived at the mouth of the cave to pump out water, in hopes of clearing an escape route. If that fails, the team may have to stay in the cave until the water recedes, possibly as long as four months. More heavy rains are expected this weekend.

    In Southwest Syria, Russian airstrikes bolstered a government offensive against opposition forces. Rebel negotiators agreed to resume stalled peace talks with Russia to end the fighting. As the bombings intensified, Syrian ground forces mass near the border with Jordan. The campaign has forced more than 320,000 Syrians from their homes. The United Nations has appealed to Jordan to open its borders to those who are fleeing the violence.

    China says the Trump administration is — quote — "opening fire toward Beijing," as the U.S. prepares to enact punishing new trade barriers. Tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports to the U.S. are set to go into effect at midnight. A spokesman for China's Commerce Department promised immediate countermeasures.

  • GAO FENG (through interpreter):

    This kind of trade bullying, by raising up the big stick of tariffs to blackmail others around the world, is against the trend of the times. China will not bow in the face of threats and blackmail, nor will it waver in its determination of safeguarding globalization and the multilateral trade system.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    China says it plans to target American products like soybeans and whiskey. President Trump has threatened additional duties on up to $450 billion worth of Chinese imports if Beijing retaliates.

    The Department of Homeland Security has extended temporary protected status for Yemenis who sought safety in the U.S. after fleeing a brutal civil war. The 18-month extension applies to some 1,250 people who left Yemen since 2015, but no new applicants will be accepted.

    Special correspondent Jane Ferguson has our third and final report on the war in Yemen later in the program.

    Former FOX News executive Bill Shine has a new high-level job at the White House. He will serve as the president's deputy chief of staff for communications. Shine resigned from FOX News last year, after he was accused of mishandling sexual harassment scandals at the network. The White House has been without a communications director since the departure of Hope Hicks in March.

    In Colorado, firefighters struggled to battle one of the largest wildfires in the state's history today 200 miles south of Denver. The largely uncontained fire has destroyed more than 100 homes and forced over 2,000 people to evacuate. At least 60 wildfires are roaring through the Western U.S. amid tinder-dry conditions.

    And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 182 points to close at 24356. The Nasdaq rose 83 points, and the S&P 500 gained 23.

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