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News Wrap: Death toll climbs from Afghan earthquake

In our news wrap Monday, a powerful 7.5 earthquake struck Afghanistan and could be felt well into India. Hundreds were killed, mostly in neighboring Pakistan. Also, more than 13,000 migrants have crossed Croatia's border with Serbia within the past 24 hours.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    The death toll is still climbing from the powerful earthquake that struck Northeastern Afghanistan much earlier today. At least 263 were killed, most of them in neighboring Pakistan.

    The quake was centered deep under the Hindu Kush mountains, but at magnitude 7.5, its reach extended well into India.

    Lindsey Hilsum of Independent Television News has this report.

    In Gilgit, on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, the earthquake caused a landslide. A security camera in Mingora in Pakistan captured the moment in someone's garage. And the news reader on Ariana TV in the Afghan capital, Kabul, found himself unable to continue.

    Several buildings in Kabul crumbled, even though the epicenter of the quake was 400 kilometers to the north.

  • MAN (through interpreter):

    We felt the earthquake. We tried to get out of the house. It was very big. The walls were destroyed.

  • LINDSEY HILSUM:

    Now there's a danger of aftershocks.

    Nearer the epicenter, in Taloqan, a girls school was struck. At least 12 students were killed trying to rush out, while more than 40 were taken to hospital. People here are poor and deprived at the best of times. Hospitals are rudimentary.

    In the Pakistan border city of Peshawar, several houses collapsed. Earthquakes hit the poor far more than the rich because their homes are less sturdily built. The quake struck hardest in remote mountainous areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. There is little precise information yet of how many were killed or how great the damage. Though there is no doubt people will need help, it will be hard to get it to them.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Authorities in both Afghanistan and Pakistan say the casualty count is expected to rise as rescuers reach more remote areas.

    Migrants and refugees surged across the Balkan states again today, after European leaders held an emergency summit. Police in Croatia said more than 13,000 people have crossed its eastern border with Serbia within the past 24 hours. And nearly 10,000 moved on from Croatia westward to Slovenia.

    Meanwhile, in Brussels, European Union leaders said they committed early today to bring order to the chaos.

  • JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, President, European Commission:

    The only way to restore order to the situation is to slow down the uncontrolled flows of people. The policy of waving through people to neighboring countries has to stop. I want to be clear. People must be registrated, no registration, no rights.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The E.U. leaders agreed to accommodate 100,000 people at registration centers and to give Greece more help.

    Meanwhile, the U.N.'s humanitarian office said today, new fighting in Syria has displaced at least another 120,000 people. That's more than double an earlier estimate.

    An anti-migrant faction in Poland scored big in Sunday elections. The conservative Law and Justice Party celebrated last night after winning an a near majority in Parliament. The group opposes taking in migrants and adopting the euro currency.

    Conservatives in Argentina also did well, as opposition presidential candidate Mauricio Macri forced a run-off with the ruling party's nominee on Sunday.

    And in Guatemala, former TV comedian Jimmy Morales overwhelmingly won the presidency. He attacked corruption and promised smartphones for children.

    There's word this evening of a possible two-year budget deal in Congress. House and Senate aides say it would allow increased spending, despite budget caps, but defense would increase more than domestic programs.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed the ongoing talks today, but said it is not a done deal.

  • JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary:

    We have worked assiduously to protect the privacy and confidentiality of those discussions, principally because they're based on this principle that nothing is agreed to in the context of those discussions until everything is agreed to. And as I stand here today, not everything has been agreed to. That means that nothing at this point has been agreed to.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Without a deal, the government will run out of money on December 11. Any agreement could also include an increase in the federal borrowing limit that expires November 3.

    An Oklahoma judge ordered a mental evaluation today for a woman accused of driving her car into a homecoming crowd at Oklahoma State University. Adacia Chambers is being held on $1 million bond. She faces preliminary counts of second-degree murder. Four people died and dozens of others were injured in Saturday's crash. Chambers' lawyer denied she was drunk or taking drugs at the time. He said she's mentally ill.

    Investigators in Vancouver, Canada, worked today to figure out why a whale watching boat sank. Five British citizens died in Sunday's incident. One is still missing. Amateur video showed the 65-foot vessel partially submerged late Sunday afternoon off Tofino on Vancouver Island. Rescuers and others rushed to the waterfront to help.

  • MAYOR JOSIE OSBORNE, Tofino, British Columbia:

    The outpouring from the community has been phenomenal. And seeing the way people come forward and they're offering everything from food and blankets and clothing to just people to be with people and help them and helping the ambulance, the paramedics, the hospital staff, everything, it's — businesses, everybody. It just comes out and says, what can I do?

  • GWEN IFILL:

    In all, there were 27 people on the boat.

    Remnants of Hurricane Patricia moved along the Gulf Coast today. Heavy rain continued from Eastern Texas to the Florida Panhandle, and flash flood alerts were up for several states. Meanwhile, Texas was starting to dry out after the system dumped more than a foot of rain over the weekend.

    The University of Mississippi today has removed the state flag from its place of honor on campus. The flag includes the Confederate battle emblem, and students, faculty and others had urged that it be taken down. University police lowered the banner this morning, and took it to the school's archives.

    Wall Street had trouble making any headway today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 23 points to close at 17623. The Nasdaq rose nearly three points, and the S&P 500 slipped four.

    And the National Football League is claiming success with letting people worldwide watch a game online for free, instead of showing it on television. Yahoo! streamed Sunday's Buffalo-Jacksonville game in London, and got more than 33 million views. The league says the experiment proves streaming can become the main means of distribution for more games.

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