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News Wrap: Death toll rises from Benghazi car bombings

In our news wrap Wednesday, the death toll rose to 33 in Libya from two car bombings in Benghazi. Medics were helping victims when the second explosion occurred. Also, Islamic State militants stormed an office of Save the Children in Afghanistan, killing four and wounding 26 during a shootout that lasted nearly 10 hours.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Former sports doctor Larry Nassar will spend the rest of his life in prison for repeatedly sexually molesting young gymnasts.

    A Michigan judge today ordered him to serve as long as 175 years behind bars. The sentence followed a dramatic week-long hearing. We will have a full report right after the news summary.

    In the day's other news- President Trump said he is looking forward to being interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller's team in the Russia probe.

    He told reporters — quote — "I would do it under oath."

    Mueller is investigating connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.

    In Libya, the death toll rose to 33 today, after two car bombings in the eastern city of Benghazi overnight. As day broke, eyewitnesses told of medics aiding victims of the first blast, when a second bomb detonated.

  • Yassen Haroun (through interpreter):

    They tried to get people away, and were yelling get away, because usually when one bomb goes off, another follows. But people wanted to stand and watch, and that is when the second Mercedes car bomb exploded.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    No group claimed responsibility, but Islamic State remnants remain a threat in Libya.

    ISIS militants in Afghanistan stormed an office of Save the Children today, killing four people and wounding 26. The attack happened in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province in Eastern Afghanistan. Plumes of smoke rose after a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance. That triggered a shoot-out that lasted nearly 10 hours.

    Also today, the State Department announced that four Americans died in Saturday's Taliban assault on a Kabul hotel.

    President Trump urged Turkey today to limit its offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters in Syria. He spoke with Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, by phone. The White House says Mr. Trump warned against any actions that risk conflict with U.S. forces in Syria.

    Pope Francis denounced fake news today in his annual message on social communications. In a statement, he lambasted the spread of misinformation as evil. Francis greeted the faithful at the Vatican, as a spokesman underscored the pope's call to rediscover the dignity of journalism.

  • Greg Burke:

    The pope is actually calling on journalists, people working in communications, to reach higher, basically. You know, he says it is very easy that we descend into division and into hatred, and that's — a lot of false news is that. It is denigrating others. And he is saying, we don't have to pretend like everything is fine. It is obviously not.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The papal statement came after newspapers in Chile had accused him of slandering victims of sexual abuse by priests. Francis has since apologized, while defending a bishop who is accused of covering up the abuse.

    The British Parliament echoed today with condemnations of a charity fund-raiser that blew up into a sexual harassment scandal. The Financial Times reported that scantily dressed hostesses were groped, harassed and propositioned at the men-only gala last week. One female lawmaker said today that the women served as — quote — "bait." The charity announced later that it is closing down.

    Voters in Oregon have approved new taxes on hospitals, insurers and managed-care companies to pay for an expansion of Medicaid. The measures won approval in a Tuesday referendum. The state greatly expanded its Medicaid rolls to one million people under President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

    The U.S. Senate today confirmed Alex Azar to be the secretary of health and human services. He is a former drug industry executive who held senior roles at HHS under President George W. Bush. Azar succeeds Tom Price, who resigned last fall over his use of expensive charter flights.

    And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 41 points to close at 26,252. The Nasdaq fell 45 points, and the S&P 500 slipped one point.

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