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News Wrap: Death toll rises after tornadoes hit five states

In our news wrap Monday, the death toll rose to at least five after a line of tornadoes ripped across five states on Sunday. Scores of people were injured, and nearly a third of the town of Van, Texas, was destroyed. Also, Hattiesville, Mississippi, paid tribute to Liquori Tate and Benjamin Deen, two police officers who were shot to death during a traffic stop. Four suspects have been arrested.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The death toll rose to at least five today after a line of tornadoes ripped across five states on Sunday. Two people were killed in Nashville, Arkansas, and two others died around Van, Texas, 70 miles from Dallas, where three people were still missing.

    People in Van spent the day picking up the pieces after nearly a third of the town was damaged or destroyed, including as many as a hundred homes. Scores of people were injured.

  • MAYOR DEAN STONE, Van, Texas:

    It’s a terrible thing for a city to come out like we did, but it’s a great thing the way the people have responded. We were here last night when it hit. We were here all night and we’re still here, and a bunch of them still are. We lost a lot of good properties, but it’s just something that you never expect, but we will be working on it diligently.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Another death in Texas was blamed on flooding in Corsicana after 11 inches of rain fell over the weekend.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The National Football League has suspended New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the four games next season. That follow league findings that Brady was — quote — “at least generally aware” that game balls were being deflated below standards. The Patriots will also pay a $1 million fine and forfeit two draft picks.

    Residents of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, paid tribute today to two police officers killed over the weekend. Liquori Tate and Benjamin Deen were shot to death Saturday night during a traffic stop. Four suspects have been arrested. Initial court appearances were this afternoon.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Jail records in Baltimore are raising more questions about how city police handle suspects. That follows the death of Freddie Gray, who suffered a severe spinal injury after his arrest and died. The Baltimore Sun reports that, since mid-2012, nearly 2,600 detainees were brought to jail with injuries too severe for them to be admitted.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    And the United States was forced to defend its record today on the use of force by police. The U.N. Human Rights Council cited high-profile cases involving the deaths of black suspects. It also pressed for abolishing the death penalty and closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    European Union officials are now offering a plan for distributing the wave of migrants from North Africa and the Middle East. And the E.U.’s foreign policy chief laid out a separate plan today to cut off the flow of migrants.

    Jonathan Rugman of Independent Television News reports.

  • JONATHAN RUGMAN:

    In the calm seas of the Mediterranean, another boatload of desperate migrants seeking sanctuary in Europe.  Around 800 of them drowned last month, forcing Britain and its E.U. partners to treble the search-and-rescue effort.

    This afternoon, the E.U.’s top diplomat appealed to the U.N. Security Council to back a new U.N. resolution authorizing force.

  • FEDERICA MOGHERINI, Foreign Policy Chief, European Union:

    The crucial thing for the European Union is destroying the business model of the trafficking and smuggling organizations, making sure that the vessels cannot be used again, making sure that the assets of these organizations are destroyed.

  • JONATHAN RUGMAN:

    But the Russians might veto a resolution. Destroying fishing boats would also mean destroying legitimate livelihoods. If a ship is flagged, you need the flag state’s permission to sink it, while traffickers can replace rubber dinghies easily and at little cost.

    And though this man purports to be Libya’s prime minister, he is not internationally recognized as such.

  • PETER ROBERTS, Royal United Services Institute:

    There are two warring parties in Libya, so which one do you broach? And if you approach one and not the other, you get into debates.

  • JONATHAN RUGMAN:

    Well, are you saying this resolution is impractical?

  • PETER ROBERTS:

    Hugely impractical.  It’s impractical and probably not deliverable by the military in any shape or form.

  • JONATHAN RUGMAN:

    But the alternative to sinking ships isn’t easy either. Follow the criminal money chain across Africa, end the continent’s wars, invest in its people, so that they no longer want to leave.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Meanwhile, in Asia, well over 1,000 refugees from Bangladesh and Myanmar came ashore in Malaysia and Indonesia during the past few days.

    Many are Rohingya Muslims fleeing discrimination in Myanmar. Authorities estimate 25,000 people attempted the voyage from January through March, twice as many as a year ago.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Back in this country, lawyers for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rested in the penalty phase of the trial. Their final witness was Sister Helen Prejean, who wrote “Dead Man Walking.” She’s met with Tsarnaev, and she says he appears genuinely remorseful.  Closing arguments are Wednesday.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was sentenced today to three-and-a-half years in federal prison in a high-profile leak case.  He’d been convicted of telling New York Times journalist James Risen about a plan to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called today for a task force to investigate nail salons and for health regulations to safeguard salon workers. A New York Times series last week found many manicurists are being forced to work long hours, amid toxic chemicals, for surprisingly little pay.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    General Motors now confirms at least 100 people have died in crashes caused by faulty ignition switches in its vehicles. The announcement today said their families will be offered at least $1 million each in compensation. Another 184 people who were injured in crashes are also eligible for payments.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And on Wall Street, stocks could not maintain Friday’s rally. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 86 points to close near 18100. The Nasdaq fell 10 points, and the S&P 500 dropped nearly 11.

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