In our news wrap Wednesday, at least 100 people have died in heavy flooding in northern and eastern Afghanistan. Strong seasonal rains brought mudslides that filled streets, submerged cars and destroyed more than 2,000 homes. Also, police in Minsk broke up new demonstrations and detained dozens of protesters who say Belarus’ recent presidential election was rigged.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention drew new criticism today for saying people without COVID-19 symptoms do not need to get tested, even if they have been exposed. That reversed previous policy, and a number of public health experts warned it flies in the face of science.
We will get into this in detail after the news summary.
In Belarus, police broke up new demonstrations in Minsk and detained dozens of protesters who say the presidential election was rigged. Authorities also called in Nobel-winning author Svetlana Alexievich for questioning. She is part of an opposition council trying to negotiate a transition of power.
Police in Hong Kong arrested 16 people today on rioting charges tied to pro-democracy demonstrations in July of last year. Two opposition lawmakers were among those detained. They said they were the ones attacked by agitators in white shirts. Their party accused police of an anti-democratic crackdown.
Wi Chi Wai (through translator):
The police have committed a situation of abuse. This lets the public see what the government's attitude towards the entire protest movement is. It's clear that the government has no intention of trying to fix the administration's mistakes and police abuse in the movement.
Some 9,000 people have been arrested in Hong Kong since protests began in June of 2019.
We will talk to a leading Hong Kong democracy advocate later in the program.
U.S. and Russian forces have had their most serious confrontation in months in Eastern Syria in months. The National Security Council says a Russian military vehicle struck a U.S. vehicle, injuring four Americans. The Americans patrol the area against Islamic State fighters. The Russians support Syria's regime.
At least 100 people have died in heavy flooding in Northern and Eastern Afghanistan. Strong seasonal rains brought mudslides that filled streets, submerged cars and destroyed more than 2,000 homes. Bulldozers and volunteers dug for survivors today.
Back in this country, evacuations ended for 35,000 people in Northern California, as cooler humid weather helped firefighters battling those huge fires. They made more progress, extending containment lines around the flames. But estimates of homes and other buildings destroyed rose sharply to well over 1,700.
U.S. intelligence officials say they have seen no sign that foreign countries are working to sabotage mail-in voting. They also report no evidence of any effort to commit widespread fraud with mailed ballots. President Trump has warned that both problems will be rampant this fall. But several intelligence agencies said today they have no evidence to support the claim.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 83 points to close near 28332. The Nasdaq rose 198 points, and the S&P 500 added 35.