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News Wrap: Hundreds injured in deadly China explosions

In our news wrap Wednesday, a blast at a Chinese warehouse for hazardous materials lot off a much larger explosion, sending a gigantic fireball into the air. At least 13 were killed and up to 400 injured. Also, former President Jimmy Carter, 90, announced that he has cancer.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Enormous explosions tore through a container port tonight in Northeastern China. Officials reported at least 13 dead and up to 400 injured. It happened in Tianjin at a warehouse for hazardous materials, shortly before midnight, local time. Police said the first blast lit off a much larger one, with the force of 21 tons of TNT. It sent a gigantic fireball into the air, and the shockwave sent people flooding into hospitals.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Former President Jimmy Carter announced this afternoon he has cancer. In a statement, he said recent surgery showed it's spread from his liver to other parts of his body. He said he will begin treatment in Atlanta.

    In a recent interview with the NewsHour, the 39th president noted that both his parents and all three siblings died of cancer.

  • FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER:

    They all smoked cigarettes. And I never have smoked a cigarette. So, I think that may be a triggering device to some genetic factor. I don't know what the background is. But the health service of America kind of adopted me as a target for — we were the only family in the world for a number of years that was known to have pancreatic cancer deaths four — in four members.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Former President Carter is 90 years old.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Protesters in Arlington, Texas, say they will keep demanding criminal charges in the police killing of Christian Taylor. The unarmed college football player was killed Friday night at an auto dealership. Last night, the Arlington police chief fired Officer Brad Miller, citing — quote — "serious concerns" about his actions.

  • WILL JOHNSON, Chief, Arlington Police Department:

    These concerns, however, are best addressed through the criminal investigation process. However, based on the preponderance of the evidence available to me and the facts revealed by the investigative team, I have decided to terminate Officer Miller's employment with the Arlington Police Department for exercising poor judgment.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The chief said it's clear from security video that Taylor vandalized vehicles at the auto lot and drove one into the building. But he said that doesn't excuse the officer's mistakes.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    A new blaze added to California's wildfire woes today. This one is burning across 26 square miles north of San Francisco. Gusty winds have spread the flames, and more than 1,100 firefighters are on the fire lines. But they're not expected to have it contained until Monday. At least 150 people had have to leave their homes, including some who just recently had to run from another big fire.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    It's not fire, but floods in Myanmar, the worst in decades. Officials say more than a million people are critically affected. Nearly 4,000 were evacuated today from the stricken capital of Chin State in the Southeast Asian nation. Mudslides triggered by torrential rains have destroyed hundreds of homes in low-lying areas since late June. More than 100 people have died.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Beleaguered officials in Greece bolstered security today on a holiday island where tensions with migrants are growing. They're fleeing war in Syria and elsewhere, but finding little relief.

    Harry Smith of Independent Television News has this report.

  • HARRY SMITH:

    By night and by day, they're coming ashore now in the thousands. It's just a short crossing from Turkey to the island of Kos.

    But the celebrations are short-lived. The authorities here are overwhelmed; 2,000 of the new arrivals have been locked in a football stadium without food, water, shade or sanitation. They have to be registered before they can move on. Those with the strength to do so push to try to reach the front of the queue.

  • MAN:

    I think it's very bad, very bad situation there. You see it as deadly bad. They are running from the death to the death. I don't know. We come to a country respect human rights and don't know — they must respect our rights.

  • HARRY SMITH:

    A team of doctors from Medecins Sans Frontieres said they have been struggling to treat the numbers overcome by the heat, many of them children.

  • VANGELIS ORFANOUDAKIS, Doctors Without Borders:

    By putting 2,000 people inside an area that wasn't prepared, meaning it had only two toilets, no access for water. They now have just the water — for all the people, when — a situation that is really dramatic inside.

  • HARRY SMITH:

    These pictures said to have been taken today in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta provide a sharp reminder of why so many are so desperate to cross the sea to Europe. The route to Greece has become the most popular crossing since the fighting in Libya made the trip to Italy too dangerous.

    But they are now arriving in a country already struggling with a crisis of its own. Extra riot police have been sent to Kos and the other islands in the Aegean to help control the influx. There have also been calls for more ferries to take the migrants to the mainland. But that only moves the problem somewhere else.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The Greek government said it's also sending a cruise liner to Kos, to be converted into a processing center for the migrants.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And Wall Street rode a roller coaster today, as China allowed its currency to fall for a second day. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 277 points before heading back up. In the end, the Dow was just a fraction of a point lower, closing near 17400. The Nasdaq rose seven points and the S&P 500 added two.

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