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News Wrap: Indonesian tsunami death toll climbs; flooding drenches southwest U.S.

In our news wrap Tuesday, the confirmed death toll in the Indonesian tsunami topped 1,200, with survivors becoming increasingly desperate. Also, remnants of Tropical Storm Rosa drenched the southwestern United States as the storm moved north from Mexico. In Phoenix, Arizona, emergency workers carried stranded drivers from their cars after rains triggered heavy flooding.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news, the confirmed death toll in the Indonesian tsunami topped 1,200, and survivors grew increasingly desperate. Friday's earthquake and giant waves smashed into Sulawesi Island.

    John Irvine of Independent Television News reports from hard-hit Palu.

  • John Irvine:

    It's a room with a view of some of the worst earthquake devastation ever seen. The neighborhood of Balaroa has ceased to exist. To wipe it out, the earthquake moved a mountain, or at least half of one. And it fell upon this affluent part of Palu City.

    Where there had been neat streets leading to a decorative mosque, there is now complete destruction; 900 families had their world fall apart. Many were consumed by the land on which they lived. This is a satellite picture of Balaroa before the quake. This image shows the district today.

    It's scenes like this that persuade the powers that be to issue the statement the death toll is likely to rise. What's happened to this neighborhood is one of the main reasons that the Indonesian government is predicting the death toll from this double dose of natural disasters will run into thousands.

    Henranchia and a relative have come here to look for his wife. But he holds out no great hope of ever seeing her again dead or alive.

    "After the first tremor, I told her to get our two children out of the house," he said. "Then the second tremor happened, and she was literally swallowed by the earth right before my eyes."

    Emergency teams only reached this area today. And so comprehensive is its eradication, they don't expect to find any survivors here.

    A funeral director of sorts overseeing a mass burial in the hills above Palu today. While most of the bodies were unclaimed, this woman knew her husband was among them. She's having to cope with not just becoming a widow, but with the knowledge that her daughter has been missing since Friday. It seems she lost both husband and child to one of the waves of mud that engulfed parts of this city in the blink of an eye.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    That report from John Irvine of Independent Television News.

    Remnants of Tropical Storm Rosa drenched parts of the U.S. southwest today as the system moved north from Mexico. In Phoenix, Arizona, emergency workers carried stranded drivers from their cars after rains triggered heavy flooding. Flash flood watches were also up for parts of California, Nevada, and Utah.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is heading back to North Korea this weekend. The announcement today said that Pompeo expects to meet again with Kim Jong-un. The U.S. is pressing Kim to give up his nuclear capabilities. President Trump said last week that he hopes to meet again with Kim soon.

    The FBI is testing two envelopes found on the Pentagon grounds and suspected of containing the poison ricin. Authorities say the packages were spotted at a screening facility. One was addressed to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, the other to the Navy's top officer.

    A white Chicago policeman accused of murdering a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, took the stand in his own defense today. An emotional Jason Van Dyke told of confronting McDonald in 2014. Under questioning, he said the teen had a knife and kept coming toward him.

  • Jason Van Dyke:

    He waved the knife from his lower right side upwards across his body towards my left shoulder.

  • Man:

    And when he did that, what did you do, Officer?

  • Jason Van Dyke:

    I shot him.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Video of the shooting actually showed McDonald veering away when Van Dyke started shooting. He fired 16 times and testified today that he kept shooting because he wasn't certain he had hit McDonald until the youth fell to the ground.

    Four California men were charged today with inciting violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year. They are part of a white supremacist Rise Above movement that marched in Charlottesville and allegedly attacked counterprotesters. The four were arrested today.

  • Thomas Cullen:

    While on their way to the Unite the Right rally in Emancipation Park and with their hands taped and ready to do street battle committed multiple acts of violence, including punching, kicking, headbutting, and pushing numerous people along Second Street Northeast in Charlottesville.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Each of the four man faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Federal officials said they are working to identify additional suspects.

    In Afghanistan, a suicide bomber struck an election rally, killing at least 14 people. It happened in Nangarhar province in the east. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility. The target was a rally for an independent candidate for parliament. Afterward, dozens of people were sent to the local hospital.

    Mexico marked a somber anniversary today, 50 years since soldiers fired student protesters, killing at least 44. The students had taken to the streets of Mexico City demanding democratic reforms. But officials were determined to prevent disruption of that year's Olympic Games. The killings ultimately led to long-term political reforms.

    Back in this country, Amazon is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all its U.S. employees. The move will benefit more than 350,000 workers. The online retail giant company says it also plans to push for a higher federal minimum wage. It now stands at $7.25 an hour.

    And on Wall Street, gains in several big industrial stocks offset losses by retailers. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 122 points to close near 26774. The Nasdaq fell 37 points and the S&P 500 slipped one point.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour", Did President Trump violate tax laws to earn millions from his father?; how teachers are talking to their students about Brett Kavanaugh; an inside look at the migrant crisis bottleneck in Libya; we talk to the woman who won today's Nobel Prize in physics; and much more.

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