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News Wrap: More deadly sea crossings for migrants flocking to Europe

In our news wrap Thursday, at least 25 migrants drowned when their boat sank off the Greek island of Samos. Meanwhile, the Italian Navy rescued nearly 300 people and recovered six bodies of Sicily. Also, three more members of an armed militia group surrendered overnight, leaving four holdouts at a wildlife refuge in Oregon.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    An armed militia group is down to its last four holdouts at a wildlife refuge in Eastern Oregon. Three more surrendered overnight, a day after seven were arrested and one was killed in a shoot-out. Their jailed leader, Ammon Bundy, is now urging the rest to — quote — "stand down and go home."

    His lawyer read a statement from Bundy today.

    LISSA CASEY, Attorney for Ammon Bundy: Turn yourselves in. Do not use physical force. Use the national platform that we have to continue to defend liberty through our constitutional right in an Article 3 court with an Article 3 judge.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In a YouTube video posted today, one of the remaining militia members said they're willing to depart the refuge, if police promise they won't be arrested.

    Dangerous winter sea crossings to Europe turned deadly again today. At least 25 migrants drowned when their boat sank off the Greek island of Samos en route from Turkey. Meanwhile, the Italian navy rescued nearly 300 people, and recovered six bodies off Sicily.

    The Pentagon has announced it's doubling paid maternity leave to 12 weeks for women in uniform and military child care centers will stay open longer.

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter said it's part of an effort to recruit and retain a top-flight military.

    ASHTON CARTER, Secretary of Defense: We will become a more powerful magnet for the high-end talent we will need in the coming generation. We will make it easier to retain the top talent we have and to develop future leaders.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Carter also called for greater health care benefits for military women.

    NASA today marked the 30th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. Six astronauts and a teacher were killed on January 28, 1986, when a booster exploded and blew the shuttle apart. The crew of the International Space Station observed a moment of silence today, and a ceremony at Cape Canaveral honored the men and women of Challenger.

  • BOB CABANA, Director, Kennedy Space Center:

    They continue to motivate us to explore and to never quit just because it's hard. We are better for having known them. They are a part of us forever and we will never let them down.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    We will take a longer look at the Challenger later in the program.

    A former Providence, Rhode Island, mayor who became a larger-than-life figure has died. Buddy Cianci passed away this morning in a Providence hospital. He spent 21 years as mayor, helped revitalize the city and gained national attention, but ultimately went to federal prison for corruption. Buddy Cianci was 74 years old.

    Wall Street gained ground for a change today, as oil prices climbed again. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 125 points to close near 16070. The Nasdaq rose 38 points, and the S&P 500 added 10.

    It turns out Hawaii and Alaska are the places to be for your own well-being. An annual Gallup/Healthways survey of all 50 states finds Hawaii is number one when it comes to a sense of well-being for the fifth time since 2008. Alaska is second, after coming in first last year, and is followed by Montana, Colorado, and Wyoming. And at the bottom, West Virginia has the lowest ranking for the seventh straight year.

    And, finally, new times in toy land. Mattel announced today that Barbie dolls will now be sold in three body types, curvy, tall and petite, plus new skin tones and hair styles, to reflect a more diverse view of beauty. And LEGO confirmed there's a figure in a wheelchair in an upcoming set. It's the company's first depiction of disabilities ever.

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