In our news wrap Wednesday, hopes for Israel to end months of political deadlock have dimmed, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be short of a parliamentary majority. The result could mean a fourth election within a year. Also, both Turkish and Syrian soldiers were killed amid fighting in northwestern Syria. Turkey is trying to stop a Syrian offensive driving refugees to its border.
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In the day's other news, a new reality dawned in the Democratic presidential race, after Joe Biden won 10 states on Super Tuesday. The surprise show of strength powered the former vice president to the lead in delegates over Bernie Sanders. Biden got another boost today, when Michael Bloomberg dropped out and endorsed him.
We will discuss all of this right after the news summary.
In Israel, the chances of ending months of political deadlock grew dimmer today, after this week's election. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be short of a clear majority in Parliament by three seats, based on nearly final results. Israel has held three elections in less than a year, and this could mean a fourth.
There has been more bloodshed between Turkey and Syria. Two Turkish soldiers were killed in clashes today in Northwestern Syria. And a Syrian war monitor group reports Turkish drone strikes killed nine Syrian soldiers. Turkey is trying to stop a Syrian offensive that has driven a million refugees to the Turkish border.
Amer al-Ahmed (through translator):
We are a group of people that has an enemy after us, an enemy that has driven us to the borders. Now that we are at the borders, the only solution before us is to enter Turkey, and from Turkey to Europe, any country that we can go to. We have nowhere else to go.
Turkey already hosts some 3.6 million Syrians and accuses the European Union of not doing its fair share to help.
Now the Turks have opened access to their border with Greece, where new trouble erupted today. Greek police fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds who were attempting to cross. A Turkish official claimed one person was killed and five wounded. The Greeks denied it.
The United States attacked Taliban targets in Afghanistan today, for the first time since signing a troop withdrawal agreement last weekend. U.S. officials say that airstrikes hit fighters in Helmand Province, as they attacked an Afghan army checkpoint.
In Washington, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress that the Taliban has scaled back its operations.
Gen. Mark Milley:
Of significance, there's no attacks in 34 provincial capitals. There's no attacks in Kabul. There's no high-profile attacks. There's no suicide bombers. There's no vehicle-borne suicide, no attack against U.S. forces, no attack against coalition. There's a whole laundry list of these things that aren't happening.
The Taliban insisted today that it is implementing all parts of its agreement with the U.S.
The European Union's executive body today proposed its first ever law to address climate change. The head of the European Commission said that the plan calls for the 27-nation bloc to cut net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. And it would be legally binding.
Ursula Von Der Leyen:
It gives us the tools to measure the progress against this long-term goal. It gives us the possibility to take corrective measures if this is necessary, if we fall behind our own goals.
Environmental groups and some member states criticized the proposal. They said the focus should be on cutting more emissions by 2030.
Back in this country, Chief Justice John Roberts issued a rare rebuke today condemning remarks by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The Democratic senator criticized conservative Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch over a rule in favor of abortion restrictions.
He said — quote — "They won't know what hit them."
Roberts called the comments inappropriate and dangerous.
We will have more on this later in the program.
And Toyota has expanded a major U.S. recall by another 1.2 million vehicles. They may have fuel pumps that could fail and cause the engines to stall. The affected models include Toyota and Lexus vehicles going back to 2013. Toyota already recalled nearly 700,000 vehicles for the same problem.