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News Wrap: Planned Parenthood attacker shouts ‘I’m guilty’ in court

In our news wrap Wednesday, Robert Lewis Dear, the man accused of attacking a Planned Parenthood clinic, blurted out that he's guilty during a court hearing. Also, the San Bernardino shooters talked of violence as far back as 2013, according to the FBI. Reports also suggest that Syed Farook may have plotted an attack in 2012.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The FBI now says the shooters who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, had talked of violence as far back as 2013. That's a year before they were married.

    At a Senate hearing today, FBI Director James Comey said investigators are piecing together a timeline on Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik.

  • JAMES COMEY, FBI Director:

    They were actually radicalized before they started courting or dating each other online. As early as the end of 2013, they were talking to each other about jihad and martyrdom, before they became engaged and then married and lived together in the United States.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    It's also reported that Syed Farook may have plotted an attack in 2012 with a neighbor who bought the assault rifles used last week. The neighbor has checked himself into a mental clinic.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The man accused of attacking a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado blurted out today that he's guilty. Robert Lewis Dear repeatedly voiced anti-abortion sentiments during a hearing. At one point, he shouted: "I'm guilty. I'm a warrior for the babies." Three people died in the shootings last month.

    Meanwhile, a Baltimore policeman accused in the Freddie Gray case testified in his own defense today against a manslaughter charge. Gray was fatally injured during a ride in a police van last April in an incident that touched off violent protests.

    Officer William Porter told the court he checked on Gray several times and saw no sign of injury. And he said: "I didn't call for a medic because Gray was unable to give me a reason for a medical emergency."

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has apologized for the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald at the hands of police, saying he takes responsibility because it happened — quote — "on his watch."

    Video of the 2014 incident came out last week, and now a white officer is charged with murder. Emanuel told the Chicago City Council today that the police department must undertake complete and total reform.

  • MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL, Chicago:

    No officer should be allowed to behave as if they are above the law just because they are responsible for upholding the law. Permitting and protecting even the smallest acts of abuse by a tiny fraction of our officers leads to a culture where extreme acts of abuse are more likely.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Hundreds of protesters flooded downtown streets in Chicago today, accusing Emanuel of a cover-up. They blocked traffic and demanded that the mayor step down.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The U.S. military is poised to do more to help Iraq recapture a key city from Islamic State control. Iraqi government forces have now encircled Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, and are slowly moving in.

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a Senate panel today that the U.S. stands ready to help finish the job.

    ASHTON CARTER, Secretary of Defense: The United States is prepared to assist the Iraqi army with additional unique capabilities to help them finish the job, including attack helicopters and accompanying advisers, if circumstances dictate and if requested by Prime Minister Abadi.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Later, the White House said President Obama has not yet approved the use of U.S. attack helicopters in Iraq.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Meanwhile, in Syria, the last of the rebel stronghold of Homs has officially fallen to government troops. Rebel factions pulled out today, under a local truce. Scores of people, including gunmen and civilians, left the city in bus convoys organized by the United Nations and Red Crescent. The city had been under siege by the Syrian military for three years.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Afghanistan's military struggled today to beat back a Taliban attack on an air base in the south. A gun battle raged into the night outside the city of Kandahar, killing and wounding dozens of people.

    Jonathan Miller of Independent Television News filed this report.

  • JONATHAN MILLER:

    We now know that at least 37 civilians and Afghan soldiers were killed and 35 wounded when Taliban insurgents stormed the heavily fortified complex, taking up position in a residential section, home to hundreds of NATO and other international personnel.

    This morning, this airport employee said the security forces weren't letting anyone onto the base yet, as the fighting was still raging.

    The Taliban released this video of what they claimed were the insurgents who attacked the Kandahar base. Their leader, speaking in English, warned President Obama to get remaining U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.

  • MAN:

    This my suggestion, Barack Obama. Obama, you are not safe in Afghanistan.

  • JONATHAN MILLER:

    He threatened to kill foreign soldiers of what the Talibs call the Afghan slave army. This photograph shows the same men, same backdrop, this time dressed in Afghan army uniform and wielding Kalashnikovs. The identity of one of the 10 is obscured. It's possible that he didn't join the operation.

    Afghan forces claim to have killed 14 insurgents. Gruesome pictures released tonight show Afghan soldiers displaying the dead bodies of the attackers and their weapons to TV cameras.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani was in Pakistan today, discussing possible peace talks with the Taliban.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Back in this country, a sweeping makeover of public education law cleared Congress today. The Senate gave final approval to the rewrite of the No Child Left Behind law. It shifts more decision-making to the States on how to assess teachers and schools, but it still requires annual testing in reading and math.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Another night of heavy rain has spread flooding across more of the Pacific Northwest. Storms in Oregon and Washington state knocked out power to nearly 100,000 customers. In Portland, a tree crashed into a home, killing a 60-year-old woman. And just south of Seattle, cars and trucks struggled to make their way through high water that closed a number of roads.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Volkswagen now says that one of its emissions scandals may not be as bad as first believed. Company officials initially said they might have low-balled carbon dioxide emissions in 800,000 vehicles. Now they say it's more like 36,000. V.W. still faces a much larger scandal over cheating on U.S. emissions tests.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 75 points to close back near 17490. The Nasdaq also fell 75, and the S&P 500 dropped 16.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And it was 150 years ago this month that the 13th Amendment was ratified and slavery was abolished in the United States.

    President Obama marked the occasion at the U.S. Capitol, and he appeared to target Donald Trump's call to bar Muslims from entering the country.

  • PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

    We betray the efforts of the past if we fail to push back against bigotry in all its forms. Our freedom is bound up with the freedom of others, regardless of what they look like, or where they come from, or what their last name is, or what faith they practice.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    That drew a standing ovation from the gathered congressional leaders. But the White House said the remarks were not specifically directed at Trump.

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