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News Wrap: Record floodwaters in central Michigan are still rising

In our news wrap Wednesday, nearly 10,000 people in central Michigan have been ordered out of their homes after flooding breached two dams. A river and connected lakes have topped record levels, and they’re still rising. Also, U.S. marshals in Massachusetts have arrested two men accused of helping former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn flee Japan, where he faces charges of financial misconduct.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: A tropical cyclone blasted India and Bangladesh, killing at least 14 people and destroying homes by the hundreds.

    The storm surged out of the Bay of Bengal into a densely populated region that's been beset by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Pounding India's Eastern coastline, the strongest cyclone in over a decade. Winds reached 100 miles per hour, knocking down trees and damaging metal roofs.

    Today in New Delhi, Indian officials said they are working to restore roads.

  • Satya Pradhan (through translator):

    All teams are on the ground. All teams are outside in the cyclone area.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    In neighboring Bangladesh, riverbanks overflowed. Yesterday, local officials began mass evacuations.

  • Snigdha Chakraborty:

    Initially, they were not willing to evacuate, because they were weighing between the risk of cyclone, at the same time also the invisible risk of COVID-19.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Snigdha Chakraborty is the Bangladesh country director for Catholic Relief Services.

  • Snigdha Chakraborty:

    They do not have income. They do not have homes. They also lost their crop in the field.

    So, basically, it is a devastating situation and painful situation that they will have to live with now.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Nearly three million people have been evacuated from their homes, and are hunkering down in cramped evacuation centers, where social distancing is impossible.

    For thousands of Rohingya refugees in Southern Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar, the only protection they have are plastic sheets to cover their homes. As heavy rain hit the refugee camp today, residents worked to prevent flooding.

    Nearly 10,000 people in Central Michigan have been ordered out of their homes after flooding breached two dams. A river and connected lakes have topped record levels that were set in 1986, and they're still rising.

    Today, debris, including a camper, floated down the river, and only street signs were above water in downtown Midland.

    Governor Gretchen Whitmer said the flooding is expected to peak tonight.

  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer:

    If you're in an impacted area, please evacuate. This is going to be hard, but we are anticipating several feet of water across this area.

    And so, while we're in the midst of a global pandemic, it's really important that, to the best of our ability, we observe the best practices to keep ourselves and our families safe.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Midland is home to Dow Chemical, and the flooding is already encroaching on the company's main plant site.

    U.S. Marshals in Massachusetts have arrested two men accused of helping former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn flee Japan. They allegedly smuggled Ghosn to Lebanon in a box last December. He was facing financial misconduct charges, but said that he could not expect a fair trial in Japan.

    Israel is under new pressure to abandon plans for annexing parts of the West Bank. The top U.N. envoy for the Middle East said today that it would deal a devastating blow to any hopes for peace. And Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that all agreements with Israel and the U.S. are void because of the annexation threat.

    Back in this country, the U.S. Supreme Court barred the immediate release of secret grand jury testimony from the Russia investigation. House Democrats had sued for access to the material. But the court denied that request at least until early summer. That all but guarantees the documents will not be released before Election Day.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden accused President Trump and his lieutenants of abusing their law enforcement powers. The Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting spoke via video link to Columbia Law School graduates today.

    Last night, he rejected Mr. Trump's claims that he and former President Obama acted illegally to push the Russia investigation.

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden:

    This is his pattern: diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion. Don't speak to whatever the issues before us are.

    My God. Obamagate, come on. This is so venal, so petty. The greatest crime? I mean, my lord.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meanwhile, the president condemned plans for mail-in voting in Michigan and Nevada, and he threatened to withhold federal funds from the states. Later, he said he doubts that that will be necessary.

    The number of babies born in the U.S. has fallen to a 35-year low. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 3.7 million births last year. That is down 1 percent from 2018. The decline has been trending for more than a decade.

    And on Wall Street, stocks bounced back from Tuesday's losses, led by the tech sector. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 369 points to close near 24576. The Nasdaq rose 190 points — that's 2 percent — and the S&P 500 added 48.

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