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News Wrap: Russia expels diplomats in reprisal against U.S. and others

Editor’s Note: In our story about Adnan Syed’s new trial, “Serial” was misidentified as an NPR podcast. It is produced by This American Life.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    A funeral today in a city on the edge. Services were held in Sacramento, California for 22-year-old Stephon Clark. He was shot and killed by police earlier this month, leading to days of protests. We will have the full story right after the news summary.

    In the day's other news, Russia retaliated for the expulsions of more than 150 diplomats by the U.S. and other nations. Moscow tossed out the same number, including 60 American diplomats. It's also closing the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg, after the U.S. closed the Russian Consulate in Seattle. This follows the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England.

    More funerals today in the Russian city of Kemerovo. A shopping mall fire killed 64 people there on Sunday; 41 of the dead were children. Today, at a local school, teachers and classmates piled stuffed animals and hanged pictures of those they'd lost. One woman accused officials of washing their hands of it and shifting responsibility.

    Families in Venezuela are demanding answers after 68 people died in a fire during a jail riot. It happened Wednesday in the town of Valencia in Carabobo State, 100 miles west of Caracas. Family members of inmates clashed with police outside the prison and officers fired tear gas.

    Today, people were still angry.

  • Beatriz Rodriguez:

    (Through interpreter) There was a riot here inside. I came quickly. When I arrived here, the cruelest news we received was that they burned them, they killed them, they assassinated them, because they were locked up in a jail cell. They are not crazy enough to burn themselves. They were burned. They were killed here like dogs.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The United Nations has called for a prompt investigation into the deaths.

    In Egypt, early estimates from this week's presidential election suggest incumbent Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will win 92 percent of the vote cast. But, as ballots were counted today, state media reported that voter turnout was only about 40 percent. That's despite government payments and even threats.

    Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai returned to Pakistan today. It was her first visit since being shot by Taliban militants in 2012 for promoting education for girls. She met with Pakistan's prime minister in Islamabad, and said she had longed for a homecoming.

  • Malala Yousafzai:

    (Through translator) For last five years, I have dreamed that I can set foot in my country. Whenever I travel by plane or car, I see the cities of London, New York. I was told, just imagine you are in Pakistan. It was never true. But now, today, I see. I am very happy.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The visit is taking place under heavy security, and is expected to last for several days.

    Back in this country, a Maryland appeals court agreed on a new trial for a man whose murder case was featured in the NPR podcast "Serial." Adnan Syed has spent almost 20 years in prison for the killing of an ex-girlfriend. Today's ruling upheld a lower court that vacated Syed's conviction because his lawyer failed to cross-examine a key witness.

    And Wall Street closed out a volatile week. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 254 points to finish at 24103. The Nasdaq rose 114 points, and the S&P 500 added nearly 36. The markets will be closed tomorrow for Good Friday.

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