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News Wrap: Saudi leaders visit White House

In our news wrap Wednesday, President Obama greeted the Crown Prince and Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, amid tensions over a potential nuclear deal with Iran. The summit will also focus on Yemen, where Saudis and their Sunni allies are trying to beat back Shiite rebels. Also, attackers struck a hotel in Kabul during a party for foreigners, reportedly killing one American.

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    In the day's other news: President Obama welcomed Saudi Arabian leaders to the White House today, amid a dispute over a potential nuclear deal with Iran. Saudi King Salman declined to make the trip to attend a six-nation Gulf Arab summit. Instead, the crown prince and deputy crown prince met with the president. And he praised the Saudis, while indirectly acknowledging the tensions.


    The United States and Saudi Arabia have an extraordinary friendship and relationship that dates back to Franklin Roosevelt and King Faisal. And we are continuing to build that relationship during a very challenging time.


    In addition to Iran, the summit will also focus on Yemen, where the Saudis and their Sunni allies are trying to beat back Shiite rebels.

    A cease-fire began today, but there were violations almost immediately. Meanwhile, Iran warned the Saudis against intercepting an aid ship heading to a rebel port in Yemen. A top general in Tehran said — quote — "If they cause trouble with regard to sending humanitarian aid, it will spark a fire."

    Attackers struck a hotel this evening in Kabul, Afghanistan, during a party for foreigners. The U.S. Embassy said one American was killed. There was word several dozen people were being held hostage. The attack triggered a gun battle with police that continued into the night.

    In Pakistan, gunmen stormed a bus in Karachi, ordered Shiite Muslim passengers to bow their heads, then opened fire. At least 45 were killed. The bus was headed to a community center when six attackers forced their way on. A witness said at least one gunman wore a police uniform. A Taliban splinter group and a faction allied with the Islamic State made competing claims of responsibility.

    The political unrest in Burundi took a new turn today, when an army general announced a coup. He made his move as the president was at a summit in Tanzania on the rising turmoil in his East African nation.

  • MAJ. GEN. GODEFROID NIYOMBARE, Burundi Army (through interpreter):

    President Pierre Nkurunziza has been relieved of his duties. The government has been dissolved. We demand that all regional commanders, regional commissioners and all governors work hand in hand with us to reinforce the security for the citizens of Burundi and for all foreigners, residents, and all visitors.


    Later, the president tweeted that he's still in power. His plans to seek a third term have sparked weeks of protests and violence, and news of the coup attempt sent thousands streaming into the streets of the capital city, dancing and cheering. The U.S. and the U.N. appealed for calm.

    The death toll from Nepal's latest earthquake is now at least 76; 2,700 others were injured yesterday in the Himalayan nation's second major quake in three weeks. Meanwhile, a search continued for a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter that disappeared while delivering aid.

    Thailand's military rulers took a hard line today in a burgeoning crisis over migrants at sea. They insisted they will keep pushing the boats back to sea, and a top official in Malaysia said the same. Migrant organizations say that 6,000 or more people from Bangladesh and Myanmar may now be stranded at sea.

    The Vatican has formally recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty. The Holy See today joined several European countries in taking that step, despite Israel's objections. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later this week.

    Back in this country, the House of Representatives passed a bill late today that bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It makes an exception in cases of rape or incest, but it requires women to receive counseling first. The debate on the House floor split largely down party lines.

    REP. LOUISE SLAUGHTER, (D) New York: How incredibly cruel it is that we want to take that decision from away the woman and her doctor, whomever she wants to consult, but certainly scientific laws ought to apply, and put it in the hands of legislators?

    REP. MIKE KELLY, (R) Pennsylvania: This is incredible that we have to even come forward and debate this. My goodness, this is just so intuitive of who we are, not as a Republican or Democrats, but as human beings. We have to protect the unborn because they cannot protect themselves.


    Republican leaders dropped provisions that had angered a number of GOP women. The bill now moves to the Senate, but it's unlikely to pass there.

    There were peaceful protests in Madison, Wisconsin, today after a prosecutor decided not to charge a white officer for killing an unarmed teenager. Demonstrators gathered near the apartment house where 19-year-old Tony Robinson was shot in March. From there, they marched to the county courthouse to stage a mock trial.

    In economic news, new data underscored just how much China's economy is slowing down. The country's money supply grew in April at the lowest pace ever. And investment growth was the worst in nearly 15 years. On Wall Street, the major indexes were little changed on the day. The Dow Jones industrial average lost seven points to close at 18060. The Nasdaq rose five points, and the S&P 500 slipped less than a point.

    And honey bees disappeared at a staggering rate over the last 12 months. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that beekeepers lost more than 40 percent of their colonies. The study authors blamed pesticides, loss of food and tiny mites that attack the bees.

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