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News Wrap: Suicide bombing in Nigeria, Michele Flournoy out of Defense Secretary running

In our NewsWrap Tuesday, a suicide bombing by two teenage girls left at least 30 dead in Nigeria, possibly the work of Boko Haram. Also, Michele Flournoy has removed herself from the running to replace Chuck Hagel as the next Secretary of Defense.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Two teenage girls blew themselves up at a busy market in Nigeria today, leaving at least 30 people dead. It happened in the northeastern city of Maiduguri. One of the teenagers set off her bomb, and when a crowd gathered, the other one followed suit. Nigerian officials said they think it was the work of the Islamist group Boko Haram. The militants already control other towns in Borno state, where today's attack took place.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The number of U.S. troops who remain deployed in Afghanistan past year's end may increase; 9,800 are already scheduled to stay, and Reuters reported today another thousand may join them. A Pentagon spokesman didn't rule out that possibility. President Obama has recently expanded the future mission beyond training Afghan forces, to include fighting the Taliban.

    Also today, former Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy has asked the president not to consider her for secretary of defense. She led the list for potential replacements for Chuck Hagel, who is resigning. But she has told the board of a Washington think tank that she will stay there as CEO, citing family considerations.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In Syria, activists report heavy government airstrikes against Islamic State forces killed at least 60 people today, more than half of them civilians. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the raids hit Raqqa in the northeastern part of the country. Other groups put the death toll higher.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The supreme leader of Iran gave tacit approval today to extending nuclear negotiations with the West for another seven months. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke publicly for the first time since Iran and six major powers agreed yesterday on a new schedule of talks. But in a nationwide broadcast, he also sounded a note of defiance.

  • AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, Supreme Leader, Iran (through interpreter):

    As you saw on the nuclear issue, the United States and the European colonialist countries gathered and applied their entire force to bring the Islamic republic to its knees, but they could not and they will not.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Iran wants sanctions against its economy lifted. The U.S. and five other powers want Tehran to stop enriching uranium and scale back its nuclear program.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Thousands of North Koreans rallied today against U.N. criticism of their country's human rights record. The demonstrators filled a square in Pyongyang, the capital, backing their communist leaders and denouncing the U.S. The rally was organized by the government. A U.N. commission has found North Korea's abuse of human rights — quote — "exceeds all others in duration, intensity and horror." The issue could go to the International Criminal Court.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Pope Francis today called on the nations of Europe to help migrants struggling to get to the continent, usually by sea. The pontiff's appeal came in his first-ever address before the European Parliament. He warned that too many migrants are dying as they try to reach the continent in rickety boats.

  • POPE FRANCIS (through interpreter):

    There needs to be a united response to the question of migration. We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast cemetery. The boats landing daily on the shores of Europe are filled with men and women who need acceptance and assistance.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The pope also said the absence of a coherent migration policy across Europe contributes to what he called slave labor and continuing social tensions.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Back in this country, the government reports the economy has been growing faster than initially estimated. It expanded at an annual rate of nearly 4 percent between July and September. Even so, a separate survey finds consumer confidence fell this month, after a big gain in October.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly three points to close just under 17815. The Nasdaq rose three points to close at 4758. And the S&P 500 lost two points to close at 2067.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Two of Hollywood's best-known pieces of memorabilia have new owners. The Cowardly Lion costume worn in "The Wizard of Oz" in 1939 sold at auction last night for nearly $3.1 million. And the upright piano from Rick's Cafe Americain in "Casablanca" fetched $3.4 million. They went on the block at Bonhams auction house in New York.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Here's looking at you, kid.

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