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News Wrap: Taliban attacks kill at least 48 in Afghanistan

In our news wrap Tuesday, Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 48 people and wounded scores more in two separate attacks in Afghanistan, one of which targeted President Ashraf Ghani’s election rally. The second deadly blast occurred near the U.S. embassy in Kabul. Also, Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected the idea of talks between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and President Trump.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Lots of questions, not many new answers.

    The U.S. House Judiciary Committee spent this afternoon hearing from Corey Lewandowski, President Trump's former campaign manager. He stuck mostly to what he said in the Mueller report on the Russia investigation, and he defended Mr. Trump against impeachment talk.

    We will hear some of what he said, plus analysis, after the news summary.

    In Afghanistan, Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 48 people and wounded scores today in two separate attacks. The first targeted President Ashraf Ghani's election rally in Parwan province in the north; 26 people died there. Survivors, including Ghani himself, fled a scene of charred cars and chaos.

    Hours later, in Kabul, Afghan guards scrambled after a blast near the U.S. Embassy killed 22. One witness described the horror.

  • Javed (through translator):

    Suddenly, a blast occurred at the entrance of the army recruit center near the U.S. Embassy. I saw people and human flesh in the air.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The attacks came a week after President Trump canceled peace talks with the Taliban and 11 days before the Afghan elections.

    The political future of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be in doubt tonight. Israel held national elections today, and early projections showed a center-right party slightly ahead of Netanyahu's Likud Party. It appears that neither can reach a majority in Parliament without forming a coalition with other groups.

    We are going to be taking a closer look later in the program.

    The supreme leader of Iran today rejected any talks with the U.S. when the U.N. General Assembly opens this month or at any other time. In Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that there will be no talks at any level, regardless of ever-growing U.S. sanctions.

  • Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (through translator):

    The U.S. claim that maximum pressure policy works means that they want to push the Islamic Republic of Iran to the negotiation table. Then they can say, you see? Maximum pressure policy forced them to come to the table. This is their goal.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    President Trump had initially suggested a meeting with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani might be possible. Today, he said he prefers not to meet, but doesn't rule it out.

    Back in this country, Tropical Storm Imelda came ashore in Texas hours after forming in the Gulf of Mexico. It could dump 15 inches of rain in the Houston area. And, in the Atlantic, Hurricane Humberto headed away from the U.S. and toward Bermuda, with winds of 100 miles an hour. It could be near the island early Thursday.

    The Trump administration is preparing to revoke California's authority to set its own gas mileage standards. Reports today said that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will make the formal announcement on Wednesday. The administration is trying to relax Obama era mileage standards nationwide.

    Members of the United Auto Workers have spent a second day on the picket lines at General Motors plants. At the same time, the union reported progress in contract negotiations. The strike affects some 49,000 workers and more than 50 factories and parts warehouses.

    The price of oil receded today from Monday's big surge. That came as Saudi Arabia said it had restored half of the output that was halted by a drone attack.

    And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 34 points to close at 27110. The Nasdaq rose 32 points, and the S&P 500 added seven.

    Another Republican says that he will not be returning to the U.S. House of Representatives. Four-term Congressman Paul Cook of California announced today that he won't seek reelection next year. So far, at least 18 Republican House members have opted to retire from Congress.

    And American endurance swimmer Sarah Thomas finished a first today, swimming across the English Channel four times without stopping. Cell phone footage captured her coming ashore today at Dover, exhausted after swimming a total of 130 miles over 54 hours. Thomas is 37. She performed the feat just one year after she was treated for breast cancer.

    Wow.

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