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In our news wrap Thursday, Taliban attackers killed 37 people and wounded 40 in a double suicide bombing in Afghanistan. The first bomber attacked buses carrying police trainees, followed by a second bomber who blew himself up when people rushed to help the victims. Also, airstrikes in Iraq devastated Islamic State convoys trying to escape Fallujah.
Good evening. I'm Judy Woodruff.
And I'm Hari Sreenivasan.
On the "NewsHour" tonight: a major shift in the military. The Pentagon lifts the ban to allow transgender people to openly serve in the armed forces.
Then: As the death toll from the Istanbul attack rises, Turkey arrests 13 people with suspected links to ISIS and identifies the bombers as foreign nationalists.
Also ahead this Thursday, I sit down with the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, to talk about the plight of millions of refugees and fears of what taking them in may lead to.
SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations: Some of the fears are warranted. You know, people are wondering, could ISIL potentially, you know, sneak through? And we have to answer those fears.
All that and more on tonight's "PBS NewsHour."
From the Pentagon today, a sweeping declaration: Transgender people are no longer barred from serving openly in the military.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter defended the decision on both moral and practical grounds.
ASHTON CARTER, U.S. Defense Secretary:
We have reason to be proud today of what this will mean for our military, because it's the right thing to do, and it's another step in ensuring that we continue to recruit and retain the most qualified people. And good people are the key to the best military in the world.
We will explore the effects of today's announcement right after the news summary.
In the day's other news: Taliban attackers in Afghanistan killed 37 people and wounded 40 in a double suicide bombing. They struck in Paghman district, about 12 miles to the west of Kabul. The first bomber targeted two buses carrying police trainees. The second blew himself up when people rushed in to help the victims.
Two more people have died as a result of their wounds from Tuesday's airport bombings in Istanbul, Turkey. That pushes the total to 44 dead, with dozens more hospitalized.
Police also said today that the three suicide bombers were from Russia and two of the former Soviet republics. We will have a full report later in the program.
Meanwhile, airstrikes in Iraq devastated two Islamic State convoys trying to escape Fallujah this week. Aerial video from Iraq's Defense Ministry showed vehicles as they came under attack by Iraqi helicopters and U.S. coalition warplanes. The attacks began Tuesday night. Iraqi forces have now recaptured most of Fallujah from ISIS.
The U.N. Children's Fund reports the war with ISIS in Iraq has taken a terrible toll on children. One in five, or more than 3.5 million kids, are classified at serious risk of death, injury, sexual abuse or being forced to fight.
In Britain, more fallout today from the Brexit vote. Former London Mayor Boris Johnson dropped out of the race to be prime minister. His support melted away after a key conservative party ally, Michael Gove, announced his own candidacy. Johnson had been a leader of the campaign to quit the European Union. He says his focus now will be on making the transition.
BORIS JOHNSON, Former Mayor of London: My role will be to give every possible support to the next conservative administration to make sure that we properly fulfill the mandate of the people that was delivered at the referendum and to champion the agenda I believe in.
Current Prime Minister David Cameron is stepping down after losing the fight to keep Britain in the European Union.
A new Palestinian stabbing attack today left a 13-year-old Israeli girl dead, who was also an American citizen. Israeli police say a man broke into the girl's home in a West Bank settlement and knifed her as she slept. He also wounded a guard, before being fatally shot. Another Palestinian was killed later after he stabbed and wounded two Israelis in the coastal city of Netanya.
Back in this country, the Navy blamed weak leadership and bad judgment for Iran's capture of 10 U.S. sailors last January. Their two boats mistakenly entered Iranian waters, and they spent 15 hours in Iranian captivity, before being released. The Navy says several violated military rules by cooperating with their captors.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is fending off questions about a meeting with former President Bill Clinton. Their paths crossed Monday at an airport in Phoenix at a time when the FBI is investigating Hillary Clinton's e-mail practices as secretary of state.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest defended Lynch today without specifically saying if the meeting was proper.
JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary:
She certainly understands that investigations should be conducted free of political interference and consistent with the facts. Investigators should be guided by the facts and by evidence, and that's ultimately what should support their conclusions.
The attorney general says she and the former questioned president discussed families and friends, but none of the issues involving his wife, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is promising a vote next week on barring terror suspects from buying guns. His announcement today follows last week's sit-in by House Democrats. Republicans say their bill will block gun sales tied to the terror watch list if prosecutors show probable cause. Democrats in the Senate blocked a similar bill last week.
On Wall Street today, a third straight rally. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 235 points to close at 17930. The Nasdaq rose 63 points, and the S&P 500 added 28.
And there's word the ozone hole over the South Pole is getting smaller. U.S. and British researchers say the hole is now about one-fifth smaller than in the year 2000. Their report in the journal "Science" credits a 1987 treaty on phasing out chemicals that deplete ozone. The gas shields the Earth from ultraviolet radiation.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": the military lifts its ban on transgender service members; new insights into the identities of the Istanbul Airport bombers; the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. on shaping public perception of refugees; a Detroit company that's tied its own fate to the city; and much more.
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