In our news wrap Thursday, President Trump again defended his views on the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville after drawing fire for saying opposing protesters shared the blame. Also, Islamic State gunmen and suicide bombers killed at least 60 people and wounded 80 in an attack near the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. The sunni militants said they targeted the Shiite pilgrims.
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In the day’s other news: Power crews across Florida worked all-out for another day, trying to turn the lights back on. By this evening, just under five million people were still in the dark.
Meanwhile, the confirmed death toll for Hurricane Irma rose to 70, and President Trump made a day trip to see storm damage up close. We will have a full report after the news summary.
The president is also defending, again, his views on the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. He drew fire last month for saying opposing protesters shared the blame.
Today, he said that, since then — quote — “A lot of people have actually written, gee, Trump might have a point. I said, you got some very bad people on the other side also, which is true.”
In Iraq, Islamic State attackers killed at least 60 people and wounded 80 today. Gunmen and suicide bombers struck near the city of Nasiriyah, attacking a police checkpoint and a restaurant. Burned-out cars and debris littered the area after the assault. The Sunni militants said they targeted Shiite pilgrims.
The Trump administration has again extended sanctions relief for Iran, temporarily, under the 2015 nuclear deal. Today’s announcement came as President Trump said Tehran continues to violate the spirit of the deal.
In London, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained it’s about more than nuclear activities. He pointed to Syria and other issues.
Secretary of State: Their actions to prop up the Assad regime, to engage in malicious activities in the region, including cyber-activity, aggressively developing ballistic missiles, and all of this is in defiance of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, thereby threatening, not ensuring, but threatening the security of those in the region, as well as the United States itself.
The administration is still reviewing whether to withdraw from the nuclear deal completely.
Russia has begun large-scale military exercises, putting its European neighbors on edge. Russian state television showed tanks and missile launchers on maneuvers in Belarus today. It said 12,000 Russian troops, plus 7,000 Belarusians, are taking part. NATO said the numbers of Russians could actually be as high as 100,000. Moscow insisted the war games are purely defensive.
Myanmar came under new international pressure today to stop the violence against Rohingya Muslims. Aung San Suu Kyi, the Buddhist nation’s leader, faced appeals from both the European Union and the United States. Separately, the U.N. pleaded for major increases in aid for Rohingya refugees. Some 400,000 have fled into Bangladesh since late August.
Back in this country, Motel 6 says it didn’t know that employees at two locations around Phoenix, Arizona, were sharing guest lists with immigration officers. Agents arrested at least 20 people at the motels between February and August. The sharing of guest information wasn’t illegal, but Motel 6 says it has ordered the practice stopped.
On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 45 points to close at 22203. The Nasdaq fell 31 points, and the S&P 500 slipped two.
And the world’s oldest giant panda has died in China. Caretakers say the female named Basi had liver and kidney problems. She was 37 years old, nearly twice the age that wild pandas usually reach. Thirty years ago, Basi visited San Diego on a goodwill tour and drew more than two million visitors.