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News Wrap: Trump speaks by phone with Taliban leader

In our news wrap Tuesday, President Trump spoke by phone with a top Taliban leader, following the recent signing of an agreement for U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Trump called it "a very good talk.” Also, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defeated Benny Gantz in the country’s third election within a year, but it was unclear whether Netanyahu had achieved a parliamentary majority.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: Millions of voters have spent this Super Tuesday making their choices in the Democratic presidential field. Five hopefuls contested primaries in 14 states, with about one-third of all the delegates up for grabs.

    We will hear from around the country after the news summary.

    At least 25 people were killed in Central Tennessee early today when tornadoes tore through the area. The storms blasted downtown Nashville, damaged or destroyed at least 140 homes and other buildings, and forced the state to extend Super Tuesday voting hours.

    Stephanie Sy has our report.

  • Woman:

    We have been through lots of tornado warnings, and never thought that this would happen.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Nashville is in shock today. Residents emerged from a night of deadly tornadoes that ravaged neighborhoods. The tornadoes were part of a band of storms that stretched across four states late Monday night into Tuesday morning.

    More than 40 buildings were damaged in Nashville alone, some beyond repair, as a tornado cut through the heart of the city. Four Tennessee counties reported storm-related deaths, and Nashville hospitals treated dozens of people for injuries.

    Bill Lee is the governor.

  • Gov. Bill Lee, R-Tenn.:

    Let me just acknowledge tragedy. It is heartbreaking. We have had loss of life all across the state.

    There are a number of people that are missing in different areas, many that are injured and being transported.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    In the hardest-hit areas, which included some of the most expensive neighborhoods in Nashville, the tornado reduced homes and other structures to a debris field. Search-and-rescue teams went door to door overnight, looking for trapped or injured people in damaged buildings, as road and power crews worked to clear downed lines.

    Still, the closure of more than a dozen polling stations didn't stop many voters from lining up at alternate sites to cast their ballots.

    President Trump is planning to visit Tennessee on Friday.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Stephanie Sy.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    President Trump spoke by phone today with a top Taliban leader, in a first for a sitting American president. It followed Saturday's signing of an agreement for a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    Mr. Trump said that today's conversation was — quote — "a very good talk."

    In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waited for final election results to see if he had eked out a majority in Parliament. Netanyahu celebrated last night, but exit polls indicated that his political bloc fell two seats short. That could prevent his forming a government. The prime minister also faces trial on corruption charges.

    U.N. inspectors report that Iran has almost tripled its stockpile of enriched uranium since November. They also said today that Tehran will not answer questions about three possible nuclear sites. Iran has slowly violated the 2015 nuclear accord since the U.S., under President Trump, pulled out and reimposed sanctions.

    The military confrontation between Turkey and Syria intensified again today in Syria's Idlib province. A Turkish soldier was killed overnight, and, today, the Turks shot down a Syrian fighter jet, the third since Thursday.

    U.S. special envoy James Jeffrey visited the Turkish-Syrian border today, and offered military equipment for the Turkish military.

  • James Jeffrey:

    Turkey has asked for help from NATO. They have asked for help from us. As the president said recently, we will provide supplies and other things to Turkey. We are also looking at other requests that Turkey has made either to us or to NATO, as this conflict goes on.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Turkey intervened in Idlib to stop a Syrian offensive that has driven almost a million people to the Turkish border. Refugees already in Turkey are now trying to cross into Greece, with Turkey's support.

    So far, though, Greek authorities have blocked most of the attempts.

    Back in this country, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to let states prosecute immigrants who use fake Social Security numbers to get a job. In a 5-to-4 decision, the court's conservatives said nothing in the law prevents such action. The Kansas Supreme Court had barred state action.

    President Trump's reelection campaign has filed another defamation suit, this time against The Washington Post. It accuses the paper of falsely reporting as fact that the 2016 Trump campaign conspired with Russia. The organization already filed a similar suit against The New York Times.

    And a passing to note: Former CNN anchor Bobbie Battista has died after a long battle with cervical cancer. She joined CNN Headline News as one of its original anchors in 1981 and remained with the company for 20 years.

    Bobbie Battista was 67 years old.

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