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In our news wrap Wednesday, Donald Trump faced new scrutiny over his “Trump University” seminar business when a judge released lawsuit documents alleging the school’s employees were told to use high-pressure tactics. Hillary Clinton pounced, saying it’s more evidence the mogul is a fraud. Also, evacuation orders went out to several Texas towns as heavy rainfall continued to sweep across the state.
Good evening. I'm Hari Sreenivasan.
Gwen Ifill is in Elkhart, Indiana.
On the "NewsHour" tonight: She sits down with President Obama to talk about the economic recovery and politics, among other things, followed by a town hall meeting. We will have a preview of the exclusive interview.
And getting humans to Mars. A new inflatable space pod could be a big step in any mission to the Red Planet.
And also ahead, could you afford $400 in an emergency? Judy Woodruff talks with writer Neal Gabler about Americans' financial fragility.
Plus, when a major earthquake in Nepal took 8,000 lives, it also destroyed some of the country's history — a look at the clashes over saving Nepal's monuments and temples.
All that and more on tonight's "PBS NewsHour."
President Obama launched an election-year effort today to undercut Republican claims that the country is in decline. He said it's not borne out by the facts, but he acknowledged Americans are feeling stressed.
He spoke in an exclusive interview with Gwen Ifill, at a "PBS NewsHour" town hall in Elkhart, Indiana.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:
When we have gone through a tough time — and we went through worst financial crisis in our lifetimes.
I'm looking around. And I think it's safe to say that it's been the worst in the lifetimes or memories of most people here. Then you feel nervous. A lot of times, it's easy for somebody to come up and say, you know what, if we deport all the immigrants and build a wall, or if we cut off trade with China, or if we do X or Y or Z, that there's some simple answer and, suddenly, everything's going to feel secure.
The town hall will air this evening as a "PBS NewsHour" special. And we will have an extended excerpt of Gwen's interview with the president after the news summary.
In the day's other news: The presidential race was dominated by questions about Trump University, Donald Trump's defunct real estate seminar business. Two lawsuits charge it defrauded customers, and newly released court documents include instructions to Trump employees to use high-pressure tactics.
In Newark, New Jersey, today, Democrat Hillary Clinton charged it's more evidence that the Republican nominee-to-be is a fraud.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: He is trying to scam America, the way he scammed all those people at Trump U. It's important that we recognize what he has done, because that's usually a pretty good indicator of what he will do.
Trump didn't immediately respond, but he has said that most people who took the seminars were satisfied. He's also accused the San Diego judge who released the documents of being hostile to him. That judge now says some of the material was released by mistake, and must be resealed until sections can be blacked out.
Flooding fueled by heavy rain swept across more of the Texas countryside today. Several rivers surged over their banks, and evacuation orders went out to a series of towns. Houston's southwestern suburbs braced for the worst as the Brazos River hit record highs and kept going.
KAREN MYERS, Evacuee:
Very scary watching the water just rise so fast. I mean, it came up so fast. I couldn't believe it.
Entire communities and their roadways are now submerged by the flooded river, and many homes have been turned into islands. Hundreds of people who live in them have been forced to flee, but others are cut off.
Officials have carried out more than 120 boat rescues across Fort Bend County, including this one in Rosenberg. Police in the nearby city of Richmond warned there's more to come.
LT. LOWELL NEINAST, Richmond Police Department:
This river is going to stay high throughout the rest of the week and into the weekend. So we're going to have some — this is going to be awhile.
At the same time, major flooding has paralyzed parts of North Texas. The Trinity River is on the rise IN Dallas. Floodwaters have also engulfed Granbury, outside Fort Worth. Now, with up to 10 more inches of rain in the forecast, much of Texas is under a flash flood watch.
From flood to fire: The people of Fort McMurray, Canada, began returning home today, for the first time since a wildfire roared through one month ago. A trickle of traffic brought evacuees back into the town in Alberta today. They were told to bring up to two weeks of supplies, as basic services have yet to be restored. The fire destroyed 2,400 buildings, about 10 percent of the city and forced 80,000 people to flee.
A French company says its search vessel has picked up black box signals from an EgyptAir plane that crashed last month. They came from deep in the Mediterranean Sea, near the plane's last known location, north of Alexandria, Egypt. The flight disappeared on May 19, with 66 people on board. Search teams have found debris, but the cause of the crash remains unclear.
The U.N. Children's Fund warned today that 20,000 Iraqi children are caught in the fighting at Fallujah. They're among some 50,000 civilians trapped there. The warning came as government forces ran into fierce resistance from Islamic State militants.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the front line and said the military is trying to safeguard Fallujah's people.
HAIDER AL-ABADI, Prime Minister, Iraq (through interpreter):
The enemy has been denied most of the chances to flee. But many civilians are still there. The main target of the operation now is to reduce the number of victims among civilians and also to decrease losses among our armed forces. We may raise the Iraqi flag inside Fallujah in the coming few days.
Despite that prediction, it's widely expected that the fight for Fallujah could go on for some time.
In Somalia, Islamist Al-Shabaab militants stormed a hotel in Mogadishu, killing at least six people and taking a number of hostages. The dead included two members of Parliament. The attack began when a suicide bomber blew up his vehicle in front of the hotel's entrance, leaving burning wreckage. Several gunmen then stormed in. It's the latest in a series of such attacks.
Back in this country, federal officials announced they won't charge two Minneapolis policemen with civil rights violations for killing a black man last November; 24-year-old Jamar Clark was shot during a struggle with the white officers. It sparked weeks of protests, with demonstrators claiming Clark was handcuffed when he was shot. But the U.S. attorney says the evidence suggests he wasn't.
ANDREW LUGER, U.S. Attorney, Minnesota:
Given the lack of bruising, the lack of Mr. Clark's DNA on the handcuffs and the deeply conflicted testimony about whether he was handcuffed, we determined that we could not pursue this case based on a prosecution theory that Mr. Clark was handcuffed at the time that he was shot.
Earlier this year, a state prosecutor also declined to file charges in Clark's death.
Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, a former volunteer sheriff's deputy faces four years in prison for fatally shooting an unarmed suspect last year. Robert Bates is 74. He was sentenced Tuesday in Tulsa for second-degree manslaughter. Bates killed Eric Harris during a sting involving illegal gun sales. He has said he meant to use a stun gun, but grabbed his handgun by mistake.
Wall Street struggled today to eke out small gains. The Dow Jones industrial average was up just two points to close at 17789. The Nasdaq rose four points, and the S&P 500 added two.
And an excavation in London has unearthed the oldest handwritten document ever found in Britain. The Roman tablet dates from 57 A.D., just 14 years after the city was founded. It turned up during construction of a new headquarters for media giant Bloomberg. In all, more than 400 wooden tablets were found, including one with the earliest written reference to London. The records refer to everything from beer deliveries to legal rulings.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": Gwen Ifill sits down with the president, and we get the analysis of Mark Shields and David Brooks; a NASA mission to create an inflatable space pod; why nearly half of Americans don't have $400 for an emergency; and much more.
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