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News Wrap: Trump vows to resist congressional investigation ‘nonsense’

In our news wrap Wednesday, President Trump vowed to fight congressional Democrats all the way over the series of investigations and subpoenas targeting those in his close circle. He called the investigation efforts “nonsense.” Also, the UN reports that Afghan and International forces killed more Afghan civilians in the first three months of this year than insurgents did, reversing recent trends.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    President Trump is vowing to fight congressional Democrats all the way over a series of investigations and subpoenas.

    Just yesterday, the former White House personnel security director ignored a subpoena from a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. and the Treasury Department has now refused to release Mr. Trump's tax returns to another panel.

    Former White House counsel Don McGahn is also under subpoena to testify. But leaving the White House today, the president made clear that he means to resist.

  • Donald Trump:

    We're fighting all the subpoenas. Look, these are not like impartial people. The Democrats are trying to win 2020. The only way they can luck out is by constantly going after me on nonsense.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meanwhile, Democrat Elijah Cummings, who is chair of the House Oversight Committee, accused the administration of unprecedented obstruction, by ordering federal workers to defy subpoenas. And on the issue of impeachment, President Trump warned today that he will go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if Congress tries to oust him from office.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    In Sri Lanka, investigators learned more today about the Islamist militants they blame for Easter Sunday's suicide bombings. The death toll has now grown to 359, and at least 58 people have been arrested.

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said today the attacks were likely — quote — "at the very least inspired by the Islamic State group."

    Debi Edward of Independent Television News reports from Colombo in Sri Lanka.

  • Debi Edward:

    The police trying to usher people away from the first of a series of controlled explosions they conducted across the capital today. A nervous public watching on as they dealt with another suspicious vehicle.

    Security is at its highest levels here, even at the morgue, where relatives are still arriving to identify the dead. With the country's churches still in lockdown, details have started to emerge about those responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks.

    This house in a quiet residential area of Colombo was where the family of two brothers responsible for the hotel bombings lives. When the police raided the property on Sunday, the wife of one of the men triggered a suicide vest.

    Senaka lives on the same street.

  • Senaka Werasinghe (through translator):

    The woman killed herself, her two children and three policemen.

  • Debi Edward:

    Neighbor Mohammed knew the bombers father and can't believe his family were responsible.

  • Mohammed Hibrathar:

    Almost everybody knows from this lane. You know he's a famous guy and he's a rich guy. And he's a good guy too. He never thought this would happen from this house. It's a really big shock for everyone.

  • Debi Edward:

    The government have confirmed all nine suicide bombers were from well-off Sri Lankan families, and one of them studied in the U.K.

    A worker from a copper factory owned by the Cinnamon Grand bomber told us they were shocked when the bomb squad turned up.

  • Man:

    Looking, there's very, very good men. Inside…

  • Debi Edward:

    Very bad.

  • Man:

    Very bad.

  • Debi Edward:

    Police have searched this place twice in three days.

    The two police raids here had led to speculation that this was where the suicide bombers had built their bombs and their suicide vests. And although that doesn't seem to be the case, its clear there are components here that could be helpful in that process.

    The streets here are full of armed police and signs of grief, the island tonight once again under curfew.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    That report from Debi Edward of Independent Television News.

    The United Nations reports that Afghan and international forces killed more Afghan civilians in the first three months of this year than Taliban insurgents did. That reverses the trend of recent years. The report says, in all, there were 581 civilian deaths. Nearly half of those blamed on government and NATO forces occurred during airstrikes.

    A court in Hong Kong ordered prison time today for eight leaders of the 2014 pro-democracy protests. Three of them face up to 16 months behind bars. They led demonstrations calling for China to grant free elections in the territory. In all, thousands of protesters took part, and paralyzed Hong Kong's financial district for 79 days. Supporters vowed today to continue fighting for democratic reforms.

    North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, has begun his first visit to Russia as his country's leader. He meets with President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, at a time when the North's nuclear talks with the U.S. have stalled. Kim arrived in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok by armored train today. He was greeted by officials and spoke with Russian state television.

  • Kim Jong-un (through translator):

    I have come to Russia in good feelings. I hope this visit will be successful and useful. I hope, through the negotiations with dear President Putin, I will be able to discuss certain questions of reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula and development of relationships between our countries.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    It is unclear at this point just what might come from the Vladivostok meeting. In February, Kim's second summit with President Trump ended abruptly with no agreements.

    In a remarkable move, the government of Japan has formally apologized today to an estimated 25,000 people who were forcibly sterilized from 1948 to 1996. It was done under a eugenics law designed to — quote — "prevent the birth of poor-quality descendants." Many, but not all, of those sterilized had disabilities. Now the victims will be eligible for compensation, of $28,600 apiece.

    Back in this country, new numbers indicate that measles cases in the U.S. have hit the highest level in 25 years. The Associated Press reports that nearly 690 cases have occurred so far in 2019. Health officials say that a rise in vaccine misinformation is causing some parents to skip vaccinating their children.

    Boeing says that it may cost $1 billion to fix its 737 MAX jetliners. Some 370 of the planes were grounded worldwide after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed nearly 350 people. The company is now working on software changes and other fixes.

    And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 59 points to close at 26597. The Nasdaq fell 18, and the S&P 500 slipped six.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": what we know about Russia's plans to interfere in the 2020 elections; refugees from the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar; how the Mueller report is resonating outside of Washington; and much more.

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