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News Wrap: Turkey strikes new round of Kurdish targets

In our news wrap Wednesday, Turkish jets launched new airstrikes on Kurdish rebel targets in Northern Iraq overnight. Turkey's prime minister warned that it won't end attacks until rebel fighters withdraw. Also, Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., was indicted on federal racketeering and bribery charges for allegedly misusing charitable donations and campaign money.

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    In other news, the Turkish military unleashed a powerful new barrage of airstrikes on Kurdish rebel targets in Northern Iraq overnight.

    They pounded Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, sites in six areas. The pro-Kurdish political opposition demanded an end to the attacks today, charging a political motive by President Erdogan. But in Ankara, Turkey's prime minister warned that peace will only be achieved if rebel fighters stop all their attacks.

  • PRIME MINISTER AHMET DAVUTOGLU, Turky (through interpreter):

    Our might is enough to simultaneously fight not just three terror organizations, but 33. And we will show that might. Within this framework, we will continue to take our precautions and this process will continue until terrorism elements lay down their arms and until they get out of Turkey and until public order is absolutely restored.


    Also today, Turkey's cabinet officially approved an agreement to allow the U.S.-led military coalition to use its Incirlik Air Base to launch strikes on the Islamic State.


    In Washington, the military's top brass joined the secretary of state on Capitol Hill to defend the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran.

    Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Republican John McCain insisted he can't make an informed decision without all the facts, and that includes documents Iran negotiated with international nuclear inspectors.

    SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), Arizona: We agree, all of us, I believe, that we should see those instruments of verification. Otherwise, how can we make a judgment as to these — this agreement can be enforced and verified with a country that has a long record of cheating?


    The nuclear deal's lead negotiator, Secretary of State John Kerry, again played down any talk of secret agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: We have relied on the IAEA for years and years. And, historically, the IAEA always creates what's called a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, a CSA, which they negotiate with a country. And we don't get that exact — it's not shared with the world.

    And their reasons that it's confidential have to do with what you can get out of that country, but we do get briefed on it.


    After a 60-day review period, the House and Senate will vote on the Iran nuclear agreement in September.


    The House of Representatives late today approved a three-month funding extension of the Federal Highway Trust Fund. The fund, which funnels federal money towards bridge, road and transit projects is due to run out of money at midnight this Friday. The Senate plans on taking up the $8 billion bill later this week.


    Democratic Congressman Chaka Fattah was indicted today on federal racketeering and bribery charges. The longtime Philadelphia congressman allegedly paid off a campaign loan with charitable donations and used campaign money to pay down his son's student loan debt. Charges ranged from bribery to bank and mail fraud to money laundering. In a statement, Fattah said he's never participated in any illegal activity or misused taxpayer dollars.


    The Federal Reserve Board opted today to keep interest rates unchanged, for now. In its latest statement, the Central Bank said it's still waiting to see further economic recovery and higher inflation before it will raise them. Today's Fed statement caused stocks to close higher on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 121 points to close at 17751. The Nasdaq rose 22 points and the S&P 500 added 15.


    Outrage grew around the world today over the death of a famous lion in Africa. Minnesota dentist Walter J. Palmer paid Zimbabwe hunter Theo Bronkhorst to go on the trophy hunting trip that ultimately led to the lion's killing.

    Bronkhorst left a courtroom in Zimbabwe with his lawyer today, charged with failing to prevent an American from unlawfully killing Cecil, the country's most well-known lion.


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    Earlier this month, the beloved Cecil was allegedly lured out of his sanctuary at a national park into unprotected territory, where he was shot with a bow and an arrow. The man behind the bow and arrow was American Walter J. Palmer, who has killed wild animals before, like this lion in 2008. He admits he killed Cecil, but said he thought the hunt was legal.

    Cecil, one of the park's oldest lions, didn't die right away, but he had to be shot days later, when he was also beheaded.

  • PRINCE MUPAZVIRIHO, Zimbabwe Environment Ministry Permanent Secretary:

    If we had not been having strong conservation efforts in terms of protecting the animals from poachers, it wouldn't have gone to that age of 13 years.


    Amid a social media backlash, Palmer is now being sought on poaching charges, and the public has turned his dental practice in Minnesota into a makeshift memorial to the dead lion. For now, the office remains closed. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pledged today to assist officials in Zimbabwe in whatever manner is requested.


    New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady vowed to fight his four-game suspension by the National Football League for his involvement in deflating footballs during last year's playoff run.

    In a statement, Brady also denied allegations made by the NFL that he destroyed his cell phone to hide information. The NFL Players Association filed a motion in federal court in Minnesota today challenging the league's decision to uphold Brady's suspension.

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