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News Wrap: Turkey strikes Kurdish rebels after soldier death as NATO meets on Islamic State

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    NATO ambassadors convened a rare emergency meeting today in Brussels on the Islamic State threat in Turkey, after a string of attacks. Representatives from 28 nations gathered at NATO headquarters for the special session, at Turkey's request.

    Afterward, the alliance's secretary-general spoke to reporters.

  • JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO Secretary-General:

    All allies stand in solidarity with Turkey. We strongly condemn the terrorist attacks. We express our condolences to the Turkish government and to the families of the victims in Suruc and other attacks against police and military officers.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    At the same time, Turkey faced more violence from Kurdish militants. A Turkish soldier was shot in the head near the border with Iraq. In retaliation, Turkish jets hit Kurdish rebel sites in the southeast.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the peace process with Kurds is on hold for now.

  • PRESIDENT RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, Turky (through interpreter):

    I don't think it's possible to continue a peace process with those who take aim at our national security and brotherhood. There should have been national unity and brotherhood. Brotherhood comes above the peace process.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, said the airstrikes against them rendered the peace process meaningless. But they stopped short of formally pulling out. The PKK and its affiliates are part of the effort to fight ISIS in Syria.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Obama administration officials today made their second pitch to Congress over the Iran nuclear deal, this time before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

    JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: There are conclusions that have been drawn that just don't in fact match with the reality of what this deal sets forth.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Secretary of State John Kerry began his testimony well aware he would face challenging questions from lawmakers over the nuclear deal with Iran. He was joined by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

    Committee Chairman Ed Royce claimed the deal, which lifts sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program, would only strengthen Tehran.

    REP. ED ROYCE (R), California: If this agreement goes through, Iran gets a cash bonanza, a boost to its international standing, and a lighted path toward nuclear weapons.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Kerry, as he has repeatedly, equated walking away from the deal to giving Iran a fast track to the bomb, but he had a hard time making his points.

  • JOHN KERRY:

    You know, we hear these complaints. We hear, well, this agreement doesn't do this. It doesn't stop their terror. This agreement's going to give them some money. This agreement's going to do this. What this agreement is supposed to do is stop them from having a nuclear weapon.

    Now, I want to hear somebody tell me how they're going to do that without this agreement. What's the next step for the United States? Nobody's answering that question.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    At times, Kerry was visibly frustrated as lawmakers peppered him with their doubts about the deal.

  • MAN:

    Your time has expired.

  • MAN:

    Yes.

  • MAN:

    I have suggested to the members ask the questions and leave time for response.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Members from both parties also expressed concern over the fates of four Americans in Iran, three held by the regime, one whereabouts unknown, and over Iran's support for militant groups.

    REP. BRAD SHERMAN (D), California: They are supporting Hamas, Hezbollah and Houthi, and those are just the organizations that begin with the letter H.

  • MAN:

    We stand adjourned.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Congress began a 60-day review period on the deal last week, and Secretary Kerry leaves later this week for the Middle East to discuss the agreement with Arab allies.

    The deal did pick up critical support today from Democratic Representative Sander Levin of Michigan. He's Jewish and a strong supporter of Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the agreement a historic mistake.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    In his last day on the continent, President Obama pushed African leaders to do their part to make Africa more stable and economically attractive. During a speech to the African Union meeting in Ethiopia, the president called on his counterparts to support human rights, prioritize job creation and clean up corruption.

  • PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, United States:

    Nothing will unlock Africa's economic potential more than ending the cancer of corruption. When someone has to pay a bribe just to start a business or go to school or get an official to do the job they are supposed to be doing anyway, that's not the African way. It undermines the dignity of the people you represent.

    (APPLAUSE)

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The president also said, nobody should be president for life, remarks aimed at African leaders who have held onto power long after their terms expire.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The son of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was sentenced to death by firing squad today in Tripoli. Saif al-Islam Gadhafi was convicted of war crimes committed during the 2011 uprising that forced his father out of office. Gadhafi's son wasn't in the courtroom when the ruling was handed down. He's been held for four years by a militia in Western Libya that has refused to hand him over.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Back in this country, an Upstate New York prison worker pleaded guilty today to helping two killers escape. Joyce Mitchell wept as she entered her plea today in Plattsburgh. The former prison tailor admitted to smuggling hacksaw blades and other tools to the men inside frozen hamburger meat.

    Richard Matt and David Sweat's daring prison break last month triggered a three-week manhunt. Mitchell could face up to seven years in prison. Her sentencing is set for late September.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    More than 1,000 scientists and tech experts warned today of the danger of an artificial intelligence arms race. In an open letter, the signatories called for a ban on autonomous weapons that are beyond meaningful human control. Technology could make robots on battlefields a reality within years, not decades. Stephen Hawking, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, were among those who signed the letter.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Archaeologists in Jamestown, Virginia, have discovered the remains of four of the first colonial leaders in America. Their burial sites were discovered two years ago in the earthen floor near the altar of what's left of America's first Protestant church. The men were buried between 1608 and 1610 alongside various artifacts, a rare practice at the time. It included a small silver box with bone fragments and a holy water container, a mysterious Catholic find for the Anglican religion of the colony.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The National Football League officially has its first female coach. The Arizona Cardinals hired 37-year-old Jen Welter to coach inside linebackers during their preseason training camp. Welter, who has a Ph.D. in psychology, previously coached and played for the men's professional indoor football league's Texas Revolution team.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The four-game suspension against New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will stand. He was suspended by the league for his role in using underinflated footballs during last season's AFC Championship Game. Brady and the team have denied the charges. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also said today Brady had his cell phone destroyed on the day he was due to meet with an independent investigator in the Deflategate scandal.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    A wave of strong corporate earnings reports coupled with a rise in the price of oil boosted stocks on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 189 points to close at 17630. The Nasdaq rose 49 points and the S&P 500 added 25.

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