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In our news wrap Thursday, the U.S. imposes sanctions on Iran's morality police as protests continue over the death of a young woman in custody, Republicans in the Senate blocked action on forcing the disclosure of "dark money" donors to political causes and average rates on 30-year mortgage rates have hit their highest level since 2007.
This has been a dramatic day for the United Nations Security Council, with the war in Ukraine taking center stage.
Leading players on opposite sides of the conflict came face-to-face for the first time since Russia's invasion last February. They waged verbal battle as the shooting war claimed more casualties.
Nick Schifrin has our report.
In a war that Russia says only targets the military, today, the target was a Ukrainian hotel, and residents of Zaporizhzhia have lost help.
Lillia Krasovska, Zaporizhzhia Resident (through translator):
For me, it doesn't matter anymore. It doesn't matter if it kills me. I have nobody to bury me.
At the same time in New York, the Security Council held an unusually senior-level meeting about a war that Secretary of State Antony Blinken called existential.
Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State: One man chose this war. One man can end it, because, if Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends.
The diplomats discussed Russian horrors, including a mass burial site of more than 400 Ukrainians, among the exhumed, a soldier wearing a bracelet of Ukraine's colors.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba:
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister:
I do wear want too. I just wanted to show it to you. Many of us do. And Russia should know one thing. It will never be able to kill all of us.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov walked in 20 minutes after Blinken finished and said Moscow considered the war necessary.
Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister (through translator):
The decision to conduct the special military operation was inevitable. Ukraine prepared to play the role of anti-Russia, a staging ground to create a threat to Russian security. And I assure you that we will never accept this.
And Russia is now escalating the war, politically, printing ballots for what NATO today called sham referenda, asking residents of four occupied regions of Ukraine whether they want to join Russia, and militarily, doubling the number of troops already in Ukraine.
Online video shows Siberian recruits heading to the front, part of a mobilization of 300,000 reservists that many appear to be trying to flee. Multiple border crossings are backed up, including this one to Russia's neighbor Georgia.
Denis, Russian Citizen (through translator):
It looks like a lot of people want to leave. So it has all become a bit of a mess, lots of cars.
We're on way home to our families, by the skin of our teeth.
But, today, both sides celebrated a prisoner swap, British American and more than 100 Ukrainian soldiers, as well as pregnant Ukrainian women, freed from Russian captivity, in exchange for a well-known politician close to Putin and Russian soldiers.
But both sides said even the war's largest prisoner exchange will not stop the fighting.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Nick Schifrin.
In Iran, there have been more protests after a young woman died in the custody of Islamic morality police. She had been accused of wearing her scarf too loosely.
In Iran, crowds torched vehicles and police stations overnight. The Associated Press reported that at least nine people have died in the unrest since the weekend. Iran's president dismissed the protest today as — quote — "acts of chaos." The U.S. announced sanctions on the morality police.
Bermuda is bracing tonight for a close encounter with Hurricane Fiona. The storm is on track to pass just west of the island nation before heading toward the Atlantic provinces of Canada.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico faced an extreme heat alert today, and most of the population still had no power four days after Fiona made landfall.
We will return to this later in the program.
Republicans in the U.S. Senate today blocked action requiring advocacy groups to disclose big money donors. Democrats wanted to identify those who give $10,000 or more. They argued that so-called dark money has subverted democracy. Republicans said that the bill would encroach on free speech rights.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives approved four bills on public safety and policing. They include more funding for local police departments, as well as mental health services for officers. Democrats and Republicans were largely divided on the measures.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA):
Democrats actually have solutions in these four bills, real ideas that have been publicly available for months to make our streets safer and reduce crime. Republicans are the ones talking about defunding and abolishing the FBI.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH):
Democrats, who are in full control of this body, have had two years to show their support for law enforcement. Only now, only now, when faced with an impending election, are Democrats beginning to feign support for our men and women in the blue.
Prospects for the bills are unclear in the Senate.
There is word that fraud in handling pandemic jobless payments may be three times as bad as the initial estimate. The U.S. Labor Department's inspector general reported today that scammers may have stolen $45 billion in emergency unemployment benefits. The initial estimate a year ago was $16 billion.
In economic news, average interest rates on 30-year mortgages hit nearly 6.3 percent last week. That's the highest since 2007.
And on Wall Street today, stocks lost more ground, as central banks worldwide raised interest rates to fight inflation. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 107 points to close at 30076. The Nasdaq fell 153 points. That's more than 1 percent. The S&P 500 slid 32.
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