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November 15, 2019

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News Wrap: Death toll rises in Pakistan factory collapse

In our news wrap Thursday, the death toll rose to at least 20 after a factory collapsed overnight in Pakistan. Roughly 200 were believed to be inside the building when it gave way. Also, the European Union predicts another 3 million migrants could arrive next year.

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  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    The death toll from a factory collapse in Pakistan rose to at least 20 today. Some 200 workers were believed to be inside the four-story building when it gave way overnight in Lahore. Rescuers painstakingly searched the rubble for signs of survivors and used heavy machinery to clear debris. Some of those trapped used cell phones to call for help.

    So far, 102 people have been pulled out alive. Survivors say cracks had appeared in the walls after a powerful earthquake last week.

    The European Union made a striking forecast today, that another three million migrants could arrive next year. That came as an estimated 25,000 people waited on Lesbos and other Greek islands, hoping a ferry strike there will end.

    Lindsey Hilsum of Independent Television News filed this report from Lesbos.

  • LINDSEY HILSUM:

    The Greek prime minister and the president of the European Parliament landed in Lesbos this morning and were immediately confronted with the reality of the situation.

  • MARTIN SCHULZ, President, European Parliament (through interpreter):

    Just as we were arriving here with Mr. Tsipras, we saw boats coming across the sea. People were jumping into the water and swimming to the beach. We're truly facing a dramatic situation here.

  • LINDSEY HILSUM:

    They went to see a so-called hot spot, where new arrivals are supposed to be registered and sent on to other wealthier E.U. countries.

  • ALEXIS TSIPRAS, Prime Minister, Greece:

    The key issue is to not encourage these people take the boat of death and to take the risk to lose their lives in the Aegean Sea. And the only way is to give the hope that someday they will have the chance to be in this mechanism for resettlement directly from the Turkish coast to Europe.

  • LINDSEY HILSUM:

    Just a few yards from the airport, we met the Omira family from Damascus. Sitting on the rocks in the sunshine, they looked as if they might be on holiday; 77-year-old Omar is getting pretty good at skimming stones.

    Hard to imagine what they were going through night before last, as a people smuggler crammed them into a boat on the Turkish coast.

  • AMER OMIRA, Migrant:

    He told us 30 people only, then maybe 50 people, 70 people, I don't know.

  • LINDSEY HILSUM:

    So you were really crowded?

  • AMER OMIRA:

    Yes, yes, yes. We told us — no, it's very, very dangerous. Then he brought the gun, and pow, pow. If you don't believe me, we will — a gun.

  • LINDSEY HILSUM:

    So he threatened to shoot you?

  • AMER OMIRA:

    Yes, yes.

  • LINDSEY HILSUM:

    Around the port, we found hundreds of people stranded because the ferry operators have been on strike since Monday, so there's no way to get to Athens.

    They sleep in tents or on the streets. The people here are hoping to get on the ferry to Athens tomorrow, when the strike is over, but that's not going to be an end to the problem; 5,000 or 6,000 refugees and migrants are turning up on the Greek islands every day still, 100,000 here in Lesbos just in the last three weeks.

    In the background, Lesbos' own Statue of Liberty, the brain child of a local man who went to New York years ago. He can't imagine that, 85 years on, the huddled masses would come to his home island.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    The United Nations warned today that even rough winter seas are not likely to stop the waves of migrants trying to reach Greece.

    The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved a $325 billion highway bill today. It maintains current levels of spending over six years, amid concerns that aging roads and bridges will need more funding. It also includes a provision to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. The House version must be reconciled with the Senate's highway bill.

    The U.S. and 11 other countries released the text of a sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal today, setting up a fight in Congress. The Trans-Pacific Partnership was negotiated for more than five years. The White House says its eliminates some 18,000 taxes that other countries impose on U.S. exports. It also contains provisions to discourage forced labor and provide rights to workers overseas.

    At the U.S. Capitol, the new House speaker, Paul Ryan, said lawmakers need time to digest the thousands of pages.

    REP. PAUL RYAN, Speaker of the House: I'm pleased with the process we have coming before us, open, transparent. People get to see it, members of Congress get to see it, and then we will decide independently after consulting with our constituents and our conscience what our position on anything like a trade agreement will be.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    On the Democratic side, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and others have already come out against the deal.

    The reform Jewish movement in the U.S. passed a far-reaching resolution today in support of transgender rights. Meeting in Orlando, members of the Union for Reform Judaism voted for gender-neutral language and bathrooms in their congregations. The group has 1.5 million members. Other religious bodies, including the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ, have approved transgender resolutions, but none has gone as far as this one.

    Wall Street had a quiet day, ahead of the October jobs report being released tomorrow. The Dow Jones industrial average lost four points to close at 17863. The Nasdaq fell 14 points, and the S&P 500 dropped two.

    And the National Toy Hall of Fame has announced its class of 2015. The new inductees include the classic party game Twister, which Sears initially deemed too racy to advertise in 1966, the high-powered Super Soaker water gun also made the hall, along with the puppet, a toy that goes back thousands of years. The board game Battleship came up short this year. So did Wiffle balls and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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