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News Wrap: Trump speaks by phone with Taliban leader

News Wrap: Trump speaks by phone with Taliban leader


In the day’s other news: Millions of voters
have spent this Super Tuesday making their choices in the Democratic presidential field.
Five hopefuls contested primaries in 14 states, with about one-third of all the delegates
up for grabs. We will hear from around the country after
the news summary. At least 25 people were killed in Central
Tennessee early today when tornadoes tore through the area. The storms blasted downtown
Nashville, damaged or destroyed at least 140 homes and other buildings, and forced the
state to extend Super Tuesday voting hours. Stephanie Sy has our report. WOMAN: We have been through lots of tornado
warnings, and never thought that this would happen. STEPHANIE SY: Nashville is in shock today.
Residents emerged from a night of deadly tornadoes that ravaged neighborhoods. The tornadoes
were part of a band of storms that stretched across four states late Monday night into
Tuesday morning. More than 40 buildings were damaged in Nashville
alone, some beyond repair, as a tornado cut through the heart of the city. Four Tennessee
counties reported storm-related deaths, and Nashville hospitals treated dozens of people
for injuries. Bill Lee is the governor. GOV. BILL LEE (R-TN): Let me just acknowledge
tragedy. It is heartbreaking. We have had loss of life all across the state. There are a number of people that are missing
in different areas, many that are injured and being transported. STEPHANIE SY: In the hardest-hit areas, which
included some of the most expensive neighborhoods in Nashville, the tornado reduced homes and
other structures to a debris field. Search-and-rescue teams went door to door overnight, looking
for trapped or injured people in damaged buildings, as road and power crews worked to clear downed
lines. Still, the closure of more than a dozen polling
stations didn’t stop many voters from lining up at alternate sites to cast their ballots. President Trump is planning to visit Tennessee
on Friday. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Stephanie Sy. JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump spoke by phone
today with a top Taliban leader, in a first for a sitting American president. It followed
Saturday’s signing of an agreement for a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Mr. Trump said that today’s conversation was
— quote — “a very good talk.” In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
waited for final election results to see if he had eked out a majority in Parliament.
Netanyahu celebrated last night, but exit polls indicated that his political bloc fell
two seats short. That could prevent his forming a government. The prime minister also faces
trial on corruption charges. U.N. inspectors report that Iran has almost
tripled its stockpile of enriched uranium since November. They also said today that
Tehran will not answer questions about three possible nuclear sites. Iran has slowly violated
the 2015 nuclear accord since the U.S., under President Trump, pulled out and reimposed
sanctions. The military confrontation between Turkey
and Syria intensified again today in Syria’s Idlib province. A Turkish soldier was killed
overnight, and, today, the Turks shot down a Syrian fighter jet, the third since Thursday. U.S. special envoy James Jeffrey visited the
Turkish-Syrian border today, and offered military equipment for the Turkish military. JAMES JEFFREY, U.S. Special Representative
for Syria Engagement: Turkey has asked for help from NATO. They have asked for help from
us. As the president said recently, we will provide supplies and other things to Turkey.
We are also looking at other requests that Turkey has made either to us or to NATO, as
this conflict goes on. JUDY WOODRUFF: Turkey intervened in Idlib
to stop a Syrian offensive that has driven almost a million people to the Turkish border.
Refugees already in Turkey are now trying to cross into Greece, with Turkey’s support. So far, though, Greek authorities have blocked
most of the attempts. Back in this country, the U.S. Supreme Court
agreed today to let states prosecute immigrants who use fake Social Security numbers to get
a job. In a 5-to-4 decision, the court’s conservatives said nothing in the law prevents such action.
The Kansas Supreme Court had barred state action. President Trump’s reelection campaign has
filed another defamation suit, this time against The Washington Post. It accuses the paper
of falsely reporting as fact that the 2016 Trump campaign conspired with Russia. The
organization already filed a similar suit against The New York Times. And a passing to note: Former CNN anchor Bobbie
Battista has died after a long battle with cervical cancer. She joined CNN Headline News
as one of its original anchors in 1981 and remained with the company for 20 years. Bobbie Battista was 67 years old. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: the latest
from the 14 states casting ballots in the Super Tuesday primaries; to Iran, where the
death toll from coronavirus swells, as trust in the government plummets; and a naturalist
gives his Brief But Spectacular take on forests and time.

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