News Wrap: Thousands homeless after Italian earthquakes

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A firefighter with a rescue dog search a collapsed building after an earthquake in Borgo Sant'Antonio near Visso, central Italy, October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Max Rossi - RTX2QORH

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HARI SREENIVASAN: In the day’s other news: Thousands of people in Central Italy are homeless after two powerful earthquakes. The tremors hit last night near the town of Visso, about 100 miles north of Rome. State TV captured a 15th century church as it was brought down, and drone footage today showed the full extent of the destruction. Hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed as well.

JUDY WOODRUFF: There’s been another migrant disaster in the Mediterranean. Libya’s navy reports that at least 90 people drowned Wednesday when their rubber boat tore apart; 29 others were rescued about 26 miles off the Libyan coast. Most were African nationals.

HARI SREENIVASAN: A deadly airstrike on a school in Syria touched off allegations of war crimes today and heated denials. It happened Wednesday in rebel territory in Idlib Province. U.N. officials say 22 children and six teachers died. Amateur video showed a parachute floating to earth, then an explosion, and rescue workers pulling victims from the wreckage.

U.N. envoy Gordon Brown called it an atrocity.

GORDON BROWN, UN Envoy for Global Education: This is clearly a war crime if it is a deliberate attack on a school. The statute for the International Criminal Court makes that absolutely clear that this is, under their view, a war crime when a school is targeted.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The White House blamed Russia and Syria for the attack, but the Kremlin insisted its jets were not responsible.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The government of Pakistan moved today to ban protests in the capital, Islamabad, for two months. Hours later, police rounded up dozens of supporters of Imran Khan, the leader of the opposition. Khan, in turn, called a nationwide protest against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for tomorrow. Sharif is embroiled in a scandal involving his family’s offshore bank accounts.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Back in this country, the Justice Department has charged 61 people here and abroad with a sweeping scam that netted more than $300 million. Officials say callers based in India posed as IRS or immigration agents and demanded payments of allegedly outstanding taxes or other fees. They victimized at least 15,000 people, mostly the elderly and immigrants.

BRUCE FOUCART, Assistant Director, Homeland Security Investigations: Many of the victims in this case are savvy, successful, and law-abiding people. These scammers in this case, and in so many cases like this, are convincing. They are menacing and they are ruthless in their pursuit of their victims. They convey authority and a sense of urgency that leaves their victims terrified.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Federal agents have served warrants in eight states and arrested at least 20 people so far.

JUDY WOODRUFF: In North Dakota, soldiers and police have begun removing and arresting protesters against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. About 200 people had camped on private land trying to block construction, and they refused to leave voluntarily. They say the pipeline could damage cultural sites and water supplies for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

HARI SREENIVASAN: In economic news, Twitter announced it’s killing its mobile video app Vine and laying off 9 percent of its global work force, about 300 people. The company is losing money and has been searching for a buyer. And, on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 29 points to close at 18169. The Nasdaq fell 34 points. The S&P 500 slipped six.

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