News Wrap: U.S. tells Turkey to focus attacks on ISIS, not Kurds, in Syria

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A Turkish soldier on an armoured personnel carrier waves as they drive from the border back to their base in Karkamis on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Gaziantep province, Turkey, August 27, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas  - RTX2N8Z1

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HARI SREENIVASAN:  The United States warned Turkey today over its military drive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria.  Turkish tanks and planes are backing Syrian rebels in attacks on the Kurds, who are supported by the U.S.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the Turks need to focus on the Islamic State.

ASH CARTER, Secretary of Defense:  American interests are quite clear.  We are — we, like they, want to combat ISIL, and we want — we’re calling on them all now.  Let’s keep our priorities clear here and helping them to deconflict, so to speak, on the battlefield.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Turkish s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted today the Kurdish group is an arm of the Islamic State.  Meanwhile, the White House announced President Obama will meet with Erdogan on Sunday at an economic summit in China.

GWEN IFILL:  In Yemen, at least 54 people died when a suicide truck bomb tore into a gathering of military recruits.  The Islamic State group claimed the attack, in the southern city of Aden, near two schools and a mosque.  Officials said the attacker drove through a gate and exploded a pickup truck.  In addition to the dead, nearly 70 people were wounded.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Thousands of migrants were pulled from the sea off Libya today in a new surge of sailings.  The mostly African migrants were trying to reach Italy.  Rescuers reached dozens of wooden boats packed with people, including women and young children.  Some leaped into the water to swim toward rescue ships.

GWEN IFILL:  A permanent cease-fire is now in effect in Colombia.

The formal halt to hostilities took place today, after the government and leftist FARC rebels agreed to end 52 years of warfare.  Colombia will hold a national referendum on the peace accord in October.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff proclaimed her innocence today at her impeachment trial.  She said the effort to oust her on charges of breaking budget rules amounts to a coup.  Rousseff choked back tears during her speech, and charged that the country’s economic elite want her overthrown.

DILMA ROUSSEFF, Suspended President, Brazil (through translator):  In the face of these accusations against me, I cannot stop feeling in my mouth the sharp and bitter taste of injustice.  Don’t expect me to be silent against cowards, who in the past used weapons, and today aimed to undermine democracy and the rule of law.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  The Brazilian Senate will vote within days on whether to remove Rousseff from office.

GWEN IFILL:  Back in this country, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted fast-track approval of a test to detect the Zika virus.  The blood test made by Roche will be used to screen patients who have symptoms of Zika, and to screen donated blood.

So far, about 2,500 cases of Zika have been reported in the U.S.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  In the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton’s vice chair is leaving her husband over reports that he sent sexual text messages to another woman again.  Huma Abedin married then-Congressman Anthony Weiner in 2010.  But he’s repeatedly been accused of so-called sexting.

Republican Donald Trump claimed today that Weiner had access to government secrets through Abedin.  He said it shows Clinton’s bad judgment.

GWEN IFILL:  Bank stocks led Wall Street today, amid talk of higher interest rates.  The Dow Jones industrial average gained 107 points to close above 18,500.  The Nasdaq rose 13 points and the S&P 500 added 11.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  And two deaths of note:  The Latin music world mourned today for Juan Gabriel, Mexico’s top-selling singer-songwriter.  He died of a heart attack on Sunday.  Gabriel’s ballads about love and heartbreak often paired with a full mariachi band were widely popular throughout Latin America and with Spanish speakers in the U.S.  Juan Gabriel was 66 years old.

GWEN IFILL:  And actor Gene Wilder died last night at his home in Connecticut.  He had Alzheimer’s disease.  He had major hits in the 1960s and 1970s with “The Producers,” Blazing Saddles,” and “Young Frankenstein.”  And he was the lead in the 1971 version of “Willy Wonka and the Charlie Factory.”

GENE WILDER, Actor (singing):  There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination.  Living there, you will be free, if you truly wish to be.

GWEN IFILL:  Gene Wilder was 83 years old.

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