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News Wrap: White House Unveils Mortgage Plan

March 26, 2010 at 12:00 AM EST
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In other news Friday, the White House unveiled its new initiatives to help homeowners at risk for foreclosure and Congress sent the final installment of the health care bill to President Obama, with a few adjustments.
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TRANSCRIPT

KWAME HOLMAN: The Obama administration unveiled broad new initiatives to help homeowners at risk of foreclosure. The program would make government-backed mortgages with lower financing available for those who owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth.

Separately, it would reduce monthly payments for unemployed homeowners for up to six months. No new taxpayer money would be used to fund the program. It’s expected to help up to four million struggling homeowners over the next few years.

Congress sent the final installment of a landmark health care overhaul to President Obama today. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the much smaller bill of fixes at the Capitol, after it was approved last night.

The revisions include improved Medicare drug coverage and expanded Medicaid funding. The president is expected to sign the bill early next week.

A South Korean naval ship sank in the Yellow Sea today after an unexplained explosion near the stern. At least 58 of the 104 crew on board were rescued, but the number of deaths was yet to be confirmed. It happened near a disputed maritime border with North Korea.

Earlier today, the North Korean military threatened nuclear strikes against the South in comments read on state television.

WOMAN (through translator): Those who seek to bring down the system in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, whether they play a main role or a passive role, will fall victim to the unprecedented nuclear strikes of the invincible army.

KWAME HOLMAN: Senior cabinet ministers met in emergency session in Seoul after the ship sinking, but didn’t blame North Korea for the incident.

Stocks on Wall Street struggled to gain ground today, as the South Korean ship incident rattled markets. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nine points to close at 10850. The Nasdaq fell two points to close at 2395.

For the week, the Dow gained 1 percent; the Nasdaq rose nine-tenths-of-a-percent.

Those are some of the day’s main stories. I will be back at the end of the program with a preview of what you will find tonight on the “NewsHour”‘s Web site — for now, back to Judy.