HARI SREENIVASAN: Leaders of the Eurozone nations agreed today to give Greece a second bailout worth $155 billion. The International Monetary Fund would join in the package, as would private investors to the tune of $53 billion.
At the same time, the deal allows for the possibility of a selective default by Greece on part of its obligations. That would be a first for a Eurozone nation.
Wall Street surged higher on the news out of Europe. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 152 points to close at 12,724. The Nasdaq rose 20 points to close at 2,834.
In Syria today, reports from the city of Homs said security forces swept through neighborhoods firing machine guns and making arrests. Activists said government forces used tank weapons and intense gunfire. Video posted on YouTube showed at least one home in flames, sending up clouds of smoke. At least 50 people have been killed in Homs since Saturday.
Extreme heat that’s been roasting America’s midsection has now pushed eastward to the Atlantic Seaboard. The air shimmered over major Eastern cities today, as they braced for 100-degree temperatures. In a number of states, heat taxed utility grids, and thousands of people lost power. The National Weather Service has blamed at least 22 deaths on heat in recent days.
The U.S. space shuttle program officially came to an end today, after 30 years and 135 flights. The last shuttle to fly, Atlantis, touched down early this morning at Cape Canaveral, Fla., winding up a 13-day mission. Later, some 2,000 onlookers gathered near the runway to welcome the crew of four astronauts.
Atlantis Commander Chris Ferguson acknowledged it was a bittersweet day in the history of U.S. space exploration.
CAPT. CHRIS FERGUSON, shuttle commander: We do really need something to look forward to. I know right now is a little bit of a time of mourning, if you will. But, you know, that’s — that’s to be expected. We have all — we have said that we’re saying goodbye to a good friend. And we will get over that. And we will — we will — once we get over it, we will — we will start looking forward and we will — we will make it happen again.
HARI SREENIVASAN: For now, though, thousands of NASA employees will be laid off, beginning as early as tomorrow.
The U.S. government is no longer a part owner of Chrysler. The Italian automaker Fiat bought the government’s remaining holdings today worth $560 million. That makes Fiat the majority owner. All told, the new Chrysler created during bankruptcy repaid more than $11 billion in federal aid. The old Chrysler left with the automaker’s bad debts is not expected to repay some $1.3 billion to the Treasury.
The Federal Aviation Administration may be forced to shut down tomorrow night, disrupting the U.S. aviation system. Congress has been unable to agree on legislation that extends the FAA’s operating authority.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned today the agency will have to stop collecting ticket taxes, and billions of dollars in airport construction will be halted.
RAY LAHOOD, U.S. Secretary of Transportation: We have now reached a breaking point, with unacceptable provisions in the House version of the FAA bill holding up passage of another extension. This is no way to run the best aviation system in the world.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Without an agreement, some 4,000 FAA workers will be furloughed.
A famed figure in the art world, Lucian Freud, died overnight at his home in London. The grandson of Sigmund Freud was known especially for his paintings of nudes, which often highlighted the subject’s flaws. Some of them commanded huge prices at auction. Freud also caused a stir in Britain in recent years with a highly unflattering portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
Lucian Freud was 88 years old.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.