News Wrap: Stocks Drop on News Greece Will Fail to Meet Deficit Target
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Stocks took another hit today on news that Greece will miss the deficit targets it agreed to under a bailout plan. The statement added fuel to the fears of a partial default. European markets were down 1 percent to 2 percent or more, and so were the major indexes on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 258 points to close at 10,655. The Nasdaq fell 79 points to close at 2,335. The price of oil slid below $78 a barrel in New York, its lowest level in more than a year.
President Obama said today he doesn’t regret giving a $500 million federal loan to a solar panel firm that has since gone bankrupt. Investigations are under way into how Solyndra qualified for the loan despite warnings. The California company shut down last month and laid off its 1,100 workers.
The president addressed the issue in an interview today with ABC News/Yahoo!, a new news partnership.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Hindsight is always 20/20. It went through the regular review process. And people felt like this was a good bet.
But the fact of the matter is, is that if we don’t get behind clean energy, if we don’t get behind advanced battery manufacturing, if we’re not the ones who are creating the cars of the future, then we’re not going to be able to make stuff here in the United States of America.
HARI SREENIVASAN: In another development, a House committee released e-mails from a Democratic fund-raiser advising against a presidential visit to Solyndra in May of last year.
An appeals court jury in Italy today threw out the murder convictions of American Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend. The court ordered both of them released. The pair had been convicted in the sexual assault and stabbing death of Meredith Kercher, Knox’s British roommate.
But there were questions about the DNA evidence, and Knox insisted to the court today that she was innocent.
We have a report from Martin Geissler of Independent Television News.
MARTIN GEISSLER: The strain was clear on the face of Amanda Knox this morning. There was one last dramatic opportunity to plead her case, an appeal to the judge and the jurors. In a strong, impassioned, seemingly unscripted address in fluent Italian, she told them she was innocent.
The moment was captured in the court’s internal camera.
AMANDA KNOX, defendant (through translator): I am not what they say I am, the perversion, the violence, the disregard for life. I haven’t done what they say. I didn’t kill. I didn’t rape. I didn’t rob. I wasn’t there.
MARTIN GEISSLER: Her co-accused and former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, was given time to address the court, too. His speech, by contrast, was mumbled and faltering. He showed a bracelet he’s worn for four years in prison, on it the words “Free Amanda and Raffaele.” “I think now is the time to take it off,” he said.
The Knox family were in court watching. Normally keen to speak for their daughter, they said nothing as they made their way in.
QUESTION: How are you feeling today, Mr. Knox?
MARTIN GEISSLER: The family of the murder victim, the British student Meredith Kercher, flew into Perugia today. There can be no satisfaction for them in any of this. They feel their daughter has been forgotten, amid talk of movie deals and big-money interviews for Amanda Knox.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Prosecutors now have to decide whether to appeal today’s ruling to Italy’s highest court.
Jury selection began today for two Minnesota women accused of supporting a terrorist group in Somalia. Federal prosecutors say the two raised thousands of dollars and recruited fighters for Al-Shabab, a militant organization with links to al-Qaida. The women insist they were soliciting money for Muslim charities.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.