News Wrap: Anti-Wall Street Protests Spread to D.C., Los Angeles
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KWAME HOLMAN: Wall Street rallied for the third day in a row. Stocks gained on reports that plans are in the works to help ailing banks in Europe. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 183 points to close at 11,123. The Nasdaq rose 46 points to close above 2,506.
There were small anti-Wall Street protests in several cities a day after 5,000 people marched in New York. In Washington, several hundred people formed a symbolic 99 percent figure. They said the top 1 percent of Americans controls far more wealth and power than the other 99 percent. And in Los Angeles, about 500 people turned out in the downtown financial district.
The U.S. Senate headed toward a final vote on a bill to punish China for manipulating its currency. The measure had bipartisan support to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese imports. China has warned it would set off a trade war.
But Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said it was high time to address the issue.
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: The future of America is at stake. And to those who say it will cause a trade war, we are in a trade war. We have our clocks cleaned every day, and lose jobs every day because of unfair Chinese practices.
KWAME HOLMAN: Some Republicans warned the bill could have unintended consequences.
Orrin Hatch of Utah said it sends the wrong message.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R-Utah: We’re also telling the world community that the U.S. is turning inward once again, seeking protectionist solutions to global problems, and not really interested in working with other countries to solve our current international economic crisis.
KWAME HOLMAN: The bill’s future in the House was unclear. The speaker, Ohio Republican John Boehner, said today it’s wrong and dangerous.
For his part, President Obama stopped short of endorsing the measure. But at his news conference, he did accuse China of gaming the trading system to its advantage.
The European Union said today it will move to expand sanctions against Syria, targeting its largest commercial bank. The move follows this week’s failure of a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an end to the violence in Syria. It was vetoed by China and Russia.
On Wednesday, demonstrators in several Syrian towns and cities burned Russian and Chinese flags. There were no reports of any police response. Also today, the U.N. said the number of people killed in the Syrian government crackdown is more than 2,900 since March.
The voice of deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was heard today in a new audio recording. It was broadcast on a Syrian-based television station. In it, Gadhafi called for millions of Libyans to protest against the National Transitional Council now running the country. He said: “Rise up. Go out in the streets. The conditions in Libya are unbearable.”
In Afghanistan, hundreds of people protested in downtown Kabul, demanding that foreign troops leave the country immediately. They marched through the streets of the capital, carrying signs and shouting “No to occupation.” The rally came a day before the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion.
The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded today to Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer. He was recognized for rich imagery in works that often explore death, history and nature. The 80-year-old writer has penned more than a dozen collections of poetry and been translated into more than 60 languages. Transtromer is the first poet to win the literature prize in 15 years.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.