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News Wrap: Nobel economics honors awarded to three Americans

October 14, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT
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GWEN IFILL: Wall Street managed small gains today as the news from Washington helped erase early losses. The Dow Jones industrial average added 64 points to close at 15,301. The Nasdaq rose more than 23 points to close at 3,815.

Three Americans will share the Nobel Prize for Economics for explaining how stocks, bonds, and housing values change over time. The winners are Lars Peter Hansen of the university of Chicago, Eugene Fama, also from the University of Chicago, and Robert Shiller of Yale University.

Shiller says after he got word this morning, the one person he tried to call was more focused on baseball.

ROBERT SHILLER, Nobel prize winner: I called my brother, yes. I thought, my brother sleeps in and he might not actually know in Detroit. So I called him. And I said, did you hear the news? And he says, the Tigers lost.

(LAUGHTER)

GWEN IFILL: Shiller’s work, along with that of Fama and Hansen, has led to the rise of index funds and institutional investors, who bet on market trends, instead of individual stocks.

A top al-Qaida militant captured in Libya has arrived in New York to face trial on terrorism charges. Abu Anas al-Libi was seized in a U.S. commando raid on October 5. Since then, he’s been held and interrogated aboard a U.S. warship. Al-Libi is accused of plotting the 1998 attacks on American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people.

The Taliban leader in Afghanistan is warning the government in Kabul not to sign a security deal with the United States. In a message today, Mullah Mohammed Omar rejected any agreement that leaves American troops in Afghanistan after 2014. He said his followers will go on fighting. More on this later in the program.

Italy moved today to prevent any more of the disasters at sea that have now killed hundreds of refugees. Just today, the Italian coast guard delivered more than 200 African migrants to ports in Sicily. They’d sent a distress call from their overloaded boat on Sunday. Earlier this month, 350 migrants died when their vessel capsized. Dozens more drowned Friday.

In Rome today, Prime Minister Enrico Letta vowed to ramp up patrols.

PRIME MINISTER ENRICO LETTA, Italy (through interpreter): From tomorrow, Italy will be operating a military and humanitarian mission. Air and sea are hugely important dimensions, because, for us, it is intolerable that the Mediterranean has become the sea of death. The Mediterranean Sea is our sea, and we cannot tolerate what has been happening in recent days.

GWEN IFILL: Many of the migrants are fleeing fighting in Eritrea and in Syria.

Gunmen in Syria have released three Red Cross personnel and a volunteer with the Red Crescent organization. They’d been abducted on Sunday as they returned to Damascus from delivering relief supplies. Three more Red Cross workers were also seized. They’re still missing.

In Eastern India, authorities raised the death toll to 25 today, in the wake of a huge tropical cyclone. But it could have been far worse. The weekend storm packed winds of 130 miles an hour and destroyed thousands of homes. Officials evacuated about a million people in advance, averting a far worse disaster. A cyclone in the same coastal area killed 10,000 people in 1999.

The World Anti-Doping Agency will investigate claims that Jamaica’s star sprinters faced little,if any drug testing before the London Olympics. The Associated Press reported today the claims come from the former head of the island’s drug testing agency. Jamaicans won eight individual medals at the Games. They were led by Usain Bolt, who captured three golds.