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News Wrap: Obama Appoints First Female Director of the Secret Service

March 27, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST
In other news Wednesday, Julia Pierson was sworn in as the new director of the Secret Service. Pierson, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, is the first woman to hold this post. Also, James Holmes, the man accused in the Colorado movie shooting last July, has offered to plead guilty and serve life in prison.
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TRANSCRIPT

HARI SREENIVASAN: The new director of the U.S. Secret Service was sworn in today. Julia Pierson is the first woman to hold the job. She officially assumed her new duties in an Oval Office ceremony in the White House. Vice President Biden administered the oath, as President Obama looked on.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: She’s breaking the mold in terms of directors of the agencies. And I think that people are all extraordinarily proud of her, and we have the greatest confidence in the wonderful task that lies ahead, and very confident that she’s going to do a great job.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Pierson takes over an agency that was rocked last year by revelations that agents used prostitutes in Colombia ahead of a presidential trip there.

The man accused in the movie theater shootings in Colorado last July has offered to plead guilty and serve life in prison. Defense lawyers for James Holmes filed the motion today. Prosecutors had no immediate response. They’re due to announce Monday whether they will seek the death penalty. Holmes is accused of opening fire in a theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing a dozen people and wounding nearly 60.

North Korea today cut its last military hot line with the South. The line had allowed the two countries to coordinate cross-border travel of South Korean workers to a jointly run industrial complex in the North. North Korea’s state TV announced the move, and it warned South Korea’s new president to choose her response carefully.

NEWS ANCHOR: The South Korean president should behave with discretion, clearly mindful that a wrong word may entail horrible disaster at a time when the North-South relations are being pushed to the lowest ebb and the danger of an all-out war is increasing on the Korean Peninsula.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The North has already cut a Red Cross hot line with the South, as well as another with the U.N. command at the border. It is all a response to U.N. sanctions aimed at punishing North Korea for conducting a nuclear test last month.

Former CIA Director David Petraeus has resurfaced publicly for the first time since he resigned last November. He addressed a dinner in Los Angeles last night, and apologized for the extramarital affair that cost him his career. Petraeus said he knows he can never undo the pain he caused. But he said he’s trying to move forward.

DAVID PETRAEUS, Former CIA Director: This has obviously been a very difficult episode for us. But perhaps my experience can be instructive to those who stumble or indeed fall as far as I did. One learns, after all, that life doesn’t stop with such a mistake. It can and must go on.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Petraeus is a retired four-star general. He called for better treatment of soldiers and veterans, saying — quote — “We can and must do more.”

A federal bankruptcy court today approved the merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways. The combined company will form the world’s largest airline under the American name.

And on Wall Street, stocks struggled to hold their ground, amid lingering concerns about the economic stability of Cyprus and Italy. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 33 points to close at 14,526. The Nasdaq rose four points to close at 3,256.

Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Judy.