News Wrap: Turkey Honors Activists Killed in Gaza
[Sorry, the video for this story has expired, but you can still read the transcript below. ]
KWAME HOLMAN: There were services in Turkey today for those killed in that Israeli sea raid off Gaza on Monday. And the Israelis were said to be considering changes in their blockade of Gaza.
Thousands of people flooded the streets of Istanbul, Turkey, today to mourn eight Turkish activists, including one who had U.S. citizenship. A ninth victim had a separate service. They were killed Monday when Israeli commandos raided six ships trying to break a blockade and ferry aid to Gaza.
The Israeli military says its video proves people on one of the ships attacked the soldiers. The head of the Islamic charity that organized the flotilla insisted today the activists actually were fighting back after the Israelis opened fire. The raid sparked calls in Turkey to reevaluate its formerly close ties to Israel.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke today.
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, Turkish prime minister (through translator): The Israeli government has to reconsider its attitude. They have to ask themselves what they are doing. Up until now, we have been trying to preserve this friendship, but, unfortunately, the Israeli government has not recognized our effort. Israel has made an historic mistake.
KWAME HOLMAN: Seven hundred people were detained in the Israeli raid, including some 450 Turks. They returned to Ankara yesterday and were greeted with cheers.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government rejected a U.N. call for an international investigation, but promised to do its own.
MARK REGEV, Israeli government spokesperson: It is our standard practice that, after all military operations, and especially operations where there have been fatalities, that we conduct a thorough, professional, independent investigation.
KWAME HOLMAN: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also addressed the issue after meeting with the India foreign minister in Washington.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, U.S. secretary of state: We are hope to different ways of assuring that it is a credible investigation, including urging appropriate international participation.
KWAME HOLMAN: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with cabinet ministers today on ways to enforce an arms embargo on Gaza while allowing in civilian goods.
In Afghanistan, delegates at a conference in Kabul, the peace jirga, moved toward endorsing a plan to reach out to the Taliban. But it was unclear which leaders the government could work with. Meanwhile, eight Afghan civilians died in violence in the south. And U.S. officials announced an American soldier was killed on Tuesday.
Jury selection began today in the federal corruption trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. He allegedly tried to profit from his power to fill President Obama’s former Senate seat. Blagojevich arrived this morning at the Chicago courthouse with his wife, Patti. They stopped briefly before a phalanx of cameras.
Defense attorney Sheldon Sorosky said he will call White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, among others, as witnesses.
SHELDON SOROSKY, attorney for Rod Blagojevich: I don’t know if they’re all going to testify. I don’t know who the government is going to call. They certainly haven’t told us yet. But they would all acknowledge the governor didn’t do anything wrong.
KWAME HOLMAN: Blagojevich faces 24 counts, including racketeering and bribery. Jury selection is expected to take up to four days.
Maytag is recalling more than a million-and-a-half dishwashers because of a fire hazard. The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall today. It said there have been 12 reports of fires caused by electrical failures in the dishwasher heating elements. The recall includes dishwashers with the Maytag, Amana, Jenn-Air, Admiral, Magic Chef, Performa, and Crosley name tags.
Wall Street had a relatively quiet day, a day ahead of the latest report on unemployment. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than five points to close at 10255. The Nasdaq rose nearly 22 points to close at 2303.
The commissioner of Major League Baseball will not reverse a call that cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. The announcement came today. Galarraga hadn’t allowed a man to — to reach base last night until two outs in the ninth inning. That’s when umpire Jim Joyce ruled Cleveland Indian Jason Donald was safe at first.
He later admitted the call was wrong, and he apologized to Galarraga. Today, the pitcher accepted the apology said, he’s moving on.
ARMANDO GALARRAGA, Major League Baseball pitcher: Nobody is perfect. Nobody’s perfect. Everybody makes mistake. And I’m sure he don’t want to make a call that say — I sure — like, you see that guy last night, he feel really bad.
KWAME HOLMAN: Tigers Manager Jim Leyland argued the call at the time, but, later, he had only praise for umpire Joyce.
JIM LEYLAND, manager, Detroit Tigers: This is one of the best umpires in the game, without question, one of the great guys. I think how Jim Joyce handled it was — was also a big key. I think, if he would have been defiant, saying, no, I didn’t miss it, and been arrogant about it — the guy was in shambles, I mean, tears. You know, I just — my heart aches for the guy.
KWAME HOLMAN: The Tigers played the Indians again today, and Joyce shook hands with Galarraga before the game began.