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News Wrap: Judge Blocks Parts of Georgia’s Illegal Immigration Law

June 27, 2011 at 12:00 AM EDT
In other news Monday, a federal judge in Atlanta blocked parts of Georgia's crackdown on illegal immigration from taking effect. The judge issued a stay against enforcing penalties against harboring undocumented people. Also, 200 Syrian opposition figures and intellectuals met and called for a peaceful transition to democracy.
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KWAME HOLMAN: A federal judge in Atlanta has blocked parts of Georgia’s crackdown on illegal immigration from taking effect. A new state law was to take effect on July 1. But the judge today issued a stay against enforcing penalties on those who harbor the undocumented. The judge also set aside a provision authorizing police to check immigration status until a legal challenge is resolved.

Wall Street rallied today on hopes that French banks and others will help ease the debt crisis in Greece. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 109 points to close at 12,043. The Nasdaq rose 35 points to close at 2,688.

In Syria, some 200 opposition figures and intellectuals met in Damascus. They called for an end to President Bashar Assad’s rule and a peaceful transition to democracy. It was the first such gathering since anti-government unrest began in March. But many opponents of the regime stayed away. They said the meeting was a ruse to give the impression the regime tolerates dissent.

The International Criminal Court today ordered the arrest of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on charges of crimes against humanity.

We have a report from Martin Geissler of Independent Television News.

MARTIN GEISSLER: Just minutes before the International Criminal Court served notice on Col. Gadhafi, NATO forces sent him a message of their own.

The pressure on the Libyan leader is unremitting, legally and militarily. Fifteen hundred miles from The Hague here in Tripoli, the NATO air campaign continues. We heard two loud strikes here today. And now we have been brought to Moammar Gadhafi’s compound in the center of the city. And we have been shown this, what the government here claim was the target of the attacks.

It is, we were told, Gadhafi’s Winnebago. It certainly looked like a precision strike, despite NATO denials they’re targeting him directly. Gadhafi’s options are increasingly limited. The International Criminal Court warrant makes it extremely difficult for him to leave Libya. He is bunkered in. His government claimed to have armed more than a million civilians in the west of the country.

Near his hometown of Sirte, we were shown women being trained to use machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. And in Tripoli, this teenaged girl told me she was given weapons training at school.

Why are you learning to fire a gun?

GIRL: To save my country.

MARTIN GEISSLER: But you’re a child.

GIRL: … those people to say, no, now this — and this time, there’s nobody, child or woman or man or — they’re all like — like — like one. And, all, they have to take guns.

MARTIN GEISSLER: While there’s no shortage of propaganda here, there’s also plenty of genuine support for Gadhafi. International arrest warrants are little more than a distraction for him. The fight for Libya is far more immediate than that.

KWAME HOLMAN: A war crimes trial opened in Cambodia today for the four top surviving members of the Khmer Rouge regime from the 1970s. The defendants now are in their late 70s or early 80s. They’re accused of leading a brutal drive for a communist utopia that led to the so-called killing fields and the deaths of more than a million Cambodians. The overlord of that campaign, Pol Pot, died in 1998.

A fast-growing wildfire forced a mandatory evacuation today of Los Alamos, N.M. The fire began on Sunday, pushed by 60-mile-an-hour winds. Heavy smoke could be seen blanketing the city today. Flames were near the Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab, but officials said all radioactive materials were protected.

The city of Minot, N.D., has begun assessing its losses after its worst flood ever. Some 4,000 homes were damaged or destroyed as the Souris River crested Sunday, breaking a record from 1881. Federal officials said fewer than 400 homes were covered by flood insurance.

And, in Nebraska today, the flooded Missouri River seeped into the turbine building at a nuclear plant near Omaha. Officials said pumps were working and the site was safe.

One of Major League Baseball’s marquee franchises, the Los Angeles Dodgers, will seek federal bankruptcy protection. The team filed for Chapter 11 today, after baseball commissioner Bud Selig rejected a $3 billion TV deal with the FOX network. He found it was detrimental to the best interests of baseball. The Major Leagues assumed control of the Dodgers in April, amid concerns over the team’s finances.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.