News Wrap: Death Toll Rises to 3 in Ohio High School Shooting
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HARI SREENIVASAN: The death toll rose to three today in the shootings at a suburban Cleveland high school. Hospital officials confirmed two more teenagers had died of wounds from Monday’s attack. The alleged shooter, a student named T.J. Lane, had his first appearance in juvenile court. Later, a prosecutor said Lane is someone who is not well.
Wall Street’s long climb back from the depths of recession has reached a new milestone. The Dow Jones industrial average finished above 13,000 for the first time since may of 2008. It gained more than 23 points on the day, to close at 13,005. The Nasdaq rose 20 points to close at 2,986.
In Pakistan, gunmen in military uniforms stopped a convoy of buses, and killed 16 Shiite passengers. It happened in the small village of Harban Nala in a remote region some 200 miles north of the capital, Islamabad. Officials said the victims were told to get off the bus, and then gunned down on the roadside. The Pakistani Taliban, a Sunni militant group, claimed responsibility.
The Syrian army kept up its fierce bombardment of the city of Homs today. At the same time, rebels managed to get a wounded British journalist, Paul Conroy, to safety. They said 13 Syrians died in the effort to smuggle him into Lebanon.
We have a report on the ongoing assault on Homs and the world’s response, narrated by Jonathan Miller of Independent Television News.
JONATHAN MILLER: The images coming out of Homs are shocking. This little boy is alive. He looks like an earthquake victim, but this is a manmade disaster, his home hit by a rocket. The boy is disabled. His legs are paralyzed. He couldn’t run.
Dr. Mahmoud Al-Mahmoud, one of the humanitarian heroes in Homs, appeals again for help. “We’re being butchered here,” he says.
Today, at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, the onslaught branded a crime against humanity.
NAVI PILLAY, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: More than at any other time, those committing atrocities in Syria have to understand that the international community will not stand by and watch this carnage and that their decisions and the actions they take today ultimately will not go unpunished.
JONATHAN MILLER: Navi Pillay called for an immediate ceasefire to allow help into Homs.
The Syrian ambassador then took the floor, lambasting members of the council for promoting terrorism and prolonging the crisis in his country. Then he stormed out.
The United States later said he demonstrated the delusional nature of the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
HARI SREENIVASAN: In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a Senate hearing that the Syrian president could be classified a war criminal, but she also warned that might make it harder to get rid of him.
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: I think people have been putting forth the argument, but I also think that, from long experience, that can complicate a resolution of a difficult, complex situation, because it limits options to persuade leaders perhaps to step down from power.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Meanwhile, the president of Tunisia said he is ready to offer asylum for Assad in a bid to help end the conflict.
Pentagon officials acknowledged today that partial unidentified remains of some 9/11 victims were incinerated and sent to a landfill. The finding came in a larger report on the mishandling of remains at the military mortuary in Dover, Del. The 9/11 remains came from the hijacked airliner that struck the Pentagon, and another that crashed in Pennsylvania.
The Justice Department has charged a Texas doctor and six others with bilking Medicaid and Medicare out of $375 million. Indictments unsealed today said they allegedly submitted thousands of false claims for home health services, in some cases for homeless people. Health care fraud costs the federal government at least $60 billion a year.
The government of Japan downplayed the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant after the earthquake and tsunami last March. An independent report released today said officials withheld the risks of reactor meltdowns at the plant. At the same time, it said, they were secretly discussing mass evacuations reaching as far away as Tokyo.
The U.S. Senate is losing Republican veteran Olympia Snowe of Maine. She confirmed today she will not seek reelection for a fourth term. Snowe was a well-known moderate who supported health care reform, among other issues. In a statement, she said she’s tired of what she called the my-way-or-the-highway ideologies in Congress.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.