News Wrap: Zimmerman Video Surfaces From Night of Trayvon Martin’s Death
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HARI SREENIVASAN: President Obama pressed Congress again today to end tax breaks for big oil companies. He said Americans are getting hit twice, once by paying high gas prices, and again by subsidizing oil companies.
A short time later, the Senate refused to move ahead on repealing $4 billion in energy tax breaks. Republicans argued it would actually lead to higher fuel prices.
The U.S. House approved a Republican-crafted budget today totaling $3.5 trillion. It would cut the deficit by revamping Medicare and reducing food stamps and other programs. It also rejects President Obama’s call to raise taxes on the wealthy, but calls for ending unspecified tax breaks. The bill is expected to be dead on arrival when it reaches the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Funding for highway construction will keep flowing, at least for another three months. Congress passed a short-term extension today. The Senate had already approved a two-year funding measure, but so far, House Republicans have balked. Without the stopgap measure, the funding would expire this weekend.
The number of Americans filing their first claims for unemployment compensation fell again last week. But the news failed to give Wall Street much of a lift. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 19 points to close at 13,145. The Nasdaq fell nine points to close at 3,095.
A new video has emerged in last month’s fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. A neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, had said he shot Martin in self-defense. He says the 17-year-old broke his nose and bashed his head against the pavement. A 90-second police video shows officers with the handcuffed Zimmerman on the night of the shooting.
But the Martin family attorney said today there’s no sign of injuries.
BENJAMIN CRUMP, attorney for family of Trayvon Martin: George Zimmerman doesn’t exhibit a broken nose. He doesn’t exhibit blood on the back of his head. He doesn’t exhibit his clothes messed up.
So, America can judge for themselves. You don’t have to take my word for it. You don’t have to take Trayvon’s mother, nor his father’s word for it. You just look at it with your eyes and listen with your ears. And that’s all the evidence you need in this case.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Martin supporters say the shooting was racially motivated, and they have demanded that Zimmerman be arrested.
Apple is promising a revamp of worker conditions at its suppliers in China. The world’s most valuable corporation agreed today to improve wages and working conditions at Foxconn factories in China. The announcement came as the Fair Labor Association reported Foxconn workers often put in more than 60 hours a week making iPads and iPhones. Foxconn said it will hire thousands of new workers, cut back illegal overtime and improve safety protocols.
Spain was all but shut down today in a massive general strike by workers against labor reforms. Factory floors emptied, ports closed and transportation slowed to a crawl. Protesters marched in cities across Spain, and some turned violent. In Barcelona, hooded activists hurled rocks at bank offices and set fire to garbage containers. Unions organized the strike against proposals making it cheaper and easier for companies to lay people off and cut wages.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.