News Wrap: Court Rules Bin Laden Photos Can Remain Classified
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HARI SREENIVASAN: A federal appeals court today refused to order the release of photos and video of Osama bin Laden from the U.S. raid that killed him in 2011. The Obama administration argued the images could reveal intelligence methods and trigger violence against Americans.
Today, a three-judge panel in Washington agreed. It rejected a bid by the conservative watchdog group, Judicial Defense, to make the pictures public.
In Syria, the battle raged for a third day in a key town near the border with Lebanon. Government forces and Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon have been fighting to retake Qusayr, which rebels have controlled more than a year now. Rebel video today captured the aftermath of a government airstrike there. It showed heavily damaged buildings and rubble in the streets, as well as the interior of a mosque hit in the attack.
The Guardian Council of Iran today barred a former president popular with reformers from running again in next month’s election. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is now 78 years old. He has criticized the government for crushing protests against the disputed presidential election in 2009. Also barred from running today, a top aide to outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who repeatedly clashed with the ruling Islamic clerics.
Guatemala’s highest court has overturned the genocide conviction of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt. The former general was convicted this month in the killings of more than 1,700 ethnic Mayans during the early 1980s, but last night the high court declared the trial should have been stopped earlier to resolve defense appeals.
Rios Montt’s attorney hailed the ruling.
MARCO ANTONIO ROSSEL, Attorney for Efrain Rios Montt: The right of defense was violated constantly, which is sacred. It is a constitutional rule. No other superior rule exists. It is an institution of law, and it has to be complied with.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The court ordered the trial to return to where it was in mid-April. For now, Rios Montt remains in a military hospital. He is 86 years old.
The head of J.P. Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, survived a bid today to strip him of one of his jobs. Shareholders at the bank’s annual meeting voted to keep Dimon as both chairman and CEO. He had been criticized after the bank suffered a six billion dollar loss last year on complex debt securities.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 52 points to close at 15,387. The Nasdaq rose five points to close at 3,502.
Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Jeff.