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News Wrap: Federal Appeals Court Gives Mixed Ruling on Ala. Immigration Law

October 14, 2011 at 12:00 AM EST
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HARI SREENIVASAN: A federal appeals court today upheld one key part of a hotly debated Alabama immigration law and blocked another. The ruling allowed a provision that lets police detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. It set aside a section that requires public schools to check the immigration status of students. The ruling is temporary. The appeals court’s final decision on the law could take months.

The Obama administration has dropped a major component of its health overhaul law, long-term-care insurance. The Department of Health and Human Services announced today it cannot guarantee the voluntary program will pay for itself, as required. For that to happen, enough healthy adults would have to sign up to cover the benefits for those who become disabled.

Anti-Wall Street protesters in New York City claimed victory today after plans to clean up their campsite were delayed. Several hundred demonstrators celebrated when the owner of the private park postponed the cleaning. Activists had claimed the real goal was to evict them from a site they have been using for a month.

BILL DOBBS, Occupy Wall Street: It has been a lot of tension, a big fight to have this protest and to continue it. And this morning, something really interesting and surprising happened. Somebody blinked.

The mayor was ready to use the NYPD to come in here. People were very skeptical that it was about cleaning. They thought he wanted to just clear the plaza. And, this morning, they put out a statement and said, well, we’re postponing everything.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Meanwhile, in Denver, riot police cleared hundreds of similar protesters from the Colorado State Capitol Building. They arrested some two dozen people and dismantled a tent camp in a nearby park.

On Wall Street, stocks rose on news of stronger retail sales in September. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 166 points to close at 11,644. The Nasdaq rose 47 points to close at 2,667. For the week, the Dow gained nearly 5 percent. The Nasdaq shot up more than 7 percent.

The federal budget deficit reached $1.3 trillion for the fiscal year that ended last month. The final numbers released today marked the third straight year that the government has been more than a trillion dollars in the red. The record was set in 2009, when the red ink ran $1.4 trillion.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will stay in power for now. His center-right coalition survived a confidence vote in Parliament today. The vote came amid Italy’s growing economic crisis. Berlusconi also had been embroiled in a series of sex scandals, with repeated calls for him to resign. Even with his win today, the prime minister still lacks a solid majority in Parliament, and opposition members warned he will have a tough time governing.

JEAN-LEONARD TOUADI, Italian parliament member: We have a very huge, very huge amount of problems, economical problems, problems of financial stability, that we can’t afford with a government looking for a vote every day to pass these agreements.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Italy is struggling with a huge national debt burden, and the government has been forced to impose austerity measures. That’s triggered a popular outcry, with major protests planned tomorrow in Rome.

President Obama told Congress today he’s deploying about 100 U.S. troops to Central Africa. They are to aid the hunt for leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army, which is accused of countless murders, rapes and kidnappings over two decades. The first troops arrived in Uganda on Wednesday. From there, they will go to South Sudan, the Central African Republic and then the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Bishop Joseph Finn and Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City, Mo., have been indicted for failure to report that Rev. Shawn Ratigan possessed lewd pictures of young girls. This comes 10 years after the church made pledges to report suspected abusers to law enforcement agencies. The bishop says they are now cooperating fully with law enforcement.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.