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News Wrap: NYC’s ‘Stop and Frisk’ Policy Is Discriminatory, Judge Says

August 12, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST
In other news Monday, a federal judge ruled that New York City's "Stop and Frisk" policy "intentionally discriminates based on race" by stopping mostly black and Hispanic men. Also, with the exception of the U.S. embassy in Yemen, all U.S. diplomatic posts that were closed last week due to a terror threat have re-opened.
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KWAME HOLMAN: A federal judge ruled today New York City police have violated the rights of thousands of people with a stop-and-frisk policy. The tactic is allowed based on a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing.But the judge said officers stopped mostly black and Hispanic men using questionable criteria, so the policy intentionally discriminates based on race.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg denied that charge. And he said the policy is a vital deterrent to crime.

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, New York: Today, we have fewer guns, fewer shootings, and fewer homicides. The fact that fewer guns are on the street now shows that our efforts have been successful. And there is just no question that stop, question, frisk has saved countless lives. And we know that most of those lives saved based on the statistics have been black and Hispanic young men.

KWAME HOLMAN: Bloomberg vowed to appeal. In the meantime, the judge also appointed an independent monitor to oversee substantial reforms to stop and frisk.

The governor of North Carolina, Republican Pat McCrory, signed a sweeping new voting law today. It mandates a photo I.D. for any would-be voter and reduces early voting by one week. Republicans said it will cut down on fraud. Democrats and voting rights groups said the real purpose is to suppress votes by supporters of Democrats.

Nearly all of the U.S. diplomatic posts that were closed by a terror threat now have reopened. The exception is the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, which remained shuttered today, and officials said it will stay that way indefinitely. In all, 19 diplomatic sites in the Middle East and Africa shut down last week amid warnings of an al-Qaida plot.

Egyptian authorities put off plans today to break up two Cairo sit-ins by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.Instead, an almost festive atmosphere prevailed. People marched and chanted slogans, while young men played ping pong and soccer amid drum circles. The military repeatedly has delayed carrying out its promise to use any means necessary to clear the pro-Morsi camp sites.

Britain is warning it may take legal action against Spain in a growing row over the territory of Gibraltar. The rocky outpost sits at the mouth of the Mediterranean, and has been ruled by the British for centuries.

We have a report from James Mates of Independent Television News.

JAMES MATES: The helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth this morning heading for the Mediterranean, a deployment planned long before this current spat over Gibraltar, but at least one royal Navy vessel will soon be docking in the colony.

However routine, symbols of Britain’s continuing commitment are important.

JAMES MATES: Gibraltarians trying to cross back and forth into Spain have endured another trying weekend of long queues at the border, prompting London now to threaten legal action against Spain at what it considers a breach of European rules on free movement.

The flag flying over the rock may be looking a little tattered these days, but Britain insists its legal claims are as impeccable as ever.

This is the Treaty of Utrecht here in the British library signed exactly 300 years ago. It brought an end to the war of the Spanish succession and gave Britain its claim to Gibraltar. Here, it says that the town, the port, and the Castle of Gibraltar is to be enjoyed by Britain forever without any exception or impediment whatsoever.

But the waters, say Spain, were not included, which is why they have objected so strongly to the building of an artificial reef. They say that is to thwart Spanish fishermen. Spain’s foreign minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, is not retreating one inch, now threatening to join Argentina in an appeal to the U.N.

“That’s a possibility,” he said. The other is an appeal to the International Court in The Hague. So threats and counterthreats between two supposed E.U. and NATO allies, with the prospect that, for the first time, international judges will be ruling on this 300-year-old dispute. But at least the parties seem to want a resolution in the courts, rather than something much worse.

KWAME HOLMAN: If the issue does go to court, a decision could take years.

The week got off to a lackluster start on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than five points to close at 15,419. The NASDAQ rose nearly 10 points to close near 3,670.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.