News Wrap: White House May Revamp Wiretap Laws
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HARI SREENIVASAN: The Obama administration may be close to approving a revamp of surveillance laws, making it easier to wiretap online conversations. The New York Times reported today the FBI plan aims to catch up with technologies that go beyond telephone communication. The plan would have to be submitted to Congress, and technology companies already oppose it. They argue it would quash innovation and open systems to hackers.
The president of South Korea told the U.S. Congress today that North Korea must be rid of nuclear weapons. President Park Geun-hye was greeted with a long ovation as she entered the House of Representatives. She paid tribute to U.S. veterans of the Korean War, and singled out four congressmen who served there. But her main message to the lawmakers was that a nuclear-armed North Korea is unacceptable.
PRESIDENT PARK GEUN-HYE, South Korea: The leadership in Pyongyang must make no mistake. Security doesn’t come from nuclear weapons. Security comes when the lives of its people are improved. It comes when people are free to pursue their happiness.
HARI SREENIVASAN: This was Park’s first overseas trip since taking power in February.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is headed back to Congress, four years after he plunged into political disgrace. The Republican beat Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a special election Tuesday, winning a seat he held for three terms in the 1990s. Last night, after winning 54 percent of the vote, Sanford joked that he had returned from the political dead.
CONGRESSMAN-ELECT MARK SANFORD, R-S.C.: Some guy came up to me the other day, and he said, you look a lot like Lazarus.
And I say that because, if it was just about market-based ideas and limited government, this campaign would have been easily won a long time ago.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Sanford was governor in 2009 when he disappeared for five days, and then admitted he had gone to Argentina to visit his mistress. He is now engaged to her.
A leading contender in Pakistan’s weekend elections is expected to make a full recovery from a serious accident. One-time cricket star Imran Khan was at a political rally Tuesday when he fell 15 feet off a forklift. He fractured three vertebrae and a rib, but doctors now say they expect him to heal completely. Khan’s party is considered one of the three main challengers in Saturday’s voting for a new parliament.
European police have nabbed 31 people across three countries in a $50 million dollar diamond heist in Belgium. The robbery happened at the Brussels Airport on Feb. 18th. Men dressed as police officers and armed with machine guns drove onto the tarmac and off-loaded diamonds from a plane bound for Switzerland. It took barely five minutes, and succeeded without a single shot fired. Today, the Brussels prosecutor’s office announced police in Belgium, France and Switzerland swept up the suspects and more.
JEAN-MARC MEILLEUR, Spokesman, Brussels Prosecutor’s Office: Several objects were seized during the search. In Switzerland, some diamonds were found. We can already tell that they come from the heist. In Belgium, large sums of money have also been found. The investigation is now continuing.
HARI SREENIVASAN: It was unclear just how many of the stolen diamonds are still missing.
The former CEO of Enron could get up to 10 years shaved off his sentence after striking a deal today with prosecutors. Jeffrey Skilling has served more than six years of a 24-year prison term for his role in the collapse of the giant energy company. If a federal judge approves, the sentence could be cut to 14 years.
A new genetic test went on sale today that could help curb overtreatment of prostate cancer. The test is designed to gauge just how aggressive a patient’s cancer is. Most prostate tumors grow too slowly to be life-threatening, but some can prove fatal. Until now, there’s been no way to tell which is which. About 240,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average kept going after breaking the 15,000 barrier yesterday. The Dow gained nearly 49 points today to close at 15,105. The Nasdaq rose 16 points to close at 3,413.
Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Ray.