News Wrap: JPMorgan gives raise to CEO Dimon despite year of hefty fines
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Wall Street suffered a second day of big losses. It was part of a global sell-off, driven by lackluster corporate profits, slower growth in China, and concerns about emerging markets. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 318 points to close at 15879, its worst loss since June. The Nasdaq fell 90 points to close at 4128. For the week, the Dow lost 3.5 percent; the Nasdaq fell more than 1.5 percent.
The man who runs JPMorgan Chase got a 74 percent raise last year. The bank said today that chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon made $20 million dollars. It cited, in part, his role in approving a $13 billion settlement for misleading investors before the 2008 meltdown. Company profits fell 16 percent in 2013, while its stock rose 33 percent.
Direct talks between the Syrian government and the Western-backed opposition were scrubbed today, but they’re set for tomorrow instead. U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said late today that the new plan is for the two delegations to sit down with him in the same room on Saturday. We will get a full report on the day’s events right after the news summary.
In Egypt, a wave of bombings hit Cairo, killing at least six people. It was the most serious attack in the capital city since the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
Jane Deith of Independent Television News narrates this report.
JANE DEITH: Dawn in Cairo, and on the left of the picture, a white pickup truck stops next to the Egyptian police headquarters. These pictures aired on local television appear to show a black car pulling up alongside and picking someone up before driving off — two-and-half minutes later, an explosion, this was one of four bombs around Cairo timed to sound a warning on the eve of the anniversary of the revolution.
The Egyptian police were the target. The bomb at the police headquarters killed four men.
MOHAMMED IBRAHIM, Egyptian Interior Minister (through translator): A pickup truck had two passengers inside. It stopped outside the police headquarters and the suicide bomber detonated himself.
JANE DEITH: Eyewitnesses said there were gunmen too.
MAN (through translator): A red Suzuki vehicle approached the police headquarters and two gunmen sprayed the guards with bullets.
JANE DEITH: Crowds in the army-led government immediately blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, but it’s an al-Qaida linked group which has claimed responsibility for today’s attacks.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, based in the Sinai Peninsula, has killed more than 100 policemen and soldiers, who it says have been killing Islamists.
Guns and tensions on the streets of Southern Cairo this afternoon, people apparently surrounding a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. After today’s bloodshed, there are fears tomorrow’s anniversary of the revolution will bring more violence. Three years on, time has not healed the divisions in Egypt. It’s deepened them.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In Iraq, there’s word of a mass exodus amid heavy fighting in Anbar province. A U.N. official says more than 140,000 people have fled their homes since al-Qaida fighters took over parts of Ramadi and Fallujah in late December. The Iraqi army has been trying to dislodge the militants with heavy shelling. Many civilians are caught in the crossfire and don’t have any supplies.
Secretary of State John Kerry fired back today at critics who charge the Obama administration has disengaged in the Middle East.
Speaking in Switzerland, Kerry insisted the U.S. has enduring interests in the region and has no plans to retreat.
JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: My response to that suggestion is simple: You cannot find another country, not one country, that is as proactively engaged, that is partnering with so many Middle Eastern countries as constructively as we are on so many high-stake fronts.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The administration has taken fire from Saudi Arabia and Israel over its response to the Syrian civil war, the upheaval in Egypt, and the Iranian nuclear program.
From China today, a warning that its military has begun warning and intercepting foreign military planes in a disputed air defense zone. Beijing declared the zone over the East China Sea in November, but it’s been denounced by Japan, the U.S. and others. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe insisted today his country will not tolerate territorial changes that are made by force.
Road crews in Northwestern Indiana cleaned up Interstate 94 today, after a massive pileup that left three people dead and 20 injured. It happened yesterday near Michigan City, about 60 miles east of Chicago, in near whiteout conditions. First-responders said today the crush of 46 trucks and cars looked like a war zone.
MICK PAWLIK, Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Chief: It was such a devastating scene. You don’t know where to start. But when people are stuck in their cars, they look at you like, we’re Moses. Part the water. Save us. We can’t show no fear or panic out there, so we just start doing it.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The tangled wreck touched off a traffic backup that left hundreds of people stuck for hours in 10-degree weather.
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, pleaded not guilty today to trading influence for thousands of dollars of gifts and loans. The couple had their court appearance at the federal district court in Richmond. They were arraigned on 14 counts of corruption. Then they were released without bond. The trial is slated to begin in July.
Republican Party leaders have voted overwhelmingly to shorten their presidential nominating calendar for 2016. Party Chairman Reince Priebus said today the goal is to cut down the time that GOP candidates spend attacking each other. Primaries and caucuses will begin in February and conclude in mid-May. The national convention will take place by early July, which is two months earlier than usual.
Some three million Americans are now enrolled in private health insurance plans under the president’s health care law. Medicare/Medicaid chief Marilyn Tavenner posted the total today, based on numbers from federal and state exchanges. The administration’s goal is to sign up seven million people by the end of March.