News Wrap: Defense Rests in Trial for ‘Whitey’ Bulger, Who Calls Trial a ‘Sham’
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KWAME HOLMAN: The jobs report sent Wall Street lower at first, but in the end, stocks managed small gains.The Dow Jones industrial average added 30 points to close at 15,658.The NASDAQ rose nearly 14 points to close at 3,689.For the week, the Dow gained just more than half-a-percent; the NASDAQ rose 2 percent.
The defense rested today in Boston in the murder and racketeering trial of James “Whitey” Bulger.The reputed former underworld boss opted not to testify.Instead, he told the federal court judge, “As far as I’m concerned, this is a sham.”
Bulger is accused in the murders of 19 people, among other crimes.Closing arguments are set for Monday, and the jury is expected to get the case on Tuesday.
The Italian coalition government initially struggled today to deal with fallout from Silvio Berlusconi’s tax fraud conviction.The country’s Supreme Court upheld the former prime minister’s four-year prison sentence on Thursday.The 76-year-old media billionaire also is likely to lose his seat in parliament.
Today, Prime Minister Enrico Letta played down prospects that Berlusconi’s supporters might bolt from the governing coalition.
ENRICO LETTA, Italian Prime Minister (through interpreter):I am fully aware that this is a delicate moment politically.I said yesterday — and I repeat it now — I am a person who puts Italy before anything else.If there is someone who wants to put other priorities first, then I think it is important at this time to have clarity on what those priorities are.First of all comes the country.First of all is Italy.
KWAME HOLMAN: Berlusconi condemned the court ruling, but it is unlikely he will serve actual jail time.Instead, he’s likely to do a year of community service or a year of house arrest.
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood organized new mass marches, despite government warnings such gatherings would be broken up.Supporters of deposed former President Mohammed Morsi marched to the military intelligence headquarters in Cairo.They also started a new sit-in at the airport.But amid the protests, state TV announced police will begin blockading existing sit-ins.The interim cabinet has warned the camp sites will be disbanded one way or the other.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused today to stay an order that California release 10,000 state prison inmates.A lower federal court required the release by year’s end to ease crowding.Gov. Jerry Brown argued the state needed more time to find alternatives and letting out more prisoners early will jeopardize public safety.The state’s 33 prisons are reported to be at 150 percent of capacity.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.