News Wrap: Libya demands U.S. hand over captured Benghazi attack suspect
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GWEN IFILL: The interim government in Libya today demanded the U.S. hand over the newly captured suspect in the attack on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi. Ahmed Abu Khattala is now headed to the U.S. by ship, after he was captured over the weekend by U.S. special forces in Libya. The interim government condemned the raid that seized him, and insisted he should be tried in Libya, under Libyan laws.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The newly elected president of Ukraine offered a cease-fire plan today to end the violence plaguing its eastern border with Russia. Petro Poroshenko discussed the proposal by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who welcomed the move. It includes amnesty for pro-Russian separatists if they lay down their arms.
He unveiled the 14-step plan in Kiev.
PRESIDENT PETRO POROSHENKO, Ukraine (through interpreter): I can say that the period of cease-fire will be rather short. We expect that illegal armed groups will then immediately disarm. Then order will be reached, including joint patrolling against marauders, criminals, and bandits who are destabilizing the situation in the east.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Poroshenko stopped short of announcing precisely when a cease-fire would be declared. But Ukraine’s defense minister said it could begin within days.
GWEN IFILL: One of the candidates in Afghanistan’s presidential runoff demanded officials stop counting ballots today, claiming Saturday’s vote was rigged. Abdullah Abdullah accused his opponent, Ashraf Ghani, of engineering fraud. Abdullah also announced his team was suspending relations with the election commission, accusing it of interfering in the vote as well. The commission refused to stop the count, and said everyone should wait for final results due on July 22.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Japan passed a law to ban most child pornography today, the last of the world’s major industrial nations to make it illegal. The Japanese Parliament’s upper house pushed the legislation through. It amends an earlier law that banned people from creating and distributing child pornography, but not owning it. Under the new law, sexually explicit depictions of children in comics, animation and computer graphics are still permitted.
GWEN IFILL: After almost two months without any executions, three states are resuming lethal injections. Problems with one such injection in Oklahoma in April postponed death penalty enforcement across the country. Overnight, both Georgia and Missouri carried out executions, with no complications reported. A third execution is scheduled in Florida tonight. None of those states will disclose where they obtain their lethal injection drugs or if they have been tested.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. Federal Reserve is slowing its bond buying based on its assessment that the economic recovery is on track. The announcement came at the end of the Central Bank’s two-day policy review meeting. But it gave no indication when it will start raising its benchmark short-term interest rate.
Chairwoman Janet Yellen said the Fed is taking a wait-and-see approach.
JANET YELLEN, Chair, Federal Reserve: There is uncertainty about monetary policy. The appropriate path of policy, the timing and pace of interest rate increases ought to and I believe will respond to unfolding economic developments. If those were to prove faster than the committee expects, it would be logical to expect a more rapid increase in the Fed funds rate.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The Fed also scaled back its economic growth forecast for 2014, citing the damaging effects of the long, harsh winter. Markets on Wall Street reacted positively to the Fed news. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 98 points to close at 16906. The Nasdaq rose 25 points to close above 4362. And the S&P added 15 points to close just under 1957.
GWEN IFILL: The U.S. Patent Office ruled today that six of the Washington Redskins trademark registrations should be canceled. The board said the nickname is disparaging of Native Americans. The decision doesn’t force the team to give up its name, but it will make it harder for them to go after others using the name for commercial gain. The football team quickly announced they will appeal the decision.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A rare 1 cent postage stamp from a 19th century British colony has regained its status as the world’s most valuable. The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta is the only one of its kind known to survive. It sold last night for a record $9.5 million. The New York auction house was packed with interest, but an anonymous telephone bidder won out.
DAVID REDDEN, Chairman of Books & Manuscripts, Sotheby’s: It sets a brand-new world record for a stamp, obviously, so far above any prior price for a stamp. It’s going to be a hard one to beat. And it probably won’t be beaten until this stamp comes up for sale yet again in the future.
JUDY WOODRUFF: For stamp collectors, the auction was a rare chance to see the stamp. It hasn’t been on view publicly since 1986.
GWEN IFILL: In World Cup soccer news, the defending champion, Spain, was eliminated after a stunning loss to Chile. They were shut out 2-0. Spain has been a soccer powerhouse over the past six years, winning the World Cup title in 2010, as well two European championships.