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News Wrap: Texas governor to send troops to Mexico border

July 21, 2014 at 6:07 PM EST
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JUDY WOODRUFF: The governor of Texas is sending up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border. They would join some 3,000 Border Patrol agents already working the area. Republican Rick Perry announced the move today to help stem a surge of children entering the U.S. illegally. He’s a possible 2016 presidential candidate and a vocal critic of President Obama’s immigration policy.

GOV. RICK PERRY, R-Texas: I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor. We are too good a country for that to occur.

JUDY WOODRUFF: White House spokesman Josh Earnest didn’t directly criticize the governor’s move. But he urged Republicans to support the president’s call for $3.7 billion in emergency funding.

JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary: It seems to me that a much more powerful symbol would be the bipartisan passage of legislation that would actually make a historic investment in border security and send an additional 20,000 personnel to the border.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The spokesman also said the numbers crossing the border have dropped by half this month. President Obama plans to meet Friday with the leaders of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, where many of the children are coming from.

GWEN IFILL: The city of Chicago suffered another violent weekend, with at least 40 people shot and four killed. An 11-year-old girl was among the dead. She was shot during a slumber party when someone fired a gun into the house from outside. Over the July 4 weekend, more than 50 people were shot, with 17 killed.

JUDY WOODRUFF: A friend of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect was convicted today of obstruction. He’s one of two men charged with taking Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s backpack from his dorm room after the attack that killed three and wounded more than 260. The backpack contained fireworks that had been emptied of their explosive powder. Tsarnaev goes on trial in November.

GWEN IFILL: In Libya, chaos in the capital city worsened, as rival militias renewed their battle for control of Tripoli’s airport; 47 people have died in a week of intense clashes that left charred remains of airplanes on the tarmac and terminals severely damaged. At least 120 people have been wounded.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Firefighters in Washington state got some welcome relief today, calmer winds and cooler temperatures. In just a few days, the biggest fire, in the north-central part of the state, has burned across nearly 400 square miles. It’s destroyed 150 homes and is blamed for one death, and it’s only 2 percent contained. More than 1,600 firefighters are working on the fire, and improved conditions could help them make headway.

GWEN IFILL: The heat that’s helped fuel those wildfires comes as the earth is experiencing some of its hottest months ever. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports the average global temperature in June was just over 61 degrees. That’s more than a full degree warmer that the 20th century average.

The month of May set a heat record as well, going back to 1880, when global data was first recorded. Also today, the National Weather Service said California had its warmest winter and spring on record. The state is struggling with its worst drought in decades.

JUDY WOODRUFF: President Obama has ordered new protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers in the federal government. Employees of federal contractors are also covered under today’s action. The issue has been held up in Congress in a dispute over granting a broad exemption for religious organizations.

GWEN IFILL: Detroit’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy got a mixed review today in a key report commissioned by a federal bankruptcy judge. The report found the city’s plan is basically feasible. But it also expressed concern that settlements with creditors may hurt the city’s future finances. Still to be released: results of voting on pension cuts by 30,000 retirees.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Wall Street started the week on a down note. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 48 points to close at 17,051. The Nasdaq fell seven points to close at 4,424. And the S&P 500 slipped four to 1,973.