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News Wrap: U.S. resumes drone strikes in Pakistan

June 12, 2014 at 6:02 PM EDT
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GWEN IFILL: House Republicans scrambled today to organize their party ahead of next week’s vote for a new majority leader. The race has been whittled down to two contenders: GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy of California and Pete Sessions of Texas, the chairman of the House Rules Committee.

Fellow Texan Jeb Hensarling pulled out of the race. House Speaker John Boehner didn’t throw his support behind either candidate, but said he would work with whoever wins.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, Speaker of the House: The members are going to make this decision. We’re going to do it next week. I’m sure some will argue it was too soon. Some will argue it was too long. But it’s important we resolve this issue in a fair amount of time, so that we can do the work that we were elected to do.

GWEN IFILL: Boehner also said Americans’ frustration with President Obama’s — quote — “failed policies” contributed to Eric Cantor’s loss. But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Republican leaders are to blame and that a new leader won’t make much of a difference.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, Minority Leader: We have not passed immigration. We have not passed the Voting Rights Act, which has always been bipartisan. We have the votes for the immigration bill. It passed the Senate in a bipartisan way. So I don’t know how things could get worse than the obstruction that is already here.

GWEN IFILL: Eric Cantor, who was defeated Tuesday, will serve out his term, but vacate the number two leadership spot at the end of July.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is headed back to the U.S. from an Army medical center in Germany. Pentagon spokesmen confirmed that today. Bergdahl will arrive early tomorrow at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, for further medical treatment. He was held by the Taliban for five years and freed almost two weeks ago.

GWEN IFILL: U.S. drone strikes have started back up in Pakistan after a nearly six-month lull. Pakistani intelligence officials said 13 suspected insurgents were killed overnight in two separate strikes. The targets were in Northwest Pakistan in North Waziristan. It is home to a number of militant groups. The strikes come just days after the airport in Karachi, Pakistan’s busiest, was attacked.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Oil prices spiked to their highest levels of the year today on news of the spreading insurgency in Iraq. In New York trading, a barrel of oil settled above $106, its highest close in almost nine months.

The Iraq turmoil also impacted stocks on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 109 points to close at 16,734; the Nasdaq fell 34 points to close at 4,297; and the S&P 500 shed nearly 13 points to close at 1,930.

GWEN IFILL: Former President George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday the way he celebrated his 75th, 80th and 85th, by skydiving. The 41st president made a tandem parachute jump over the skies near Kennebunkport, Maine.

After his last jump, he’d vowed he would skydive again, even though he can now no longer walk. Family and friends greeted him on the ground. This was his eighth jump. The first came under fire, when his plane was shot down over the Pacific during World War II.