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News Wrap: Wyoming and Colorado buried in snow after late spring storm

May 12, 2014 at 6:02 PM EDT
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GWEN IFILL: Parts of the West spent this day after Mother’s Day digging out from a late winter snowstorm.  The system dropped wet, slushy snow across Wyoming and Colorado on Sunday, and continued into early today. Accumulations of nearly three feet forced much of Interstate 80 in Southern Wyoming to shut down. The storm also spawned minor tornadoes in Nebraska and forced flash flood watches in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The Taliban launched a spring offensive in Afghanistan today, as promised, killing at least 21 people. Attacks were scattered from Jalalabad, where Taliban fighters stormed a government building, to a checkpoint in Helmand Province, where gunmen killed nine policemen, and to Kabul itself, where rockets landed inside the perimeter of the international airport. The violence comes as fewer than 30,000 U.S. troops remain in the country, the lowest number since the 2001 invasion.

GWEN IFILL: New tragedy has struck migrants trying to sail from North Africa to Italy. In the past three days, two migrant boats sank in the Mediterranean. At least 14 people died today, but the Italian navy rescued more than 200 others.

Libyan police and health workers also recovered more than 40 bodies that washed ashore from another migrant vessel. It went down on Saturday.

JUDY WOODRUFF: In South Sudan, the army claimed it now controls an oil town where troops battled rebels on Sunday. Each side blamed the other for violating a cease-fire announced Friday. Meanwhile, the country’s president declared presidential elections scheduled for next year will be postponed. The rebel leader objected to the plan.

GWEN IFILL: This was the final day of voting in India’s six-week general election. Exit polls suggested Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi is set to become the next prime minister. Thousands of voters turned out in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi. It’s considered a stronghold of Modi’s Hindu Nationalist Party. Official results are expected on Friday.

JUDY WOODRUFF: One of Washington’s best-known landmarks, the Washington Monument, reopened to the public today, after — almost three years after it was damaged in an earthquake. The moment was marked with pomp and pageantry on the National Mall and an official ribbon-cutting. It followed months of work to repair more than 150 cracks.

Bob Vogel of the National Park Service welcomed visitors back to the 130-year-old obelisk this morning.

BOB VOGEL, Superintendent, National Mall and Memorial Parks: National Mall and Memorial Parks is proud to serve as caretaker of this historic structure by both preserving the building and helping visitors better understand its significance. And we are thrilled to be able to once again open its doors.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The refurbishment of the Washington Monument and its new exhibits cost an estimated $15 million, half of which was paid for by philanthropist David Rubenstein.

GWEN IFILL: Wall Street hit some record highs today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 112 points to close at 16,695, an all-time best. The Nasdaq rose 72 points to close above 4,143. And the S&P 500 added 18 points to finish above 1,896, also a new record.