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Other News: NIH Issues Stem Cell Research Guidelines

April 17, 2009 at 6:15 PM EDT
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The National Institutes of Health released new stem cell research guidelines Friday, and the U.S. ship captain taken hostage by Somali pirates returned to American soil.

JUDY WOODRUFF: In other news, the Obama administration spelled out new guidelines today for federally funded research on embryonic stem cells. The National Institutes of Health said researchers must use spare embryos already slated for destruction at fertility clinics.

It said it will not fund experiments on embryos created just for science. President Bush had imposed tougher limits on the research; President Obama lifted those last month.

The American ship captain taken hostage by Somali pirates, and then rescued, returned home today. Richard Phillips landed in Burlington, Vermont, to a rousing welcome and a reunion with his family. His crew had returned to the U.S. a day earlier.

And at the airport, Phillips said he’s not the hero; the military is.

RICHARD PHILLIPS, rescued American captain: I’m just a bit part in this story. I’m a small part. I’m a seaman doing the best he can, like all the other seaman out there.

The first people I want to thank are the SEALs. They’re the superheroes. They’re the titans. They’re impossible men doing an impossible job, and they did the impossible with me.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Phillips and his family planned a quiet celebration this evening at their home in Underhill, Vermont.

Wall Street managed a small advance today to finish its sixth week in a row of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up nearly 6 points to close at 8,131. The Nasdaq rose 2 points to close at 1,673. For the week, the Dow gained just over 0.5 percent; the Nasdaq rose more than 1 percent.

The head of General Motors said today that it is probable the company will have to file for federal bankruptcy protection. He warned that it may be the only way to achieve government goals for restructuring. Fritz Henderson told reporters that G.M. still hopes to avoid going that route. He said, quote, “It is still feasible to be able to do that, given the timing, but obviously the clock is ticking.”