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News Wrap: Bill Clinton Home After Heart Procedure

February 12, 2010 at 12:00 AM EDT
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In other news Friday, former President Bill Clinton returned home after an overnight hospitalization following a heart procedure and much of the Deep South was paralyzed as a rare winter storm deposited several inches of snow.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Former President Bill Clinton returned home today to Chappaqua, New York, following a heart procedure. On Thursday, doctors placed two wire-mesh stents like this one in one of Mr. Clinton’s coronary arteries that had been clogged. He left a hospital in New York City this morning, after an overnight stay and waved to reporters as his motorcade departed.

Late today, he spoke briefly outside his home.

BILL CLINTON, former president of the United States: I feel great. And the doctors and the hospital crew did a great job. And I — as I said, I even did a little — did a couple miles on the treadmill today. So, I feel good.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The former president had quadruple bypass surgery in 2004.

Three people were shot and killed today at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. A university spokesman said the shooter was in custody. A student reported, the gunfire erupted during a biology faculty meeting. And a trustee of the university told a local TV station that a professor had just been denied tenure.

Much of the Deep South was paralyzed today by a rare snowstorm. It stretched across at least half-a-dozen states.

The snow fell from Texas to coastal South Carolina in a part of the country least equipped to deal with it. Starting on Thursday, the Dallas/Fort Worth area had more than a foot of snow. That made it the whitest winter there in 32 years. And the effects were evident.

The roof caved in on this tire warehouse in west Dallas from the weight of the snow, but there were no injuries. Elsewhere, the snowfall was lighter, but its effects were still crippling. Parts of Alabama had a dusting up to two inches, and authorities urged commuters to stay off the roads.

In Georgia, poor visibility from the storm wreaked havoc at the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, canceling more than 1,000 flights. But children across the Deep South reveled in the snowy scenes they rarely get to see.

Farther north, thousands of people began returning to work after back-to-back blizzards. Federal agencies in Washington opened for the first time this week, and most mass transit service was restored.

The storms have wiped out airline schedules this week, but their on-time performance last year was the best since 2003. The Transportation Department reported today 80 percent of all flights were on time in 2009. In addition, the rate of baggage being mishandled was the lowest since 2004.

This was a day of mourning in Haiti, one month after the earthquake that devastated the country. Parishioners of all faiths convened in front of Port-au-Prince’s collapsed national palace, joining together in prayer and song. Nearby, Catholics took part in a mass outside the city’s destroyed cathedral. The Catholic archbishop of Port-au-Prince was among the quake’s estimated 200,000 victims.

There was word late today that thousands of U.S. Marines and Afghan troops have launched a major assault. The target was Marjah in Helmand Province. It’s the largest town held by the Taliban in the region and a hub for the opium trade. Civilians jammed roads in the region today, trying to escape before the offensive began.

In Iraq, the campaign for parliamentary elections has officially begun. Campaign workers took to the streets today, covering Baghdad with posters and distributing political handouts for the March 7 vote. Overnight, an appeals panel reinstated a ban on hundreds of candidates who were suspected of ties to the Saddam Hussein regime.

President Obama may help choose the site for the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man accused of planning the 9/11 attacks. The Washington Post reported today the president has intervened in the selection process. It cited unnamed administration officials. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs played down the report, and he said the president has not given up on the original choice, New York City.

ROBERT GIBBS, White House press secretary: He’s the commander in chief. Obviously, he said that he had not ruled it out, that we would take into account the security and logistical concerns that had been brought forth by New York City. And those will be, as he said, taken into account before a final decision is made.

HARI SREENIVASAN: State and local officials in New York have urged the trial be held elsewhere. And Attorney General Eric Holder said it could still be moved out of the federal courts entirely and back to a military commission.

Wall Street had a rough day. Stocks fell on new concerns that bank lending curbs in China will hurt recovery in the U.S. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 45 points to close at 10099. The Nasdaq rose just six points to close at 2183. For the week, the Dow gained about 1 percent. The Nasdaq rose 2 percent.