TOPICS > Politics

News Wrap: In Iowa, Romney Attacks Obama Over Stimulus

May 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT

KWAME HOLMAN: World markets fell again today, wary of the political turmoil in Greece. Wall Street was no exception. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 63 points to close at 12,632. It’s lost nearly 5 percent of its value in the last two weeks. The Nasdaq fell more than eight points to close at 2,893.

And the price of oil hit a six- month low. It dropped below $94 a barrel in New York trading.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney accused President Obama today of putting the economy on a disastrous course. In Des Moines, Iowa, Romney charged that huge increases in federal spending and debt are endangering the country’s future.

MITT ROMNEY: A prairie fire of debt is sweeping across Iowa and across the nation. And every day that we fail to act, that fire gets closer to the homes and the children we love.

I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno. We will stop borrowing unfathomable sums of money we can’t even imagine from foreign countries we’re never even going to visit.

KWAME HOLMAN: White House officials countered that Romney favors policies that led to high deficits and the recession in the first place.

And the president reinforced that point in an interview that aired on ABC’s “The View.”

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: There are some very stark differences, legitimate differences, between the candidates and between the parties in terms of how we are going to make sure that everybody in this country gets a fair shot, every kid’s getting a great education, how we create businesses, how we’re creating more jobs.

That ultimately is going to be, I think, what determines how this election goes.

KWAME HOLMAN: Meanwhile, a new poll from The New York Times and CBS News put Romney ahead of the president by three points, 46 percent to 43 percent. That is within the margin of error.

In Syria, a roadside bomb struck a convoy that was part of the U.N. observer mission. Amateur video showed smoke rising from the first car and people running for cover. U.N. officials said three vehicles were damaged, but no one was hurt. Activists said, minutes earlier, government forces opened fire on a funeral procession nearby. They said at least 20 of the mourners were killed.

Prosecutors in Britain filed the first criminal charges today in the phone hacking probe that began 18 months ago. Rebekah Brooks and five others were charged with obstruction. Brooks is former editor of a Rupert Murdoch tabloid that’s now defunct.

We have a report from Keir Simmons of Independent Television News.

KEIR SIMMONS: Rebekah and Charlie Brooks were once friends with prime ministers, she one of the most powerful journalists in the country, her husband a millionaire who went to Eton with David Cameron.

CHARLIE BROOKS, husband of Rebekah Brooks: I would just like to say that I feel today is an attempt to use me and others as scapegoats, the effect of which will be to ratchet up the pressure on my wife, who I also believe is the subject of a witch-hunt.

REBEKAH BROOKS, former CEO, News International: I cannot express my anger enough that those closest to me have been dragged into this unfairly. One day, the details of this case will emerge and people will see today as nothing more than an expensive sideshow.

KEIR SIMMONS: Rebekah Brooks has links with all of those charged today. She’s facing three counts of perverting the course of justice, the first for allegedly conspiring with others to conceal materials from the Metropolitan Police.

They include her husband, Charlie Brooks, her former P.A., Cheryl Carter, the company’s head of security, Mark Hanna, News International chauffeur Paul Edwards, and security consultant Daryl Jorsling. Apart from Cheryl Carter, they are all additionally charged with concealing documents, computers and other electronic equipment.

However, Cheryl Carter and Rebekah Brooks are both charged with conspiring together to permanently remove seven boxes of material from the News International archive. All of this was happening during the furor over the phone hacking scandal last year, when the News of the World here was closed down and Rebekah Brooks resigned.

And if the allegations are true, then Rebekah Brooks will have been involved in a cover-up at the very time that she was appearing in front of the cameras with Rupert Murdoch. Tonight, she said that is not what happened; it is not her judgment that is at fault.

KWAME HOLMAN: Observers say Brooks’ coming trial could send new shockwaves through the Murdoch media empire, as well as Prime Minister David Cameron’s government.

Mexico’s most celebrated novelist, Carlos Fuentes, died today at a hospital in Mexico City. He was being treated for heart problems. Fuentes’ wrote his first novel at age 29 and he became part of a generation of writers that drew global interest in Latin American culture. His work often focused on the failings of the Mexican Revolution. Carlos Fuentes was 83 years old.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.