News Wrap: Bipartisan Immigration Reform Bill Makes Quiet Debut in Congress
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HARI SREENIVASAN: A bipartisan group of senators today introduced a sweeping immigration reform bill, after months of negotiations.
But in the wake of the Boston bombings, they delayed a public announcement until later this week. The legislation is designed to put some 11 million people on a path to U.S. citizenship and to invest billions of dollars in strengthening border security. It also includes a new farmworker program and visas for high-tech workers.
American Airlines was forced to ground its entire fleet for much of the afternoon after its reservation system went down. The grounding triggered major travel delays that rippled throughout the country and abroad. Many passengers, like those at American’s main hub in Dallas/Fort Worth, were stuck on planes. Other customers were unable to make or change their reservations. American operates more than 3,500 flights worldwide every day.
A showdown may be looming in Venezuela, after a disputed presidential election. President-elect Nicolas Maduro warned today he will not allow an opposition march tomorrow. He blamed protesters for Monday’s clashes that killed at least seven people and injured dozens in Caracas and other cities. The demonstrators demanded a full vote recount, something elections authorities have ruled out.
Maduro charged today it’s all part of a coup plot orchestrated by opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.
PRESIDENT-ELECT NICOLAS MADURO, Venezuela: The results were impeccable. They know it, the group that has ambitions of excessive power, that has so much hate within, and that yesterday went crazy calling for violence from the people in the street. I can announce here we have defeated a coup, but they are going to continue to destabilize. Today, I declare the coup defeated.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The official results from Sunday’s election showed Maduro winning by 265,000 votes. Opposition officials say their count shows that Capriles won by more than 300,000 votes.
A major earthquake struck southeastern Iran today, killing dozens of people. The quake registered a magnitude of 7.7 and was centered near Saravan, about 26 miles from the Pakistani border. It flattened homes and killed at least 34 people on the Pakistani side. In Iran, state media initially reported at least 46 killed, but later dropped any reference to deaths.
In economic news, U.S. homebuilders started work on more than a million units in March, the most in nearly five years. And on Wall Street today, stocks made up a big chunk of yesterday’s losses. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 157 points to close well above 14,756. The Nasdaq rose 48 points to close at 3,264.
Long time NFL broadcaster Pat Summerall died today in Dallas. He had been hospitalized after breaking a hip. Summerall played 10 seasons in the NFL and then worked as a broadcaster for more than 40 years. For 21 of those years, he called NFL games with John Madden. Overall, he worked 16 Super Bowls, 27 Masters golf tournaments, and 21 U.S. Open tennis championships. He retired in 2002. Pat Summerall was 82 years old.
Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Gwen.