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News Wrap: Immigration Bill Clears Hurdle in Senate

June 24, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Immigration reform cleared a big hurdle this evening in the U.S. Senate, with votes to spare. The test involved a motion to debate an amendment aimed at picking up Republican support for the broader bill. It calls for spending $30 billion dollars over 10 years to double the Border Patrol and build 700 miles of fencing.

The amendment divided Republican ranks.

SEN. BOB CORKER, R-Tenn.: We’re going to put in place very tangible triggers, triggers that cannot be moved. You can’t move the goalpost because of interpretation. They’re there. They’re concrete. If we meet them, people will have the pathway to be the kind of productive citizens that they would like to be.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, R-Ala.: The legal status, the Social Security card, the right to work anywhere in America is given within two months of the passage of the legislation. You’re making promises 10 years down the road that I’m saying are not likely to ever happen. In fact, I don’t think they will happen.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Supporters of immigration reform are pushing for a final Senate vote by Friday.

It turns out that IRS targeting of groups for intensive reviews was broader and lasted longer than first reported. The agency’s acting head, Danny Werfel, announced the discovery today. He said agents screened not only for the name tea party, but also for Israel, progressive, and occupy when groups applied for tax-exempt status. Werfel said the screening was still going on last month, before he suspended it.

Wall Street had another long day, amid worries over China’s economy and rising interest rates. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 139 points to close at 14,659. The Nasdaq fell 36 points to close at 3,320.

Flooding in Northern India has now claimed more than 1,000 lives. That word came today with search teams in a race against time in mountainous Uttarakhand state. On Sunday, soldiers struggled to construct a rope bridge over a raging Himalayan river to help evacuate thousands of people still stranded. Monsoon flooding and landslides have wiped away hundreds of homes and washed out roads over the last week.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela lay in critical condition today at a hospital in Pretoria. Word came over the weekend that his health had deteriorated as doctors treat him for a lung infection.

We have a report from Rohit Kachroo of Independent Television News.

ROHIT KACHROO, Independent Television News: Zindziswa Mandela, here to see her father, is joined by her mother, Winnie, what looks like the daily routine that has formed over 17 days.

But inside here, things have changed. The famous patient was said to be seriously ill. His condition is now even more serious than that. As well as the daughters and granddaughters who came to see him, the defense minister, ultimately responsible for his health — this family matter is a matter of state too. The president also went to see him last night, a rare glimpse of emotion as he recalled his visit.

PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA, South Africa: He was already asleep. And we were there, looked at him, saw him. And we then had a bit of a discussion with the doctors, as well as his wife, Graca Machel, and we left. And I don’t think we — I can be put in a position to give further details. I’m not a doctor.

ROHIT KACHROO: The ailing icon here on his 94th birthday was taken to hospital with a lung infection. Optimism about a speedy recovery has disappeared. But, from his family today, there is still hope.

MANDLA MANDELA, Grandson of Nelson Mandela: We are hoping that my grandfather will recover steadily. He is under good care, under the supervision of nurses and doctors.

ROHIT KACHROO: The tributes are gathering, many from children who have known nothing but democracy, but who understand the importance of this man and these moments.

HARI SREENIVASAN: President Obama is scheduled to visit South Africa later this week as part of a three-country tour of the continent.

Ten car bombs rocked Baghdad today, killing 40 Iraqis. They added to the 2,000 deaths in sectarian strife since the beginning of April. Today’s attacks targeted Shiites as they marked the birthday of a revered imam. Other bombs struck at districts with a high population of Sunnis.

In Lebanon, fighting raged for a second day between army units and followers of a hardline Sunni cleric. The clashes in Sidon were the latest spillover of violence from neighboring Syria. Tanks drove through the streets as soldiers fired at Sunni militants holed up in a mosque complex. Security officials said at least 16 soldiers and 20 militants have been killed.

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has been convicted of paying for sex with an underage prostitute and of abusing his power. Berlusconi is 76 years old. A court in Milan sentenced him today to seven years in prison and banned him from ever holding public office again. The sentence will not take effect while Berlusconi pursues an appeal.

High-wire artist Nik Wallenda has set his sights on his next challenge, now that he’s walked a tightrope across part of the Grand Canyon network. He did it Sunday evening on a two-inch steel cable 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge in Northeastern Arizona. It took just over 22 minutes to cover the quarter-mile, all without a safety harness or net. Wallenda now says he wants to walk a wire between the Chrysler and Empire State buildings in New York.

Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Gwen.