News Wrap: Emanuel Plans to Leave White House for Chicago Mayoral Bid
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HARI SREENIVASAN: The White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, plans
to resign tomorrow to run for mayor of Chicago. It was widely reported today that President Obama will make the announcement tomorrow morning.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs wouldn’t confirm the move, but he did praise Emanuel’s contribution.
PRESS SECRETARY ROBERT GIBBS: He has been the leader of — I mean, the title chief of staff in many ways says it all. He has been the energetic, inspirational leader of — of us taking the president’s promises and agenda and enacting them into law.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Emanuel was elected to Congress from Chicago’s North Side in 2002. He rose to become part of the House Democratic leadership, before taking the chief of staff job under President Obama.
First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell last week for the third time in four weeks. And growth in the second quarter was slightly better than initial estimates. The news sent Wall Street higher at first, but stocks pulled back later to end the day with some losses.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 47 points to close at 10788. The
Nasdaq fell nearly eight points to close at 2368. Overall, the Dow gained 8 percent this month. It’s the best September since 1939.
More than 50,000 home foreclosures are now frozen while J.P. Morgan
Chase checks for errors in legal documents. The bank said late Wednesday that employees may have signed affidavits in foreclosures without verifying the information. J.P. Morgan Chase is the second major company to impose a foreclosure freeze this month. Last week, GMAC Mortgage halted evictions and sales of foreclosed homes in 23 states.
A banking crisis sent new shockwaves across Ireland today. The government acknowledged it will take another $16 billion to bail out Irish banks. That brings the total to nearly $70 billion.
Meanwhile, in South America, police and troops plunged Ecuador into
chaos in a protest over benefits cuts. They seized the main airport in the capital city, Quito, and shut off road access.
Pakistan cut off a key supply route to U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan today. It followed a disputed NATO raid along the border and escalated tensions between Pakistan and the U.S.
Dozens of trucks that carry supplies to U.S. and NATO troops were turned back today on the Pakistani side of the border. Officials said they were stopped at the edge of the Khyber tribal region on a major access route into Afghanistan.
Some of the convoys returned to Peshawar to unload massive containers filled with military goods. Hours earlier, Pakistani officials said NATO helicopters fired into their territory, killing three government soldiers. The interior minister said his government was no longer content with mere verbal protests.
REHMAN MALIK, Pakistani interior minister (through translator): It shouldn’t be only a formal condemnation. It should be more than a formal condemnation, because we will not tolerate these kinds of attacks, in which our regular soldiers and Frontier Corps soldiers and border security people come under attack. We will have to see whether we are allies or enemies.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani met with visiting CIA Director Leon Panetta in Islamabad. Gilani said he was profoundly concerned about a recent surge in drone and helicopter strikes.
NATO and U.S. officials said they were investigating today’s incident, but they maintained, a special agreement allows for and justifies hot pursuit of attacking militants across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
In another development, a video appeared on the Internet apparently showing Pakistani troops executing a group of blindfolded young men. Officials there said the video was likely a fraud issued by the Taliban.
Five NATO troops were killed in Southern Afghanistan today. Three died when a homemade bomb exploded. The others were killed in separate attacks. NATO didn’t give their nationalities.
Meanwhile, the U.N. reported Afghanistan’s opium production fell by half this year. Disease heavily damaged the poppy fields.
Former President Jimmy Carter has been released from a hospital in
Cleveland. He left today after recovering from a viral infection. The former president was taken ill Tuesday during a flight from Atlanta. He had been traveling to promote his new book, “White House Diary.”
Toymaker Fisher-Price issued a host of recalls today over safety
concerns. The list includes seven million toddler tricycles and one million highchairs, both of which have parts that are blamed for injuries to children. More than two million other toys were also recalled. Fisher-Price is offering free repairs or replacements for all the products.
Postage rates will not be going up again, for now. The Postal Service
had asked to raise the price of mailing a first-class letter by 2 cents to 46 cents. But the agency’s overseer, the Postal Regulatory Commission, denied that request today. The Postal Service lost $3.8 billion last year.
Actor Tony Curtis died last night at his home in the Las Vegas area. He
suffered a heart attack. Curtis had a series of hits in the 1950s, including “The Defiant Ones” and “Sweet Smell of Success.” In “Some Like It Hot,” he and Jack Lemmon starred as musicians who witnessed a mob killing and dress in drag to get away.
TONY CURTIS, actor: What’s the matter now?
JACK LEMMON, actor: How do they walk in these things, huh? How do they
keep their balance?
TONY CURTIS: It must be the way the weight is distributed. Now, come on.
JACK LEMMON: It is so drafty. They must be catching cold all the time,
TONY CURTIS: Will you quit stalling? We’re going to miss the train.
JACK LEMON: I feel naked. I feel like everybody is staring at me.
TONY CURTIS: With those legs? Are you crazy? Now, come on.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Later in his career, Curtis battled drug and alcohol addiction. He recovered in the early 1980s, and continued in movies and television. He also became an accomplished painter. Tony Curtis was 85 years old.
Those are some of the day’s major stories