News Wrap: Nationwide Rallies Call on Congress to Reform Immigration Policy
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Thousands of people gathered in Washington today, pressing Congress to approve immigration reforms. Senators hope to finish work this week on a bill that grants a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S. Supporters rallied at the U.S. Capitol with signs that read “Time Is Now,” “All in For Citizenship.” Rallies also took place in at least 18 states.
A new warning came today amid the tense waiting for North Korea’s next move. The foreign minister of South Korea said chances are considerably high that the North will launch a midrange missile soon. It could coincide with next Monday, when the communist state marks the birth of its founder.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel weighed in at a Pentagon briefing.
DEFENSE SECRETARY CHUCK HAGEL, United States: North Korea has been — with its bellicose rhetoric, with its actions, has been skating very close to a dangerous line. Their actions and their words have not helped defuse a combustible situation.
HARI SREENIVASAN: North Korea has warned all foreign diplomats to leave its capital, Pyongyang. But the European Union said today there’s no need to take such steps.
In economic news, there was word the U.S. Federal Reserve wants to keep long-term interest rates low through at least midyear. The news came in the minutes of the Fed’s last meeting. The report gave Wall Street an early boost, and it never looked back. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 128 points to close at 14,802. The Nasdaq rose 59 points to close at 3,297.
Saturday home mail delivery is back on for now. The U.S. Postal Service said today it’s delaying plans to end Saturday service because Congress will not allow the change. Back in February, the Postal Service said it would have to cut back to five-day-a-week delivery by August to rein in costs. The agency ended its last budget year with a record loss of nearly $16 billion dollars.
The University of Connecticut today celebrated its eighth national championship in women’s basketball. The Huskies beat Louisville in a rout last night in New Orleans 93-60. It was the most lopsided win ever in the women’s national title games. Louisville had been trying to add to the men’s championship it won the night before. UConn remains the only school to win both titles in the same season.
Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Judy.