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News Wrap: American Pleads Guilty in Mumbai Attacks

March 18, 2010 at 12:00 AM EDT
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In other news Thursday, a Chicago man pleaded guilty to helping plan the 2008 terror attacks in India, and the Pennsylvania woman known as 'Jihad Jane' was arraigned for allegedly plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist.

HARI SREENIVASAN: An American man pleaded guilty today to helping plan the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India. David Coleman Headley entered his plea in federal court in Chicago. Prosecutors said the 49-year-old scouted out hotels and a Jewish center in Mumbai.

One hundred and sixty-six people were killed when Islamic militants assaulted the buildings. Headley also pleaded guilty to planning to attack a Danish newspaper that ran cartoons offending Muslims.

A Pennsylvania woman was arraigned today in Philadelphia in the Jihad Jane case. Colleen LaRose allegedly used that name in online postings. She pleaded not guilty today in federal court to plotting the murder of a Swedish cartoonist who drew the Prophet Mohammed. She is also accused of conspiring to aid militants overseas.

In economic news, new claims for jobless benefits fell slightly last week, and a new jobs bill became law. President Obama signed the $38 billion measure in the White House Rose Garden. It includes tax breaks for employers and money for highway programs.

And, on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 45 points to close at 10779. The Nasdaq rose two points to close at 2391.

The U.S. and Russia are getting closer to a new agreement to limit nuclear arms known as START. That word came today from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as she began a two-day trip to Moscow. She met with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, U.S. secretary of state: We are making substantial progress on the new START treaty. That’s the — the word from our negotiators in Geneva. And the results from the latest negotiating rounds lead us to believe we will be reaching a final agreement soon.

HARI SREENIVASAN: On another issue, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Iran’s new Russian-built nuclear plant will start operating this summer. Secretary Clinton had pressed for a delay until Iran proves it is not pursuing nuclear weapons.

A U.N. wildlife organization refused to bar exports of Atlantic bluefin tuna today. The U.S. and a handful of other countries backed the idea. They said the bluefin population has

dropped sharply due to overfishing. But Japan and scores of other nations opposed a ban. Japan imports 80 percent of the Atlantic bluefin harvest, and developing countries said imposing a ban would damage their fishing economies.

Those are some of the day’s main stories. I will be back at the end of the program with a preview of what you will find tonight on the “NewsHour”‘s Web site — but, for now, back to Jim.