News Wrap: Alleged NYC Bomb Plotter Arrested, Arraigned
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HARI SREENIVASAN: A man accused of plotting to bomb police stations and post offices in New York City remained in custody today. Twenty-seven-year-old Jose Pimentel was arrested and arraigned over the weekend. Police had been watching him for at least a year. They said he’d begun assembling a bomb. According to investigators, Pimentel appeared to be working alone, with no ties to outside groups.
The new ruling party in Spain came under pressure today to spell out how it plans to rescue the country from economic ruin. The Conservative People’s Party celebrated Sunday after sweeping the Socialists out of power. Under their leadership, unemployment in Spain grew to the highest in the European Union, more than 20 percent. The incoming prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, is expected to push austerity measures, but he refused to discuss details today.
The U.S. imposed a new round of sanctions on Iran today. It’s a joint effort with Britain and Canada to pressure the regime into halting its suspected nuclear weapons program. The sanctions will target Iran’s companies, Revolutionary Guard force and petrochemicals industry.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the announcement in Washington.
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: The Treasury Department is formally identifying Iran as a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern. This is the strongest official warning we can give that any transaction with Iran poses serious risks of deception or diversion.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Earlier this month, the U.N. nuclear agency reported Iran has conducted experiments to develop nuclear arms. The Iranians insist their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere hit record levels in 2010. The U.N. weather agency reported the finding today, and it said the buildup of carbon dioxide, in particular, seems to be accelerating. Overall, there’s nearly 40 percent more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than at any time since the industrial era began in 1750.
A separate U.N. report today found the world AIDS epidemic is leveling off. It said the number of new HIV infections has stabilized at around 2.7 million a year. That is unchanged since 2007.
In Berlin today, the director of the U.N.’s AIDS agency pointed to improved access to drugs.
MICHEL SIDIBE, UNAIDS: This year is a game-changing year. It’s the first time that the science was telling us that if we put people on treatment early, we can reduce new infection by 96 percent. So, we are dropping this forced dichotomy between prevention and treatment.
HARI SREENIVASAN: New infections have actually dropped in Southern Africa, but the virus is spreading rapidly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In all, the U.N. reported some 34 million people worldwide were living with HIV last year.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh has been tapped to lead Penn State’s internal investigation of a child sex abuse scandal. He pledged today to conduct a thorough and independent inquiry going back as far as 1975. Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is charged with molesting eight boys over a 15-year period. He’s maintained his innocence.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.