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News Wrap: N.Y. Judge Rejects Ground Zero Settlement

March 19, 2010 at 12:00 AM EST
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In other news Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appealed to Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace talks after high tensions over new Jewish settlements planned for East Jerusalem and the Northeastern U.S. planes states braced for major flooding along the Red River.
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TRANSCRIPT

JEFFREY BROWN: And now the other news of the day.

Here’s Hari Sreenivasan in our newsroom.

HARI SREENIVASAN: A federal judge in New York City has rejected a settlement for those who worked at ground zero after 9/11. It would have compensated thousands of police, firefighters and others for sicknesses caused by toxic dust and smoke. The settlement could have totaled $657 million, but the judge ruled too much of the money would go to pay legal fees.

International diplomats urged Israel and the Palestinians today to return to peace talks. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined envoys from Russia, the United Nations, and the European Union at a meeting in Moscow. Clinton repeated her criticism of Israeli moves to add more Jewish housing in East Jerusalem.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, U.S. secretary of state: The goal of the quartet, like the goal of the United States government, is to get the proximity talks re-launched. We do not think unilateral actions by either party are helpful, and we have made that very clear.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The quartet of powers called for a final deal within two years, leading to an independent Palestinian state.

The Northern Plains states braced today for major flooding on the Red River this weekend. It’s expected to crest Sunday in Fargo, North Dakota, at nearly 20 feet above flood stage. Residents worked around the clock this week to shore up protective barriers. Hundreds of volunteers and city workers stacked sandbags and built levees on both sides of the river.

A major snowstorm spread across the Rockies and headed east on this day before spring officially begins. Denver, Colorado, drivers faced snow throughout the day. And possible blizzard conditions were also forecast for Oklahoma City and elsewhere.

Wall Street finished the week on a down note. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 37 points to close below 10742. The Nasdaq fell nearly 17 points to close at 2374. For the week, the Dow gained 1 percent; the Nasdaq rose a fraction-of-1-percent.

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 Jeff.