News Wrap: Egypt’s Ex-Spy Chief Says He Won’t ‘Reinvent’ Regime if Elected
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Tensions are rising in the presidential race in Egypt after former spy chief Omar Suleiman entered the contest over the weekend. He said today he will not try to reinvent the Mubarak regime. But he’s expected to gain support from the ruling generals. And the Muslim Brotherhood has blasted Suleiman’s decision to run. The Brotherhood’s own presidential candidate called it an offense to the revolution.
Afghan authorities will now have the final say over nighttime raids by U.S. troops. The two sides reached that agreement on Sunday. Night raids on homes have been one of the thorniest issues in U.S.-Afghan relations. The agreement could clear the way for a long-term pact governing a continued U.S. presence after most combat forces withdraw in 2014.
Hope faded today as rescue crews in Pakistan searched for survivors of a massive avalanche. More than 120 soldiers are missing. A wall of snow crashed down on their complex Saturday near the Siachen Glacier. It’s located in the disputed Kashmir region near India. So far, there has been no sign that anyone is still alive buried under 70 feet of snow. A team of U.S. military experts in neighboring Afghanistan was arriving today to assist with the search.
North Korea has now positioned all three stages of a long-range missile for launch this month. Foreign news agencies got rare access to the missile site on Sunday. North Korean officials said it will carry a communications satellite into orbit. U.S. officials warned again today that a launch would violate North Korea’s agreement to halt missile activity in return for U.S. food aid.
White House spokesman Jay Carney:
JAY CARNEY, White House press secretary: The decision that they make to go through with this provocative act directly results in more deprivation for their people, a people who are literally starving and suffer greatly because of the actions of the regime in Pyongyang.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Meanwhile, South Korea warned that the North may be making ready for a third nuclear test. Intelligence officials said satellite images show a new tunnel is being dug at a test site.
In economic news, electronics giant Sony plans to cut 10,000 jobs over the next year. Japanese news reports said today the company will shed 6 percent of its work force worldwide in a bid to return to profit.
And Facebook announced it will buy the photo-sharing company Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock. Word of the deal came as Facebook gets ready for its initial public offering of stock next month.
Wall Street had a rough opening to the week. Stocks fell in response to last Friday’s disappointing jobs report. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 130 points to close at 12,929. The Nasdaq fell 33 points to close at 3,047.
New numbers confirm what a lot of Americans felt last month. It was the hottest March on record in the Lower 48 states. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said today that more than 7,700 weather stations recorded new highs. And while average temperatures for March are usually 42 degrees, this year, the average topped 51.
Meteorologists have cited La Nina and other weather patterns. Climate scientists say global warming cannot be tied directly to the patterns, but there is evidence that it increases the odds of frequency and severity of extreme temperatures.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.