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News Wrap: Egyptian Election Results Expected on Tuesday

May 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT
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KWAME HOLMAN: The U.S. economy gave off more mixed signals today.

First-time claims for unemployment benefits dipped slightly last week, and durable goods orders increased a bit in April. But a key measure of business investment spending fell for a second straight month. The lack of clear-cut trends led to another choppy session on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 33 points to close above 12,529. The Nasdaq fell more than 10 points to close at 2,839.

Egyptians flocked to the polls for a second day of voting in their first freely contested presidential election. Among the main contenders are Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under former President Hosni Mubarak. Results are expected on May 29. It’s widely anticipated a runoff will be needed next month.

Iran’s nuclear negotiations with the U.S. and five other countries ended in Baghdad today with no breakthrough. The Iranians insisted they have a right to enrich uranium. They complained world powers want to maintain tough economic sanctions until Iran gives up its nuclear ambitions.

On the other side, Catherine Ashton, the E.U. foreign policy chief, had this take on the two days of talks.

CATHERINE ASHTON, Foreign Policy high representative, European Union: It’s clear that we both want to make progress and that there is some common ground. However, significant differences remain. Nonetheless, we do agree on the need for further discussion to expand the common ground. We will go back to respective capitals and consult.

KWAME HOLMAN: In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the six-nation bloc will try to narrow its differences with Iran in the next round of talks next month in Moscow.

Syrian government forces and the rebels fighting them have committed serious human rights abuses during the 14-month uprising. A U.N. investigation reached that conclusion today. It found government troops have killed entire families, while opposition forces kidnapped and tortured prisoners. The violence has continued despite U.N. attempts to broker a cease-fire.

A 33-year-old murder mystery in New York City now has led to an arrest. The victim was 6-year-old Etan Patz, who disappeared on his way to school in 1979. His case sparked the national drive to put the pictures of missing children on milk cartons.

Today, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed a suspect was picked up last night in New Jersey.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, mayor of New York: We have a suspect in custody who has made a statement to the NYPD implicating himself in the disappearance of Etan Patz 33 years ago. Let me, however, caution you that there is still a lot more investigating to do. The process will continue. We do things methodically, carefully, and we will see what develops.

KWAME HOLMAN: The suspect was identified as Pedro Hernandez. Police officials say he told investigators he suffocated the boy, wrapped his body in a bag, and put it in a box. Hernandez was being questioned further today.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.