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News Wrap: Panetta Says U.S. Is Losing Patience With Pakistan

June 7, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST
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KWAME HOLMAN: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said today the Central Bank is prepared to take further steps to revive the U.S. economy. But he didn’t say any action was imminent.

Bernanke acknowledged to Congress’ Joint Economic Committee Europe’s ongoing debt crisis does pose significant risk to U.S. financial markets. He said that underscores the need for the U.S. to put its own fiscal house in order.

BEN BERNANKE, Federal Reserve chairman: The main things that Congress could do would be to help strengthen our own economy. The more momentum, the stronger our economy, the better able we would be to withstand the financial spillover from problems in Europe.

We obviously have to monitor it very carefully. I think the best thing we can do is try to make sure that we’re strong and prepared here in the United States.

KWAME HOLMAN: Stocks on Wall Street today lost steam in the last hour of trading and ended the day mixed. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 46 points to close just under 12,461. The Nasdaq fell more than 13 points to close at 2,831.

The U.S. stepped up pressure on Pakistan today to do more to root out the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani Network in their country. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. is near the limit of its patience waiting for Pakistan to act. Visiting neighboring Afghanistan to assess the war there, Panetta said it’s time for Pakistan to move to prevent insurgents from crossing the border to wage attacks in Afghanistan.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LEON PANETTA: We are reaching the limits of our patience here. And for that reason, it is extremely important that Pakistan take action to prevent this kind of safe haven from taking place and from allowing terrorists to use their country as a safety net in order to conduct their attacks on our forces.

KWAME HOLMAN: The most recent cross-border attack happened last Friday. Haqqani fighters from Pakistan detonated a truck bomb in Eastern Afghanistan and attempted to storm a U.S. base there.

Nearly 2,000 former pro football players are suing the National Football League for deliberately concealing the risk of permanent brain injuries. The complaint, filed today in a federal court in Philadelphia, consolidates more than 80 similar pending lawsuits. The plaintiffs hope to hold the NFL responsible for the care of players suffering from brain damage caused by football-related head trauma. NFL Officials said the suit was groundless and they maintained they never intentionally misled players.

A nearly 70-foot-long dock torn loose during last year’s tsunami in Japan has turned up on a beach in Oregon. The dock traveled roughly 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean since last March from the fishing town of Misawa, Japan, to Agate Beach, Oregon. It’s the first known large piece of debris from the tsunami to turn up on the U.S. mainland. The dock drew curious onlookers to the beach.

An Oregon Parks and Recreation official explained how it was identified.

CHRIS HAVEL, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department: There was a plaque attached to this dock that had, in Japanese, information about the company that made it, the company that installed it, the date and where it was used in Japan. We took photos of that, sent it to the Japanese consulate. They translated it and used it to trace this back to a specific area in Japan on the northeast coast.

KWAME HOLMAN: Oregon officials also organized volunteers to scrape the dock clean of Marine organisms today. Scientists are concerned the tiny species of crab and starfish native to Japan that were attached to the dock could take hold on the West Coast.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.