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News Wrap: U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Russian Citizens for Human Rights Abuses

April 12, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT
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KWAME HOLMAN: The U.S. imposed financial sanctions and visa bans today on 18 Russians accused of human rights abuses. The Treasury Department made their names public under the new Magnitsky Act. It’s named for Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. He accused police officials of embezzling state funds, and died in prison, allegedly after being beaten.

At the White House today, spokesman Jay Carney said most of those blacklisted are linked to the case.

JAY CARNEY, White House Spokesman: We will use the tools in the Magnitsky Act and other available legal authorities to ensure that persons responsible for the maltreatment and death of Mr. Magnitsky are barred from traveling to the United States and doing business here.

KWAME HOLMAN: In turn, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to retaliate by imposing similar sanctions on Americans.

In Iraq, a pair of bombs at a mosque killed at least 11 people and wounded 30 more. The attacks happened in the town of Kanaan, about 50 miles northeast of Baghdad. Police said the bombs went off in quick succession just as Muslim worshipers were leaving midday prayers. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

A strong spring storm made its way up the East Coast today, leaving more destruction. Across the Southeast, the system brought high winds that blew down trees and power lines and hail the size of golf balls. And for many parts of the Upper Midwest, heavy, wet snow made an unwelcome reappearance, causing some rivers to top their banks. The storm system also spawned tornadoes a day earlier. Overall, it was blamed for at least three deaths.

The first family released 2012 income tax returns today. President and Mrs. Obama reported an income of nearly $609,000 dollars. That’s down from $5.5 million in 2009, their first year in the White House. The Obamas paid federal taxes of more than $112,000 dollars last year for an effective tax rate of just more than 18 percent. They also donated more than $150,000 dollars to charity.

Congress has killed a mandate that congressional staffers and executive branch employees post their financial disclosure forms online. The requirement, under the STOCK Act, was to take effect on Monday. Repeal passed the House and Senate today without debate.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost a fraction of a point to close at 14,865. The Nasdaq fell five points to close under 3,295. For the week, both the Dow and the Nasdaq gained more than two percent.

Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Judy.