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News Wrap: Syrian Forces Fire on Funeral Procession, Killing at Least 10

July 19, 2011 at 12:00 AM EST
In other news Tuesday, activists said Syrian security forces opened fire on a funeral procession, killing at least 10 people in Homs where up to 50 people have been killed this week. Also, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Philadelphia's archbishop, who was criticized for his handling of sexual-abuse allegations.
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Wall Street had one of its best days of the year. Stocks bounced higher based on strong earnings reports and hopes that Congress will craft a plan to avoid a federal default. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 202 points to close at 12,587. The Nasdaq rose 61 points to close at 2,826.

In Syria, there were new killings in a city where up to 50 people have died this week. Activists in Homs said security forces opened fire on a funeral procession, and at least 10 people were killed. Troops began a crackdown there yesterday. Residents said streets were deserted, with people afraid to leave their homes and brave sniper fire.

Pope Benedict XVI today accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Philadelphia. Cardinal Justin Rigali had been sharply criticized for how the archdiocese handled allegations of sexual abuse by priests. A Vatican statement said only that he was leaving due to his age, 76.

Rigali’s successor will be Cardinal Charles Chaput, currently the archbishop of Denver. He vowed to promote healing in Philadelphia.

ARCHBISHOP CHARLES CHAPUT, incoming archbishop of Philadelphia: When it comes to the issue of the sexual abuse of members of the church by the clergy, I need to talk to the victims and their families, too, so everybody can have a voice and both articulating to me what the issues are, and then helping me together to be able to find solutions to whatever the — the questions are.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The Philadelphia Archdiocese has been hit with two grand jury reports in recent years accusing the church of covering up complaints against priests.

Major changes in access to birth control could be coming for millions of American women. The federally-established Institute of Medicine recommended today offering a broad array of birth control services at no cost. They’d be covered by health insurance companies, without patient co-payments, under the new health reform law. It’s up to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, to make a final decision.

A heat wave that has been scorching much of the U.S. for days sent temperatures near or over 100 degrees again today. Seventeen states in the Midwest and South were under heat watches, warnings or advisories, from Texas to Minnesota and the Dakotas. On Monday, Newton, Iowa, had a reading of 126 degrees.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.