News Wrap: Suicide Bomber in Bulgaria Had Fake Michigan Driver’s License
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KWAME HOLMAN: Officials in Bulgaria said today the suicide bomber responsible for the attack on an Israeli tour bus had a fake Michigan driver’s license.
Wednesday’s attack at the Sofia Airport killed seven people and wounded more than 30. Security camera footage showed the suspected bomber, a man with long hair and plaid shorts, wandering through the airport terminal. That was shortly before the blast.
There was no confirmation of the man’s identity. Israel accused Iran and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon of organizing the attack. Iran denied it.
Olympic organizers in London have yet another problem: a planned strike on the eve of the Games. The Public and Commercial Services Union voted today for a 24-hour walkout by airport border guards next Thursday.
We have a report from Lucy Manning of Independent Television News.
LUCY MANNING: Welcome to Britain and the Olympics. At least you all made it here before the strike sets in, a strike the day before the opening ceremony and more industrial action threatened during the Games.
Do you want to disrupt the Olympics?
MARK SERWOTKA, Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union: No, I hope very much there’s not a strike next week. I hope the government finally agrees to talk to us after 18 months of…
LUCY MANNING: Then why have you called a strike for the day before the opening ceremony if you don’t want to disrupt the Olympics?
MARK SERWOTKA: Well, we have called a strike now because under the U.K.’s labor laws, once you have a ballot, you have to trigger a dispute within 28 days.
LUCY MANNING: Nearly 16,000 PCS union members were balloted. Only a fifth voted. So, overall, only 11 percent of all the members wanted strikes and just 15 percent voted for other forms of industrial action.
The union insists there won’t be a strike if ministers are prepared to meet them and talk and make progress on issues like job cuts. But their threat hangs over this Olympic Games, and the government knows it.
THERESA MAY, Home Secretary: Well, I think that is shameful, frankly. They are holding a strike on one what is one of the key days for people coming into this country for the Olympic Games. I believe it’s not right for them to hold a strike.
ED MILIBAND, Labor Leader: People shouldn’t be striking during the Olympics. People shouldn’t be disrupting the Olympic Games.
LUCY MANNING: And to add to the potential Olympic chaos, trying to get to London for the games, well, the drivers of East Midland’s trains are going on a three-day Olympic strike.
ANDY BOTHAM, Aslef Union: There’s a possibility we could lose public support, but in industry relations, we can’t always consider the public support. We have got to consider our members.
LUCY MANNING: From security to strikes, the Olympics are proving a challenge before they have even begun.
KWAME HOLMAN: Also today, the government had to put another 1,200 troops on standby for Olympics duty, due to a shortage of security guards.
In U.S. economic news, jobless claims rose after a one-week lull, and factory activity slowed more than expected in the mid-Atlantic region. Still, Wall Street managed a limited rally. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 34 points to close at 12,943. The Nasdaq rose 23 points to close near 2,966.
Microsoft reported its first loss as a public company, nearly $500 million in the second quarter. It followed a huge charge against earnings due to weak online ad business.
Ford Motor Company is warning owners of some of its 2013 Escapes to stop driving them immediately. The small SUVs may have faulty fuel lines that can crack and leak, causing engine fires. The automaker said it’s recalling more than 11,000 Escapes. They have 1.6 liter engines and were built between April and early July.
The head of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, today fended off Republican criticism of a new immigration policy. Last month, President Obama announced the government would mostly stop deporting illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children.
At a House hearing today, Republican Lamar Smith of Texas insisted the change will do more harm than good.
REP. LAMAR SMITH, R-Tex.: The administration’s amnesty agenda is a win for illegal immigrant, but a loss for Americans. When illegal immigrants are allowed to live and work in the U.S., unemployed American workers have to compete with illegal immigrants for scarce jobs. With 23 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, this amnesty only makes their lives harder.
KWAME HOLMAN: Napolitano argued the change will give young immigrants a pathway to citizenship and let law enforcement make better use of resources.
SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY JANET NAPOLITANO: It’s not amnesty. What this is, is, it’s really the development that we have been looking at over the last several years of, how do we clear out the backlog of non-priority cases so that we can focus on criminals, recent border crossers, repeat violators.
KWAME HOLMAN: The new policy could affect more than a million illegal immigrants in the U.S.
The U.S. is on track to have the worst year for whooping cough in more than five decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today that nine children have died. And nearly 18,000 cases have been reported. That’s more than twice the total cases for all of last year. Children usually are vaccinated against whooping cough, but the CDC urged adults to get immunized as well.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.