News Wrap: EPA finds fracking can contaminate underground water in some cases


HARI SREENIVASAN: In the day's other news: The Environmental Protection Agency released a long-awaited report on the effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on drinking water. It found the oil and gas drilling technique can contaminate underground water in some cases.

It also said there is not evidence to estimate the severity of the risk. The report dropped an earlier finding that fracking has not caused widespread systemic harm to water supplies.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Ohio's Republican Governor John Kasich has vetoed a closely watched anti-abortion bill. He rejected a measure today that banned abortion once the first fetal heartbeat is detected. He said federal courts have already struck down similar laws elsewhere. Kasich, however, did sign a separate bill banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Seventeen states already have similar laws.

HARI SREENIVASAN: President Obama today signed a sweeping law, including new spending on cancer research and drug abuse. The 21st Century Cures Act provides more than $6 billion. It also streamlines the process for approving drugs and medical devices. Mr. Obama spoke before signing the bill at a White House ceremony with lawmakers and Vice President Biden.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We are bringing to reality the possibility of new breakthroughs to some of the greatest health challenges of our time. I'm confident that it will lead to better years and better lives for millions of Americans, the work that you have done. That's what we got sent here for.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The new law also includes funding for mental health. We will explore that later in the program.

JUDY WOODRUFF: In Russia, opposition political leader Alexei Navalny announced that he will run for president in 2018. The anti-corruption activist aims to challenge President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to seek a fourth term. Navalny is currently on trial for fraud in a case that he says is politically motivated. If he is convicted, he would be barred from running.

HARI SREENIVASAN: A railway strike across Southern England today caused the worst railway disruption there in 20 years. It is part of a longstanding dispute over whether train drivers or on-board guards should close train doors. The drivers went on strike today for 48 hours, leaving hundreds of thousands of commuters stranded or delayed and angry, but union officials defended their stance.

MICK WHELAN, General Secretary, ASLEF Union: It's a safety issue. The reality for us is that the increasing level of trains, the increasing amount of footfall in the 21st century, we don't believe that the technology or the make do and mend on our important infrastructure lends itself to a one-man operation.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The government blamed the unions for the impasse. The railway owner announced new talks for tomorrow.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Another day, another rally on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 114 points to close at a record 19911. The Nasdaq rose 51, and the S&P 500 added 14.

HARI SREENIVASAN: And the oldest person in America is another year older, but don't tell her that. Adele Dunlap of Pittstown, New Jersey, turned 114 yesterday. She said she is 105, but her family said she always shaves about a decade off her age. Either way, people at her nursing home gave her balloons and sang happy birthday.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And I think she should have the right to say whatever age it is.

Recently in Nation