In our news wrap Friday, Italian police arrested 10 Pakistani and Afghan nationals with links to al-Qaida. They are accused of plotting attacks on the Vatican and in their home countries. Also, two survivors of a migrant smuggling disaster had their first court appearance. One allegedly captained the boat that capsized that lead to 900 deaths, and the other is accused of being a crew member.
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Police in Italy today arrested 10 Pakistani and Afghan nationals with links to al-Qaida. They're suspected of plotting attacks on the Vatican and in their home countries.
The men, including the group's spiritual leader, were taken into custody during early morning raids. Eight others were being sought. Two of the suspects are said to be former bodyguards for Osama bin Laden.
In Sicily, two survivors of a migrant smuggling disaster had their first court appearance. One allegedly captained the boat that capsized, leading up to 900 deaths. The other is accused of being a crew member. The men are Tunisian and Syrian. Prosecutors said the captain rammed an overloaded trawler into a rescue vessel, touching off the disaster.
But defense lawyers said they have got the wrong men.
GIUSEPPE IVO RUSSO, Defense Lawyer (through interpreter):
At the moment, according to the questions answered so far, we only have indications on the height, the skin color, and that's it, of the captain and of another member of the crew. But there were another two people with the same skin color, with pale skin.
Meanwhile, British and German warships prepared to sail toward Libya, as part of stepped-up rescue efforts.
Greece came under fire from its European creditors at a meeting today in Latvia. Financial leaders of the 19-country Eurozone criticized Athens for delaying financial reforms, with a deadline just days away.
JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, President, Eurogroup:
There are still wide differences to cover and to bridge on substance. And we are all aware that time is running out. Too much time has been lost in the past two months, and it is therefore clear that these discussions need to make significantly more progress.
Greece has to provide the list of reforms in order to receive another installment of bailout funds.
Ceremonies began today to mark the beginning of an iconic battle of World War I, at Gallipoli in Turkey. It started 100 years ago tomorrow. Today, families of soldiers who fought in the British-led invasion gathered alongside world leaders to remember the 130,000 who died in the campaign. Britain's Prince Charles and Prince Harry were among those on hand.
Back in this country, Baltimore officials said that police made serious mistakes in handling a man who died in custody. Freddie Gray passed away a week after he was arrested and suffered a severe spinal injury.
Police Commissioner Anthony Batts spoke this afternoon.
ANTHONY BATTS, Commissioner, Baltimore Police Department:
We know he wasn't buckled in the transportation wagon, as he should have been. No excuses for that, period. We know our police employees failed to give him medical attention in a timely manner multiple times. There are still many questions that we don't have the answers to.
Officials say they're still trying to determine how Gray was injured.
Comcast officially announced it's dropping a $45 billion bid to buy Time Warner Cable. The move had faced opposition from the Federal Communications Commission.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement today, "The proposed merger would have posed an unacceptable risk to competition and innovation."
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts responded in an interview on CNBC. BRIAN ROBERTS, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation: We respect their judgment, even if, you know, we didn't get our case made the way we saw it. And I do think it's best for us to move on. And that's what we're doing today, and we do it with, you know, genuine enthusiasm with the momentum of the company. JUDY WOODRUFF: The deal would have put almost 30 percent of cable TV subscribers and 55 percent of broadband subscribers under one corporate roof.
And on Wall Street, stocks managed small gains. The Dow Jones industrial were up 21 points to close at 18080. The Nasdaq rose 36, and the S&P added four. For the week, the Dow gained nearly 1.5 percent, the Nasdaq rose 3 percent, and the S&P was up almost 2 percent.