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News Wrap: Bill Clinton defends foreign donations to Clinton Foundation

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Former president Bill Clinton is defending foreign donations to his family foundation.

    In an interview airing today, he dismissed speculation that other governments traded donations for official favors — when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. She's now running for president.

    Mr. Clinton told NBC News the foundation has never done anything "knowingly inappropriate."

    Also today, the state department said it's found no evidence that the donations influenced any actions by then-Secretary Clinton. And on a related matter, the former president said he'll continue to accept speaking fees — of up to half a million dollars apiece — during his wife's campaign. He said: "I gotta pay the bills."

    Also today, Hillary Clinton offered to testify before a special house committee on the attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador.

    Clinton's attorney said she's willing to appear once, later this month, to answer all questions on Benghazi and on her e-mail practice.

    Calm seas in the Mediterranean sent waves of migrants sailing from Libya toward Italy over the weekend.

    Thousands were picked up at sea as the European Union struggled to keep up.

    Jane Deith of Independent Television News has this report.

  • JANE DEITH, ITN:

    The boats haven't stopped coming. In the space of 3 days, Italy France and groups of volunteers have raced to the rescue of almost 7,000 people. Including this this baby girl, born just hours after her mother was in a boat floating off the coast of Libya.

    Last month, EU members promised to send help. This French navy ship rescued 217 people on Saturday.

    But where is the flagship HMS Bullwork David Cameron promised? It left the Gallipoli event in Turkey a week ago, but only tonight is it ready to help after a reported diplomatic wrangle over whether rescued migrants could disembark at Italian ports. It's understood things were only resolved today. In the last hour, the ministry of defense has confirmed HMS Bullwork and three merlin helicopters are in Sicily waiting for the call.

    At the moment, the rescue mission, operation Tritan, is still relying heavily on passing vessels.

    FLAVIO DI GIACOMO, International Organisation for Migration: It is mainly commercial ships who are patrolling — who are actually in the international waters and are able to carry out rescue operations faster than other ships which are quite distant from the migrants in distress.

    This rescue boat is speeding not towards Italy but straight back to Libya. The Libyan coast guard returning migrants to the country they were desperate to leave.

  • WOMAN:

    We are suffering — can't you see? Look it! Look it! We are risking our life. We are suffering! Can't you see we are suffering?

  • WOMAN:

    It's not a crime for me to risk my life for my family to live good.

  • JANE DEITH:

    Britain does now stand ready to help as the numbers risking it all for Europe continue to rise.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The surge of migrants has touched off rising political tensions. Some leaders in northern Italy are insisting their regions will not accept any more of the newcomers.

    In Nepal, the earthquake death toll topped 7300 today, including100 trekkers and villagers who were buried in an avalanche.

    And there was word that the climbing season for Mount Everest is likely over. Sherpa guides now say there's not enough time to safely rebuild the route.

    Central Tel Aviv cleaned up today after protests by Ethiopian Jews turned violent. They said they've been subjected to racism and denied opportunity.

    Police used stun grenades and water cannons on Sunday to disperse the crowds. The unrest was sparked by a video of policemen beating an Ethiopian Israeli soldier.

    Israeli president Reuven Rivlin said today the violence "exposed an open, bleeding wound" in Israeli society.

    Violent political protests have claimed 3 more lives today in Burundi.

    The Red Cross said 45 others were wounded. The protests began April 26, after the African nation's president announced he'd run for a third term, violating a two-term limit.

    In Kenya today, visiting Secretary of State John Kerry, warned against the move.

    JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: We are deeply concerned about President Manirakiza decision which flies directly in the face of the constitution of his country. And the violence that is expressing the concern of his own citizens about his own choice should be listen to and avoided as we go forward in these days.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The UN says 30-thousand people have fled from Burundi to neighboring countries

    Back in this country, officials from President Obama on down praised a New York City policeman who died today.

    Brian Moore was shot Saturday as he tried to arrest a man suspected of carrying a gun. He was the third officer killed in the city in 5 months.

    His death came amid tensions over police actions in Baltimore, New York and other cities.

    The top republican in New York state surrendered today to face federal charges of extortion and bribery.

    State senate leader Dean Skelos along with his son, Adam, turned themselves in to the FBI, in Manhattan. The elder Skelos allegedly used his power to enrich himself and his son.

    Earlier this year, a top New York democrat — Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — was charged with taking payoffs.

    Wall Street moved slightly higher on this Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 46 points to close at 18-thousand-70. The Nasdaq rose 11 points And the s-and-p 500 added 6.

    And Britain's newest princess now has a name: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

    Kensington palace announced today, two days after she was born that she will be known as "Her Royal Highness, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge".

    Her names honor Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth and the late princess Diana — her grandfather, great-grandmother and grandmother.

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