News Wrap: CO2 levels hit record high in 2013, finds UN report

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Health officials reported stark new numbers today in the Ebola outbreak across West Africa. The World Health Organization said confirmed deaths have reached nearly 2,300 out of 4,200 cases.

    Meanwhile, a fourth American aid worker infected with the virus returned to the United States for treatment. The still unidentified patient was seen arriving at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta this morning. We will take a closer look at U.S. efforts to fight the outbreak later in the program.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Carbon dioxide levels in the world's atmosphere hit a record high last year. The U.N.'s weather agency reported today concentrations of the gas last year rose by the most on record. They're now nearly 40 percent higher than preindustrial levels.

    The World Meteorological Organization warned the trend is not only warming the Earth; it's accelerating.

  • MICHEL JARRAUD, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization:

    Year to year, we're breaking records. But this year, an important additional news is that the rate of increase of fuel to concentration is even faster than previous year. Actually, it was the fastest rate over more than 30 years.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The surge is tied to increased emissions and to the diminishing ability of the oceans and plant life to absorb any more carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, a separate report warned of the effects of warming on North American birds. The National Audubon Society said 126 species could lose half or more of their habitat by mid-century unless climate change slows.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The death toll keeps climbing in monsoon flooding across Pakistan and Indian-controlled Kashmir, after the heaviest rain there in 50 years. Officials said today more than 440 people have died, and they warned hundreds more villages could be inundated. Houses in Kashmir remained underwater as people gathered on rooftops, waiting to be rescued. More than 1.5 million people are affected.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Dutch authorities issued initial findings today in the Ukraine air disaster that killed 298 people. The report bolstered suspicions that a Malaysian plane was shot out of the sky.

    Richard Pallot of Independent Television News has this report.

  • RICHARD PALLOT:

    On another Malaysia Airlines flight, two more bodies were returned today, almost two months on, for these families in Kuala Lumpur, at least some sort of closure. Many relatives still do not have that, but now all have an official steer as to just what happened.

    A report released by crash investigators in Holland, the country that more than half the victims were from, concluding that MH-17 broke up after being hit by numerous objects at high velocity, photos clearly demonstrating the holes in the fuselage, with no evidence of any technical or human error.

  • TJIBBE JOUSTRA, Chair, Dutch Safety Board:

    The pattern of damage to the body of the aircraft and the cockpit is consistent with the damage that would be expected from a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft.

  • RICHARD PALLOT:

    It stops short of saying the plane was definitely hit by shrapnel from a missile, but, in reality, it points to little else. The report is based on purely pictures and videos from the scene, because fighting in the area has meant it's not been safe enough for investigators to visit.

    At the moment, the plane is still believed to be with pro-Russian separatists. The final report will be published within a year, at a similar time to the findings of a separate criminal investigation, the largest of its kind in Dutch history.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The rebels denied again today that they shot down the plane. A top commander told a Russian newspaper, "We simply don't have the technology."

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In Yemen, violence between soldiers and Shiite protesters erupted today. Medical officials said at least four people were killed when troops fired on a crowd trying to storm the cabinet building. Anti-government demonstrations have gripped the capital city, Sanaa, for weeks.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    A federal judge in Miami has resentenced convicted terrorist Jose Padilla to 21 years in prison. An appeals court had ruled the original sentence of 17 years was too lenient. Padilla was originally charged, in 2002, with plotting to set off a dirty bomb loaded with radioactive material. That charge was later dropped, but Padilla was ultimately convicted of taking part in a terror conspiracy.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Investigations at Veterans Affairs hospitals have found widespread efforts to hide delays in health care. The department's inspector general told senators today that managers at more than a dozen facilities lied to investigators. At the same hearing, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said the agency has now contacted more than 266,000 veterans to get them appointments.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 97 points to close below 17,014. The Nasdaq fell 40 points to close at 4,552. And the S&P 500 dropped 13 to finish at 1,988.

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