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In our news wrap Thursday, another day of Iran nuclear talks concluded without a deal. Iran’s state TV reported that negotiations are deadlocked, while Secretary of State John Kerry said the talks would not be open-ended. Also, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its forecast for global growth due to economic weakness in the U.S. earlier this year.
The latest deadline in the Iran nuclear talks approached today, amid signs of discord. Iran's state TV said negotiations are deadlocked because the U.S. won't respect Iranian rights, especially on lifting sanctions.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry talked of real progress, even as he warned the Vienna talks are not open-ended.
JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: We are not going to sit at the negotiating table forever. We also recognize that we shouldn't get up and leave simply because the clock strikes midnight. And I emphasize, given that the work here is incredibly technical and that the stakes are very, very high, we will not rush and we will not be rushed.
Tomorrow's deadline falls on day 14 of the current talks.
World financial markets settled some today after Chinese stocks, with government help, made a comeback, gaining 6 percent in value. That performance initially helped Wall Street rebound, but it gave up most of the gains by day's end. In the end, the Dow Jones industrial average added 33 points to close near 17550. The Nasdaq rose 12 points, and the S&P 500 was up four.
The International Monetary Fund has downgraded its forecast for global growth, to 3.3 percent this year. That's the lowest since 2009. The IMF today blamed economic weakness in the U.S. earlier this year, brought on by winter weather, and disruptions at West Coast ports.
Greece sent a new package of financial reforms to European creditors today, just ahead of a deadline. The proposals are designed to win promises of a new bailout at a last-ditch summit of European leaders on Sunday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel summed up the situation today on a trip to Bosnia.
CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, Germany:
With regard to Sunday evening, it is completely impossible for me to speculate. It will be a decisive meeting, an important one. We must not forget that the Greek people are suffering at the moment. The banks are closed and, as politicians, we all have the duty to make decisions.
The Greeks especially want debt restructuring, and Germany's finance minister conceded today that some restructuring may be necessary.
The wave of refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria now tops four million. United Nations officials reported the new number today. It's the largest flow of refugees in nearly 25 years. Another 7.5 million people have been forced from their homes, but are still inside Syria.
In Bosnia, thousands turned out today to honor newly identified victims of the Srebrenica massacre. Some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serbs in 1995. Crowds of mourners gathered today as a large truck arrived with 136 coffins. They're to be buried on Saturday. That's the 20th anniversary of Europe's worst mass killing since World War II.
The man tapped to be the top American military officer today branded Russia the greatest threat to U.S. security. Marine Commandant Joseph Dunford testified at a Senate hearing on his nomination to chair the Joint Chiefs.
GEN. JOSEPH DUNFORD, Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps:
In Russia, we have a nuclear power. We have one that not only has the capability to violate the sovereignty of our allies and to do things that are inconsistent with our national interests, but they're in the process of doing so.
So, if you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I would have to point to Russia, and if you look at their behavior, it's nothing short of alarming.
Dunford also said he believes it would be reasonable to supply lethal arms to Ukraine to battle Russian-backed rebels.
And a planning commission in Washington approved a revised design today for an Eisenhower memorial on the National Mall. It includes columns and a steel mesh tapestry showing the Kansas plains where the future allied commander and president grew up. The Eisenhower family has objected to the design, and Congress has so far balked at paying for the project.
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