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News Wrap: ‘Fast-track’ bill passes House, clearing way for free-trade deal

In Thursday’s news wrap, after weeks of deadlock, a bill granting Obama “fast-track” negotiating authority passed the House. Also, leaders of the Eurozone have called an emergency summit for Monday to discuss the deadlock with Greece.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In the day’s other developments: President Obama’s trade agenda got a reprieve, after Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives blocked it last week. Today, Republicans pushed through fast track negotiating authority, clearing the way for an Asian free trade deal. The bill now goes to the Senate — still to come, votes on helping workers who lose their jobs to overseas competition.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Wall Street rallied today, on hopes that the Federal Reserve may wait just a while longer before raising interest rates. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 180 points to close at 18115. The Nasdaq rose 68 points, and the S&P 500 added 20. JUDY WOODRUFF: Leaders of the Eurozone countries have called an emergency summit for Monday on their deadlock with Greece. Finance ministers met in Luxembourg today, as Greece faced a looming deadline to make a huge loan repayment, or default. The Eurogroup chair warned of too little progress.

  • JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, President, Eurogroup:

    As of today, it is still possible to find an agreement, and extend the current program before the end of the month. But the ball is clearly in the Greek court to seize that last opportunity.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, to meet with President Vladimir Putin. There’s widespread speculation that Tsipras is now seeking rescue loans from the Kremlin.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The number of refugees fleeing war and persecution worldwide has reached an all-time high. The U.N. Refugee Agency reported today that nearly 60 million people were displaced from their homes last year. The largest single group, 11.6 million, came from Syria.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In Hong Kong, the governing council balked today at giving China’s central government veto power over candidates for chief executive of the city. It was a victory for activists who staged long-running protests last year. Today, pro-Beijing lawmakers walked out before the vote, leaving opponents of the election plan in control. Officials in Beijing criticized the outcome.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    And back in this country, gender equality is coming to the $10 bill. The U.S. Treasury secretary announced today the redesigned version will feature a yet-to-be-named woman. It will be unveiled in 2020, marking 100 years since women gained the right to vote.

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