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News Wrap: Fed opens possibility of interest rate hike

In our news wrap Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said it was open to raising interest rates, but the job market must improve and inflation has to move closer to 2 percent for a rate hike. Also, gunmen attacked Tunisia’s National Bordo Museum, killing more than 20, most of whom were Western European tourists. Two of the gunmen were killed, but two or three others escaped, according to officials.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The Federal Reserve opened the door today to raising interest rates, after years of record lows. The Central Bank’s latest statement dropped the word “patient” in describing its attitude toward the economy. But it also said the job market has to improve and inflation has to move closer to 2 percent before any rate hike.

  • Fed Chair Janet Yellen:

  • JANET YELLEN, Chair, Federal Reserve:

    Today’s modification of our guidance shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that we have decided on the timing of that increase. In other words, just because we removed the word “patient” from the statement doesn’t mean we’re going to be impatient. GWEN IFILL: On Wall Street, the Fed’s statement signaled an interest rate hike may not be imminent after all. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 227 points to get back above 18000. The Nasdaq rose 45, and the S&P 500 added 25.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Terror rocked Tunisia today, as gunmen killed at least 20 people, most of them European tourists. It happened at the National Bardo Museum in Tunis. In addition to the dead, some 50 people were wounded. Security forces stormed the museum about two hours after the assault and rescued a number of hostages. Officials said the two gunmen were also killed, but two or three others escaped.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    U.S. officials now acknowledge a Predator drone likely was shot down over Syria yesterday. The Reuters news service reported that development today. Last night, Syrian state TV broadcast what it said was wreckage of the drone. The Syrian military said air defenses in a Western region brought down the unmanned craft.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In Serbia, for the first time, police have arrested suspects accused of taking part in the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica. Eight men are accused of killing more than 1,000 Bosnian Muslims. Bosnian Serb leaders have already been arrested and tried. But Serbia’s deputy war crimes prosecutor said the arrests of the actual executioners marks a milestone.

  • BRUNO VEKARIC, Deputy War Crimes Prosecutor, Serbia (through interpreter):

    I cannot talk about the suspects, but the victims of Srebrenica have not been forgotten. The perpetrators have not been forgotten as well. Several other people throughout the region are potential perpetrators of this crime. And, therefore, I believe this story is not over yet.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In all, some 8,000 Muslims were killed at Srebrenica in Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Police in Japan are investigating death threats made against U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and the American consul general on Okinawa. U.S. officials say the threats came in a series of phone calls to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Kennedy has been ambassador since late 2013. JUDY WOODRUFF: Some 10,000 anti-austerity protesters rallied today in Frankfurt, Germany. They came to target the European Central Bank as it opened its lavish new headquarters.

  • MAN (through interpreter):

    I think that the European Central Bank is a big symbol for monetary policy in Europe and for the power politics of capitalism here. And it is simply very important that lots of people from lots of different countries come together and fight against these politics.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The demonstrations began peacefully enough, but trouble broke out when some in the crowd set fire to police vehicles and started throwing stones. Police detained 350 people.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Back in this country, a major Protestant denomination, the Presbyterian Church USA, has given final approval to recognizing gay marriage. A majority of the church’s local leadership bodies voted to expand the definition of marriage to include — quote — “a commitment between two people.”  The change takes effect June 21.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The 2016 Republican presidential field has a potential new entrant, Donald Trump. The businessman and star of TV’s “The Apprentice” announced today he’s formally creating a committee to explore running. Trump also expressed interest in running in 2012, but ultimately decided against it.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    And for the second year in a row, the government set a record in 2014 for withholding information. The Associated Press reports the Obama administration censored or denied access to more files than ever under the Freedom of Information Act. In addition, the backlog of unanswered requests grew — under the law grew 55 percent.

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