News Wrap: Finance minister warns Greeks against austerity vote

In our news wrap Thursday, as Greek pensioners lined up at banks to receive limited funds, Greece’s finance minister used the cash crunch as an example of why citizens should vote against austerity in an upcoming referendum vote. Also, Boko Haram extremists gunned down nearly 100 muslims at several mosques in Kukawa, Nigeria.

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    The latest look at the U.S. job market shows progress is still coming in fits and starts. The Labor Department today reported a net gain of 223,000 jobs for June.

    In turn, the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, the lowest in seven years. That was largely because so many people gave up trying to find a job. The proportion of Americans working or looking for work is now the smallest in 38 years. We will focus on why that's the case later in the program.

    Wall Street was unimpressed by the jobs report. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 28 points to close at 17730. The Nasdaq fell four, and the S&P 500 slipped a fraction of a point.

    There was no break today in the financial drama gripping the nation of Greece. Lines remained long as pensioners tried to get funds from designated banks. The finance minister said the cash crunch shows the need to vote against austerity in Sunday's referendum.

  • YANIS VAROUFAKIS, Finance Minister, Greece (through interpreter):

    The Greek people will vote no. We want you to give us some clarification that it is not dignified to stand in lines at ATMs. Something I personally didn't like was that, from day one, the ATM in Parliament ran out of cash four times. I didn't like that and I am not taking part in that.


    Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund blamed Greece for being too slow to enact economic reforms. It said Greece needs debt relief and $56 billion in new financing.

    Nigeria was ravaged today by a new atrocity. Government and military officials say Boko Haram extremists gunned down nearly a hundred Muslims at several mosques. It happened in the town of Kukawa during prayers that were part of the holy month of Ramadan.

    Meanwhile, Egypt's military struck back against Islamic State elements in the Sinai Peninsula. Security officials said dawn airstrikes killed 23 militants. It came a day after they assaulted army checkpoints. The army said 17 soldiers died in those attacks, but other reports said dozens were killed.

    An appeals court in Afghanistan has overturned the death sentences of four men in the mob killing of a woman. Instead, they will each serve 10 to 20 years in prison. The victim, Farkhunda Malikzada, was falsely accused of burning a Koran. Her family demanded justice after she was beaten to death and then set on fire last march in Kabul.

    And, today, they said they were outraged by the court's ruling.

    NAJIBULLAH MALIKZADA, Brother of Victim (through interpreter): We don't accept the decision of the 20-year sentence. It doesn't mean anything. It is pointless. A 20-year sentence ultimately means that the killers will be released. We want the previous decision of the death penalty, and we strictly want the death penalty.


    Activists accuse the court of bowing to pressure from Afghanistan's conservative religious establishment.

    At least 35 people drowned today when a ferry capsized in the central Philippines; 20 others remain missing. The wooden outrigger hit strong waves just after leaving Ormoc city and it rolled over. More than 130 people swam to safety or were rescued by fishing boats. Victims were rushed ashore and then to nearby hospitals.

    In this country, a freight train carrying a toxic chemical derailed and caught fire in Maryville, Tennessee. About 5,000 people were evacuated. Several emergency workers went to a hospital after breathing in fumes, and the train burned through the day.

    Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia has entered the Democratic presidential race. He announced today on his campaign Web site, saying the country — quote — "needs a fresh approach." Webb is 69. He's a former U.S. secretary of the Navy and a decorated Vietnam veteran.

    And the Episcopal Church in the U.S. will allow same-sex couples to have religious ceremonies at their weddings. Some Episcopal priests were already performing civil ceremonies. The new policy won overwhelming approval last night at the church's national meeting.

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