In our news wrap Monday, a grand jury indicted former policeman Michael Slager for killing a black man, Walter Scott, as he tried to run away. The prosecutor says a video of the shooting will be key to the trial. Also, President Obama acknowledged setbacks in Iraq in the fight against the Islamic State militant group, conceding that there is no full plan in place to train the Iraqis.
Read the Full Transcript
The national debate over police conduct toward minorities was renewed today, in a series of cases. In North Charleston, South Carolina, a grand jury indicted former policeman Michael Slager for murder. He was fired after this video surfaced of him shooting a black suspect, Walter Scott, in April, as Scott ran away.
Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson said the video will be crucial.
SCARLETT WILSON, Solicitor, Ninth Judicial Circuit of South Carolina:
If we can have a case that depicts the crime and we aren’t having to rely just on people’s perceptions, the jury will be able to make up their own mind after seeing the video and hearing other testimony.
Meanwhile, in Boston, police and the FBI released surveillance video of last week’s fatal shooting of Usaama Rahim, a suspect in a terror investigation. The blurry footage shows Rahim being approached by police and federal agents as he crosses a parking lot. Officials say he lunged at them with a knife, so they fired, all of this as social media heated up today with talk of a Texas policeman and a confrontation with teenagers. We will have that story after the news summary.
President Obama today acknowledged setbacks in Iraq in the fight against Islamic State forces. And he conceded there’s still no fully developed plan in place to train the Iraqis. He met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi at the Group of Seven summit in Germany, and held a news conference afterward.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:
We don’t yet have a complete strategy, because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis as well about how recruitment takes place, how that training takes place. And so the details of that are not yet worked out.
Separately, the leaders of the major industrial democracies, and others, agreed at the summit to keep sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine. Mr. Obama said Russian President Vladimir Putin has to give up a — quote — “wrong-headed desire to recreate the glories of the Soviet empire.”
The president also criticized the U.S. Supreme Court today. He said the justices never should have agreed to hear a challenge to subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. Still, he predicted the justices will — quote — “play it straight” and leave the law intact. A decision is expected this month.
The high court did give the White House a win today in a legal dispute with Congress. A 6-3 decision struck down a 2002 law that allowed Americans born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their birthplace on passports. Israel and the Palestinians have long seen the city’s status differently, and the State Department has declined to take sides.
In Mexico, the ruling party and its allies are close to holding on to the Lower House of Congress, as vote-counting continues in Sunday’s election. That’s despite drug violence, corruption and lackluster economic growth that continue to be a drag on the country. Protesters in some southern states burned ballots and boycotted the vote. But President Enrique Pena Nieto declared most Mexicans had rejected violence.
PRESIDENT ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, Mexico (through interpreter):
By voting on this day, the citizens have expressed our political will for the path of institutions. There were those who tried to affect these elections. In the last few days, they even participated in violent acts, looking to dishearten the population. However, despite them, this Sunday, millions of Mexicans went to vote, convinced that democracy is the best path for Mexico.
Even so, for the first time, an independent, Jaime Rodriguez, was elected governor of a state. He campaigned on an anti-corruption platform.
The flood of migrants across the Mediterranean Sea surged again over the weekend. European navies plucked nearly 6,000 people from rickety smuggler boats as they attempted to cross from North African nations, mainly to Italy. Some political leaders there have vowed to stop providing shelter to the new arrivals.
On Wall Street today, stocks were down again amid lingering worries over potential interest rate hikes and the deadlock over Greek debt. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 83 points to close below 17770. The Nasdaq fell 47 points, and the S&P 500 slipped 13.
And Broadway may seem a little brighter tonight for the winners of this year’s Tonys. Two shows led the way Sunday with five awards apiece. The lesbian coming-of-age story “Fun Home” won for best musical. It’s based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir. Best new play went to “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” from the novel about a teenage math whiz with Asperger’s syndrome.
And Helen Mirren won her first Tony for portraying Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience.”