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News Wrap: Greek PM’s Syriza party resists backing bailout deal

In our news wrap Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tried to rally his Syriza party to back a new austerity bill. Paul Mason of Independent Television News reports on the hesitation, and outright rebellion, among many lawmakers. Also, attorneys offered closing arguments in the trial against James Holmes, who opened fire in a Colorado movie theater.

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    If Wall Street hoped for a big boost from the Iran nuclear deal, investors were disappointed. Instead, worries about corporate profits kept gains in check. The Dow Jones industrial average added 76 points to close above 18050. The Nasdaq rose 33 points and the S&P 500 added nine.


    Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sought to rally his Syriza Party today to back a new austerity bill. The Greek Parliament has 24 hours to pass tax increases and pension reforms, as the price of a new international bailout.

    But, as Paul Mason of Independent Television News reports, Syriza lawmakers and voters aren't so sure.


    If you want a vision of Greece's troubled future, start here. This container port was sold five years ago to the Chinese for five billion euros. Now the whole waterfront's for sale after the far-left party, Syriza, agreed to rush through privatization worth 50 billion. The problem, the Syriza-supporting dockers who work here. This man is their leader.

    And he wants the government to reject the deal it just signed.

    If you could say one thing to Alexis Tsipras, what would it be?

  • GIORGOS GOGOS, Union Leader:

    So far, he has gained the trust of Greek people, so, he has to continue with this and to listen to the people to go further and to reject this agreement, which is not an honest agreement.


    As Syriza's leaders arrived, tight-lipped for a party meeting, their right-wing coalition partner wasn't tight-lipped.

    He called what's happening a coup, blackmail. And as the vote nears in the Parliament, it's pressure like this that spurred up to 30 M.P.s from the ruling party to rebel, including the M.P. for the area where the privatized port is.

  • STATHIS LEOUTSAKOS, Greek Parliament Member (through interpreter):

    Syriza can only stay united if it sticks to the program it stood on at the election. And that's what it needs to do. There's no growth and no solution for Greece within the Eurozone. And if we go on like this, Eurozone is over.


    Athens tonight is subdued and waiting for an answer. Can the most far-left party ever elected in modern Europe summon the nerve to do austerity on this scale?


    Tsipras and his party were voted into power in January promising to end years of spending cuts and other austerity measures.


    This was the day for closing arguments in the trial of James Holmes, almost three years after he opened fire in a Colorado movie theater. Prosecutors argued Holmes was sane and intent on mass murder when he killed 12 people and wounded dozens more. Defense attorneys say Holmes should be found not guilty by reason of insanity. The trial has lasted 11 weeks.


    Relatives of a New York City man who died in police custody vowed today their fight is not over. Eric Garner's family reached a $5.9 million settlement on Monday. He died last summer, when a white officer put him in a chokehold. Garner's mother called again today for federal civil rights charges.

    GWEN CARR, Mother of Eric Garner: This settlement that we get, people — we're walking up and down the street, they're saying congratulations. Don't congratulate us. This is not a victory. The victory will come when we get justice. Then we want to have a victory party.


    A state grand jury has declined to indict the police officer.


    A Boston police captain's son was ordered held without bond today in an alleged bomb plot. The FBI says Alexander Ciccolo planned to set off pressure cooker bombs at a university. His father alerted authorities that Ciccolo had a history of mental illness and wanted to join the Islamic State group. He was arrested in a sting on the Fourth of July.


    President Obama called today for reforms in prison sentencing aimed at eliminating racial disparities and cutting costs. He spoke at the NAACP National Convention in Philadelphia and criticized mandatory minimum sentences.


    We have also locked up more and more nonviolent drug offenders than ever before for longer than ever before. And that is the real reason our prison population is so high. In far too many cases, the punishment simply doesn't fit the crime.


    To underscore his point, the president yesterday commuted the sentences of 46 drug offenders.


    A new discovery lit up the world of physics today. For the first time, scientists detected a subatomic particle called the pentaquark. Its existence was first predicted in the 1960s, but it took the world's largest atom smasher outside Geneva to confirm that it's really there. Researchers say the discovery will help explain the fundamentals of matter.


    And the last of Boston's record winter snowfall finally melted today. At one point, the snow was heaped in a massive pile along part of the city's waterfront. Now all that's left are puddles and tons of garbage that got swept up by snowplows.

    What a mess.

    Still to come on the NewsHour: after 20 months of negotiations, digging into the landmark deal over Iran's nuclear program; an interview with Republican presidential candidate Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal; and unlocking the mysteries of Pluto.

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