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News Wrap: LA County OKs sheriff’s dept. abuse settlement

In our news wrap Wednesday, Los Angeles County approved a settlement over systematic abuses of minorities. Under the settlement, the sheriff’s department agreed to three years of federal monitoring. Also, the government reported today that the first quarter GDP rose at an annual rate of just 0.2 percent. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve downgraded its view of the economy, but expects improvement.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Los Angeles County has approved a settlement over systematic abuses of minorities. The Justice Department said the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department targeted blacks and Hispanics with traffic stops and with using excessive force. Under the settlement, the sheriff’s department agrees to three years of federal monitoring. And it will pay up to $700,000 to people who can prove they were targeted.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    It turns out this past winter nearly froze the U.S. economy in its tracks. The federal government reported today that first-quarter output, the gross domestic product, rose at an annual rate of just two-tenths of 1 percent. Analysts cited a sharp decline in exports and slower consumer spending.

  • JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary:

    But the White House cited the bigger picture. The GDP has grown by 3 percent over the last year. And that does reflect the kind of economic strength that we see across a range of other economic metrics. And that GDP growth is actually 50 percent faster than at some earlier stages of the ongoing economic recovery.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Also today, the Federal Reserve downgraded its view of the economy, but said it expects improvement later in the year. It offered no further hints on when it plans to raise interest rates.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    In Nepal, the number of dead in Saturday’s earthquake neared 5,200, with more than 10,000 injured. Demonstrators took to the streets in Kathmandu to protest the slow pace of humanitarian aid efforts. We will have a full report from the quake zone after the news summary.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The operator of a cargo ship seized by Iran confirmed today that the crew is safe. The vessel was taken yesterday at the entrance to the Persian Gulf. Today, it sailed to Bandar Abbas, the Iranian navy’s main port.

    But, in New York, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif insisted that Iran is not trying to be provocative.

  • MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, Foreign Minister, Iran:

    For us, the Persian Gulf is our lifeline. And nothing is more important for us than freedom of navigation in those waters, and we are committed to it, and we will respect freedom of navigation. JUDY WOODRUFF: The ship sails under the flag of the Marshall Islands. The Iranian government said there’s a court judgment against the company that chartered the vessel.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Back in this country, capital punishment was back before the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices heard arguments on whether a drug used in several botched lethal injections amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. Separately, the court upheld state laws that bar elected judges from personally soliciting campaign contributions. Thirty states have such laws.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    California Governor Jerry Brown today ordered the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to be slashed 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Brown called it the most aggressive benchmark enacted by any government in North America. Measures to enforce the cuts will be worked out over the next year.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The Obama administration is on track to deport the fewest number of immigrants in nearly a decade. The Associated Press reports that’s based on figures for the first half of the fiscal year. About 127,000 people have been sent home so far. It’s part of the president’s efforts to shield more than four million immigrants from deportation.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 70 points to close back near 18000. The Nasdaq fell 30 points, and the S&P 500 slipped eight.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    And American kids still don’t know much about history, or civics, or geography, for that matter. The Education Department said today that, in 2014, only a quarter of eighth graders showed solid performance in those subjects. That’s little changed since the last national assessment in 2010.

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