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News Wrap: LGBT rights fight sinks major energy bill in U.S. House

In our news wrap Thursday, the fight over LGBT rights in Congress sank a major energy bill, after both Republicans and Democrats voted down legislation containing separate provisions banning discrimination by federal contractors and defending North Carolina’s transgender bathroom law. Also, more than 4,000 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean a day after hundreds died while crossing.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Good evening. I'm Judy Woodruff.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    And I'm Hari Sreenivasan.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    On the "NewsHour" tonight: President Obama says world leaders are rattled by the newly named Republican nominee — a look at the international response to Donald Trump's success.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Also ahead this Thursday: rebuilding Ecuador — a month after a devastating earthquake flattened buildings and left thousands homeless, how the country is recovering.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And we get a backstage pass to one of the nation's top music venues, the 9:30 Club, the spot for a new music variety show.

    SETH HURWITZ, Co-Owner, 9:30 Club: We really are curating this for everyone. I have this fantasy vision of three generations sitting around at the couch because "Live at 9:30" is coming on.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    All that and more on tonight's "PBS NewsHour."

    (BREAK)

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    In the day's other news: A fight over LGBT rights sank a major energy spending bill in the U.S. House. Last night, Democrats attached an amendment that bars discrimination by federal contractors. Today, Republican conservatives overwhelmingly voted against the overall bill.

    Most Democrats did as well, over a separate provision that defends North Carolina's law against transgender bathrooms.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Congress came under new pressure today to approve funding for fighting Zika. The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spoke in Washington, as lawmakers began a two-week Memorial Day recess.

    Dr. Tom Frieden urged action to protect pregnant women from infections that can cause birth defects.

    DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: We have a narrow window of opportunity to scale up effective Zika prevention measures, and that window of opportunity is closing. Congress did the right thing with Ebola. And I hope in the end they will do the right thing with Zika.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    President Obama is asking for $1.9 billion to fight Zika. The Senate has approved $1.1 billion. The House voted for $622 million.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    More than 4,000 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean Sea today, as calmer weather brought more sailings and sinkings. They were trying to reach Italy from Libya just one day after hundreds died trying to make the journey.

    Matt Frei of Independent Television News narrates our report.

  • MATT FREI:

    What actually happens when a migrant boat sinks in the Med? This is what happens, filmed yesterday in searing silence by the CCTV camera of an Italian navy ship.

    The naval ship has sent a small advance boat. It takes away a handful of those on board. Ten minutes later, with the prospect of a rescue for everyone, the passengers on deck have started to move, first to one side, then to the other.

    This is their fatal mistake. This is what happens far too often. Within seconds, the fishing boat carrying at least 570 people lists and now turns over. What should be a rescue is turning into mayhem and tragedy. At least seven people have drowned, but no one can be sure how many more are trapped in the hull or, indeed, how many of them can swim.

    That was yesterday. This was today, another sinking off the coast of Libya. Here, at least 20 drowned. Every week, sometimes every day, another boat without a name sinks in the Med. The people who survived this disaster looked as if they were many Arab, not African. They arrived in Sicily this afternoon, and if it turns out that they were from Syria, they will be classified as refugees and they will probably be allowed to stay in Europe, but a Europe that is less and less willing to take them in, despite their many ordeals.

    Since Monday, 6,000 lives have been saved, but we have no idea whether the number of coffins represents the true number of those who have died.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    The waters between Libya and Italy have become the focus of migrant attempts, now that the route from Turkey to Greece is largely closed.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Violence escalated in France today as labor protests gripped the country. Clashes erupted in Paris between demonstrators and police, who fired tear gas to disperse the crowds. Thousands of union members also marched in the port city of Le Havre. The strikes have choked off much of France's fuel supply. At issue is the government's plan to make the workweek longer and layoffs easier.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    A dire warning today for the world's top economies. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his fellow leaders that conditions now resemble those before the 2008 financial meltdown. He spoke at a Group of Seven Summit in Japan, and said his counterparts agreed on the need for new stimulus efforts.

  • SHINZO ABE, Prime Minister, Japan (through interpreter):

    We rigorously debated the global economy this time, and we agree it faces a great risk at this moment. It was a great achievement that we were able to put together and agree to an economic initiative to face those very risks.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    A top aide to Abe said later that G7 nations will decide on their own about the timing and size of any stimulus.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Back in this country, new federal guidelines issued today aim to give states more flexibility in identifying failing schools. The Department of Education is proposing the decision be based on a mix of test scores, academic growth and absenteeism.

    Last year, Congress revamped the No Child Left Behind Act to give states more control over education policy.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Baylor University confirms that Kenneth Starr is out as president for failing to do more about sexual abuse complaints against football players. The school also fired head football coach Art Briles today. Starr is being demoted to chancellor. He's the former independent prosecutor who investigated President Clinton in the '90s.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Wall Street put up mixed results today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 23 points to close at 17828. The Nasdaq rose nearly seven points, and the S&P 500 fell a fraction.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    And the nation's Memorial Day observances opened today, with an event known as Flags In. At Arlington National Cemetery, outside Washington, some 1,000 soldiers placed American flags on more than 230,000 grave sites of fallen service men and women. The flags will be removed after Monday.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": what the rest of the world thinks of Donald Trump; how preparing for a volcanic eruption helped Ecuador respond to another disaster; researchers find a superbug resistant to all antibiotics in a patient in Pennsylvania; and much more.

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