In our news wrap Monday, India’s new prime minister took the oath of office in New Delhi. Among the thousands in attendance was Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, a historic first for two counties that have fought on and off since British independence. Also, in Egypt, voters cast their ballots to elect a new president after years of political turmoil.
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Americans paused today to remember the men and women who gave their lives in service to the country.
President Obama marked the day with a visit to Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknowns, where he laid a wreath. Memorial Day falls in the midst of a widening scandal about the care of military veterans at VA hospitals.
President Obama said the U.S. owes its veterans the care they need.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:
As we have been reminded in recent days, we must do more to keep faith with our veterans and their families and ensure that they get the care and benefits and opportunities that they have earned and that they deserve. These Americans have done their duty. They ask nothing more than that our country does ours now and for decades to come.
We will have more on Memorial Day celebrations around the country, as well as a closer look at one part of Arlington Cemetery, at the close of the program tonight.
In India, Narendra Modi was sworn in today as that country’s new prime minister. Modi took the oath of office at a ceremony at the presidential palace in New Delhi. Thousands were in attendance, including the prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif. It was an historic first for the two countries who have fought three wars since winning independence from Britain in 1947. Modi and Sharif are scheduled to hold formal talks tomorrow.
Voters went to the polls across Egypt today to elect a new president after years of political turmoil. They cast their ballots in an election that’s expected to install former army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi as the country’s next leader. Voting continues tomorrow. So far, there’s been a strong turnout among women.
DALIA EL BOGHDADY:
They are very, very, very active really and they have begun to feel how important their country is. And this is totally new. We never — we never used to vote. And now we think of the best for our country. And we try to read and understand and analyze.
Al-Sisi ousted Egypt’s first freely elected leader, Mohammed Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood supporters have urged their followers to boycott the vote.
The Nigerian military says it knows where nearly 300 abducted schoolgirls are being held, but will not use force to get them back, for fear the girls would be killed. Nigeria’s state news agency quoted the chief of defense staff as saying they know where the Islamist militant group Boko Haram is holding them. The girls were taken from their school seven weeks ago. Since then, Boko Haram has killed nearly 500 other civilians in its fight to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria.
In Thailand, the nation’s new military leader received the endorsement of the king today and issued a warning to protesters. General Prayuth Chan-ocha said he wouldn’t hesitate to use force against political protesters if they caused more trouble. Chan-ocha knelt before a large picture of the king during the royal endorsement ceremony. The king’s backing is significant because the monarchy is the most important institution in Thailand. The 86-year-old king wasn’t present because he’s in fragile health.
The White House has mistakenly disclosed the name of the CIA’s top official in Afghanistan. The officer’s identity was revealed over the weekend in an e-mail to thousands of journalists during the president’s surprise trip to Bagram Airfield. It was part of a list of 15 top U.S. officials who took part in a briefing with the president during that visit. The CIA and White House have yet to officially comment on the incident.
American drugmaker Pfizer ended its bid to take over its British rival AstraZeneca and to form the largest drug company in the world. Last week, AstraZeneca’s board rejected a $119 billion buyout offer. It said the bid vastly undervalued the company.