In our news wrap Wednesday, the NFL and its players union agreed to a revised policy on performance enhancing drugs that will include testing for human growth hormone, in addition to steroids and diuretics. Also, authorities closed schools in a region of Pennsylvania as police hunted for a suspect believed to have killed a state trooper and wounded another.
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Schools in part of Northeastern Pennsylvania closed today, as authorities hunted the ambush killer of a state trooper. The sniper attack took place late Friday at a remote barracks in the Pocono Mountains. A second trooper was wounded. The suspect, Eric Frein, is described as an expert marksman and survivalist. Officials say he has a grudge against law enforcement and has talked committing of mass murder.
The National Football League and its players union have agreed on a new policy governing performance-enhancing drugs. The announcement today said testing for HGH, or human growth hormone, should begin this month. That’s in addition to testing for steroids and diuretics. Players who use banned stimulants in the off-season will be referred to a treatment program, instead of being suspended.
The Federal Reserve signaled today it’s still in no hurry to raise short-term interest rates. Instead, the Central Bank announced it will keep the benchmark federal funds rate near zero for — quote — “a considerable time.” Fed Chair Janet Yellen said key economic indicators, including wage growth and long-term unemployment, still need to improve.
JANET YELLEN, Chair, Federal Reserve:
If the pace of progress in achieving our goals were to quicken, if it were to accelerate, it’s likely that the committee would begin raising its target for the federal funds rate sooner than is now anticipated and might raise — might then raise federal funds rate at a faster pace. And the opposite is also true, if the projection were to change.
On Wall Street, the Fed announcement helped the Dow Jones industrial average reach a new record. The Dow gained nearly 25 points to close near 17157; the Nasdaq rose nine points to close at 4562, and the S&P 500 added two points to finish at 2001.
The once dominant electronics giant Sony now projects it will lose $2 billion this fiscal year. Officials also announced today they’re canceling dividends for the first time since the company was publicly listed in 1958. Sony has suffered years of red ink and it’s struggling to salvage its smartphone business.