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News Wrap: Prisoner who spent 30 years on Alabama death row exonerated

In our news wrap Friday, a man who spent nearly 30 years on Alabama’s death row walked out a free man after prosecutors admitted the only physical evidence of two murders did not link him to the crime. Also, Saudi Arabia stepped up their efforts to fight the Yemen’s Shiite rebels. Saudi warplanes air-dropped supplies and weapons to fighters loyal to the president, and carried out more airstrikes.

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  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    A yearlong streak of solid U.S. job growth has ended. The Labor Department reported today that, in March, employers added a net of just 126,000 jobs. That’s the smallest number of new positions created since December of 2013.

    It also breaks a string of 12 straight months with gains of more than 200,000 jobs. President Obama reacted to the numbers during a visit to Utah.

  • PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

    Parts of the globe have seen their economies weaken. Europe has had a weaker economy. Asia has been slowing down. We have had the strongest economy, but we’re impacted by what happens around the world.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    The unemployment rate for March remained at 5.5 percent. U.S. stock markets will have the weekend to absorb the news. They were closed today in observance of Good Friday. But we will look more closely at the numbers after the news summary.

    A man who spent nearly 30 years on Alabama’s death row walked out today a free man. Ray Hinton was convicted in two 1985 murders. But now prosecutors admit the only physical evidence, the crime scene bullets, failed to link him to the crime. Today, Hinton hugged his family and friends as he left the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham. He said he had been the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

  • RAY HINTON:

    I shouldn’t sit on death row for 30 years. All they had to do was test the gun. But when you think you high and mighty and you above the law, you don’t have to answer to nobody. But I got news for them. Everybody that played a part in sending me to death row, you will answer to God.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Hinton was 29 when he was arrested. He’s now 58. His fortunes improved last year when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Hinton indeed had inadequate representation at his trial.

    Kenya was in shock and mourning today after Thursday’s slaughter at a college. Islamist gunmen from Al-Shabab, based in Somalia, killed at least 148 people.

    Dan Rivers of Independent Television News filed this report.

  • DAN RIVERS:

    They are literally floored with grief, the relatives of this terrorist massacre finally getting the confirmation they have been so dreading.

    The bodies have been arriving at this mortuary in Nairobi throughout the day, the long queue to identify them the sign of the scale of this atrocity. Survivors have described how the Al-Shabaab gunmen hunted down students who couldn’t recite verses from the Koran. This footage gives a sense of the chaos and terror, a well-planned attack possibly masterminded with detailed local knowledge.

    Already, wanted posters are being circulated for this man, Mohamed Mohamud. He commands a network of Al-Shabab terrorists inside Kenya and is from Garissa.

  • AL-HAJJ ADAN WACHU, Inter-Religious Council of Kenya:

    They have no reason whatsoever to have committed those heinous crimes. Our tears and tears of the parents will haunt them forever.

  • DAN RIVERS:

    A special service was held outside the mortuary for the victims today, but, in Kenya, Good Friday has been overshadowed by evil that has left so many in mourning this Easter.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    In Yemen today, Saudi Arabia stepped up aid to forces battling Shiite rebels there. In Aden, Saudi warplanes airdropped supplies and weapons to fighters loyal to the president. They also carried out new airstrikes on the Shiites. Aden is the government’s last foothold in Yemen.

    More chilling details emerged today about the Germanwings flight disaster. French investigators reported the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, repeatedly and deliberately accelerated the airliner before it slammed into the French Alps. The information came from the flight data recorder found yesterday buried in gravel.

    Late today, the Obama administration recommended designating nearly 12.3 million acres in Alaska as wilderness. The land is located in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Fish and Wildlife Service made the recommendation in a revised conservation plan for the refuge.

    This was Good Friday for Christians around the world. Thousands of pilgrims traveled to Jerusalem’s Old City. They retraced the route that Jesus is said to have taken to the site where he was crucified.

  • MAN:

    I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to walk in the same footsteps and to share this experience with some of those who are the most close to me. I think this is something that everybody should do if given the opportunity to reinvigorate their belief in the Holy Spirit.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Elsewhere, some believers whipped themselves to demonstrate their faith. And in the Philippines again this year, at least six men had themselves nailed to crosses. One of the men has taken part in the ritual for the past 29 years.

    And a passing of note. Sarah Brady, who spent decades working for gun control, died today. Her family in Alexandria, Virginia, said she had developed pneumonia. Brady’s husband, James, was President Reagan’s press secretary. He was severely wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on the president. After that, the couple founded the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Sarah Brady was 73 years old.

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