In our news wrap Monday, Puerto Rico’s governor warned the island can’t pay its debt, and hopes to defer payments as it negotiates. Also, Louisiana and Mississippi ended holdouts on issuing same-sex marriage licenses in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision legalizing gay marriage.
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The financial turmoil in Greece sent Wall Street to its biggest losses of the year today. It was part of a worldwide sell-off after Greek bailout talks failed and the Greek government shut down banks.
The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 350 points to close below 17600. The Nasdaq fell 120 points, and the S&P 500 slid 44. We will have a full report from Greece right after the news summary.
Puerto Rico is also drowning in debt, and now, its governor warns the island can’t pay. Alejandro Garcia Padilla says he hopes to defer payments while renegotiating $72 billions in red ink. The White House said today it is not considering a federal bailout.
The U.S. Supreme Court has closed out its term with a slap at the Environmental Protection Agency. The justices ruled 5-4 today against EPA’s limits on mercury emissions from power plants. It said officials should have accounted for the cost of compliance right from the start. A full examination of the decision follows later in the program.
Two of the last holdout states gave way today to the high court’s decision legalizing gay marriage. Louisiana began issuing licenses to same-sex couples, and Mississippi authorized clerks of court to do the same.
But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says clerks may refuse to issue licenses on religious grounds. That brought complaints today in Austin.
CHAD GRIFFIN, President, Human Rights Campaign:
What’s clear is that our work is far from over. The theatrics of Texas Attorney General Paxton, who has blatantly encouraged state officials to defy the highest court in the land, is evidence of that very fact. The attorney general is irresponsibly empowering and encouraging obstruction and delay.
Meanwhile, several clerks of court in Kentucky have responded by refusing to issue licenses to any couple, gay or straight.
President Obama has signed two hard-won trade bills that could clear the way to finish an Asian free trade deal. The signing today, in the White House East Room, was a rare bipartisan occasion. It followed an all-out fight that pitted the president against many of his fellow Democrats. As he signed today, he quipped, “This is so much fun, we should do it again.”
Negotiators in the Iran nuclear talks kept at it today, amid signs they will continue past tomorrow’s deadline. Iran’s foreign minister returned home from Vienna for consultations. Secretary of State John Kerry stayed and met with other officials, but he stopped short of signaling progress.
His spokesman in Washington defended taking extra time.
MARK TONER, State Department Spokesman:
We’re still focused on getting the best agreement possible, the most comprehensive agreement possible. And if we have to work a little bit longer to do that, the team in Vienna, then they will do so, obviously, but nobody is talking about a long-term extension.
Iran reached a framework agreement with the U.S. and other world powers in April. Now some Western officials accuse Tehran of backtracking on that deal.
In Egypt, the top public prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, was assassinated in a car bomb attack in Cairo. He had led the cases against ousted President Mohammed Morsi and other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Islamic State group had urged attacks on Egypt’s judges.
The people of Burundi voted today in a parliamentary election marked by violent protests against the president’s bid for a third term. Voters trickled to polling places in the African nation amid reports of gunshots and explosions. The violence has sent some 140,000 people fleeing the country. The opposition boycotted today’s vote.
Hundreds more migrants were brought ashore at Italian ports today, after being rescued at sea. The new arrivals were among nearly 3,000 people picked up Sunday. They were in 21 small boats that smugglers launched from Libya. So far this year, more than 60,000 from Africa and the Middle East have made it to Italy.
More than 400 people remain hospitalized in Taiwan after a fireball engulfed partygoers at a water park on Saturday. The injured, many in their early 20s, were treated and rushed to ambulances, some of them with critical burns. One woman died later, and the head of the water park offered an emotional apology today.
CHEN HUI-YING, CEO, Formosa Fun Coast Water Park (through interpreter):
We rented it out like you rent a house. You don’t expect something like this to happen. How can one know that so many people would get hurt? It really makes me feel sorrow, so I am really sorry.
Investigators believe the fire started when a cigarette butt or spark ignited the flammable powder that was sprayed over the crowd from a stage. Back in this country, a rain squall in Wenatchee, Washington, gave brief relief to crews battling a fire that’s forced more than 1,000 people to flee.
And hundreds of firefighters are trying to corral the so-called Sleepy Hollow Fire that ignited yesterday 120 miles east of Seattle. It’s destroyed some two dozen homes, fanned by high heat and strong winds.
MIKE BURNETT, Fire Chief, Chelan County Fire District 1:
It was what we classify as a firestorm coming through. Multiple structures were involved when the resources were allocated over there, and it was an all-night-long firefight, trying to catch the spot fires as they were — embers were going from one house to another, catching the roofs on fire and then spreading that way.
Later, the fire burned a fruit warehouse, and ammonia used for cold storage began to leak. Emergency managers urged people in the immediate area to stay indoors.
A convicted killer who made a daring prison break in northern New York had his condition upgraded to serious today. David Sweat is now hospitalized in Albany. He was shot and recaptured yesterday less than two miles from the Canadian border. Fellow escapee Richard Matt was killed by police on Friday.
And there’s word the world’s Jewish population has returned to where it was before the Holocaust. An Israeli think tank estimates the number is now 16.5 million, about equal to the total in the 1930s. The Nazis and their conspirators murdered some 6 million Jews.