In our news wrap Friday, the State Department released nearly 300 emails from then-Secretary Hillary Clinton on the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. One was heavily redacted at the FBI’s request. Also, at least 40 people died in Western Mexico from a gun battle between police and drug gang members.
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The Senate labored against the clock this evening to push through President Obama’s fast-track legislation. It would let Congress approve or reject trade agreements, but not amend them. Supporters, and President Obama, worked through the day to round up votes before the Memorial Day recess.
The State Department today released nearly 300 e-mails from then-Secretary Hillary Clinton on the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya. The FBI asked that parts of one be labeled secret and withheld. It was unclassified when Clinton received it in November of that year on her private e-mail server.
At a presidential campaign event in New Hampshire today, she said there was no security breach.
HILLARY CLINTON, Former Secretary of State:
I’m aware that the FBI has asked that a portion of one e-mail be held back. That happens in the process of Freedom of Information Act responses. But that doesn’t change the fact that all of the information in the e-mails was handled appropriately.
The U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi attack in September of 2012.
A gun battle erupted in Western Mexico today between police and drug gang members, and when it was over, at least 40 people were dead. The shooting broke out near the border with Jalisco State. The area is the base for the New Generation drug cartel. The gang has killed at least 20 police since March.
In Syria, there’s word that Islamic State fighters have launched a bloody purge in Palmyra. The militants seized the ancient city this week, and human rights activists report they have killed up to 280 soldiers and government supporters since then.
Jonathan Rugman of Independent Television News reports.
JONATHAN RUGMAN, ITN:
“The lions are advancing the pigs are retreating,” says this jihadist fighter near the ruins of Palmyra.
Inside this gas pumping station, the men of so-called Islamic State have found abandoned weapons, and a poster of Syria’s president whose army was routed and overrun. These are the group’s pictures of the city next to the ruins. The U.N. says some 70,000 Syrians have fled.
But in the city center, I.S. fighters have filmed themselves trying to whip up a clearly frightened crowd. Despite this display of affection, I.S. has beaten, executed and decapitated prisoners here. But these pictures are too graphic to show.
Yet the fate of the ruins at the hands of these men could benefit President Assad, because the barbarians are quite literally at the gates now, and Syria’s leader has always argued he is a far better alternative.
ISIS also claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing today at a Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia. At least 20 people were killed and 50 others wounded. It happened in the eastern province of al-Qatif. Officials said the mosque was packed with worshipers.
Back in this country, the California State Water Board agreed to voluntary 25 percent cuts in water use by major farmers, in the face of severe drought. Farmers in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River Delta made the offer to avert mandatory cuts. They are among the most senior water rights holders in the state.
On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 50 points to close near 18230. The Nasdaq was down one point, and the S&P 500 slipped nearly five. For the week, the Dow lost a fraction of a percent, the S&P gained a fraction, and the Nasdaq rose nearly a full percent.
And in Paris, the Eiffel Tower was shut down for most of the day because of a strike over pickpockets. No tickets were sold, and police patrolled the area, while tourists remained on the outskirts. Tower workers said they need more guards to scare off aggressive gangs of thieves.