In our news wrap Monday, much of Texas saw clear skies for the first time since deadly storms began Memorial Day weekend, though areas remained flooded. At least 31 deaths are tied to the severe weather. Also, Secretary of State John Kerry was flown to Boston after he broke his leg in France. A State Department spokeswoman said the injury would not affect this month’s Iran nuclear talks.
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Skies cleared across much of Texas today, in the first respite from deadly storms since Memorial Day. But flooding from days of heavy rain kept spreading.
South of Houston, waters from the engorged Brazos River forced road closures and overwhelmed farmland. The floods have killed at least 31 people in Texas and Oklahoma.
Secretary of State John Kerry was flown to Boston today, after breaking his leg during a bike ride in France yesterday. He flew on a U.S. military transport plane headed back to the States. He had been hospitalized in Geneva, Switzerland, near where the accident occurred. Kerry will have surgery in coming days, but State Department officials said it will have no effect on the ongoing Iran nuclear talks.
MARIE HARF, State Department Spokeswoman:
He will be actively engaged in these negotiations on the timetable this month that we have talked about. Now, what that looks like, I just don’t have more details. We need to — he needs to have the operation. Then his doctors will discuss with him what the recovery will look like.
The deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran is now June 30.
In Nigeria, a runaway oil tanker truck killed at least 69 people when it crashed into a crowded bus station and exploded. Police said the truck was speeding when it went out of control. The blast set off a fire that consumed a dozen buses in the southeastern city of Onitsha.
Islamic State suicide bombers attacked a police base in Western Iraq today, killing at least 41 police and Shiite militiamen. It happened at a police station just north of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar province. Islamic State captured the city last month, using a coordinated assault similar to the one today.
An American held by Shiite rebels in Yemen has been released. Freelance journalist Casey Coombs had been held for two weeks. He was let go after mediation by Oman’s government. Coombs was flown there and greeted by the U.S. ambassador, who spoke to Omani TV in Arabic.
GRETA HOLTZ, U.S. Ambassador to Oman (through interpreter):
I am happy to thank Oman’s leader, Sultan Qaboos, for his help and cooperation. This American is under the supervision of Omani doctors at a military hospital in Muscat tonight, and my sincere thanks to all Omani citizens.
Meanwhile, a French hostage in Yemen, Isabelle Prime, appeared in an online video appealing for help. The World Bank consultant was kidnapped in February.
Back in this country, Google announced it’s making privacy controls easier for its one billion users to find and understand. They will now be gathered in one account area, rather than spread across many portions of Google’s Web site. Account holders will also be able to run a checkup to see which services are gathering information about them.
The Supreme Court issued several rulings today, including a judgment on a Tunisian man banned from the U.S. for minor drug possession. The court ruled he cannot be deported for having four pills of the stimulant Adderall. We will explore the day’s major decisions later in the program.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 30 points to close at 18040. The Nasdaq rose about 13 points, and the S&P 500 added four.
And the funeral for Beau Biden, eldest son of Vice President Biden, and Delaware’s former attorney general, is set for Saturday. He died of brain cancer over the weekend, at the age of 46. The White House has also started a memorial page on its website, where viewers can express their sympathies to the vice president and his family.