In our news wrap Tuesday, the University of Oklahoma expelled two students for leading a racist chant at a fraternity event. The president of the school has said others may face discipline as well. Also, President Obama laid out a series of changes to the student loan system, calling for better treatment of Americans burdened with student debt and more transparency from lenders.
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Wall Street was hit hard today by new worries that interest rates are headed higher. Last month's strong jobs report has fueled fears that the Federal Reserve will act sooner, rather than later, to raise rates. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 332 points to close well below 17700. The Nasdaq fell 82 points, and the S&P 500 dropped 35.
The University of Oklahoma has expelled two students over a racist chant at a fraternity event. School president David Boren said today they were identified as leading the chant. He didn't make their names public, but he said others may face discipline as well. The university has also shut down its chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Members have until midnight to remove their belongings.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:
President Obama called today for better treatment of Americans burdened with student debt. He laid out a series of changes during a speech at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. They call for loan services to better inform borrowers about repayment options and to notify them when they're delinquent, among other things. The president said the system has to work better. Higher education has never been more important. But it's also never been more expensive. I believe that America is not a place where higher education is a privilege that is reserved for the few.
America needs to be a place where higher education has to be available for every single person who's willing to strive for it, who's willing to work for it.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
More than 40 million Americans currently carry student loan debt.
In Myanmar, hundreds of riot police cracked down today on student protesters. Officers swing batons charged into the crowds, beating people and arresting more than 120. The confrontation put a sudden end to a standoff about 90 miles north of Yangon, the former capital. The protesters were targeting a new education law. They say it gives the government too much control over schools and curbs their academic freedom.
The U.S. ambassador to South Korea was discharged from a Seoul hospital today, five days after being slashed on the face and arm. Mark Lippert needed 80 stitches to close the deep knife wounds. Despite that close call, he sounded upbeat today as cameras flashed at a hospital news conference. MARK LIPPERT, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea: I feel pretty darn good, all things considered. I mean, it was obviously a scary incident. But I'm walking, talking, holding my baby, hugging my wife, so I'm — I just feel really good.
Lippert's attacker turned out to be an anti-U.S. activist. North Korea denied any involvement, but it did call the attack a deserved punishment for joint U.S. and South Korea military drills.
And there's word today that the Central Intelligence Agency spent nearly a decade trying to crack the coding in Apple iPhones and iPads. The Intercept, an investigative news site, cites documents obtained by Edward Snowden at the National Security Agency. They indicate that the CIA tried to break into Apple products as early as 2006. It's unclear if the agency was ever successful in its attempts.