From NPR News in Washington, I'm Lakshmi Singh.
Civil rights activists are planning to hold vigils and rallies outside federal buildings in 100 cities in memory of Trayvon Martin this Saturday. It will have been a week since a central Florida jury acquitted the man who killed the African-American teen whose 2012 death has reignited debates over race and the justice system. Earlier today Attorney General Eric Holder weighed in, saying the Justice Department is still investigating the case, but as NPR's Mara Liasson reports, the White House says President Obama is staying out of it.
The Justice Department is deciding whether to file criminal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says President Obama plans to leave that decision to the attorney general.
"As the Justice Department said yesterday, they first acknowledged last year that they have an opening investigation into Trayvon Martin's death and they are continuing to evaluate that evidence."
Since Zimmerman was acquitted, the president has released a statement saying that all Americans should be asking themselves what they can do to stem the tide of gun violence for our communities and how they can help prevent future tragedies like this one from happening again. Mara Liasson, NPR News, the White House.
Georgia death row inmate Warren Hill is scheduled for execution tonight. Warren Hill's attorneys maintain their client should not have received the death penalty for a 1990 murder because he's intellectually disable, those IQs below 70. During his trial, doctors from the state testified Hill still knew right from wrong.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threw cold water today on hopes expressed by Senate Republicans that a deal can be worked out to avert a potentially explosive rules change limiting the use of the filibuster. NPR's David Welna reports the Democratic leader says a rules change will happen unless Republicans let seven stalled nominations move forward.
With just one day to go before Senate Democrats could pull the trigger on what's known as the nuclear option, Majority Leader Reid said he's prepared to change the Senate rules on the filibuster with just a 51-vote simple majority instead a traditional 2/3 supermajority. Republicans have called for an evening meeting of all senators to discuss the stand-off, but Reid told reporters there's no need for talks.
"If the sky's falling and they think it's falling, let them stop the filibusters on the seven I filed cloture on, and we will have up-or-down votes on these people and go on to the business for the day."
Sixty votes would be required for cloture on limiting further debate on the seven nominations. Reid said Republicans have held up too many nominees and he's ready to eliminate the 60-vote barrier. David Welna, NPR News, the Capitol.
More clashes are reported this hour in Egypt, where security forces have fired tear gas into a crowd in central Cairo in the unrest over President Mohammed Morsi's ouster more than a week ago. In Cairo today, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns urged Egypt’s interim government to be transparent and inclusive.
Before the closing bell, Dow was up 20 at 15, 484.
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Envoys from North and South Korea have ended their latest meeting without an agreement over a joint industrial park that was shut down three months ago. Here's the latest from Jason Strother in Seoul.
The Kaesong joint industrial park isn't any closer to reopening. It was the third time that envoys from North and South Korea failed to find common ground. Seoul wants an apology and new safeguards from Pyongyang, but those do not seem likely. Officials will pick up again later this week during another round of talks. The complex is home to 123 South Korean factories that employed 53,000 North Korean workers. For NPR News, I'm Jason Strother in Seoul.
Under mounting opposition and media pressure, the Italian government is acknowledging the mistakes in allowing the hasty deportation of the wife and daughter of a Kazakh dissident. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports the government revoked the deportation orders what Kazakhstan says the woman is not allowed to leave.
Anna Shalabayevais is the wife of Mukhtar Ablyazov, a former Kazakh energy minister granted asylum by Britain, but whose current whereabouts are unknown. By allowing her deportation to a country known for human rights abuses, Italy could be in violation of international treaties. Responding to questions from the UN, human rights rapporteur, Prime Minister Enrico Letta launched an inquiry. Letta said neither he, the interior, foreign nor justice ministers were informed about the deportation. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano is under pressure to resign. He's the right-hand man of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a close friend of Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbaev. Opposition leaders suspect the deportations could be carried out only on orders from the highest level. Sylvia Poggioli, NPR News, Rome.
I'm Lakshmi Singh, NPR News in Washington.