News Wrap: Officials say argument may have been motive in Fort Hood shooting
JUDY WOODRUFF: More Americans went looking for work in March, and more people found it. The Labor Department today reported a net gain of 192,000 jobs, although many were in lower-paying industries. Revised figures also added 37,000 more jobs in January and February than first estimated. The unemployment rate for March was unchanged at 6.7 percent. Economics correspondent Paul Solman goes looking for trends inside the numbers in just a moment.
On Wall Street, the jobs report failed to stop a sell-off driven by slumping tech stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 160 points to close at 16,412. The Nasdaq fell 110 points to close at 4,127. And the S&P 500 was down 23 at 1,865. For the week, the Dow and the S&P gained a fraction of 1 percent; the Nasdaq fell a fraction.
Army officials at Fort Hood, Texas, now believe an argument most likely sparked Wednesday’s mass shooting. Specialist Ivan Lopez killed three soldiers, wounded 16 other people, and then killed himself.
The base commander, Lieutenant General Mark Milley, said today that investigators no longer think mental illness was the cause.
LT. GEN. MARK MILLEY, Commanding general of Fort Hood: His underlying medical conditions we do not believe are the direct precipitating factor to the incident. His underlying medical conditions are not a direct precipitating factor. We believe that the immediate precipitating factor was more likely an escalating argument in his unit area.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The general gave no details about the argument. But Lopez’s father said in a statement — quote — “My son could not have been in his right mind. He wasn’t like that.”
Meanwhile, the Army identified the three men who died. All were active-duty soldiers, and one had just returned from Afghanistan.
Supporters of gay marriage have won another victory. After a hearing today, a federal judge in Cincinnati announced that he will strike down part of Ohio’s ban on same-sex unions. He didn’t order the state to allow such weddings, but it will have to recognize those performed elsewhere. Federal judges have issued similar rulings in seven other states.
The hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went underwater today.
Lucy Watson of Independent Television News reports from Beijing, where relatives of the Chinese passengers are keeping a close watch.
LUCY WATSON: It is the technology that all hopes are pinned on in the bid to find out why Flight 370 just disappeared. Devices out for the first time take the search beneath the surface of the ocean. The underwater search is being carried out by a British and an Australian ship along a 150-mile track more than 1,000 miles off the coast of Perth.
A giant microphone, a ping locator, will listen out for a signal from the black box, while an underwater robot scours the seabed for wreckage. But the battery life of the flight data recorder can run out after 30 days, potentially leaving just days to find it.
AIR CHIEF ANGUS HOUSTON, Search Chief Coordinator: Everybody wants to find that downed aircraft, and I don’t think anybody is withholding anything in terms of what needs to be done to do the job.
LUCY WATSON: But that is not what the families of many passengers believe. Wen Wancheng’s only son was on board. He thinks the Malaysian government is withholding information.
WEN WANCHENG, Father of MH370 Passenger (through interpreter): I don’t believe my son died. I believe everyone on board is still alive. It’s a conspiracy.
LUCY WATSON: The Malaysians are having to accept scrutiny whilst continuing to hope and pray for those on board.
JUDY WOODRUFF: This was election eve in Afghanistan, and it was marred by a fatal attack on a Western journalist. A police commander shot and killed an Associated Press photographer, Anja Niedringhaus, in Eastern Afghanistan. AP correspondent Kathy Gannon was also shot, but she survived.
The attack came as nearly 200,000 Afghan troops deployed to protect polling stations for tomorrow’s presidential vote.
The police chief in Kabul said they’re ready.
GEN. MOHAMMAD ZAHIR ZAHIR, Police Chief, Kabul (through interpreter): We are doing our best to ensure security in case the enemy carries out any kind of attack in Kabul. Our forces have the ability to eliminate the threats quickly and prevent them from creating any problems or threatening our people or our elections.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Final results in the election are not expected for some weeks.
In Ukraine, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk warned his country will never accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Instead, he said Kiev will focus on austerity measures, including raising gas prices and cutting pensions. He called it the price of independence in the face of Russian economic pressure.
Secretary of State John Kerry warned today the Obama administration is reevaluating its role in trying to foster Middle East peace talks. He spoke after a week in which the Palestinians resumed seeking U.N. recognition and the Israelis canceled a release of Palestinian prisoners.
In Morocco, Kerry said it’s reality check time.
JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: There are limits to the amount of time and effort that the United States can spend if the parties themselves are unwilling to take constructive steps in order to be able to move forward. Both parties say they want to continue. Neither party has said that they have called it off. But we’re not going to sit there indefinitely.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Kerry originally hoped for a peace agreement by the end of April. Now he’s asking the two sides just to keep negotiating.
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